23 days in France Itinerary

23 days in France Itinerary

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Route & dates

23 days in France Itinerary

Start: Cape Town
Fly:  15​h
1
Paris
— 3 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
2
Bordeaux
— 2 nights
train:  2​h 15​min
3
Toulouse
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Avignon
— 2 nights
train:  45​min
5
Marseille
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
Nice
— 3 nights
train:  5​h
7
Lyon
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
8
Chamonix
— 2 nights
shuttle + Fly:  5​h 45​min
9
Paris
— 2 nights
Fly:  15​h
End: Cape Town

3
nights
Paris

Paris ©
A beautiful and romantic city fit for any itinerary, Paris brims with historic associations and remains vastly influential in the realms of culture, art, fashion, food and design.
Palace of Versailles has been added to your itinerary. The adventure continues: admire the masterpieces at Louvre Museum, step off the mainland to explore Île de la Cité, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Basilique du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre, and steep yourself in history at Eiffel Tower.

To see reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Paris trip planner.

Cape Town, South Africa to Paris is an approximately 15-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference when traveling from Cape Town to Paris is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Cape Town in December, things will get much colder in Paris: highs are around 9°C and lows about 3°C. You'll have a few hours on the 22nd (Sun) to wrap things up before traveling to Bordeaux.

Things to do in Paris

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Palace of Versailles
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Louvre Museum ©
Louvre Museum
Arc de Triomphe ©
Arc de Triomphe
Eiffel Tower ©
Eiffel Tower

2
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Promenade Sainte Catherine as well as Quinconces Esplanade (Esplanade des Quinconces). Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): shop like a local with Promenade Sainte Catherine and then see the interesting displays at La Cite du Vin. Keep things going the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at St. Andre Cathedral, don't miss a visit to The Water Mirror, don't miss a visit to Place de la Bourse (Place Royale), then don't miss a visit to Quinconces Esplanade (Esplanade des Quinconces), and finally test your problem-solving skills at popular escape rooms.

To find more things to do, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Bordeaux attractions planning website .

Traveling by train from Paris to Bordeaux takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 11°C in December, and nighttime lows around 3°C. You'll have a few hours on the 24th (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling to Toulouse.

Things to do in Bordeaux

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
St. Andre Cathedral ©
St. Andre Cathedral
Place de la Bourse (Place Royale) ©
Place de la Bourse (Place Royale)
Room Escape Games

3
nights
Toulouse

Toulouse ©
On the Garonne River, Toulouse is on the site of an ancient Roman settlement, and even today, many of the smaller streets follow their Roman counterparts, while many of the red brick buildings are built in a pseudo-Roman style.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Quai de la Daurade, Cathedrale St-Etienne, Fondation Bemberg, and other attractions. Go for a jaunt from Toulouse to Carcassonne Center to see Cité de Carcassonne about 1h 20 min away. There's much more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Basilique Saint-Sernin, admire the masterpieces at Musee des Augustins, contemplate the long history of Church of Les Jacobins, and make a trip to Place du Capitole.

To see maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read Toulouse day trip planning tool .

Traveling by train from Bordeaux to Toulouse takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Toulouse can reach 13°C, while at night they dip to 3°C. On the 27th (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Avignon.

Things to do in Toulouse

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Cité de Carcassonne
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Basilique Saint-Sernin ©
Basilique Saint-Sernin
Cité de Carcassonne ©
Cité de Carcassonne
Musee des Augustins ©
Musee des Augustins

2
nights
Avignon

Avignon ©
An ancient town center surrounded by medieval ramparts, Avignon is a major city of Provence and a Mediterranean city in the Vaucluse department on the left bank of the Rhône River.
You've added Street of Dyers (Rue de Teinturiers), Chocolaterie de Puyricard, Place de l'Horloge, and other attractions to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 27th (Fri): make a trip to Place de l'Horloge, then explore the historical opulence of Palais des Papes, then contemplate the long history of Place Crillon, and finally admire the masterpieces at Carrieres des Lumieres. On the 28th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for gifts at La Cave des Halles, take in nature's colorful creations at Rocher des Doms, snap pictures at Pont du Gard, then stop by Chocolaterie de Puyricard, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Street of Dyers (Rue de Teinturiers).

