There's no need to choose between French cities, mountains, or culinary attractions—this 10-day family-focused itinerary covers everything. Starting in Paris, you'll enjoy a jaunt up the Eiffel Tower and a treasure hunt in the world-famous Louvre. Continue to Annecy to climb the Alps by cogwheel train and sample fondue in an underground cave. Learn the secrets to Lyon's famous gastronomy with a family cooking class, then take to the skies to see the vineyards of Beaujolais by hot air balloon.


  • Participate in a treasure hunt in Paris' Louvre Museum
  • Eat fondue in an underground cave system
  • Ride the Montenvers Railway high into the French Alps
  • Go hot air ballooning over Beaujolais

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Paris, Eiffel Tower & Seine Cruise Paris
Day 2 Tour of Medieval Paris, Louvre Treasure Hunt Paris
Day 3 Sweet Side of Paris Food Tour Paris
Day 4 Train to Annecy, Caving & Fondue Adventure Annecy
Day 5 Mer de Glace & Montenvers Train Annecy
Day 6 Lake Annecy Cruise Annecy
Day 7 Train to Lyon, Cooking Class Lyon
Day 8 Hot Air Ballooning in Beaujolais Lyon
Day 9 Train to Paris, Family Bicycle Tour Paris
Day 10 Depart Paris  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Paris, Eiffel Tower & Seine Cruise

Welcome to Paris!

Welcome to Paris, the City of Light! This elegant capital boasts centuries of history, art, fashion, and, of course, romance. Upon arrival, you'll be picked up from the airport and transferred to your hotel by private car. Take some time to settle in and relax before heading out to explore.

Your first taste of Paris starts at the Eiffel Tower—even hard-to-impress kids will enjoy seeing this world-famous icon. Grab a summit ticket that gives you access to the lifts to the two first floors and the summit. If your little ones have the energy to burn after a long flight, you can climb as far as the second floor via the south pillar's 704 stairs. Take the lifts the rest of the way for incredible views over Paris.

Complete your introduction to Paris with a one-hour cruise on the River Seine, which departs conveniently from below the Eiffel Tower. The boat's glass walls and open-air observation deck ensure the best possible views. Individual audio guides are available, including one specially made for children. City highlights you'll spot include the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysées, the Louvre Museum, the Musée d'Orsay, and Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Day 2: Tour of Medieval Paris, Louvre Treasure Hunt

See the medieval landmarks of Paris on today's tour

Today your family will step back in time with a tour that focuses on medieval Paris, centered around the Île de la Cité. All ages will be awe-struck by the grand buildings you'll see today, as well as your guide's fascinating stories. Go on a journey from Notre-Dame (which is currently under construction and due to reopen in 2024) and the birth of Gothic art to the majesty and magnificence of the royal Sainte-Chapelle, glowing with stained-glass windows. Also, check out the city's first royal palace, the Conciergerie, which became a prison during the French Revolution and was where Marie Antoinette spent her final days.

In the afternoon, enjoy an exciting treasure hunt around the Louvre Museum. This is an ideal way to get kids interested in this amazing museum while making sure that parents can see the highlights, too. The "Louvre for Kids" tour requires kids to unravel a mystery inside the labyrinthine halls of the vast museum, finding clues and piecing together the answers. They'll explore Egyptian mythology, Greek and Latin antiques, Italian art and classics such as the Mona Lisa, and much more.

Day 3: Sweet Side of Paris Food Tour

Uncover Paris' sweeter side

Kids love sweets, and there's no shortage of delicious treats in the French capital. Embark on a two-hour tour that focuses on the sweet side of Paris. A guide will lead you through a mouthwatering whirlwind of cakes, tarts, meringues, chocolates, and more. Explore one of the swankiest parts of town, Saint-Germain-des-Pres, where you'll taste at least seven sweet French specialties.

The rest of the day is at your leisure. You could spend the afternoon resting back at the hotel or run off this morning's sugar high at one of the city's many parks or playgrounds, such as the Jardin du Luxembourg with its toy sailboats, carousel, and pony rides. If you'd like to fit in another museum or two, the Museum of Sciences and Industry, Fairground Art Museum, and the Museum of Natural History are all hits with kids.

Day 4: Train to Annecy, Caving & Fondue Adventure

Explore the canals of Annecy

This morning, take a high-speed train from Paris to Annecy in the French Alps. The rail journey takes about 3.5 hours, cutting off many hours of road travel. Nestled on the northwestern shore of Lac d'Annecy (Lake Annecy), Annecy is considered the jewel of the Haute-Savoie region. From its crowning Château d'Annecy down to its gurgling canals, Annecy's Vieille Ville (Old Town) is full of charm that will appeal to both adults and kids. Canals trickle through town, earning Annecy its reputation as an Alpine Venice.

