23 days in Barcelona, South of France & Switzerland Itinerary

23 days in Barcelona, South of France & Switzerland Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Europe tour planner

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Make it your trip
Fly
1
Barcelona, Spain
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Carcassonne, France
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Marseille, France
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Nice, France
— 6 nights
Drive
5
Zermatt, Switzerland
— 1 night
Train
6
Bern, Switzerland
— 2 nights
Train
7
Zurich, Switzerland
— 4 nights
Fly

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Barcelona, Spain

— 4 nights

Jewel of the Mediterranean

Barcelona, the country’s second-largest city, is a cosmopolitan urban center known for its throbbing youthful energy and stellar architecture.
Barcelona is known for parks, nightlife, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the striking features of Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, walk around Parc Guell, admire the masterpieces at Museu Picasso, and pause for some serene contemplation at Barcelona Cathedral.

To see other places to visit, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Barcelona trip maker app.

Cape Town, South Africa to Barcelona is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from South Africa Standard Time to Central European Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. When traveling from Cape Town in December, plan for colder days and slightly colder nights in Barcelona: temperatures range from 17°C by day to 7°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Carcassonne.

Things to do in Barcelona

Historic Sites · Parks · Neighborhoods · Museums

Carcassonne, France

— 2 nights

Medieval Heart of France

Best known as a fortified town, Carcassonne is a walled city that provided the inspiration for the castle in Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" and the location for many scenes in Kevin Costner's movie "Robin Hood." For a daily dose of excitement, medieval jousting tournaments are held twice per day between the two walls--while this may sound like a typical touristy show, it's actually an entertaining display of combative competition and horsemanship.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sat): steep yourself in history at Cité de Carcassonne, then explore the activities along Canal du Midi, then steep yourself in history at Cathar Castles, and finally do a tasting at O'Vineyards. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 12th (Sun): pause for some serene contemplation at Carcassonne Cathedral, make a trip to La Porte D'aude, explore the historical opulence of Chateau Comtal, pause for some serene contemplation at Eglise Saint-Nazaire, then get engrossed in the history at Musee De L'ecole, and finally snap pictures at Le Pont Vieux (The Old Bridge).

To see maps, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Carcassonne journey planner.

Traveling by car from Barcelona to Carcassonne takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Barcelona in December, things will get little chillier in Carcassonne: highs are around 13°C and lows about 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) early enough to drive to Marseille.

Things to do in Carcassonne

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Wineries · Museums

Side Trip

Marseille, France

— 2 nights

Gateway to Provence

The 2013 European "Capital of Culture," Marseille is the largest port city on the breezy Mediterranean coast and the second largest city in France.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Mon): take in the waterfront at Le Vieux Port, then take in the dramatic natural features at Calanques, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Abbaye Saint Victor, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Cathédrale La Major. On the next day, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Parc National des Calanques, then stop by La Baleine a Cabosse, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, and finally take a stroll through The Panier.

To find photos, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Marseille holiday maker.

Traveling by car from Carcassonne to Marseille takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or fly. December in Marseille sees daily highs of 15°C and lows of 5°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Nice.

Things to do in Marseille

Nature · Parks · Neighborhoods · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Nice, France

— 6 nights

Nissa la Bella (Nice the Beautiful)

Well-known for the beautiful views of its famous Promenade des Anglais waterfront, Nice is an ethnically-diverse coastal port city on the French Riviera and the fifth most populated city in France.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Nice: Le Nomade (in Antibes) and Cannes (Lérins Islands, La Croisette, &more). There's lots more to do: take a stroll through Vieille Ville, get great views at Colline du Chateau overlook, explore the world behind art at Musee d'Art Moderne Et d'Art Contemporain, and make a trip to Promenade des Anglais.

For other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, read Nice trip itinerary site.

You can drive from Marseille to Nice in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. December in Nice sees daily highs of 17°C and lows of 8°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Zermatt.

Things to do in Nice

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Parks

Side Trips

Zermatt, Switzerland

— 1 night
Best known as home the Matterhorn mountain, Zermatt serves as a chic ski resort town of the Swiss Alps.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Tue): take in panoramic vistas at Sunnegga, make a trip to Mountaineers' Cemetery, don't miss a visit to Walk of Climb, then stop by Lindt Chocolate Shop Zermatt, and finally take some stellar pictures from Gornergrat.

To find ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read our Zermatt road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Nice to Zermatt takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or take a train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) so you can take a train to Bern.

Things to do in Zermatt

Historic Sites · Shopping

Bern, Switzerland

— 2 nights

City of Bears

The capital and political center of Switzerland, Bern sits on a peninsula formed by the U-shaped River Aare.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): enjoy breathtaking views from Clock Tower - Zytglogge, admire the local landmark of Ryfflibrunnen, identify plant and animal life at Barenpark, admire the natural beauty at Rose Garden (Rosengarten), then ponder the design of Mosesbrunnen, and finally contemplate the long history of Einstein House (Einsteinhaus).

To find other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Bern trip planner.

Traveling by train from Zermatt to Bern takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In December, daily temperatures in Bern can reach 5°C, while at night they dip to -3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) to allow enough time to take a train to Zurich.

Things to do in Bern

Parks · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Historic Sites

Zurich, Switzerland

— 4 nights

Big Small Town

The financial hub of Switzerland, Zurich is most often associated with money and banks.
Get out of town with these interesting Zurich side-trips: Astrid-Kapelle (in Kuessnacht am Rigi), Lucerne (Lake Lucerne, Altstadt Luzern, &more) and Mt Pilatus (in Kriens). And it doesn't end there: visit Old Town, stop by Glen Fahrn 'the Pearl' Zurich, see the interesting displays at Uhrenmuseum Beyer Zürich, and wander the streets of Niederdorf.

To see reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Zurich trip planner.

Traveling by train from Bern to Zurich takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 5°C, and evening lows to -1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Zurich

Parks · Neighborhoods · Museums · Nature

Side Trips

Switzerland travel guide

4.7
Bodies of Water · Mountains · Specialty Museums
Immerse yourself in a snow-capped mountain wonderland in Switzerland's serene Alpine setting. See the world-renowned Matterhorn, Switzerland's second-highest mountain at 4,478 m (14,962 ft) tall, or zoom down the mountains on toboggan, ski, or snowboard. In the warmer seasons hike around the rolling green hillsides covered with pine trees and picturesque aqua blue lakes. Luxurious cities dotted with cozy wooden chalets and colorful flowerbeds balance quaintness with first-class cultural offerings. Indulge in the country's opulence of milk chocolate, cheese fondue, and keg-carrying St. Bernard dogs.