42 days in France Itinerary

42 days in France Itinerary

Created using Inspirock France visit planner

Make it your trip
1
Lyon
— 3 nights
Fly
2
Nice
— 4 nights
Train
3
Marseille
— 4 nights
Fly
4
Carcassonne
— 3 nights
Train
5
Sarlat-la-Caneda
— 2 nights
Train
6
Bordeaux
— 5 nights
Train
7
Rennes
— 4 nights
Bus
8
Mont-Saint-Michel
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Colleville-sur-Mer
— 3 nights
Bus to Bayeux, Train to Rouen
10
Rouen
— 4 nights
Train to Paris St Lazare, Train to Strasbourg
11
Strasbourg
— 6 nights

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Lyon

— 3 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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Colline de Fourviere and Musee des Beaux-Arts de Dijon. Get some historical perspective at Cathedrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Lyon and Monastere Royal de Brou. Explore Lyon's surroundings by going to Hameau Duboeuf (in Romaneche-Thorins) and Dijon (Paroisse Notre-Dame De Dijon, Palace of the Dukes, &more). There's still lots to do: wander the streets of The Presqu'ile, admire the striking features of Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere, take an in-depth tour of Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon, and explore the world behind art at Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon.

To see reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Lyon attractions planner.

The Route module can give you travel options from your home to Lyon. In June, daytime highs in Lyon are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Wed) so you can fly to Nice.

Things to do in Lyon

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Nice

— 4 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.
Popular historic sites such as Vieille Ville and Villa Kerylos are in your itinerary. Step off the beaten path and head to Cathedrale Sainte-Reparate and Place Rossetti. Venture out of the city with trips to Ville medieval (in Vence), Tourrettes-sur-Loup (in Tourrettes-sur-Loup) and Eglise de Biot (in Biot). There's still lots to do: get to know the fascinating history of Promenade Le Corbusier, explore the different monuments and memorials at Cemetery of the Old Chateau, take in the spiritual surroundings of Basilique Notre-Dame de Nice, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Old Harbor (La Darse).

To find ratings, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Nice sightseeing planner.

You can fly from Lyon to Nice in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. Traveling from Lyon in June, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Nice, with lows around 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sun) so you can drive to Marseille.

Things to do in Nice

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Parks · Shopping

Side Trips

Marseille

— 4 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.
Get some cultural insight at Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde and Eglise St-Trophime. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Palais Longchamp and Chateau de Tarascon. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Marseille: Arles (St-Trophime Cloister (Cloitre St-Trophime) & Abbaye de Montmajour), Eglise St-Vincent (in Les Baux de Provence) and Les Antiques (in Saint-Remy-de-Provence). And it doesn't end there: steep yourself in history at Palais du Pharo, explore the historical opulence of Palais des Papes, browse the exhibits of Chateau La Coste en Provence, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine.

For photos, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Marseille travel planner.

You can drive from Nice to Marseille in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Nice in June, you will find days in Marseille are a bit warmer (33°C), and nights are about the same (20°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) to allow enough time to fly to Carcassonne.

Things to do in Marseille

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Wineries

Side Trips

Carcassonne

— 3 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.
Cité de Carcassonne and Carcassonne Cathedral are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore hidden gems such as Eglise Saint-Nazaire and Chateaux de Lastours. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Carcassonne: Rennes-le-Chateau (Tour Magdala, Eglise Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, &more), Le Moulin à Papier de Brousses (in Brousses-et-Villaret) and Maison Guinot (in Limoux). And it doesn't end there: pause for some serene contemplation at Notre-Dame-des-Auzils, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Palais des Archeveques, enjoy the sea views from Le Phare de Port la Nouvelle, and contemplate the long history of Via Domitia of Narbonne.

Plan trip to Carcassonne with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Traveling by flight from Marseille to Carcassonne takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in July, and nighttime lows around 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Sarlat-la-Caneda.

