11 days in france itinerary

Your Ultimate 11 Days in France Itinerary: Discover & Explore

If you have eleven days to spend in France, you have the perfect amount of time to embark on an unforgettable adventure. Whether you want to visit multiple destinations or focus on one region, there is so much to see and do in this enchanting country. From the iconic landmarks of Paris to the quaint villages of eastern France, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Are you ready to plan your dream vacation in France? Let’s explore the best places to visit, must-see cities, and unique itinerary ideas that will make your 11 days in France truly memorable.

Key Takeaways:

  • Make the most of your 11 days in France with a well-planned itinerary
  • Choose between exploring multiple destinations or focusing on one region
  • Discover the must-see cities and landmarks of France
  • Indulge in unique experiences like luxury tours, electric bike adventures, and culinary delights
  • Immerse yourself in the rich history, culture, and natural beauty of France

Cities & Nature on the French Riviera

Experience the perfect blend of city life and natural beauty on a captivating journey along the French Riviera. This itinerary is designed to help you make the most of your 11 days in France by exploring the must-see cities and immersing yourself in the stunning landscapes that this region has to offer.

Day 1: Nice

Your adventure begins in Nice, the vibrant capital of the French Riviera. Start your day by strolling through the colorful streets of the Old Town, exploring the charming markets, and indulging in delicious local delicacies. In the afternoon, take a cooking class where you’ll learn to prepare traditional Provençal dishes.

Day 2: Nice to Saint-Tropez

On day two, embark on a scenic drive along the coast to Saint-Tropez. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and make a stop to soak up the sun on one of the famous beaches. In the evening, take a private boat tour to the Îles d’Or and marvel at the natural beauty of these idyllic islands.

Day 3: Cannes and the Esterel Massif

Explore the glamorous city of Cannes, known for its prestigious film festival and luxurious lifestyle. Take a leisurely stroll along La Croisette, visit the iconic Film Festival Palace, and indulge in some retail therapy at the designer boutiques. In the afternoon, venture into the stunning Esterel Massif, a red rock mountain range, and enjoy scenic hikes and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean coastline.

Day 4: Departure

On your final day, take a relaxing drive along the Mediterranean coast, admiring the picturesque towns and villages that dot the shoreline. Reflect on the incredible experiences and memories you’ve made during your 11 days in France as you head to your next destination.

French Riviera

Enjoy the beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters of the French Riviera.

Day Location Highlights
Day 1 Nice Explore the Old Town, take a cooking class
Day 2 Saint-Tropez Scenic drive, private boat tour of Îles d’Or
Day 3 Cannes, Esterel Massif Visit Cannes, hike in the Esterel Massif
Day 4 Departure Drive along the coast, depart for your next destination

Discover Provence by Electric Bike

Experience the enchanting region of Provence in a unique way by embarking on an electric bike tour. Explore the breathtaking lavender fields and picturesque villages while enjoying the freedom and ease of riding an electric bike. This Provence itinerary is designed to immerse you in the natural beauty, rich culture, and gastronomic delights of the region.

Begin your journey in Paris, where you’ll be introduced to the charm and elegance of the French capital. Indulge in a croissant and coffee at a local café, visit iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of the city. After exploring Paris, you’ll make your way to Provence, where your electric bike adventure awaits.

The itinerary takes you through the picturesque countryside of Provence, allowing you to witness the stunning landscapes that have inspired artists for centuries. Cycle through the lavender fields of Sault, visit the medieval villages of Roussillon and Grignan, and explore the historic city of Avignon. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to savor the exquisite flavors of Provence, from sipping local wines to indulging in traditional Provençal cuisine.

One of the highlights of the itinerary is the visit to Fontaine de Vaucluse, a charming village nestled around a natural spring. Explore the crystal-clear waters and marvel at the enchanting beauty of the area. After a full day of exploration, you’ll return to Paris with memories that will last a lifetime.

Tour Basque Country – Bordeaux to Bilbao

On this incredible journey, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the unique cultural and culinary delights of Basque Country, both in France and Spain. Starting your adventure in the vibrant city of Bordeaux, you’ll indulge in a variety of experiences that will leave you with lasting memories. From farmers’ markets and wine tours to picturesque coastal scenery and fascinating historic sites, this itinerary offers a perfect blend of relaxation and discovery.

