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What to do with an extra 6 days in France

Yes... a very subjective question...

We will be doing the Rick Steves 15 day "Paris & South of France" tour this coming fall and the tour ends up in Nice. We have an additional 6 days tacked on the end with which to consider doing some additional car/train travel.

We've been to Italy so I don't think we want to jump over the border. The obvious options that we are considering are a) Go back to spend more time in Paris (the RS tour only spends 2 days or so and our return flight is from Paris anyway), b) explore more to the north including Alps, Burgundy, Alsace regions, c) try to zip over to do some of Brittany & Normandy regions

6 days isn't a whole lot of time so we obviously can't do ALL of the above -- anyone (everyone) have suggestions? While I'm sure that we could use up all 6 days just wandering through Paris, is that the best value for our time?

Posted by
3168 posts

Hi Eric, I'd be tempted to travel north from Nice through Switzerland via Bern (though that includes parts of Italy) and end up in the Alsace region of France (Colmar) or Black Forest region of Germany. Then return to Paris from Strasbourg on the TGV. I haven't checked out the logistics of a trip like that for 6 days but it looks do-able.

Posted by
1568 posts

Agree with Sharon!!! A beautiful trip.

Posted by
711 posts

Hi Eric..It is easy to backtrack to Paris in a car. The auto routes are great and there are some wonderful places to stay. I would work my way back up to Orly from Nice perhaps staying 1-2 nights in the quaint villages of the Var- like Cogtignac and then back through the Cotes de Rhone staying in Isle sur la Sorgue or somewhere around there and then up the A7 and A6 to Burgundy for 2 nights and then drop off the car at Orly.Burgundy is so lovely in the Fall- especially by the Burgundy Canal.We are photographers and will be doing this trip in reverse in October.If you want some great places to stay, send me a private message. Driving in France is easy. and the back roads of Burgundy are magnificent during this time of year.

Posted by
4125 posts

Particularly if you've never been to Paris before, I suggest spending the bulk of your extra six days there.

The most efficient way to do that would be to spend extra time in Paris before the tour. But maybe that's not an option.

In that case I'd pick one other destination that is a reasonable trip from both Paris and from Nice, spend a day or two there, and then finish back in Paris.

Could be more time in Provence, could be Alsace or Chamonix (both a haul), could be other places. But, I suggest Burgundy, for the following reasons.

Its lovely in the fall, and it's character would be a contrast both to Paris and to that of the South of France.

Its more or less enroute between Nice and Paris (unlike, say, the Dordogne or Alsace, which would be a bit of a detour).

Of course you should learn about that region and if it doesn't thrill you, go elsewhere.

Have a marvelous three weeks.

Posted by
170 posts

Hey Eric
Actually my wife and I are doing the same tour in October. We are arriving in Paris a day before the tour starts. At the end of the tour we will stay an additional night in Nice. From there we are picking up a rental car and driving thru Provence and staying two nights in Vaison-la-Romaine. After the Tuesday morning market, which is supposed to be one of the best in France, we are driving to Beaune. As stated in a reply above, Burgundy is reported to be beautiful in the fall. Two nights in Beaune then dropping the car at Orly and taking the metro into area of Paris near Luxembourg Gardens for two more nights.

Posted by
655 posts

Hi Eric.....I would explore Burgundy. Your timing is perfect for it.

Posted by
4 posts

Hi all... thanks for the great info! Sounds like the Burgundy region in the fall is a "must see" so we will definitely consider it. Appreciate all of the suggestions.

Posted by
8358 posts

I think I would recommend going to Bayeaux in Normandy and visiting the D-Day beaches. The land is lovely, the people are great and visiting this place is something that you will never, ever forget. Try Battlebus tours for more information about this area and how to spend a most worthwhile 2 days.
Bayeaux is just a 2 hour train ride from Paris. Great Bed and Breakfasts in town too.

Posted by
3313 posts

Eric - If you'll be on your own, look up the "Logis de France" website. It's an organization of small, family run hotels in rural France. Most are quite affordable and in the two-star range. If you have a car, you'll have the flexibility to stay in the smaller towns which will have one or two of these properties.