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A trip to France : Paris and the French Riviera

Updated: Mar 19, 2021

You wish to travel to France and you don't know where to start ?

Well it depends on how many days you plan to spend in France and if you come for the first time there.

If you are lucky and can plan a 15 days holidays to France, here are my best tips to visit the essential places during your trip.

Paris is of course a city you should see at least once in your life.

Romantic getaway, artistic place, food lover meeting point, you will always find something you love to connect you to Paris.

I am not really a good judge since I live in the south of France, but French Riviera definitely worths the trip ! Feel the mild climate, sense the touch of the artists who found here what they did not have in Paris, see the beauty of the mediterranean coast, breathe in the villages around the coast,...

Let's discover it together !

Discover the French Touch with Paris

Day 1 : Start your trip with Montmartre, a so called village , in Paris

Get to the top of the hill to discover the Sacré

Coeur and the cosy Place du Tertre

You will see famous places where artists use to meet, like Au Lapin Agile, and Le Moulin de la Galette. Follow your day with Pigalle and an evening to Le Moulin Rouge.

Day 2 : Choose the must see places with the Eiffel Tower and the Triumphal Arch

You will feel tiny when reaching the big feet of the Iron Lady. Have a walk in the parks in the surroundings and go toward the triumphal arch and the Champs Elysées to enjoy a little bit shopping.

Credit photos : Les petits voyages d'Azur

Day 3 : A whole day is not enough to discover the Louvres Museum. Choose the part which will be the most interesting to you (this may be the hardest to do !), walk through beautiful sculptures and paintings. Do not forget to take pictures in front of the glass pyramide and the Buren columns. Spend the rest of your day in the historical area Le Marais, discover place des Vosges and le marché des enfants rouges, eldest market in Paris with wonderful small shops and restaurants.

Day 4 : Take your time to discover Notre Dame de Paris on l'Ile de la Cité. Since the fire in April 2019, the cathedral is closed but you can walk around. The Sainte Chapelle and the Conciergerie (where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned) are not very far. Saint Germain des Prés and St Michel are so lively to discover, with the books shops near the Seine, the music and street shows everywhere.

Day 5 : Don't miss Versailles with its beautiful gardens. Take a day trip to get there with guided tour, and you will feel the power of the the French Kingdom in the 18th century.

If you have more days in the surroundings, take advantage of this moment for a day trip to Normandy or to the Loire Valley.

Get easily to the French Riviera by train or by plane to reach Nice.

Make the most of your trip to French Riviera

Now that you know Paris and learnt about the French way of life, discover another wonderful region of France : the French Riviera.

You will learn here a new way of living with the sea at the background.

Bright colors, mild climate, inspiration for many artists, the French Riviera is a perfect place to continue your trip.

Day 1 and 2 : Discover Nice, main city on the French Riviera.

Have a walk along the Promenade des Anglais, smell the beautiful flowers on the Cours Saleya, eat a pan bagnat in the old town and enjoy the life in the south of France.

For more information about what to see in Nice, check my blog The best things to do in Nice

Day 3 : Drive until the Italian border to Menton, where one says it feels good to live. Sweet colors of orange and yellow (same colors of oranges and lemons, which is why the city is well known with the festival in February).

Day 4 : Enjoy the corniche roads of the French Riviera and have a wonderful point of view from the village of Eze. You will get lost in this maze of streets and discover nice plants of the Mediterranean Garden, high above the coast. Why not then spending the rest of the day to Villefranche sur Mer and Saint Jean Cap Ferrat ? These places are just near by each other. Visit the house from the Belle Epoque : Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, and spend the evening in Villefranche, where one says it has the most beautiful bay of the French Riviera (of course each place will claim for this mention 😁)

Day 5 : Follow the Golden Corniche with its red rocks to reach Saint Tropez. The most famous village in the world will surprise you with its old town and hidden squares, its traditions and its particular history. Don't miss Pampelonne Beach , 7 miles of soft sand in a natural and protected place.

Credit photos : Les petits voyages d'Azur

If you can stay more days, don't miss Monaco, this little state with its princely palace and the beautiful aquarium standing on a rock.

Or enjoy a journey to the Verdon Canyon, so incredible and offering many possibilities of discovering it with paddle, canoe or bungee jumping !

Credit photo : Les petits voyages d'Azur

With this planning travel, you can go all year round.

If you are looking for particular moments, especially on the French Riviera, don't miss the Carnaval of Nice or the lemon Festival in Menton, both in February. Les Voiles de Saint Tropez regatta in October, many jazz festivals in summer,...

With these two regions to discover in France, you will see lots of scenery.

The tremendous and cultural life of Paris

The sweetness and brightness of the French Riviera

I chose to live here and do not regret it. However, Paris still gives me the shiver and I am happy to get back there as often as I can.

What about you ? Any favorite place ?

If you are looking for a tailor made trip to France with a local agency, contact me !

A bientôt !

Photos credit : Frederique Chagnon Les petits voyages d'Azur


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