During your time in Bordeaux, don’t miss the chance to visit the Bay of Arcachon, known for its stunning natural beauty. Take a breath-taking boat trip and marvel at the magnificent landscapes that surround you. Afterward, head to Biarritz, a charming town famous for its beautiful beaches and vibrant surf culture. Explore the Basque villages, cycle along the scenic coastline, and immerse yourself in the local atmosphere.

Continuing on to Spain, you’ll have the opportunity to discover the fascinating city of Bilbao. Be sure to visit the world-renowned Guggenheim Bilbao museum, known for its striking architecture and impressive collection of contemporary art. Take a side trip to San Sebastián, a picturesque coastal city renowned for its culinary scene, where you can indulge in delicious pintxos and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.

To conclude your journey, venture into the stunning region of La Rioja, known for its exceptional wines and olive oil. Embark on a wine tour, visit vineyards, and savor the flavors of this renowned wine-producing area. With its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and delicious gastronomy, Basque Country is a truly remarkable destination that will captivate your senses.

Basque Country Itinerary

Multi-Country Trek – Tour du Mont-Blanc

Embark on an exhilarating alpine adventure as you hike through the stunning Mont Blanc region, spanning France, Italy, and Switzerland. The Tour du Mont-Blanc offers breathtaking scenery, charming villages, and a true sense of adventure.

Start your journey in Chamonix, a picturesque town nestled in the French Alps. From there, traverse through Les Houches, Les Contamines Montjoie, and Les Chapieux, immersing yourself in the beauty of the surrounding nature and taking in awe-inspiring views of snow-capped peaks.

As you continue your trek, you’ll cross into Italy and reach Courmayeur, a charming mountain town with a rich history and delicious Italian cuisine. Explore the quaint streets, refuel with mouthwatering pasta dishes, and take in the beauty of the Aosta Valley.

“The mountains are calling, and I must go.” – John Muir

Next, make your way to Champex, a small Swiss village located on the shores of a pristine alpine lake. Take a moment to soak in the tranquility of the surroundings before continuing your journey to Trient and Argentiere, where you’ll be treated to even more stunning vistas.

Finally, return to Chamonix, completing the full circuit of the Tour du Mont-Blanc. Reflect on the incredible landscapes you’ve witnessed, the challenges you’ve overcome, and the memories you’ve made along the way.

Mont Blanc tour

The Beauty of the Mont Blanc Region

The Mont Blanc region is renowned for its breathtaking beauty, with towering snow-capped peaks, verdant valleys, and crystal-clear alpine lakes. The dramatic landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for a challenging and rewarding trek.

During your journey, you’ll encounter a diverse range of flora and fauna, from wildflowers dotting the meadows in spring and summer to majestic ibex and chamois roaming the mountainsides. Each day will bring new sights to marvel at and moments of tranquility to savor.

Preparing for Your Alpine Adventure

Hiking in the Mont Blanc region requires proper preparation and fitness. Make sure to pack appropriate clothing, including sturdy hiking boots, layers for changing weather conditions, and a waterproof jacket. Don’t forget essentials such as a map, compass, and plenty of water and snacks.

It’s also advisable to acclimatize to the altitude before embarking on the trek, as some parts of the route reach elevations over 2,500 meters. Engaging in regular physical activity and training hikes in the months leading up to your trip will help ensure you’re in peak condition.

Experience the Mont Blanc Trek

  • Duration: 7-10 days
  • Distance: Approximately 170 kilometers
  • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
  • Best Time to Go: June to September

Embark on the adventure of a lifetime with the Tour du Mont-Blanc. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the alpine landscape, challenge yourself physically and mentally, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Day Location Distance
1 Chamonix
2 Les Houches 8km
3 Les Contamines Montjoie 18km
4 Les Chapieux 18km
5 Courmayeur 22km
6 Champex 15km
7 Trient 15km
8 Argentiere 25km
9 Chamonix 20km

Luxury, Art, & Food in France

Indulge in an unforgettable experience of luxury, art, and food in France. This curated itinerary offers a taste of the good life, French-style, as you immerse yourself in the country’s top highlights. From the vibrant streets of Paris to the sun-soaked coast of Marseille, this luxurious journey will leave you with lasting memories.