To find ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Avignon attractions tool .

Traveling by car from Toulouse to Avignon takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of flight and train. In December, plan for daily highs up to 11°C, and evening lows to 1°C. You'll have a few hours on the 29th (Sun) to wrap things up before traveling to Marseille.

Things to do in Avignon

Historic Sites Shopping Parks

Side Trips

Carrieres des Lumieres, Pont du Gard
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Palais des Papes ©
Palais des Papes
Carrieres des Lumieres ©
Carrieres des Lumieres
Chocolaterie de Puyricard ©
Chocolaterie de Puyricard

1
night
Marseille

Marseille ©
The 2013 European "Capital of Culture," Marseille is the largest port city on the breezy Mediterranean coast and the second largest city in France.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Sun): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde.

To find traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Marseille travel planning tool .

You can take a train from Avignon to Marseille in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Avignon in December, expect nights in Marseille to be about the same, around 5°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 15°C. You'll have a few hours on the 30th (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling to Nice.

Things to do in Marseille

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde ©
Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde

3
nights
Nice

Nice ©
Well-known for the beautiful views of its famous Promenade des Anglais waterfront, Nice is an ethnically-diverse coastal port city on the French Riviera and the fifth most populated city in France.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Monaco Grand Prix as well as Promenade du Paillon. There's much more to do: wander the streets of Vieille Ville, make a trip to Place Massena, and take some stellar pictures from Colline du Chateau overlook.

To find other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Nice attractions website .

Traveling by car from Marseille to Nice takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In December, plan for daily highs up to 17°C, and evening lows to 8°C. You'll have a few hours on the 2nd (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling to Lyon.

Things to do in Nice

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trip

Monaco Grand Prix
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Vieille Ville ©
Vieille Ville
Colline du Chateau overlook ©
Colline du Chateau overlook
Promenade des Anglais ©
Promenade des Anglais

2
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.
For more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Lyon trip planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and tram from Nice to Lyon takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In January, Lyon is a bit cooler than Nice - with highs of 9°C and lows of 1°C. You will have some time to spend on the 4th (Sat) before leaving for Chamonix.

Things to do in Lyon

Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
La boutique de Mathilde ©
La boutique de Mathilde

2
nights
Chamonix

Chamonix ©
"Situated near the massive peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges and, most notably, the Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France and known as the Alpine Capital of the World.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Step Into the Void as well as Montenvers - Mer de Glace Train. Kick off your visit on the 4th (Sat): get interesting insight from Montenvers - Mer de Glace Train and then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Aiguille du Midi. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Aiguille des Grands Montets, take in panoramic vistas at Step Into the Void, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Brevent Cable Car, and finally get outside with Compagnie du Mont Blanc.

To see maps, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Chamonix online driving holiday planner .

You can drive from Lyon to Chamonix in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. You will have some time to spend on the 6th (Mon) before leaving for Paris.

Things to do in Chamonix

Nature Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Aiguille du Midi ©
Aiguille du Midi
Aiguille des Grands Montets ©
Aiguille des Grands Montets
Brevent Cable Car ©
Brevent Cable Car

2
nights
Paris

Paris ©
Disneyland Paris has been added to your itinerary. Keep things going the next day: discover the magic at Disneyland Paris.

Before you visit Paris, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Getting from Chamonix to Paris by combination of shuttle and flight takes about 6 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. You'll set off for home on the 8th (Wed).

Things to do in Paris

Theme Parks

Side Trip

Disneyland Paris
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Disneyland Paris ©
Disneyland Paris

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