53 days in France Itinerary

53 days in France Itinerary

Created using Inspirock France sightseeing planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Bordeaux
— 12 nights
Drive
2
Albi
— 13 nights
Drive
3
Carcassonne
— 14 nights
Fly
4
Lyon
— 12 nights
Fly

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Bordeaux

— 12 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 Place de la Bourse and Tour Pey-Berland. La Cite du Vin and Moulin de la Rouzique will appeal to museum buffs. Change things up with these side-trips from Bordeaux: Chateau de Bridoire (in Ribagnac), Chateau de Panisseau (in Thenac) and Chateau de Monbazillac (in Monbazillac). There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of St. Andre Cathedral, admire the landmark architecture of Cathedrale St-Front, do a tasting at Chateau de Reignac, and stroll through La Grande Dune du Pilat.

For traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Bordeaux vacation planning app.

Lyon to Bordeaux is an approximately 3-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a train. August in Bordeaux sees daily highs of 80°F and lows of 60°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Albi.

Things to do in Bordeaux

Museums · Wineries · Historic Sites · Tours

Side Trips

Albi

— 13 nights
Albi is a commune in southern France. Cathedrale Sainte-Cecile and Cite Religieuse will appeal to history buffs. Appreciate the collections at Musee Toulouse-Lautrec and Musee de la Mode. Venture out of the city with trips to Ecomusee de Cuzals (in Sauliac-sur-Cele), Musee du Patrimoine Agricole et Automobile de Salviac (in Salviac) and Musee Zadkine (in Les Arques). Next up on the itinerary: explore the fascinating underground world of Gouffre de Padirac, examine the collection at Musee Murat, take in the awesome beauty at Mount Perdu, and don't miss a visit to Cloitre de la Collegiale Saint Salvy.

For traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Albi vacation planner.

Getting from Bordeaux to Albi by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. In August, daily temperatures in Albi can reach 79°F, while at night they dip to 58°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Carcassonne.

Things to do in Albi

Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Carcassonne

— 14 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.
You'll explore and learn at Parc de la Prehistoire and Cite de l'espace. Get a sense of the local culture at Cité de Carcassonne and Chateaux de Lastours. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Carcassonne: Rail Modelisme Ariegeois (in Tarascon-sur-Ariege), Tour Magdala (in Rennes-le-Chateau) and La cité médiévale (in Eze). There's still lots to do: learn about winemaking at O'Vineyards, explore the historical opulence of Chateau Comtal, contemplate the long history of Cathar Castles, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Basilique Saint-Sernin.

To find reviews, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Carcassonne trip maker.

You can drive from Albi to Carcassonne in 2 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. In September in Carcassonne, expect temperatures between 77°F during the day and 57°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can fly to Lyon.

Things to do in Carcassonne

Museums · Historic Sites · Wineries · Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Lyon

— 12 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.
Get some historical perspective at Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere and Colline de Fourviere. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Vieux Lyon and Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon. Get out of town with these interesting Lyon side-trips: Cite du Chocolat Valrhona (in Tain-l'Hermitage), Domaine Philippe et Vincent Jaboulet (in Mercurol) and Palais Ideal du Facteur Cheval (in Hauterives). The adventure continues: stroll around Parc de la Tete d'Or, take an in-depth tour of Memorial National de la Prison de Montluc, see the interesting displays at Musee du Tisserand Dauphinois, and view the masterpieces at Galerie Estades Lyon.

For traveler tips, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Lyon online trip builder.

Traveling by flight from Carcassonne to Lyon takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 74°F in September, and nighttime lows around 55°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) to allow enough time to fly back home.

Things to do in Lyon

Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping · Outdoors

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.