Lac d'Annecy, dotted with swans and rowing boats, is said to have the cleanest waters in Europe, and Annecy's outdoorsy residents revel in all this nature. They row the lake, zip through town on rollerblades and bicycles, and, in winter, drive to nearby ski areas like La Clusaz. After a few lungfuls of mountain air, you and your kids might feel compelled to join them.

After settling into your hotel, head out for a truly unique adventure. Have you and your kids ever tried that delicious Alpine meal, cheese fondue? Today you can (re)discover it in an off-the-beaten-path setting… underground! Decked out like real speleologists, you'll have the opportunity to taste a good Savoyard fondue (accompanied by a glass of wine for parents) in the soaring caves of the UNESCO-listed Bauges Massif. The tour includes the services of a speleologist/karstologist, so you can learn your stalactites from your stalagmites along the way.

Day 5: Mer de Glace & Montenvers Train

Montenvers train
The Montenvers Railway
Spend today in the clouds as you take the famous cogwheel Montenvers Railway to an altitude of 6,276 feet (1,913 m). Enjoy a magnificent panorama of the Mer de Glace glacier and the Grandes Jorasses mountain. Depending on the conditions, you can visit the Ice Cave (about a 20-minute walk with stairs) and the Glaciorium, a museum dedicated to glaciology. Kids will love the "Frozen"-esque landscape and the grandeur of the mountains, and this is a great way to introduce them to the science of glaciers and mountains without them feeling like they're having a science lesson.
Plan your trip to France
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 6: Lake Annecy Cruise

The lake of Annecy
The still waters of Lake Annecy
Enjoy a relaxing cruise on Lake Annecy today, a chance for you and your kids to put your feet up while taking in the glorious sights. Your pilot and guide will tell stories about Lake Annecy throughout the cruise. Depending on the weather, you will explore the remains of underwater lakeside houses, a smugglers' cave that's only accessible by boat, Duingt Castle and its incredible bay, Talloires Abbey, the lagoon, the bay of Menthon-Saint-Bernard with its overhanging castle, and the majestic cliffs of Roc de Chère.

Day 7: Train to Lyon, Cooking Class

A bridge over the Rhône in Lyon

This morning, you'll travel by train from Annecy to Lyon, a city that's known as the gastronomic capital of France—and that's really saying something! The country's third most populous city, behind Paris and Marseille, is compact and walkable, making it easy to explore on foot, even with youngsters in tow. The heart of the city is the UNESCO-listed Vieux Lyon (Old Town) and the Presqu'île—a piece of land surrounded by the waters of the Saône and Rhône—where you'll find narrow cobblestoned streets and atmospheric traboules (hidden passageways). 

What better way to spend time in this culinary powerhouse than taking a family-friendly cooking class? This afternoon you'll meet your chef and prepare a three-course meal, with even the youngest participants joining in on the hands-on fun. After learning the tricks of Lyon's famous gastronomy, you'll sit down to enjoy a well-earned family meal.

Day 8: Hot Air Ballooning in Beaujolais

Enjoy views of Beaujolais from above

Thirty minutes north of Lyon lies the rolling countryside of the Beaujolais province, whose famed vineyards are part of what makes this the "gastronomic capital of France." Today you'll see this landscape from above as you take to the skies in a hot air balloon. Kids will feel like they've stepped into a storybook as they float over the scenic landscape of historic wineries and get a bird's-eye-view of picturesque hilltop villages, fairy-tale châteaux, misty valleys, and the Alps in the distance. 

Back in Lyon, the rest of the day is free for you to explore. If the kids are hungry after this morning's adventure and fresh air, head to Les Halles de Lyon, the city's most beloved market, for an interactive, multi-sensory experience. Browse stalls laden with high-quality ingredients and locally-made products, then sit down at one of the many bouchons (traditional restaurants) for an authentic meal.

Day 9: Train to Paris, Family Bicycle Tour

Take a child-friendly cycling tour of Paris

Return to Paris today by high-speed train, a journey of about two hours. This isn't the end of your tour yet, though! You will enjoy a final afternoon of healthy family fun on a private cycle tour of Paris. Whether your kids are tiny or can ride better than you, you'll have access to appropriate kids' bikes, tandem attachments, baby seats, and all necessary accessories. Get a final look at the highlights of Paris, ride past street art, stop at patisseries for a pit stop, and more. As this is a private tour, you can go at your own pace. Tours typically last around 3.5 hours, with plenty of stops along the way. 

Day 10: Depart Paris

Au revoir Paris!

It's time to say au revoir to France. Depending on your flight departure time, you may have time to do some last-minute souvenir (or snack) shopping before you leave. A driver will pick you up and transport you to Charles de Gaulle Airport in good time for your flight. Bon voyage!

More Great France Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your family trip to France? Check out these other France itineraries, explore different ways to spend 10 days in France with the family, or discover the best time to visit France.


Map of French Cities, Mountains & Food for Families: Paris, Annecy & Lyon - 10 Days
Map of French Cities, Mountains & Food for Families: Paris, Annecy & Lyon - 10 Days