2-Week Itinerary in France

2-Week Itinerary in France

Greetings! If you’re planning a trip to France and looking for the perfect 2-week itinerary, you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive France travel guide, I’ll take you on a journey through the best places to visit in France, the must-see attractions, and the top destinations that shouldn’t be missed. Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, or simply seeking a French vacation itinerary that covers it all, this two-week France trip planner has got you covered.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore beyond Paris and discover the diverse beauty of other regions in France.
  • Experience iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
  • Visit the quaint town of Colmar in Alsace and indulge in its famous wines.
  • Discover the rich history of Normandy and pay homage at the American Cemetery at Colleville.
  • Immerse yourself in the scenic beauty of the Loire Valley and cycle along the Loire River.

Are you ready to embark on this incredible journey? Let’s explore the beauty of France together!

Days 1 to 4 – Paris

Welcome to the vibrant city of Paris, the perfect starting point for your two-week French adventure. Over the course of the next four days, immerse yourself in the rich history, breathtaking architecture, and world-class art that this iconic city has to offer. Allow me to guide you through the must-see sights and experiences in Paris.

Paris Sightseeing

Paris is renowned for its iconic landmarks and cultural attractions. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit these famous sites:

  • Eiffel Tower: Be sure to visit the symbol of Paris – the stunning Eiffel Tower. Admire the breathtaking views of the city from its observation decks.
  • Louvre Museum: Explore the world’s largest art museum and be captivated by the masterpieces housed within, including the famous Mona Lisa.
  • Notre Dame Cathedral: Marvel at the grandeur of this Gothic masterpiece, known for its striking architecture and storied history.
  • Montmartre: Explore the charming neighborhood of Montmartre, famous for its bohemian atmosphere, the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica, and its artistic heritage.
  • Seine River Cruise: Take a leisurely cruise along the Seine River and enjoy picturesque views of Paris’s landmarks, including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower.
  • Palace of Versailles: Venture outside of Paris and make a trip to the extravagant Palace of Versailles. Take a guided tour of the opulent palace and admire the magnificent gardens.

Paris is also known for its enchanting gardens, which offer a peaceful retreat from the bustling city streets. Spend some time exploring these beautiful green spaces:

  1. Tuileries Garden: Located next to the Louvre Museum, this formal French garden is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.
  2. Jardin du Luxembourg: Relax in this serene park, known for its beautiful flowerbeds, statues, and the iconic Luxembourg Palace.
  3. Jardin des Plantes: Discover the botanical gardens of Paris, home to a wide variety of plants and the charming Alpine Garden.

With so much to see and do, Paris offers an unforgettable experience. Take your time to soak up the city’s atmosphere, indulge in French cuisine at local cafes, and wander through the charming streets of the different neighborhoods. Paris truly has something for everyone.

Day Activity
Day 1 Explore the Eiffel Tower and take a Seine River cruise
Day 2 Visit the Louvre Museum and stroll through the Tuileries Garden
Day 3 Discover the Notre Dame Cathedral and explore Montmartre
Day 4 Take a day trip to the Palace of Versailles and enjoy the gardens

Make the most of your time in Paris, and get ready to continue your journey through the beautiful regions of France.

Days 5 to 6 – The Normandy Region

After four incredible days in Paris, it’s time to venture beyond the city and explore the scenic Normandy region. Known for its historical significance and breathtaking landscapes, Normandy offers a unique glimpse into the events of World War II and the charm of the French countryside.

Start your journey by driving from Paris to Normandy, a picturesque region that is rich in history. Normandy is famous for its role in the D-Day invasion, and you’ll have the opportunity to visit the iconic D-Day beaches, where Allied forces landed on June 6, 1944. Standing on the shores of Omaha Beach and Utah Beach, you can’t help but feel the weight of history.

Discover Arromanches and the Mulberry Harbor

While in Normandy, make sure to visit the town of Arromanches, where you can see the remnants of the Mulberry harbor, an artificial port built by the Allies. The Mulberry harbor played a crucial role in the success of the D-Day invasion, and its remains serve as a testament to the ingenuity and determination of those who fought for freedom.

Pay Tribute at the American Cemetery

A visit to the American Cemetery at Colleville is a solemn and moving experience. This beautifully maintained cemetery is the final resting place of thousands of American soldiers who lost their lives during the D-Day invasion and subsequent battles. Take a moment to reflect and pay your respects to these brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Explore the Bayeux Tapestry

A trip to Normandy wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the famous Bayeux Tapestry. This embroidered cloth depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England in the 11th century. It is a remarkable work of art and an incredible historical artifact that provides valuable insights into medieval life.

Taste the Flavors of Normandy

No visit to Normandy would be complete without indulging in the region’s culinary delights. Be sure to try the famous Camembert cheese, which originated in Normandy and is known for its rich and creamy texture. Pair it with a fresh baguette and a glass of local cider for an unforgettable gastronomic experience.

In summary, the Normandy region offers a captivating mix of history, natural beauty, and culinary delights. From exploring the D-Day beaches and paying tribute at the American Cemetery to immersing yourself in the ancient art of the Bayeux Tapestry and savoring the flavors of Camembert cheese, Normandy is a must-visit destination for any traveler seeking a deeper understanding of France’s past and present.

