France Itinerary-Please Critique

Please chime in with this itinerary and I’ll listen to any suggestions. I went back and looked at other threads and that is where I came up with where we are staying at this point. Problem is without being there, logistically speaking, I’m not sure if we will be in any one place for too long. There are also a couple (2-3 days) that I need to fill in, either by adding a stop or adding time to other places. And the places we are staying are bases to see the surrounding areas.

Day 1-3 Arrive in Nice and head directly to Avignon Area for three nights (should we stay in Nice a couple of days first?)

Day 4-5 Condrieu for two nights (add a day?)

Day 6-9 Open for Suggestions

Day 10-12 Colmar for three nights (Add a day?)

Day 13-17 Paris for four nights

If we add a couple of nights in Nice in the beginning that will take care of Day 6-9 as that will move everything up and I can add a day somewhere else or take a day from somewhere else and add a two day stop in another town such as Dijon area.

I will be traveling with my wife and three girls ages 13, 13, and 16. Our focus is seeing the quaint towns and villages (shopping for them) with stopping at a winery here and there for me. The ones I want to see for sure are Chapoutier and Guigal.

Thanks for any suggestions. Also if you have dining recos in the areas I’m staying outside of Paris (already a thread) I would appreciate it.

I assume you have a car for travel. You can do Chapoutier and Guigal in one day and temp your girls with Valrhona at the same time. Are you planning on this visit as you drive up to Condrieu or as an excursion? I would consider doing it on your way to Condrieu. You can have lunch in Tain. Be advised, the Chapoutier tour is long (almost 3 hrs) at least when I was there in '02. Don’t miss Ampuis wine visits when in Condrieu. Lyon is one of my favorite cities. I highly recommend spending time there. Plenty of family activities.

I found the writing to be derivative of a lot of other itineraries. I felt some of the characters needed more development. (“why are they going to France”, “how will the travelers deal with the closeness imposed by travel” etc)

It was a quick read, though. Not bad for a first effort from this author.

pileon pileon pileon

I enjoyed a few days in Lyon. It’s a nice city, perhaps even a quaint city, but certainly not a town or a village.

From a wine and quaint village standpoint, it seems an easy Day 6-9 addition to your route would be Beaune and the surrounding area.

Would you skip Nice as I am doing now and see Beaune area, or see Nice since I fly into there?

Wow, you’ll be doing a lot of driving.

I can’t say for sure, as I’ve only been on a train through Nice but have never visited the city. I did love Beaune when I visited a couple years ago.

I don’t know how often you get to this part of the world, but if you care for Burgundy wine at all, and you’re passing right by the region (as Googlemaps routes Condrieu-to-Colmar), Beaune would seem like a good place to stop for a night or two.

I don’t know about skipping Nice… i quite enjoyed it for 3 days… relaxing, albeit a bit expensive compared to say the Italian part of the riviera…
Monaco is kinda boring unless you’re loaded and rides in on a bently or rolls…

But yah, not the ‘quaint village’ town, but i wouldn’t skip it since you’re already there…

I do enjoy the wine, but unfortunately not a lot of time to visit wineries. If the area is beautiful up in Beaune, then I don’t mind skipping. As far a travel, we will be stopping along the way so they will be full travel days.

Are your a kids going to be happy with that itinerary? Travelling with teenagers is difficult and I think they need some time to do some things they enjoy. Not that your kids won’t enjoy everything that you have planned but 17 days with Dad can wear on anyone. [snort.gif] Have they been to Europe before? My son who is 15 does pretty good hanging out in cafes and site seeing but in our last trip to Portugal over the holidays on the 5th day he adamantly refused to set foot in another museum or castle. We let him chill at the hotel talk/text his friends hang out at the pool and he was a much happier kid which made us all much happier. [cheers.gif] He also skipped dinner one night and just had room service which seemed to help.



This will be their second long trip. Two years ago we had them in Italy for three weeks. There will be a couple of low key days. We will do a couple of museums in Paris, but the girls and wife really enjoy walking through the towns shopping and looking for culinary delights. I think they will be fine. It is me that has to worry :slight_smile: This is my 16 year old dream trip as she plans on going into the fashion field.

We travel often and they have always traveled well. In they end if they didn’t like it they have no one else to blame but themselves. They had the choice of going in the motor home for two weeks to Yellowstone and Glacier National Park or France. :wink:

Nice is great, both the city and plenty if day trips to quaint towns and coastal villas.

