20 days in France & San Sebastian - Donostia Itinerary

20 days in France & San Sebastian - Donostia Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in France & San Sebastian - Donostia Itinerary

Start: San Francisco, United States
Fly:  16​h
1
Nice, France
— 2 nights
Fly + Drive:  4​h 30​min
2
Carcassonne Center, France
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Sarlat-la-Caneda, France
— 3 nights
train:  2​h
4
Saint-Emilion, France
— 3 nights
train:  45​min
5
Bordeaux, France
— 3 nights
6
San Sebastian - Donostia, Spain
— 4 nights
Fly:  17​h
End: San Francisco, United States

2
nights
Nice, France

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Le Suquet and St Nicholas Cathedral. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild and Musee d'Art Moderne Et d'Art Contemporain. Change things up with these side-trips from Nice: Abbaye de Valbonne (in Valbonne) and Saint-Paul de Vence (in St-Paul-de-Vence). Next up on the itinerary: take a stroll through Vieille Ville, admire the masterpieces at Palais Lascaris, see the interesting displays at Musée Marc Chagall, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Old Harbor (La Darse).

To find where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Nice road trip site .

San Francisco, USA to Nice is an approximately 16-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time to Central European Time, which is usually a 9 hour difference. Traveling from San Francisco in September, Nice is a bit warmer at night with lows of 65°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can drive to Carcassonne Center.

Things to do in Nice

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Le Suquet, Saint-Paul de Vence, Old Harbor (La Darse), Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild, Abbaye de Valbonne
Find places to stay Sep 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Saint-Paul de Vence ©
Saint-Paul de Vence
Vieille Ville ©
Vieille Ville
Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild ©

3
nights
Carcassonne Center, France

Carcassonne Center ©
Cathar Castles and Château de Salses are good opportunities to explore the local culture. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Chateau Comtal and La cité médiévale. Take a break from Carcassonne Center with a short trip to Cathedrale St-Just in Narbonne, about 1h 15 min away. And it doesn't end there: wander the streets of Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne, awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area, pause for some serene contemplation at Eglise Saint-Nazaire, and explore the historical opulence of Chateaux de Lastours.

For traveler tips, maps, photos, and other tourist information, use the Carcassonne Center road trip planning app .

Getting from Nice to Carcassonne Center by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and train; or take a train. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Nice in September since evenings lows in Carcassonne Center dip to 58°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) so you can go by car to Sarlat-la-Caneda.

Things to do in Carcassonne Center

Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Cathedrale St-Just, Château de Salses, Chateaux de Lastours, La cité médiévale
Find places to stay Sep 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Château de Salses ©
Château de Salses
Cité de Carcassonne ©
Cité de Carcassonne
Cathar Castles ©
Cathar Castles

3
nights
Sarlat-la-Caneda, France

Sarlat-la-Caneda ©
Sarlat-la-Caneda is the capital of the former Périgord Noir, now referred to as the Aquitaine region that is home to a historical area consisting of impeccably preserved 14th-century buildings and sites.
Step off the beaten path and head to Grotte du Pech-Merle and Bourg Medieval de Saint-Cirq Lapopie. Let the collections at Chateau des Milandes and Manoir de Gisson capture your imagination. Venture out of the city with trips to Roque Saint-Christophe Fort et Cite Troglodytiques (in Peyzac-le-Moustier) and Pont Valentre (in Cahors). There's much more to do: contemplate the long history of Chateau de Commarque, explore the fascinating underground world of Grotte de Font de Gaume, and explore the historical opulence of Chateau de Castelnaud.

For more things to do, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Sarlat-la-Caneda trip builder tool .

Traveling by car from Carcassonne Center to Sarlat-la-Caneda takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect slightly colder evenings in Sarlat-la-Caneda when traveling from Carcassonne Center in September, with lows around 51°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Saint-Emilion.

