Make the Most of Your Time in France

Have a fixed number of days? Maximize the things to see and do during your visit
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The Eiffel Tower in France's capital city
How Many Days Should You Spend in France?

For a solid France itinerary that covers two regions plus Paris, a 10-day trip is a great choice. With less time, a well-rounded trip is still within reach, especially if you're willing to forego time in Paris to see more of the country. And of course, the lucky travelers with two weeks or more will have no shortage of things to see and do. Check out some possible itineraries from 5 to 14 days below.

Hilltop view from the medieval village of Eze
Map of 5 Days in France - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
5 Days in France - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

To make the most of a five-day trip to France, it's best to focus on a single region. While you may be tempted to cover more ground, sticking to one geographical area saves time, and you'll be pleasantly surprised by how diverse the sights and activities can be even within a close radius. For example, Bordeaux is known for its exemplary wines, but beaches and bike tours also await. And a road trip through Provence can span villages, vineyards, and the old-meets-new bustle of cosmopolitan Marseille.

Vineyards in the Loire Valley, France
Map of 6 Days in France - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
6 Days in France - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

If you have six days to spend in France, it's best to focus your time on one or two regions. Fall in love with Paris before road-tripping to the Loire Valley, get to know the charming villages and national parks of Provence, or cruise around the islands off the coast of the French Riviera. You can even cross the border and spend a few days in Spain. Learn how with these unique itineraries.

One of many inlets in Calanques National Park
Map of 7 Days in France - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
7 Days in France - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

One week in France is enough time to explore Paris plus the highlights of one other region. Wine aficionados can spend a few days in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley, history buffs should consider Normandy, and travelers with leisure in mind will enjoy Nice and the glitzy South of France. If you've already done Paris, you can skip it altogether in lieu of more regional delights—head straight to Marseilles, for example, and spend your whole trip immersed in the culture and food of Provence.

Mediterranean coastline of the French Riviera
Map of 8 Days in France - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas
8 Days in France - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With eight days in France, you have time to visit more than one region, or you could choose to focus on one area, like the French Riviera. Combine a visit to Paris with a few days in the wine-growing region of the Loire Valley or a tour of Normandy's historic sites, or go on a food-focused journey around the Rhône Valley or a hiking trip in the Alps. Learn more about where to go and what to do with these unique itinerary suggestions.

Aerial view of Saint-Tropez
Map of 9 Days in France - 7 Unique Itinerary Ideas
9 Days in France - 7 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Wine tasting in Bordeaux, sailing around the Lérins Islands, sightseeing in Paris, sunbathing in Saint-Tropez: with nine days to spend in France, you'll have time for a wide range of activities. The itinerary depends on your interests—you could focus on major highlights like Paris and Provence, take your time exploring the laid-back French Riviera, or road-trip through the gorgeous scenery of western France, visiting castles and crossing the border to Switzerland, to name just a few options. Learn more about where to go and what to do with these unique itinerary ideas.

France's tallest peak: Mont Blanc
Map of 10 Days in France - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in France - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Planning a ten-day trip to France? If variety is what you're after, start (or end) your trip with three days in Paris, and split the rest of your time between two other areas. Provence pairs well with the French Riviera, or opt to chase the wines of Bordeaux with castles and history in the Loire Valley. That said, each region and city in France contains multitudes, and you can easily spend your whole trip exploring one place: travel by train through the French Alps, hopping from town to charming town, or stick to the beautiful Provençal countryside.

Avignon, France at night
Map of 11 Days in France - 7 Unique Itinerary Ideas
11 Days in France - 7 Unique Itinerary Ideas

If you have eleven days to spend in France, you have time to visit several destinations or focus on one region. Go trekking through Alpine landscapes in the Ville des Glaciers, motor around Provence on an electric bike adventure, see Paris in a chauffeured vintage car and Marseilles on a private boat during a luxury tour, revel in the culinary pleasures of Basque Country on both the Spanish and French sides, sip bubbly in world-class champagne houses and visit quaint villages in eastern France—learn how with these unique itinerary ideas.