Beaune will be boring for the non drinkers after a day.

Colmar is far, beautiful but far. I’d spend the time in Lyon instead and then take the Tgv to Paris.

Condrieu is tiny. You can do a leisurely drive from Avignon to. Lyons and see the valley towns on the way up.

A lot to do near Avignon (Arles, St Remy etc). Stay longer there and consider staying across the river in Villeneuve les Avignon.

Nice/Avignon/Lyons/Paris with day trips out of the first two is how I’d do it given the crew.


What time of year is this trip planned? Essential to avoid French summer holidays if at all possible. Assuming not in peak season, I would explore some of the area near Nice/Cannes:

  • obviously Cannes itself for a stroll along the Croisette and shopping
  • Mougins just north of Cannes for a wonderful citadel and amazing restaurants. Great for strolling around/browsing.
  • Grasse (slightly further north than Mougins) for superb perfume factories and museums.
  • Eze citadel for amazing views over cap ferret and Monaco.
  • Ste Paul de Vence for a wonderful medieval walled town that’s great to walk around and browse
  • spectacular gorge verdun

Eric - Sounds great. Taking my 2 boys to Italy this summer for a couple of weeks. Splitting time between relaxing on the Amalfi coast and Exploring Rome. They voted for Rome over Paris because they like the ocean so much. Plus my eldest is taking Latin. (don’t ask me why. [scratch.gif]

Have a great trip.


Thank you George, you too.

Good tips - be sure to drive the Grand Haute Corniche one way and the Moyen Corniche the other on your Eze Day. Other key spots

Villa Ephrussi - it’s the Rothschild estate on the most fabulous piece of property on the Riviera.

Villa Greque Kerylos - another awesome estate just a few kilometers from the Villa Ephrussi

I’d do the Villa’s one day, Eze and the cornich roads another, St. Paul de Vence a third and them maybe Cannes or Monaco or Grasse. Enjoy the evenings in Nice, it’s a great town with great food at good prices.

Well after much thought this is what we ended up with.

Even though we are flying into Nice, we are skipping it. I’ve been there, but it has been several years. The ladies wanted to head into what they perceive as the true Provence.

11-Avingnon (Best Western)
14-Condrieu (Le Beau Rivage)
16-Beaune (Les Jardins de Lois)
19-Colmar (Best Western)
23-Paris (Hotel Oscar)
27-Fly Home

We will taking day trips from the cities we are staying in and stopping on the way the next base city.

Since the last time I was involved in travel with a teenager, I was the teenager, not much to add other than, if you stay near or in Avignon, you might consider going to Les Baux to see the very wild, wind eroded rock formations and hills, and wander the hillside town.


Chiming in…

In Avignon Le Palais des Papes (Popes Palace) is a must see, at least if you are interested in history. I’d really recommend a trip to Le Pont du Gard, and if it’s summer you can organize a picnic there and watch the sunset and then the lights (& music) show. Les Baux de Provence is also nice but arrive early, especially in summer. It’s a really nice & old village, very typical from what people imagine when they think of Provence. The view at the top is breathtaking. Did I mention arriving early? If you arrive at 10am you’re likely to be parked a couple of miles from the village (in summer). The provencal market at St Remy de Provence (nearby) is a classic. Arriving early is also a good idea… Arles is also an option (Roman ruins) when you’re in that area, Orange also fits that bill. It’s an easy day trip from Avignon.

Condrieu is nice… for the wine, mostly. All the villages there are stuck between the hills (very steep) and the river. They are basically one long street with not much to see. Drive to the Pilat (Natural Park) which sits just above the wine appellations. Visit Vienne (another famous Roman theater).

Depending on your dates there is a HUGE festival in Avignon during the whole month of July, with tons of theater plays, music, opera and other shows (clowns, illusionists, etc.). The town is extremely lively during this period, it’s the main performance arts festival in France. There’s also a famous jazz festival in Vienne.

The road from Beaune to Colmar takes only 2.5 hours. If you want to make it a day trip you can easily make a small detour to Salins-les-Bains, visit the salt “mine”, have lunch at Le Petit Blanc (just below the Grand Hotel) and drive on to Colmar.

Thank you all for your imput. And it is July we will be there. We will be in Condrieu for Bastille Day so hopefully there will be some fun activities activities nearby.