Itinerary #1: Paris & the South of France
This weeklong itinerary between Paris and the French Riviera offers a series of guided day-trips that remove any guesswork on how to spend your time.
|Day 1||Arrive in Nice - Explore the City||Nice|
|Day 2||Guided Tour of Eze & Monaco||Nice|
|Day 3||Guided Tour of Cannes, Antibes & Saint Paul de Vence||Nice|
|Day 4||Fly to Paris - Cruise on the Seine||Paris|
|Day 5||Day-Trip to Versailles - Summit the Eiffel Tower||Paris|
|Day 6||Chocolate & Pastry Tour - Free Time||Paris|
|Day 7||Depart Paris|
That being said, there's one free day in Nice to start the trip where you can explore the seaside city with old-world opulence and year-round sunshine at your leisure. Perhaps you'll check out the old town, Vieux Nice, which offers a maze of narrow lanes and architectural gems followed by a walk along the Promenade des Anglais, a boulevard fronting the bay lined with grand cafes and hotels. If hitting the beach is a priority, simply head to the pebbly shores and soak in the Mediterranean views.
In coming days, you’ll have some tours starting with a trip to Eze, a medieval village with crafts shops and breathtaking views from its perched setting. Then head to the gorgeous old town of Monaco and visit the Prince's Palace and Cousteau Oceanographic Museum. You'll also take a tour of Monte-Carlo and drive along the amazing Grand Prix circuit and Bay of Villefranche. The next tour covers more French Riviera highlights including Cannes, Antibes (where Picasso spent part of his life), and Saint Paul de Vence, a magnificent fortified village dating from the 11th century.
This trip culminates with a flight to Paris where you can take a Seine Cruise, summit the Eiffel Tower, and visit the Pompidou Center's cache of modern and contemporary art, not to mention scores of smaller museums which showcase every imaginable genre. You’ll also take a day-trip to Versailles with a private guide to visit the château and vast gardens. Spend your last day joining a chocolate and pastry tour in Le Marais, a famous neighborhood renowned for its grand architecture, boutique shops, and fine food, followed by a picnic in the oldest square in Paris: Place des Vosges. Learn more
Itinerary #2: Normandy Discovery Tour
This history-focused itinerary centers on the country's northernmost region, Normandy, which spans an impressive timeline from the Norman invasion of England in 1066 to the D-Day landings of 1944.
|Day 1||Arrive in Paris - Explore the City||Paris|
|Day 2||Transfer to Normandy - Tour of Mont Saint Michel||Mont Saint Michel|
|Day 3||Tour of Normandy's Landing Beaches||Caen|
|Day 4||Tour of Caen||Caen|
|Day 5||Tour of Normandy's Coastal Towns||Rouen|
|Day 6||Tour of Rouen & Giverny||Vernon|
|Day 7||Transfer to Paris - Departure|
First, spend a day and night in Paris where you’ll have free time to explore the city's monument-lined boulevards, museums, and classical bistros. Then get picked up for the drive to Mont Saint Michel, a small island in a bay off the northern coast of France where Normandy and Brittany meet. Topped with a jaw-dropping castle, this UNESCO-listed site is one of the most popular tourist attractions in France.
The next few days of the trip are dedicated to touring some of the area's most important World War II sites starting with Normandy's landing sites during D-Day and the brave soldiers who fought for freedom in 1944. This includes Pointe du Hoc, a stunning promontory scarred by heavy aerial and naval bombardment, and coastal battlefield grounds including Omaha Beach, one of two landing areas where Americans lost thousands of lives. You'll also visit a German cemetery and an American cemetery in Colleville where 9,387 tombs stretch across 170 acres. Later in the trip is a visit to Dieppe, a museum honoring the lives lost in the Dieppe Raid of WWII.
You’ll get plenty of scenery too with a stop in the charming port town Honfleur—long a favorite with painters such as Monet and today a popular day-trip for Parisian families. There's also a visit to the delightful village of Étretat where dramatic coastal scenery is framed by twin cliffs. Étretat still swells with visitors every weekend who relax on the beach, wander up and down the shoreline, or clamber up to the fantastic vantage points above the chalk cliffs.
There's also a morning tour of Rouen with its soaring Gothic cathedral, beautifully restored medieval quarter, imposing ancient churches, excellent museums, and vibrant cultural life. Finish the trip with an afternoon in Giverny where you can experience Claude Monet’s home and gardens that became dear to the impressionist master, including the pond, Japanese bridge, and floating water lilies, often depicted in his paintings. Learn more
Itinerary #3: Provence Food, Wine & Culture Tour
This beautiful self-drive road trip through the Provence region starts in France’s oldest city, Marseille, where you can explore the city’s 2000-year-old history by foot.
|Day 1||Arrive in Marseille - Pick-Up Rental Car||Marseille|
|Day 2||Cruise in Calanques National Park - Return to Marseille||Marseille|
|Day 3||Drive to Aix en Provence - Cultural Tour||Aix en Provence|
|Day 4||Half-Day Wine Tour in Provence||Aix en Provence|
|Day 5||Driving Tour in the Luberon||Bonnieux|
|Day 6||Electric Bike Tour in the Luberon||Bonnieux|
|Day 7||Return Rental Car - Depart Provence|
Arrive in Marseille and start by exploring notable neighborhoods like the district of Le Panier and the waterfront. Then, make the drive to Cassis—also on the Mediterranean Sea—to board a private vessel for a half-day cruise amongst the beautiful bays and inlets formed by limestone cliffs, part of Calanques National Park. You'll have ample time for swimming in these hidden coves, accessible by boat, followed by free time to enjoy the park's many hiking trails.