Days 7 to 8 – Loire Valley

Journey to the enchanting Loire Valley, known for its beautiful countryside and stunning chateaux. Immerse yourself in the rich history and architectural splendor of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Begin your exploration at the magnificent Chateau Chambord, one of the most famous and recognizable chateaux in the Loire Valley. Marvel at its grandeur as you stroll through its elaborate gardens and intricate interior. The Chateau Chambord is a true masterpiece of Renaissance architecture, featuring a unique blend of French medieval and classical Italian styles.

Continue your journey to the picturesque Ainy-le-Vieil Chateau, a hidden gem tucked away in the peaceful countryside. Explore the beautiful gardens and experience the charm of this medieval fortress. The Ainy-le-Vieil Chateau offers a glimpse into the region’s rich history and provides a tranquil escape from the bustling cities.

One of the best ways to fully appreciate the natural beauty of the Loire Valley is by cycling along the Loire River. Hop on a bike and pedal your way through the scenic landscapes, passing vineyards, charming villages, and riverside castles. This leisurely activity allows you to immerse yourself in the idyllic surroundings and discover the hidden treasures of the region at your own pace.

Attraction Description
Chateau Chambord A masterpiece of Renaissance architecture with elaborate gardens.
Ainy-le-Vieil Chateau A medieval fortress with beautiful gardens.
Cycling along the Loire River An immersive way to explore the natural beauty of the region.

Whether you’re captivated by the grandeur of Chateau Chambord, enchanted by the medieval charm of Ainy-le-Vieil Chateau, or seeking adventure while cycling along the Loire River, the Loire Valley promises a memorable experience that showcases the essence of France’s rich heritage and picturesque landscapes.

Days 9 to 10 – Lyon and Burgundy

As I continue my journey through France, I find myself in the vibrant city of Lyon, known as the culinary capital of the country. Lyon is a food lover’s paradise, offering a plethora of gastronomic delights that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. From traditional Lyonnaise dishes to international flavors, this city has it all.

One of the best ways to fully experience Lyon’s culinary scene is by taking a culinary walking tour. Joining a knowledgeable guide, you’ll explore the city’s famous food markets, quaint bakeries, and bustling restaurants. Indulge in local specialties like saucisson, quenelles, and the iconic Lyonnaise salad. Don’t forget to save room for some heavenly pastries.

And what is a visit to Lyon without trying the famous Beaujolais wine? This fruity and vibrant red wine is made from Gamay grapes and is a favorite among wine enthusiasts. Take part in a Beaujolais wine tasting and discover why this region is renowned for its exceptional vintages.

Continuing my journey, I make a stop in Burgundy, a region known worldwide for its prestigious wines. Burgundy is home to some of the finest vineyards in the world, producing exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. I highly recommend visiting a few vineyards and participating in wine tastings to fully appreciate the rich wine culture of this region.

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or simply appreciate good food and drink, Lyon and Burgundy are must-visit destinations in France. Indulge in the culinary delights and experience the world-class wines that these regions have to offer. Bon appétit!

Days 11 to 12 – Provence and the French Riviera

Head south to the picturesque region of Provence, known for its charming villages and aromatic lavender fields. Take the time to explore the beautiful countryside and immerse yourself in the relaxed Provençal lifestyle.

In Provence, you’ll discover quaint towns like Gordes, Roussillon, and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, each offering their own unique charm and beauty. Marvel at the vibrant colors of the lavender fields that stretch as far as the eye can see, creating a breathtaking landscape. Don’t forget to visit the stunning Abbey of Senanque, surrounded by lavender and nestled in a peaceful valley.

Continue your journey to the glamorous French Riviera, where you can experience the epitome of luxury and elegance. Start your visit in Nice, known for its stunning coastline and vibrant city life. Explore the famous Promenade des Anglais, soak up the sun on the beautiful beaches, and indulge in delicious Provençal cuisine.

Next, make your way to Monaco, the glamorous principality known for its opulence and stunning views. Visit the famous Casino de Monte Carlo, admire the luxurious yachts in the harbor, and take a stroll through the charming Old Town.

Lastly, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Cannes, famous for its prestigious film festival and beautiful sandy beaches. Explore the elegant Boulevard de la Croisette, lined with luxury shops and hotels, and enjoy the stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Overall, this part of the itinerary offers a perfect balance of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and luxurious seaside living. Immerse yourself in the charm of Provence and indulge in the glitz and glamour of the French Riviera.

Days 13 to 14 – The Alps and Annecy

Journey to the majestic Alps and visit the town of Chamonix, located at the base of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe. Take a cable car to the Aiguille du Midi for breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and glaciers. Afterward, make your way to the charming town of Annecy, known as the “Venice of the Alps.” Explore its canals and enjoy the picturesque setting before heading back towards Paris or continuing on to Geneva.

