France for 3 Weeks

France for 3 weeks.jpg

Road Trip Around France for 3 Weeks

We headed to France for 3 weeks!  The itinerary started in Paris in the north.  We moved down through the French Alps.  And enjoyed our time along the French Riviera.  Our final stop was a stay in French wine country.

Flying to Paris

Paris was often a gateway to Europe for us. When we travelled trans-Altantic, we often decided to splurge on business class. Booking longer and longer trips, we figured we could amortize the cost over a greater number of days! Flying business class let us avoid the lines, got us better food and drink and let me relax on the plane.

I was one of those people who can’t sleep on planes so at least I could stretch out and be comfortable. I could probably put David in cattle class behind me as he could sleep anywhere.  But it was more fun to enjoy a splurge with David.

It was a very enjoyable flight in business class. With about 2.5 hours sleep, I ended up much more rested than I normally was when crowded into a regular seat. Deplaning first, we were pleasantly surprised to find priority customs lines.  Given the very long lines, this was almost worth the price of the upgrade and a definite benefit of flying Air France!

We were in France for 3 weeks and what better place to start than Paris!

Paris Was Our Gateway To France

David and I both visited Paris on many occasions. This trip to Paris we planned to visit some new spots and a few hold favourites.

Paris - France for 3 Weeks.jpg

Paris.jpg

Paris - France for 3 Weeks.jpg

On our morning to leave Paris, we got up and were ready to depart at 9am for a long travel day. After walking around Paris for days, I was ready for the indulgence of a cab for the quick hop to the Gare du Lyon. But I was shamed into the “short” walk, hauling our bags. This would be the first of the wrong decisions for the day. It took us forever to find the Hertz desk (next door to the train station), get the car and depart the station. The cars were parked on lower level 4 in a parking garage giving me my first driving test with my rusty standard skills.

We debated on the two routes out of town (N6 or N19), finally starting on N6. It took us awhile to get turned in the right direction on N6 and a few u-turns to keep on the route. But then we second guessed ourselves when we saw a sign for N19. After another quick u-turn we headed off – to be defeated by “deviations” (for construction) which turned us back around the same intersection 3 times. When we realized we were going in the wrong direction we finally asked for directions to get back on track. It was now past noon and we were still trying to get out of Paris!

Annecy In The Mountains

We finally hit the autoroute and got headed in the direction of Annecy. While we had originally planned to stop in Lyon for lunch, our long delay getting out of Paris left us little time for sightseeing along the way.

Once we finally navigated into Annecy, we found it to be a delightful town full of picturesque canals set against the backdrop of the mountains.

Annecy Canals - France for 3 Weeks.jpg

Annecy Canals.jpg

We had only planned one day in Annecy on this trip to France for 3 weeks. We would certainly return to explore more of Annecy and this region close to the Swiss border.

Exploring the French Riviera From Nice 

Our trip from Annecy to Nice took us through the French Alps. It was a slow but scenic drive.

Driving the French Alps - France for 3 Weeks.jpg

Using Nice as our home base when in France for 3 weeks, we drove the hill hugging roads and explored the town of Nice and did several day trips along the Mediterranean coast both east (Monaco) and west (Cannes).

Nice on the French Riviera - France for 3 Weeks.jpg

Nice on the French Riviera.jpg

Historical Avignon

On our trip to Avignon, we detoured to return to the mountains and tested our driving skills through the Verdun Gorge.

Verdun Gorge - France for 3 Weeks.jpg

Verdun Gorge.jpg

Avignon was used as a home base for our trip to France for 3 weeks. We could explore the beauty of the old town including the Papal Palace and the iconic Pont d’Avignon.

Historical Avignon - France for 3 Weeks.jpg

Historical Avignon - France for 3 Weeks.jpg

Marseille was a long day trip from Avignon but we did manage to get all the way to the top of beautiful Notre Dame church.

Marseille.jpg

Marseille - France for 3 Weeks.jpg

Staying in French Wine Country

From Avignon we did a small detour not to miss the famed Pont du Gard. This well preserved Roman aqueduct was quite amazing and a good setting for many dozen pictures.

France for 3 Weeks.jpg

On our way once again, we headed for the heart of the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region. We were lucky to be there at wine harvesting season. This was a part of France that I had visited many times and I enjoyed sharing the sights with David. This would close off our trip to France for 3 weeks!

France Wine Country.jpg

France Wine Country - France for 3 Weeks.jpg

A Great Visit To France For 3 Weeks

Our final travel day dawned cloudy and rainy. Perhaps a good way to finish our visit in France for 3 weeks.

The trip from Toulouse to Paris and home was largely uneventful. The on and off entertainment system tried our patience since it was a day flight and we weren’t trying to sleep. We did however finally finish the novels we started the day we left Toronto.

It was a quick trip home after we landed. During the flight, we used our tried and true method to counter jet lag.  So we were somewhat perky until 8pm. The first morning we were up 4ish.  But we settled back to Toronto time quite quickly.