The old town and the marina, Saint-Tropez
Map of 12 Days in France - 7 Unique Itinerary Ideas
12 Days in France - 7 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With nearly two weeks to explore France, you don't have to choose between Provence and the French Riviera—or between the wineries of Bordeaux and the pastry shops of Le Marais. Opt for an itinerary that combines wine tasting with scenic drives along the coast, choose a trip plan that takes you through the countryside on an electric bike, try a road trip around Bordeaux and western France, or see the country's highlights on a luxury tour that features private cooking classes, boat rides, and chauffeured rides in a vintage car. Learn more about where to go and what to do with these unique itinerary ideas.

Kaysersberg, one of the prettiest villages in Alsace
Map of 13 Days in France - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
13 Days in France - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Take your time: with 13 days in France, you can slow down and enjoy yourself, whether you're catching the sunset on a riverboat cruise or tasting wine straight from the barrel in the Alps. Go on a grand tour of the French Riviera, explore Provence on an electric bike, see the City of Lights in a chauffeured car, sip and swirl your way down the Avenue of Champagne: there's so much to see and do. Learn more about your options with these unique itinerary ideas.

Lake Sainte-Croix, Provence
Map of 14 Days in Provence - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
14 Days in Provence - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Two weeks is an ideal amount of time to spend in Provence: the region's highlights, from wineries to medieval villages to lavender fields, are best experienced at a relaxed pace. Go on a self-guided adventure, driving or riding an e-bike down country roads, or opt for an action-packed tour of the Provençal Alps that features hiking, boating, and kayaking in the mountains. Alternatively, visit Provence as part of a broader trip plan that includes Paris, Lyon, and Nice. The choice is yours—find out more about your options with these unique itinerary ideas.

Vineyards in the Beaujolais wine region, north of Lyon
Map of 14 Days in France - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
14 Days in France - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

You can cover some serious ground with two weeks in France, spending multiple days in up to three different regions (plus time in Paris). For example, pair the South of France and the Provençal countryside with a few days of hiking in the French Alps. Or stick within a smaller radius, perhaps with a western road trip through Normandy and Bourdeaux. From canoeing the Dordogne River to shucking oysters on the wild islands of Brittany's coast—your options are plentiful.

A view of Cannes at night
Map of 15 Days in France - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas
15 Days in France - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 15 days in France, you can check off a long list of highlights or focus on a particular region, like Provence or the French Riviera. Take a cooking class with a local chef in Nice, ride an electric bike through lavender fields and vineyards, sip bubbly on the Avenue of Champagne, take a sunset cruise on the Seine River: with two full weeks to spend, you won't be in a rush. Learn more about what to do and where to do with these unique itinerary ideas.

Lake Annecy in the French Alps
Map of 16 Days in France - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
16 Days in France - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 16 days in France, you have the luxury of time—more than two weeks to explore the country's highlights or take your time in one region, like the French Riviera. See Provence on two wheels on an electric bike tour, sip and swirl your way along the Avenue of Champagne, go on a private boat tour around the Îles d'Or, visit Mont-Saint-Michel at low tide, or cross the border and spend part of your time in Spain. Learn more about where to go and what to do with these unique itinerary suggestions.

One of Paris's lovely fountains after sundown
How Many Days Should You Spend in Paris?

There’s no wrong answer to how much time you should spend in Paris, but for a solid itinerary, we recommend at least four days. This is enough time to accomplish some world-class attractions as well as some lesser-known arrondissements that are on the up and up—whether you choose to explore by foot, metro, bike, and/or electric scooter. Check out some possible itineraries, ranging from 24 hours to a week (and beyond).

The historic town gate of Saint-Tropez
How Many Days Should You Spend in the French Riviera?