Key Attractions:

  • Chamonix – Explore the stunning alpine town and take in the magnificent views of Mont Blanc.
  • Aiguille du Midi – Experience the thrill of soaring to the top of the Aiguille du Midi and marvel at the breathtaking panoramic views of the Alps.
  • Annecy – Discover the “Venice of the Alps” with its charming canals, beautiful lake, and old town.
  • Geneva – Consider extending your journey to visit the cosmopolitan city of Geneva, located on the shores of Lake Geneva.

Recommended Itinerary:

Day 13: Chamonix and Aiguille du Midi

Time Activity
Morning Arrive in Chamonix and explore the town
Afternoon Take the cable car to the Aiguille du Midi and enjoy the panoramic views
Evening Relax and dine in a traditional alpine restaurant

Day 14: Annecy

Time Activity
Morning Drive to Annecy and explore the canals and old town
Afternoon Take a boat ride on Lake Annecy and enjoy the scenic views
Evening Experience a traditional Savoyard dinner in one of the local restaurants

Days 15 to 16 – Alsace and Northern France

During the final days of your two-week itinerary in France, head northeast to the picturesque region of Alsace. This charming region is known for its fairy-tale-like towns, delightful cuisine, and outstanding wines. Start your exploration by visiting the enchanting town of Colmar, famous for its colorful half-timbered houses that line the cobblestone streets. Immerse yourself in the unique Alsatian culture as you stroll through the town’s charming squares and visit local markets.

While in Colmar, be sure to try the region’s famous wines, particularly the crisp and aromatic white wines. Alsace is renowned for its wine production, and a visit to one of the local wineries is a must for any wine enthusiast.

After exploring Colmar, continue your journey to the vibrant city of Strasbourg. This city is not only the capital of Alsace but also a cultural and architectural gem. Discover the beautiful blend of French and German influences evident in the city’s architecture, cuisine, and language. Take a leisurely boat tour along the canals of Petite France, explore the grandiose Strasbourg Cathedral, and sample the local delicacies at one of the many charming restaurants.

As you make your way back towards Paris, consider making a stop in the city of Reims, located in the Champagne region. Reims is renowned for its production of the world-famous sparkling wine. Indulge in a champagne tasting experience at one of the prestigious champagne houses and learn about the intricate process of making this exquisite beverage.

These final days in Alsace and Northern France will provide you with a memorable experience of the region’s rich history, culture, and culinary delights. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore Colmar and Strasbourg, and end your two-week journey with the sparkling elegance of Reims and its champagne.

Conclusion

This two-week itinerary takes you on a captivating journey through the diverse landscapes and rich history of France. From the vibrant streets of Paris to the picturesque regions of Normandy, the Loire Valley, Provence, and the French Riviera, you will get a taste of the best that France has to offer. Whether you’re a history buff, a food and wine enthusiast, or a nature lover, this itinerary provides a well-rounded experience of this beautiful country.

Start your adventure in Paris, the city of love and lights, and explore iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Step into history as you visit the D-Day beaches of Normandy, where the events of World War II unfolded. Discover the enchanting Loire Valley with its magnificent chateaux and cycle along the scenic Loire River.

Taste the culinary delights of Lyon, the culinary capital of France, and indulge in wine tastings in Burgundy. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Provence and wander through colorful lavender fields. Experience the glamour of the French Riviera in cities like Nice, Monaco, and Cannes. End your journey in the majestic Alps, with breathtaking views of Mont Blanc and the charming canals of Annecy.

Whether you follow this itinerary to the letter or tailor it to your preferences, planning your trip to France has never been easier. So pack your bags, get ready to savor French cuisine, admire stunning architecture, and create unforgettable memories. With this comprehensive itinerary, you can be sure to make the most of your visit to France. Bon voyage!

FAQ

What are the best places to visit in France?

France is a diverse country with many attractions worth visiting. Some of the top destinations include Paris, the Normandy region, the Loire Valley, Lyon and Burgundy, Provence and the French Riviera, the Alps, Alsace, and more.

What are the must-see attractions in France?

Must-see attractions in France include the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Montmartre, the Palace of Versailles, the D-Day beaches in Normandy, Chateau Chambord in the Loire Valley, Lyon’s culinary scene, the lavender fields in Provence, the French Riviera, Chamonix and Mont Blanc in the Alps, and the charming town of Colmar in Alsace.

How can I plan a two-week trip to France?

To plan a two-week trip to France, start by deciding which regions and attractions you want to visit. Create a rough itinerary, allocating a few days to each location. Consider transportation options, such as renting a car or using public transportation. Research accommodations and book in advance. Make a list of must-see attractions and plan your days accordingly. Leave some room for flexibility and spontaneous discoveries.

What is the best time of year to visit France?

The best time to visit France depends on your preferences and the regions you plan to visit. Spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) generally offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds. Summer (July to August) is peak tourist season with warm weather, but some popular destinations can be crowded. Winter (December to February) is an excellent time for visiting ski resorts in the Alps.

What are some hidden gems in France?

Some hidden gems in France include the charming town of Annecy in the Alps, the medieval city of Carcassonne in the south, the coastal town of Honfleur in Normandy, the picturesque village of Eguisheim in Alsace, the island of Corsica with its stunning beaches, and the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy. These are just a few of the countless hidden gems waiting to be discovered in France.

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