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Home to quaint medieval cities, sprawling alpine villages, and Mediterranean towns renowned for their wealthy inhabitants and luxurious harbors, France has something for all traveler types. While beachcombers take to the French Riviera and nature enthusiasts tackle the Pyrenees mountains, foodies flock to the patisseries of Paris and historians visit the beaches of Normandy. With so much on offer, you might find yourself struggling to choose one destination or activity over another — wine tasting at a Bordeaux vineyard or viewing landmark art at the Louvre? For help planning your dream France vacation itinerary, check out our France Itineraries and keep reading to find out how long you should spend in this fascinating country.

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How much time should I spend in France?

Although you will surely enjoy any amount of time in France, we recommend opting for a France itinerary that offers at least 10 days of exploring. Paris is always a good starting point for any French adventure, and from here, a 10-day trip can cover two or more other regions. If you, unfortunately have less time on your hands, we’d recommend foregoing Paris and heading out to explore the wider country. On the other hand, with two or three weeks to explore the country you can create the perfect France travel itinerary covering the beaches of the south, the mountains of the east, and the central wine regions.

Normandy in the north-west of France is a stunning stretch of beaches
Normandy is the best place to visit in France if you are a history buff
Nice is the 5th largest city in France and attracts a lot of tourists.
The vibrant and colorful streets of Nice are worth exploring on a 7-day itinerary in France

One week is a good chunk of time to visit France’s most popular sites, attractions and cities. Although you will have to move on fairly quickly, you can cover lots of bucket-list destinations. We’ve got plenty of France itineraries for around 7 days. If you’re interested in history then head to Brittany and explore Northern France’s iconic attractions including the D-Day beaches, Mont Saint-Michel Abbey, and the charming cities of Caen and Rouen. A visit to Chateau Gaillard is also a must.

Alternatively, cover Paris and the south of the country. Starting in Nice, explore the opulent towns of the French Riviera, soak up some of the country’s best beaches, and then catch a flight to Paris and climb the Eiffel Tower, cruise down the Seine, and visit the Museum of Modern Art. 

More interested in an island break? Spend seven days on the Mediterranean island of Corsica and explore by foot, car, and bicycle as you make your way around the island stopping at wine estates, castles, and stunning beaches as you go. The charming towns of Ajaccio, Bonifacio, and Porto-Vecchio are all must-visits for the best France itinerary.

Check out our recommended trip in our guide for 7 days in France. Find more ideas for the duration in our list of 7-day tours in France.

Located in Paris, Luxembourg is a stunning garden and a perfect picnic spot
If you have 10 days in France, spend an afternoon in the beautifully manicured lawns of Luxembourg Gardens

Ten days is the perfect amount of time to enjoy a France vacation. Start your holiday with a visit to Paris, the country’s gleaming capital, home to some of the best museums, art galleries, and restaurants in the world. The Arc de Triomphe, Luxembourg Gardens, and Montmartre should all be on your to-see list. From here, head south to Nice, winding your way through the French countryside and stopping to soak up the spectacular views. While this trip can be done in seven days, extra time makes for a more relaxed journey.

Alternatively, spend 10-days soaking up the very best of the Dordogne valley, an area of outstanding beauty found in southwest France, set between the Loire Valley and the Pyrenees mountains. Discover dramatic scenery, visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and travel through the towns of Salignac, Souillac, and Les Eyzies on a French adventure to remember. 

If you’re a foodie, consider visiting Lyon for a gastronomy tour before venturing out into the French countryside and the towns of Savoy, Annecy, and Chamonix for a taste of rural France and fine dining. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy along the way including hiking in the French Alps and sailing across alpine lakes.

For more ideas and inspiration, browse through our 10-day France tours and trips.

Located in the western part of France, Nantes is a dynamic city.
Nantes is famous for its stunning scenery and numerous galleries and castles

With two weeks to explore France, you can decide whether you want to focus on one area and do it well, or cover plenty of ground. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, consider setting up base camp in the French Alps and enjoying a long walking holiday — you could even take a day trip to Switzerland or Italy!

Alternatively, explore Normandy, Brittany, and the Loire Valley in a circular loop. Visit D-Day beaches (including Omaha Beach), explore the rugged coastline of Brittany and visit UNESCO listed castles and heritage sites in the Loire region. You could always add a day or two in Paris at the beginning or end of this trip to soak up even more culture.

Western France is also a great region to explore over two weeks and Paris, Normandy, Bordeaux and the Dordogne can all be covered in this time frame. A particularly fun activity is canoeing or kayaking down the Dordogne River in the height of summer.

Browse through our 2-week France itineraries for more tour options.

France in 3 weeks

With three weeks to spare in France, you’re practically a local and the list of things to see, activities to enjoy, and destinations to visit is blown wide open. Choose between taking a mega-trip covering multiple regions, or hone in on your favorite area and explore every inch of it. 

If you’re itching to cover as much ground as possible, then the ultimate three-week French itinerary takes you around the country's borders on a circular trip covering Paris, Versailles, Normandy, Loire, Dordogne, Carcassonne, Provence, Riviera, Burgundy, Chamonix, and Alsace. You’ll visit the Bayeux tapestry, tour D-Day’s American Cemetery, explore Mont St-Michel, spend the night in Amboise, shop at the Sarlat market, and soak up the bright lights of Nice (to name just a few destinations!). End your trip sightseeing in Paris.

Rising above 4,808 m, Mont Blanc is the tallest mountain in the Alps.
Experience a mix of landscapes, from alpine fields to snowy peaks, on a Mont Blanc trek

Alternatively, take one of the above-suggested itineraries, and extend your trip to include a visit to Cannes, Montpellier, and Toulouse for the ultimate taste of France’s opulent neighborhoods. Or why not extend your Mont Blanc tour with a trip to Morzine, a destination popular with skiers and mountain bikers alike?

Planning a trip to France?

If you’re ready to personalize our France itineraries, get in touch with one of our travel experts in France for a customized trip. If you’d like to book a package trip or join a group, check out our tours in France.

Published by Lisa Hopp, updated on December 28, 2021

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Plan a trip to FranceWe offer different tour types. You can also chat with a local travel specialist if you want a customized tour to France.
  • Simon H.
    Simon H.Travel Expert in France
  • Kate Politi
    Kate PolitiTravel Expert in France & Greece
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