Things to do in Carcassonne

Historic Sites · Wineries · Neighborhoods · Museums

Side Trips

Sarlat-la-Caneda

— 2 nights

Medieval Capital of the Dordogne Valley

Sarlat-la-Caneda is the capital of the former Périgord Noir, now referred to as the Aquitaine region that is home to a historical area consisting of impeccably preserved 14th-century buildings and sites.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Chateau de Beynac and Chateau des Milandes. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Chateau de Castelnaud and The Maison Forte de Reignac. Get out of town with these interesting Sarlat-la-Caneda side-trips: chateau de Sauveboeuf (in Montignac), Chateau de Campagne (in Campagne) and Eglise Abbatiale Saint Sour (in Terrasson-Lavilledieu). And it doesn't end there: relax in the rural setting at Les Noyeraies du Landers, explore the historical opulence of Chateau de Puymartin, contemplate the long history of Les Troglos de Belves, and make a trip to Grotte du Grand Roc.

For ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Sarlat-la-Caneda tour itinerary builder site.

Drive from Carcassonne to Sarlat-la-Caneda in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Carcassonne in July, expect a bit cooler with lows of 17°C in Sarlat-la-Caneda. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Bordeaux.

Things to do in Sarlat-la-Caneda

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Bordeaux

— 5 nights

The Port of the Moon

With a long history of producing regional wines since the Romans brought grapevines here during the first century, so many people consider Bordeaux to be the wine capital of the world.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Amphitheatre de Saintes and Chateau Pape Clement. Step off the beaten path and head to Remy Martin and Église Notre-Dame. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Bordeaux: Saintes (Cathedrale Saint-Pierre & Abbaye aux Dames), Musée des Arts du Cognac (in Cognac) and Chateau de Reignac (in Saint-Loubes). The adventure continues: learn about winemaking at Chateau Paloumey, stroll around Parc de Majolan, take in the exciting artwork at Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez, and explore the historical opulence of Chateau de Roquetaillade.

For photos, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Bordeaux tour planning tool.

You can drive from Sarlat-la-Caneda to Bordeaux in 2.5 hours. Another option is to take a train. Expect a daytime high around 31°C in July, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Mon) early enough to drive to Rennes.

Things to do in Bordeaux

Historic Sites · Wineries · Museums · Parks

Side Trips

Rennes

— 4 nights
Many tour guides skip Rennes, a "City of Art and History," but that doesn't mean you should.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Cathedrale Saint-Pierre and Eglise Toussaints. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Chateau de Vitre and Chateau - Tour du Coetquen. Get out of town with these interesting Rennes side-trips: (Mégalithes) Menhirs De Monteneuf (in Monteneuf), Josselin (Chateau de Josselin & Basilique Notre Dame du Roncier) and Univers du Poete Ferrailleur (in Lizio). There's lots more to do: stroll around Parc du Thabor, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Eglise Saint-Germain de Rennes, pause for some serene contemplation at Eglise de Notre Dame, and steep yourself in history at Couvent des Jacobins.

For more things to do, photos, and tourist information, read our Rennes trip planner.

Traveling by car from Bordeaux to Rennes takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or fly. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Bordeaux in July, with highs in Rennes at 28°C and lows at 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Mont-Saint-Michel.

Things to do in Rennes

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks

Side Trips

Mont-Saint-Michel

— 2 nights
Le Mont-Saint-Michel is an island commune in Normandy, France. On the 16th (Fri), make a trip to La Poste, Mont-Saint-Michel, make a trip to Tour de L'Arcade, stroll the grounds of Mausolee du Mont d'Huisnes, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Eglise Notre-Dame-des-Champs, then examine the collection at Scriptorial d'Avranches, musee des manuscrits du Mont Saint-Michel, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Chapelle Saint-Aubert. On your second day here, take some stellar pictures from Chapelle Saint-Michel, take in the dramatic scenery at Petite Cascade de Mortain, admire the natural beauty at Musee Christian Dior, then stroll through Plage du Plat Gousset, then explore the world behind art at Musee d'Art Moderne Richard Anacreon, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Eglise Notre Dame du Cap Lihou.

