18 days in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Occitanie & Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Itinerary

18 days in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Occitanie & Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Itinerary

Created using Inspirock France journey planner

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Make it your trip
Fly
1
Nice
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Marseille
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Carcassonne
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Avignon
— 3 nights
Train
5
Lyon
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Chamonix
— 2 nights
Bus to Geneva, Fly to Newcastle

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Nice

— 3 nights

Nissa la Bella (Nice the Beautiful)

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.
Spend the 2nd (Sun) exploring the fascinating underwater world at Marineland. There's lots more to do: take a stroll through Vieille Ville, contemplate the long history of Palais Lascaris, examine the collection at Musée Marc Chagall, and get great views at Colline du Chateau overlook.

To see ratings, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Nice online journey planner.

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK to Nice is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also take a train; or do a combination of car and train. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Newcastle upon Tyne to Nice due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Newcastle upon Tyne in May, things will get somewhat warmer in Nice: highs are around 24°C and lows about 16°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Marseille.

Things to do in Nice

Zoos & Aquariums · Parks · Historic Sites · Museums

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 1 — 4:

Marseille

— 3 nights

Gateway to Provence

The 2013 European "Capital of Culture," Marseille is the largest port city on the breezy Mediterranean coast and the second largest city in France.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Marseille: Aix-en-Provence (Paul Cezanne’s Studio & Paroisse Cathédrale Saint Sauveur Aix-en-Provence). The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, explore the world behind art at Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, visit The Panier, and take in the waterfront at Le Vieux Port.

For maps, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Marseille trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Nice to Marseille takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 26°C in May, and nighttime lows around 14°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) so you can drive to Carcassonne.

Things to do in Marseille

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Museums

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 4 — 7:

Carcassonne

— 3 nights

Medieval Heart of France

Best known as a fortified town, Carcassonne is a walled city that provided the inspiration for the castle in Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" and the location for many scenes in Kevin Costner's movie "Robin Hood." For a daily dose of excitement, medieval jousting tournaments are held twice per day between the two walls--while this may sound like a typical touristy show, it's actually an entertaining display of combative competition and horsemanship.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Carcassonne: Perpignan (Cathedrale St-Jean & Spas). There's much more to do: wander the streets of Cité de Carcassonne, walk around Place Gambetta, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Le Parc Australien, and make a trip to La Porte D'aude.

To see maps, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Carcassonne route site.

Traveling by car from Marseille to Carcassonne takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or fly. In May, daytime highs in Carcassonne are 24°C, while nighttime lows are 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) early enough to drive to Avignon.

Things to do in Carcassonne

Historic Sites · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 7 — 10:

Avignon

— 3 nights

City of Popes

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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Avignon: Arles (Eglise St-Trophime & Amphitheatre (les Arenes)), Pont du Gard (in Vers-Pont-du-Gard) and Le Parc Ornithologique de Pont de Gau (in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer). And it doesn't end there: step into the grandiose world of Palais des Papes, snap pictures at Pont d'Avignon, admire the masterpieces at Musee Angladon, and steep yourself in history at Chateau des Baux de Provence.

For where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Avignon travel route site.

You can drive from Carcassonne to Avignon in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 27°C in May, and nighttime lows around 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) to allow enough time to take a train to Lyon.

Things to do in Avignon

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 10 — 13:

Lyon

— 3 nights

Culinary Capital of France

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.
When in Lyon, make a side trip to see Palais Ideal du Facteur Cheval in Hauterives, approximately Hauterives away. The adventure continues: stroll around Parc de la Tete d'Or, get to know the fascinating history of Colline de Fourviere, admire the landmark architecture of Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere, and admire the masterpieces at Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon.

For reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Lyon online trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by train from Avignon to Lyon takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Avignon in May, you will find days in Lyon are slightly colder (23°C), and nights are about the same (11°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can drive to Chamonix.

Things to do in Lyon

Historic Sites · Museums · Tours · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 13 — 16:

Chamonix

— 2 nights

Alpine Capital of the World

"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.
On the 17th (Mon), take in panoramic vistas at Step Into the Void, take in the awesome beauty at Aiguille du Midi, and then take in the awesome beauty at Vallee Blanche. On the 18th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the awesome beauty at Aiguille des Grands Montets, then take in the awesome beauty at Brevent Cable Car, and then glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Chamonix trip simple and quick.

Traveling by car from Lyon to Chamonix takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Chamonix

Outdoors · Winter Sports · Nature · Parks
Find places to stay May 16 — 18:

Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur travel guide

4.2
Landmarks · Art Museums · Sacred & Religious Sites
You'll feel the sun getting bigger and brighter the closer you get to Provence on the Mediterranean. When you glimpse your first red-tiled roof, you'll know you've entered the south, filled with vineyards, cypresses, and the crisp, inviting scent of lavender and rosemary. Since before the Roman Empire, Provence has been a vibrant community, partially due to its intensely bright sunlight--bathing the people in its radiance, as well as soaking sunflowers, olive groves, vineyards, and purple lavender fields with its warm rays. Breezy, star-filled nights set the mood for a romantic vacation highlighted by a moonlit stroll, a dramatic performance at the theater, or dynamic nightlife decked out in the height of fashion at the trendiest nightclubs.

Since Provence is a historical province, some people include the French Riviera as part of the region, because it shares the cultural and linguistic identity unique to Provence, while others view the area north of Cannes as separate from the region.

Joining the Mediterranean Sea, and flanked by the Rhône River and the Alps, this region captivated master artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh, and Cézanne. If included on an itinerary, it will do the same for you, with its tranquil gardens, mysterious caves, rustic vistas, Roman ruins, and enchanting old harbors. You can enjoy the finer things in life here, like searching for that special something at the area boutiques, visiting the workshop of a local artisan for authentic regional arts and crafts, and learning historical tidbits from a resident's perspective by antiquing in the country's best stores. Like its native Provençal inhabitants, you too can enjoy world-class people watching. If you're lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of a major celeb or two followed by the relentless paparazzi, all while sitting at an outdoor café overlooking any one of the magnificent Mediterranean marinas, one of the most quintessential things to do in the region.

Occitanie travel guide

4.1
Landmarks · Specialty Museums · Castles

Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes travel guide

4.3
Specialty Museums · Ski Areas · Architectural Buildings
Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is a region of France created by the territorial reform of French Regions in 2014; it resulted from the merger of Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes. The new region came into effect on 1 January 2016, after the regional elections in December 2015.The region covers an area of more than 69711km2, making it the third largest in metropolitan France, with a population of 7,695,264, second only to Île-de-France.ToponymyThe text of the territorial reform law gives interim names for most of the merged regions, combining the names of their constituent regions separated by hyphens. Permanent names would be proposed by the new regional councils and confirmed by the Conseil d'État by 1 October 2016.The interim name of the new administrative region was a hyphenated placename, composed of the historic region of Auvergne, the river Rhône, and the French Alps. The same name has been chosen as the definitive name, which was officialized by the Conseil d'État on 28 September 2016.GeographyThe region borders Occitanie and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur to the south, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté to the north, Nouvelle-Aquitaine to the west, Switzerland (Cantons of Geneva, Valais and Vaud) and Italy (Aosta Valley and Piedmont) to the northeast and east.

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