With two days to spend in the French Riviera, stick to a couple of key destinations, like Cannes and Nice or Saint-Tropez. You can add some time sailing around islands or hiking in the Alps if you have three to five days, and if you have around a week, detour to Provence. Travelers with ten or more days to spend have lots of options, whether you want to slow down and experience the region at a slower pace or add it on to a wide-ranging trip around France. Read on for advice on how many days to spend on the French Riviera.

Dining outside on warm summer nights is a Provencal staple
How Many Days Should You Spend in Provence?

The French region of Provence is made for explorers—and there's a lot of room to explore. For a solid itinerary, we recommend at least four days to experience a few villages and sun-drenched landscapes. Of course, you can get a taste of the elegant Provençal lifestyle in a day or two; better yet, rent a car and take a long, leisurely road trip through lavender fields, ancient olive groves, clifftop roads, and Mediterranean views. Below, find a range of itineraries ranging from 24 hours to a week (or more).

Street and cafe scene in Old Lyon
How Many Days Should You Spend in Lyon?

Superb museums, UNESCO-listed neighborhoods, and the county's best gastronomy scene are just a few reasons why France's third-largest city is worth a visit. For a solid itinerary in Lyon, we recommend at least three days to explore the city's hills, rivers, bridges, and parks. Alternatively, you could squeeze in the top draws in a day or two, or take your time and soak in the culture over a week or more. Let this local guide help decide which trip length is right for you.

See the city's historic and modern architecture by tram and bicycle
How Many Days Should You Spend in Bordeaux?

For a solid itinerary in France's wine capital, we recommend at least three days—ample time to explore the city's elegant streets and modern attractions with a day-trip to nearby chateaux. Of course, a fun-filled day or two lets you experience a slice of the urban action while having closer to a week allows more freedom to discover UNESCO-listed treasures and beaches along the Atlantic coast. Let this local guide steer you in the right direction.

Marseille's romantic port draws boaters in summer months
How Many Days Should You Spend in Marseille?

Historic, multicultural, and even a bit scruffy—a trip to Marseille in the South of France is a memorable feast for the senses. For a solid itinerary, we recommend at least two to three days so you can explore the city's famous port, its diverse neighborhoods, and the delicious food scene. Tack on more time for Marseille's ancient sites and modern museums, with possible day-trips to the Provençal countryside or Mediterranean coast. Check out some possible itineraries, ranging from 24 hours to a week or more.

Lavender fields in Provence, France
Map of 5 Days in Provence - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
5 Days in Provence - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

If you have just five days to spend in Provence, consider taking a road trip or a bike tour: both options allow you to pass through small villages and take in the region's famous scenery, stopping whenever you like to taste wines, tour castles, or snap photos of lavender fields. Alternatively, try a gourmet tour of Provence that features cooking classes and winery visits, or combine a few days in Provence with a short visit to the French Riviera. Find out more about your options with these five unique itinerary ideas.

Lavender fields in Provence, France
Map of 7 Days in Provence - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
7 Days in Provence - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With a week to spend in Provence, you can tour the region's highlights, focus your time on a sub-region like Upper Provence, or opt for a trip that also includes a few days in the French Riviera or Paris. Take a road trip through wine country, pedal through lavender fields on a bike tour, cruise around Calanques National Park on a boat, hike and swim in gorges and rivers, take a cooking class at a country estate: there's so much to see and do. Learn more about your options with these unique itinerary ideas.

A quiet street in Aix-en-Provence
Map of 10 Days in Provence - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in Provence - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With ten days in Provence, you can take your time and enjoy the relaxed pace and beautiful scenery of one of France's most famous regions. Opt for a road trip with stops for hiking and a hot air balloon ride, focus on wine country and the beach with a trip plan that includes a detour to the French Riviera, go on a luxury tour that features a private boat outing in Marseille, or explore Provence on an electric bike. Learn where to go and what to do with these unique itinerary ideas.