Au revoir France! Until we return next time.

What was your road trip plan for France? Did we miss anything you would do in France for 3 weeks?

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About TravelAtWill 586 Articles
Travel blogger and photographer! Scuba diving, luxury cruising, chocoholic, sea and sunshine addicts, camera attached and just generally curious! Join us on our adventures!

28 Comments

    • Hi Lyn, Our favourite time to visit France is in September and early October. The weather is still warm, especially if you head to the south. If you are in wine region in late September, you will catch the harvest and the air is filled with the smell of fermenting grapes. We have also been in May when the weather starts to warm up. Linda

  1. Soooo much to see in France! We spent two weeks just in Paris and Nice, saving Avignon and Marseilles for another time. This summer, maybe Lyon and the Alps…but then there’s the whole rest of the world, too! Augh…

    • There is so much to see everywhere in Europe. I have been to France 6 times and there are still whole parts of the country unexplored! We loved our stop in Annecy in the Alps and travelling down the valley. Lyon is on our plans for a foodie adventure. But not this year. Will be interested in what you do in Lyon and the Alps! Happy travels, Linda

  2. I love the south of France and I just booked a trip back to the Cote d’Azur for later this year and using a small village near Menton as a base. I usually go to Nice/Monaco/Menton once a year, its one of my getaway places in Europe (its my luxury trip, I usually blow a lot of cash also, hence all my other trips are done on a budget he he). I also love the Provence area, only done it once and had an amazing time checking out all the history in Avignon, Pont du Gard, Orange, Nimes. This post brought back a lot of good memories, the only place on here I haven’t done is Verdon Gorge. That is on the list of french things to do. 🙂

    • Danik, I would love to have the confidence to book a trip to France for this year. We are waiting and seeing how vaccinations go here and in Europe. But I am sure wishing I was heading back to France soon. Linda

  3. What a wonderful itinerary! So many beautiful places to visit. Annecy is so pretty, but I found the Pont d’Avignon has the most spectacular view of all!

  4. This looks like an amazing trip, not like the regular one kinds. There is so much to explore, can we cover Paris in 2 days? Or do we need more days? Also, what are the pocket friendly staying options over there?

    • Ramya, Paris would be hard to cover in 2 days. You would need to prioritize the things you wanted to see. But you could certainly get a great taste test that will make you want to head back. I suspect that budget friendly options would take you out of the city centre. Maybe AirBnB would be an option if you can manage renting a room. But I have not looked at AirBnB yet. Linda

    • Heather, We loved all the spots we visited in France. Our biggest memory of Avignon in addition to the sights was getting lost several times trying to get into the city centre. Signs were not helpful. Much better when we could just walk! Linda

  5. Great post. Gosh I can’t wait to get out there again. We have discussed maybe spending several
    Months in France…I think our future travel will be longer stays in fewer countries. So much to see and do in France. Merci!

    • Laureen, A few months in France would be awesome. I agree that longer stays are probably in our future plans as well. And so many of the European countries are worthing of months of exploration. Hope you get to visit France for this long stay. Linda

  6. There is so much beauty in France! I’ve only made it to Paris myself (which I absolutely loved) but would love to explore more of it. Especially wine country 😉 And the town of Annecy is absolutely adorable!

  7. That is one road trip we would have wanted to make. We stayed one week in Nice, doing the Cannes-Monaco road trip, too. But you also got to see the Alps and then stay luxuriate in wine country!

    • Carol, We were so happy with the route we took down from Paris. Definitely saw some new parts of France in the mountains. But just a taste test to know we want to go back. Linda

  8. Sounds like a fabulous trip! Annecy is one of my favourite stops too, but I have actually only visited in winter, usually on route to the ski mountains. We are planning a similar trip when we are allowed to travel again, but will be in our motorhome so will definitely avoid Paris. Well done for negotiating the Paris road system! Did you use Google maps or a navigation system to guide you – or did you just go for it with a map?

    • Jane, A motorhome trip around France sounds delightful. In Paris we used both a GPS in the car and an offline map app. David is bilingual so the language was not a challenge. I suspect the road construction had the maps confused and the signs were not helpful for us. I would not be taking a motorhome into Paris for sure! Hope this trip happens for you when things open up. Linda

  9. Reading about you trip from before lockdowns was quite fun. I can’t wait until a three week cross Atlantic trip is safe again. Slow travel this year has been nice, but it’s been, well, slow! I hadn’t heard of Avignon before but it looks like a very pretty town. The Notre Dame church is absolutely stunning! I’m also impressed at how well the aqueducts have been preserved over the centuries. I’m also surprised to see such rocky landscapes.

    • Kevin, It has been great to look back at our travels to build our list of where we will go after lockdown. Since Europe seems high on the list, we knew that France would be on the list soon. Linda

    • Chelsea, We loved the variety of the sights we saw when we last visited France. But we know there is much more to see on a return trip. Hopefully we may soon be able to book it – if only for some time out. Linda

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