Next is two nights in Aix en Provence—a historic city set amidst Provençal villages and surrounding countryside famous for vineyards, lavender-blanketed fields, and limestone cliffs. You’ll also spend time in the Luberon with rolling green hills dotted with vineyards and cherry orchards stretching as far as the eye can see. Perched atop many of these hills are postcard villages and little market towns where local farmers come to sell their produce. These include medieval Lourmarin, which is famous for its windy streets, charming patio cafés, and 16th-century castle, and Gordes with a skyline fortified castle.
The trip finishes with two nights in Bonnieux, another hilltop gem with 16th-century architecture. This will be your base for visiting the Luberon Regional Nature Park and joining an electric-bike tour where you and your guide will discover the beauty of the region's vineyards and lavender fields—and more notable villages like Lacoste, Menerbes, and Oppède le Vieux—without much effort, thanks to electric assistance. Learn more
Itinerary #4: Paris, Bordeaux & the Loire Valley
Traveling by train, this fast-paced itinerary covers three destinations known for architecture, food, and wine.
|Day 1||Arrive in Bordeaux||Bordeaux|
|Day 2||Saint Emilion Village & Vineyards Tour||Bordeaux|
|Day 3||Médoc Wine Route Tour - Train to the Loire Valley||Amboise|
|Day 4||Loire Valley Tour of Amboise & Chenonceau||Amboise|
|Day 5||Train to Paris - Eiffel Tower & Seine Cruise||Paris|
|Day 6||Notre Dame Cathedral & Le Louvre Museum||Paris|
|Day 7||Depart Paris|
You’ll start in Bordeaux—a pedestrian-friendly city of the same name, which is among France's most exciting, vibrant, and dynamic places. It's also oozing with history: At least half of the metropolis is UNESCO-listed, making it the largest urban world heritage site on the planet with a number of gothic and medieval highlights. You’ll also take a tour of Saint Emilion to visit two nearby wine châteaux with the help of a local guide. Wine aficionados will also enjoy driving along the Médoc Wine Route, an important wine appellation and home to all the Bordeaux wines classified as Cru Bourgeois.
Then spend two nights in Amboise, with historic links to the French Royal Family and Leonardo da Vinci. Here, you’ll tour the Chenonceau Castle, one of the valley's most famous monuments, notable thanks to its two-story gallery standing over the Loire River—the perfect place to learn more about France during Renaissance times. After this interesting visit, you will enjoy a wine-tasting lunch with a wine specialist who will let you sample some of the best pours in the region. There will also be time to visit the Royal Castle of Amboise, where the young future François Ier grew up alongside his mother and sister. Your guide will take you to Leonardo Da Vinci’s residence during the last three years of his life: Clos Lucé Manor.
Finish the trip with a train ride to Paris and join two separate tours. One takes you through the Ile de la Cité which offers an in-depth exploration of the Notre Dame Cathedral and vibrant Latin Quarter where you can wander some of the oldest streets of Paris stopping at the neighborhood's most iconic intellectual hotspot: Shakespeare & Co. bookstore! Later in the afternoon, you'll visit Le Louvre Museum with a guide on a two-hour excursion. This former royal palace is today the largest museum in the world—stick around after the tour and spend more time in the museum on your own. Learn more
Itinerary #5: Paris & Provence Family Adventure
Perfect for first-timers (ages 10 and up), this partial road-trip itinerary is divided between Paris and Avignon and offers lots of fun activities for the whole family.
|Day 1||Arrive in Paris - Explore the City||Paris|
|Day 2||Chocolate & Pastry Tour - Free Time||Paris|
|Day 3||Visit Le Louvre Museum - Dinner Cruise on the Seine||Paris|
|Day 4||Train to Avignon - Canoeing on the River Sorgue||Avignon|
|Day 5||Biking in the Alpilles - Free Time||Avignon|
|Day 6||Cruise in Calanques National Park - Free Time||Avignon|
|Day 7||Train to Paris - Depart France|
Like other options above, you’ll have time to see the iconic sights in Paris along with a walking tour of the best pastry, chocolate, and ice cream shops in Le Marais. Finish your time in the capital in the most memorable way, with a dinner cruise on the Seine during a 2.5-hour excursion, which includes multiple courses, a selection of fine wines, and musical entertainment.
The journey continues in Avignon, traveling by train, where you'll stay two nights in the historic center with magnificent architecture including the Popes' Palace and the Saint Bénézet Bridge—both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. With a rental car, you'll drive to Fontaine de Vaucluse (just under an hour) for a canoeing excursion on a famous waterway with emerald clear water that became the source of inspiration for many poets over the last centuries, called River Sorgue. If there's energy left, you can take a 30-minute hike on the Ochre Trail and traverse a former ochre quarry.
In coming days, you can take an easy bicycle tour around the Alpilles where you'll visit a producer of wine and olive oil since the era of François the 1st. Meanwhile, architectural masterpieces can be seen and admired at every corner of the cobblestone lanes that criss-cross this old village of Les Baux de Provence, along with art galleries, craft workshops, boutiques, museums, and gourmet restaurants. While in the area, check out the Carrières de Lumières—an open-air museum offering enormous moving images of famous artists in a former quarry that is not-to-be-missed. Learn more
For more great trip ideas, check out all of our 7-day France tours and itineraries.