Things to do in Sarlat-la-Caneda

Historic Sites Nature Parks

Side Trips

Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, Bourg Medieval de Saint-Cirq Lapopie, Roque Saint-Christophe Fort et Cite Troglodytiques, Grotte du Pech-Merle
Find places to stay Sep 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Manoir de Gisson ©
Manoir de Gisson
Grotte du Pech-Merle ©
Grotte du Pech-Merle
The Maison Forte de Reignac ©
The Maison Forte de Reignac

3
nights
Saint-Emilion, France

Saint-Emilion ©
Standing magnificently on top of a hill overlooking the Dordogne Valley filled with lush vineyards, Saint-Émilion fuses history and modern culture with medieval ambience--even in its wine bars, museums, markets, art galleries, cafes, and shops.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Chateau de Bridoire and Chateau Cantenac. Visit Monolithic Church of Saint-Emilion and Chateau de Duras for their historical value. Venture out of the city with trips to Aubeterre-sur-Dronne (Place Trarieux & Eglise monolithe Saint-Jean), Aquadjetland (in Roullet-Saint-Estephe) and ABK6 Cognac Domaines Francis Abecassis (in Claix). The adventure continues: contemplate the long history of Cloitre des Cordeliers, pause for some serene contemplation at Eglise Collegiale de Saint-Emilion, and do a tasting at Chateau Beaurang.

For traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, read Saint-Emilion trip itinerary tool .

You can drive from Sarlat-la-Caneda to Saint-Emilion in 2 hours. Another option is to take a train. In September, plan for daily highs up to 76°F, and evening lows to 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) to allow time to drive to Bordeaux.

Things to do in Saint-Emilion

Historic Sites Wineries Fun & Games

Side Trips

Aubeterre-sur-Dronne, Chateau de Bridoire, ABK6 Cognac Domaines Francis Abecassis, Chateau de Duras, Aquadjetland
Find places to stay Sep 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Chateau de Bridoire ©
Chateau de Bridoire
Monolithic Church of Saint-Emilion ©
Chateau de Duras ©
Chateau de Duras

3
nights
Bordeaux, France

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Ecomuseum Marquèze and Le Phare du Cap Ferret. Popular historic sites such as La ville d'Hiver and Citadelle de Blaye are in your itinerary. Step out of Bordeaux to go to Blaye and see Chateau Marquis de Vauban, which is approximately 58 minutes away. Dedicate the 24th (Tue) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. There's more to do: make a trip to Place de la Bourse (Place Royale) and ponder the design of Monument aux Girondins.

To find reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Bordeaux trip planner .

Traveling by car from Saint-Emilion to Bordeaux takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In September, daily temperatures in Bordeaux can reach 75°F, while at night they dip to 56°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to San Sebastian - Donostia.

Things to do in Bordeaux

Tours Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Le Phare du Cap Ferret, La ville d'Hiver, Chateau Marquis de Vauban, Ecomuseum Marquèze
Find places to stay Sep 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Ecomuseum Marquèze ©
Ecomuseum Marquèze
La ville d'Hiver ©
La ville d'Hiver
Le Phare du Cap Ferret ©
Le Phare du Cap Ferret

4
nights
San Sebastian - Donostia, Spain

San Sebastian - Donostia ©
As one of the anchoring cities of the beautiful Basque Country, San Sebastián boasts a trendy, cosmopolitan vibe while still harboring a relaxed, coastal charm.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Bodegas Lecea and Pamplona Catedral. Let the collections at Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Fortress and Walls of Pamplona capture your imagination. Venture out of the city with trips to Bodegas Muga (in Haro), Historic Center of Hondarribia (in Hondarribia) and Iglesia de Santa Maria de los Reyes (in Laguardia). Dedicate the 28th (Sat) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at La Concha Beach and make a trip to Plaza de la Constitucion.

For photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the San Sebastian - Donostia trip itinerary app .

Traveling by car from Bordeaux to San Sebastian - Donostia takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. September in San Sebastian - Donostia sees daily highs of 74°F and lows of 60°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Sebastian - Donostia

Historic Sites Tours Museums

Side Trips

Pamplona, Iglesia de Santa Maria de los Reyes, Bodegas Muga, Bodegas Lecea, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Find places to stay Sep 24 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Bodegas Lecea ©
Bodegas Lecea
Iglesia de Santa Maria de los Reyes ©
Bodegas Muga ©
Bodegas Muga

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