53 days in France Itinerary

53 days in France Itinerary

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Route & dates

53 days in France Itinerary

Start: Lyon
Tram + Fly:  3 h 30 min
1
Bordeaux
— 12 nights
Drive:  3 h
2
Albi
— 13 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
3
Carcassonne
— 14 nights
Train:  3 h 30 min
4
Lyon
— 12 nights
Tram + Fly:  3 h 30 min
End: Bordeaux

12
nights
Bordeaux

Bordeaux ©
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.
Appreciate the collections at Vesunna and Musee Napoleon. Get some historical perspective at Chateau de Bridoire and St. Andre Cathedral. Explore Bordeaux's surroundings by going to Chateau de Monbazillac (in Monbazillac), Moulin de la Rouzique (in Couze-et-Saint-Front) and Chateau de Panisseau (in Thenac). Dedicate the 14th (Wed) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. There's still lots to do: see the interesting displays at Andre Voulgre's museum, get engrossed in the history at Musee d’Art et d’Archeologie du Perigord, make a trip to Place de la Bourse (Place Royale), and take in the spiritual surroundings of Cathedrale St-Front.

To find more things to do, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Bordeaux tour planner .

Lyon to Bordeaux is an approximately 3.5-hour combination of tram and flight. You can also drive; or take a train. In August, daytime highs in Bordeaux are 80°F, while nighttime lows are 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sun) early enough to drive to Albi.

Things to do in Bordeaux

Museums Historic Sites Wineries

Side Trips

Perigueux, Bergerac City, Moulin de la Rouzique, Chateau Lestevenie, Chateau de Bourdeilles
Highlights from your plan
Chateau Cantenac ©
Chateau Cantenac
Place de la Bourse ©
Place de la Bourse
Chateau Belingard ©
Chateau Belingard

13
nights
Albi

Albi ©
Albi is a commune in southern France. Musee du Machinisme Agricole et Automobile and Musee des Arts Buissonniers will appeal to museum buffs. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Musee Toulouse-Lautrec and Cathedrale Sainte-Cecile. Venture out of the city with trips to Bourg Medieval de Saint-Cirq Lapopie (in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie), Musee Zadkine (in Les Arques) and Ecomusee de Cuzals (in Sauliac-sur-Cele). There's lots more to do: steep yourself in history at Cite Religieuse, examine the collection at Musee Laperouse, and make a trip to Gouffre de Padirac.

For reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Albi trip planner.

Drive from Bordeaux to Albi in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. August in Albi sees daily highs of 79°F and lows of 58°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Carcassonne.

Things to do in Albi

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Cordes-sur-Ciel, Gaillac, Rodez, Villeneuve d'Aveyron, Maison de la Chataigne
Highlights from your plan
Cathedrale Sainte-Cecile ©
Cathedrale Sainte-Cecile
Musee Toulouse-Lautrec ©
Musee Toulouse-Lautrec

14
nights
Carcassonne

Carcassonne ©
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.
Popular historic sites such as Cité de Carcassonne and Cathar Castles are in your itinerary. Parc de la Prehistoire and La Cooperative-Collection Ceres Franco are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Change things up with these side-trips from Carcassonne: Toulouse (Cite de l'espace, Church of Les Jacobins, & more), Tour Magdala (in Rennes-le-Chateau) and Rail Modelisme Ariegeois (in Tarascon-sur-Ariege). Next up on the itinerary: do a tasting at O'Vineyards, get engrossed in the history at School Museum, view the masterpieces at Cooperative Artisanale de la Cite - Le Vieux Lavoir, and steep yourself in history at La cité médiévale.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Carcassonne travel planner .

Getting from Albi to Carcassonne by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. In September, daily temperatures in Carcassonne can reach 77°F, while at night they dip to 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) to allow enough time to take a train to Lyon.

Things to do in Carcassonne

Museums Historic Sites Wineries

Side Trips

Toulouse, Tarascon-sur-Ariege, Tour Magdala, Musee Ephebe, Le Moulin à Papier de Brousses
Highlights from your plan
Cité de Carcassonne ©
Cité de Carcassonne
La cité médiévale ©
La cité médiévale
O'Vineyards ©
O'Vineyards

12
nights
Lyon

Lyon ©
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.
Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon and Musee Miniature et Cinema are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Popular historic sites such as Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere and Maison d’Izieu are in your itinerary. Venture out of the city with trips to Domaine Philippe et Vincent Jaboulet (in Mercurol), Palais Ideal du Facteur Cheval (in Hauterives) and Cite du Chocolat Valrhona (in Tain-l'Hermitage). The adventure continues: ride a horse along Parc de la Tete d'Or, appreciate the extensive heritage of Fourviere Hill, learn about all things military at Maison des Grenadieres, and take an in-depth tour of Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon.

To find other places to visit, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read Lyon trip itinerary website .

You can take a train from Carcassonne to Lyon in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train, flight, and tram. In September, daily temperatures in Lyon can reach 74°F, while at night they dip to 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Lyon

Museums Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trips

Maison d'Enfance de Alphonse de Lamartine, Musee du tissage, Musee Gallo Romain d'Aoste, Musee de la Bresse-Domaine des Planons, Cite du Chocolat Valrhona
Highlights from your plan
Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere ©
Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere
Vieux Lyon ©
Vieux Lyon
Fourviere Hill ©
Fourviere Hill

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