To find traveler tips, maps, photos, and tourist information, read Mont-Saint-Michel road trip planner.

Getting from Rennes to Mont-Saint-Michel by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and taxi; or take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in Mont-Saint-Michel can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) so you can travel to Colleville-sur-Mer.

Things to do in Mont-Saint-Michel

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Beaches

Side Trips

Colleville-sur-Mer

— 3 nights
Colleville-sur-Mer is a commune in the Calvados department in Normandie region in northwestern France.HistoryIt was originally a farm owned by a certain Koli, a Scandinavian settler in the Middle Ages. Visit Normandy American Cemetery and Cimetiere Militaire Allemand de La Cambe for their historical value. Get some cultural insight at Pointe du Hoc and Airborne Museum. Get out of town with these interesting Colleville-sur-Mer side-trips: Église Notre-Dame de Sainte-Marie-du-Mont (in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont), La Batterie d'Azeville (Azeville gun battery) (in Azeville) and Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue (Tatihou Island, Tour Vauban de La Hougue, &more). There's lots more to do: examine the collection at Overlord Museum - Omaha Beach, witness the site of a historic battle at Omaha Beach, contemplate the long history of Batteries de Crisbecq, and pause for some serene contemplation at Eglise Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption.

To see other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Colleville-sur-Mer tour planner.

You can drive from Mont-Saint-Michel to Colleville-sur-Mer in 2 hours. In July, daily temperatures in Colleville-sur-Mer can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Wed) so you can drive to Rouen.

Things to do in Colleville-sur-Mer

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Tours

Side Trips

Rouen

— 4 nights

City of a Hundred Spires

Rouen is situated on the River Seine, about 90 minutes from Paris.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Rouen and Notre Dame de Grace. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Rue du Gros-Horloge and Abbaye de Jumieges. Get out of town with these interesting Rouen side-trips: Honfleur (Satie House and Museum (Maisons Satie) & Saint Catherine's Catholic Church), Cathedrale de Caudebec-En-Caux (in Caudebec-en-Caux) and Abbaye de Saint-Wandrille (in Saint-Wandrille-Rancon). And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Abbatiale Saint-Ouen, steep yourself in history at Palais de Justice, explore the historical opulence of Chateau de La Roche-Guyon, and take in the exciting artwork at Ecole Supérieure d'Art et Design Le Havre-Rouen.

To plan Rouen vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Traveling by car from Colleville-sur-Mer to Rouen takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or do a combination of bus and train. In July, daily temperatures in Rouen can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Strasbourg.

Things to do in Rouen

Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Strasbourg

— 6 nights

Crossroads of Europe

Strasbourg is famous for its beautiful historical center, the Grande Île, which was the first city center classified entirely as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Strasbourg is one of the nine largest cities in France with nearly half a million inhabitants in the metropolitan area crossing the river to the German city of Kehl, on the eastern bank of the Rhine River.
Centre-ville de Strasbourg and Eglise Saint-Thomas are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Step off the beaten path and head to Protestant Church of St. Peter the Younger and Vin d'Alsace HORCHER. Change things up with these side-trips from Strasbourg: Vieille Ville de Turckheim (in Turckheim), Colmar (Eglise St-Martin & Koifhus (Old Custom House)) and Ribeauville (Chateau Girsberg, Tour des Bouchers, &more). Next up on the itinerary: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg, examine the collection at Palais de Rohan, pause for some serene contemplation at Catholic Church Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune, and explore the historical opulence of Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg.

For photos, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Strasbourg road trip planning app.

Traveling by train from Rouen to Strasbourg takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Traveling from Rouen in July, expect nights in Strasbourg to be about the same, around 18°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 32°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Strasbourg

Historic Sites · Museums · Wineries · Tours

Side Trips

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.