28 days in France & Istanbul Itinerary

28 days in France & Istanbul Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Europe trip planner

Make it your trip
1
Lyon, France
— 8 nights
Drive
2
Dijon, France
— 6 nights
Drive
3
Chamonix, France
— 6 nights
Drive
4
Lyon, France
— 2 nights
Fly
5
Istanbul, Turkey
— 5 nights

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Lyon, France

— 8 nights

Culinary Capital of France

Lyon is a historical city with a vibrant cultural scene as the birthplace of cinema, the silk capital of the globe, and the second biggest Renaissance city following Venice.
Change things up with these side-trips from Lyon: Eglise Sainte-Anne (in Chatel-Guyon), Chateau de Tournoel (in Volvic) and L'Aventure Michelin (in Clermont-Ferrand). There's still lots to do: walk around Parc de la Tete d'Or, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, get engrossed in the history at Musee de la Resistance et de la Deportation de l'Isere, and don't miss a visit to Traboules du Vieux Lyon.

To find ratings, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read Lyon road trip planner.

If you are flying in from United Arab Emirates, the closest major aiports are Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport, Saint-Étienne-Bouthéon Airport, Grenoble-Isère Airport and Chambéry-Savoie Airport. In August, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Dijon.

Things to do in Lyon

Historic Sites · Museums · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trips

Dijon, France

— 6 nights

Gateway to Burgundy

Perhaps best known for its locally produced mustard, Dijon also makes a wonderfully flavorful crème de cassis, or blackcurrant liqueur, and boasts excellent examples of regional architecture with polychrome roofs made of tiles in terracotta, green, yellow, and black placed in geometric patterns.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Dijon: Nigloland, Parc D'Attractions & Hotel (in Dolancourt), Besancon (Temple et galerie du Saint-Esprit, La Citadelle de Besancon, &more) and Mémorial Charles De Gaulle (in Colombey-les-deux-Eglises). Dedicate the 14th (Sat) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Abbaye de Fontenay, see the interesting displays at Musee Magnin, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cathedrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul, and make a trip to Place de la Liberation.

To see traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read our Dijon travel route planning website.

Traveling by car from Lyon to Dijon takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. When traveling from Lyon in August, plan for a bit cooler days in Dijon, with highs around 29°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Chamonix.

Things to do in Dijon

Historic Sites · Tours · Wineries · Museums

Side Trips

Chamonix, France

— 6 nights

Alpine Capital of the World

"Situated near the massive peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges and, most notably, the Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France and known as the Alpine Capital of the World.
Explore Chamonix's surroundings by going to Eglise Saint-Germain l'Ermitage (in Talloires), Les Gorges du Fier (in Lovagny) and Annecy (Lake Annecy, Semnoz, &more). The adventure continues: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Aiguille du Midi, get outside with Lac Bleu, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and take some stellar pictures from Brevent Cable Car.

To see maps, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read Chamonix online driving holiday planner.

You can drive from Dijon to Chamonix in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can go by car to Lyon.

Things to do in Chamonix

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Winter Sports

Side Trips

Lyon, France

— 2 nights

Culinary Capital of France

Explore Lyon's surroundings by going to Jardin Zen (in Manthes) and Palais Ideal du Facteur Cheval (in Hauterives). See some other sides of Lyon: delve into the distant past at Théâtre gallo-romain, take in the views from Pont Raymond Barre, examine the collection at Institut & Musee Lumiere, and get engrossed in the history at Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon.

To see more things to do, photos, maps, and other tourist information, read our Lyon route maker tool.

Traveling by car from Chamonix to Lyon takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to catch the flight to Istanbul.

Things to do in Lyon

Museums · Shopping · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Istanbul, Turkey

— 5 nights

Queen of Cities

A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Istanbul is known for historic sites, museums, and shopping. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: admire the landmark architecture of Hagia Sophia Mosque, steep yourself in history at Basilica Cistern, hunt for treasures at Kapali Carsi, and wander the streets of Ortakoy.

For ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Istanbul road trip tool.

You can fly from Lyon to Istanbul in 7 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Central European Standard Time (CET) to Turkey Time (TRT), which is usually a 2 hour difference. Traveling from Lyon in August, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Istanbul, with lows around 25°C.

Things to do in Istanbul

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Shopping

France travel guide

4.3
Architectural Buildings · Landmarks · Historic Sites
France has been the world's most popular tourist destination for decades, and geographically, it is one of the most diverse countries in Europe. Its cities are holiday hot spots and contain some of the greatest treasures in Europe, its countryside is prosperous and well tended, and it boasts dozens of major tourist attractions, like Paris, the French Riviera, the Atlantic beaches, the winter sport resorts of the French Alps, as well as the castles of the Loire Valley, Brittany, and Normandy. The country is renowned for its gastronomy, particularly wines and cheeses, as well as its history, culture, and fashion industry.

You'll find that the French people are very polite and may react coldly to you if you forget this. You might be surprised as you're greeted by other customers and the proprieter when you walk into a restaurant or a shop. Be sure to take your sightseeing off the beaten path in France. Besides the famous Eiffel Tower and the chic resorts of the Côte d'Azur (French Riviera) you'll find many places to visit in the form of museums filled with fine art, crafts, and archaeological relics, wonderful medieval villages and castles, diverse national parks, and local shopping direct from artisans themselves.

Whether you're touring the Christmas Markets or going skiing during winter, viewing the springtime influx of color in Provence, sunbathing on the Mediterranean coast in the summer, or watching the fall foliage against the backdrop of the châteaux in the Loire Valley, you're sure to find just the right place to be. Spring is a time when the tourist attractions are just starting to expand their hours, but it may still be cold in the mountainous regions and the north. Summer is the busiest time in France with the longest hours for many museums and attractions, but it's often when you will experience the most crowds. Winter in France is filled with winter carnivals, Christmas Markets, and of course, skiing. Fall is a time to celebrate the release of Beaujolais nouveau wine in November, as well as experience Nuit Blanche, a day in October when major attractions, museums, galleries, parks, and swimming pools remain open all night.

Turkey travel guide

4.3
Ruins · Architectural Buildings · Sacred & Religious Sites
Rich in culture and customs and brimming with hospitality, natural beauty, and historical heritage, Turkey serves as a crossroads between Asia and Europe. The landmass known as Anatolia on which Turkey thrives has been home to numerous civilizations and their faiths and cultures, as attested by the 13 World Heritage Sites and countless religious sites you'll find here. Relive the ancient world through the ruins, customs, and traditions that are among the nation's most precious heritages. Adventure-seekers have plenty do to here, including mountain climbing, scuba diving, rafting, and skiing. A holiday to Turkey is incomplete without a cup of Turkish coffee, the pinnacle of Turkish cuisine inscribed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage List.