Paris: Chauffeured Vintage Car Tour

Start your trip in the enchanting city of Paris, where you’ll be whisked away on a chauffeured vintage car tour. Feel like a movie star as you drive through the city’s iconic landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Your knowledgeable guide will share fascinating stories and insights, providing a unique perspective on the city’s rich history.

Le Marais: Pastry Tour

Embark on a culinary adventure in the trendy neighborhood of Le Marais. Discover the hidden gems of French patisserie as you sample delectable pastries from renowned bakeries. Indulge in buttery croissants, delicate macarons, and heavenly eclairs, all carefully crafted by expert pastry chefs. Your taste buds will thank you for this sweet journey through the heart of Paris.

The Louvre: Afternoon of Art

Immerse yourself in the art and culture of France at the world-famous Louvre Museum. Marvel at masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory of Samothrace. With over 35,000 works of art on display, there is something to captivate every art lover. Take your time to explore the museum’s vast collections and let the beauty of the art transport you to another world.

luxury travel in France

Highlights of Eastern France

If you’re looking for a historical and cultural adventure, exploring the highlights of Eastern France is the perfect itinerary for you. This region is brimming with stunning landscapes, charming towns, and fascinating historical sites. From the magnificent city of Reims to the picturesque villages of the Alsace wine route, you’ll be captivated by the beauty and rich heritage of Eastern France.

One of the must-visit destinations in this itinerary is Reims, the capital of the Champagne region. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the awe-inspiring Reims Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and indulge in a glass of bubbly at one of the renowned champagne houses.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

Another highlight of Eastern France is the enchanting Alsace region, known for its charming villages and vineyards. The Alsace wine route takes you through picturesque towns like Colmar and Strasbourg, where you can savor local wines and immerse yourself in the unique Alsatian culture.

Lastly, don’t forget to visit Luxembourg, a small country nestled within Eastern France. Explore the historic city center and marvel at the stunning views from the Casemates du Bock, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Table: Historical Sites in Eastern France

Historical Site Location Description
Reims Cathedral Reims A masterpiece of Gothic architecture and the coronation site of French kings.
Palace of the Popes Avignon The largest gothic palace in the world, once the residence of the popes.
Mont Saint-Michel Normandy A medieval abbey perched on a rocky island, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Château de Chambord Loir-et-Cher A stunning Renaissance castle with intricate architectural details.
Basilique du Sacré-Cœur Paris A Roman Catholic church located at the highest point in the city.
Fort de Chillon Montreux, Switzerland A medieval fortress set on the shores of Lake Geneva.

Rick Steves Best Three-Week France Trip

If you have three weeks to explore France, you have the opportunity to see some of the most iconic and must-visit places in the country. Rick Steves has curated an incredible itinerary that takes you through the highlights of France, showcasing its diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Week 1: Paris, Normandy, and the Loire Valley

Start your journey in the enchanting city of Paris. Explore world-famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Immerse yourself in the charming streets of Montmartre and indulge in delicious French cuisine at local cafés.

From Paris, venture to the historic region of Normandy. Visit the D-Day landing beaches and pay homage to the soldiers who fought in World War II. Explore charming towns like Bayeux, known for its impressive tapestry, and Honfleur, with its picturesque harbor.

Continue your adventure in the Loire Valley, known for its magnificent châteaux. Explore fairy-tale castles like Château de Chambord and Château de Chenonceau. Take leisurely bike rides through vineyards and savor the delicious wines of the region.

Week 2: Dordogne, Carcassonne, and Provence

Head south to the Dordogne region, famous for its prehistoric caves and medieval towns. Explore the ancient cave paintings in Lascaux and discover the charming village of Sarlat-la-Canéda. Indulge in the region’s gastronomic delights, including foie gras and truffles.

Make your way to Carcassonne, a fortified city with a rich history. Wander through its medieval streets and marvel at the impressive ramparts. Take a boat trip along the Canal du Midi and soak in the picturesque scenery.

End your second week in the stunning region of Provence. Explore the vibrant city of Marseille, visit the picturesque villages of the Luberon, and wander through the beautiful lavender fields in Sault. Immerse yourself in the art of Van Gogh in Arles and discover the captivating beauty of the Camargue region.

Week 3: French Riviera, Burgundy, and Alsace

Begin your final week in the glamorous French Riviera. Relax on the beautiful beaches of Nice and stroll along the Promenade des Anglais. Explore the charming coastal town of Antibes and visit the luxurious principality of Monaco.

Head north to the Burgundy region, known for its world-class wines and exquisite cuisine. Discover the medieval city of Beaune and tour its famous vineyards. Indulge in wine tastings and visit the charming villages of the Côte d’Or.

End your trip in the picturesque region of Alsace. Explore the fairytale-like towns of Colmar and Strasbourg. Admire the timber-framed houses, visit the impressive Strasbourg Cathedral, and savor the delicious Alsatian cuisine.

Week Destinations
1 Paris, Normandy, Loire Valley
2 Dordogne, Carcassonne, Provence
3 French Riviera, Burgundy, Alsace

Embark on Rick Steves’ Best Three-Week France Trip and immerse yourself in the beauty, history, and culture of this captivating country. From the iconic landmarks of Paris to the charming villages of the French countryside, this itinerary offers a comprehensive overview that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

Conclusion

There you have it – the ultimate 11-day itinerary for exploring the best of France. Whether you’re drawn to the stunning French Riviera, the picturesque landscapes of Provence, the unique culinary delights of Basque Country, the adventure of a multi-country trek, the luxury and art of France, the historical gems of eastern France, or the highlights of the entire country, this guide has got you covered.

With so many incredible destinations to choose from, your 11 days in France are sure to be filled with unforgettable experiences. From vibrant cities to charming villages, from breathtaking natural scenery to iconic landmarks, from delectable cuisine to world-class wines, France has something to offer every traveler.

So pack your bags, plan your route, and get ready for an incredible journey through this enchanting country. Follow our suggested itineraries or mix and match to create your own unique adventure. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, a food and wine lover, or an art aficionado, France has it all. Bon voyage!

FAQ

What are the best places to visit in France for 11 days?

You have several options for your 11-day itinerary in France. You can explore the French Riviera, visit Provence, tour Basque Country, embark on a multi-country trek, indulge in luxury, explore eastern France, or follow Rick Steves’ three-week trip.

What cities and landmarks should I include in my French Riviera itinerary?

Some must-see cities on the French Riviera include Nice, Cannes, Saint-Tropez, and Monaco. You can also visit the beautiful village of Saint Paul de Vence and explore the stunning landscapes of the Esterel Massif.

How can I explore Provence by electric bike?

Start your Provence electric bike tour in Paris and then head to Montelimar. From there, you can cycle to Grignan, Vaucluse-la-Romaine, Sault, Roussillon, and Fontaine de Vaucluse. Make sure to spend a full day in Avignon before returning to Paris.

What are the highlights of a tour through Basque Country?

Begin your Basque Country tour in Bordeaux and enjoy a farmers’ market, wine tour, and a visit to the Bay of Arcachon. In Biarritz, cycle along the coastline and explore Basque villages. Cross the border into Spain to visit Bilbao, including the Guggenheim Bilbao, and take a side trip to San Sebastián. Finish your tour with a wine and olive oil tour in La Rioja.

What can I expect on a multi-country trek through France, Italy, and Switzerland?

This active adventure takes you through the stunning alpine scenery of the Mont Blanc region. Starting in Chamonix, you’ll hike through Les Houches, Les Contamines Montjoie, Les Chapieux, Courmayeur, Rifugio Bonatti, Champex, Trient, Argentiere, and back to Chamonix. Along the way, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views, visit charming villages, and experience the beauty of the Mont Blanc region.

How can I indulge in luxury, art, and food in France?

For a luxurious experience in France, start your trip in Paris with a chauffeured tour in a vintage car, a pastry tour of Le Marais, and a visit to the Louvre. Continue on to Marseille for an afternoon of art and history, a private boat cruise, and a photography workshop. Explore Aix-en-Provence, visit Avignon and the hilltop villages of the Luberon, and finish your trip in Nice with a cooking class and a perfume tour.

What are the highlights of eastern France?

Explore the historic cities of Reims, Luxembourg, Strasbourg, and Dijon. Sample local wines in the Champagne region and along the Alsace wine route. Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of this diverse region.

What does Rick Steves recommend for a three-week trip to France?

Rick Steves’ three-week trip covers all the highlights of France, including Paris, Normandy, the Loire Valley, Dordogne, Carcassonne, Provence, the French Riviera, Burgundy, Chamonix, Alsace, and northern France. It offers a comprehensive overview of the country, allowing you to experience its diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture.

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