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Deauville beach

How to Spend One Week in France (7 Itinerary Ideas)

Normandy France_IMG_5013
Deauville beach

How to Spend One Week in France (7 Itinerary Ideas)

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France – the land of fine food and finer wines! Want to go on a girls’ trip or a solo trip to France? Well, you can spend one week in France in the best way possible if you plan it in the right way. Give the wanderlust in you some satisfaction by visiting this country at least once. You will surely have an unforgettable trip for a week there. If you are confused about where to visit and what to do on a week-long trip to France, then here are the perfect itinerary options for you to choose from.

Ok, let’s talk about how to spend one week in France! If you’re heading to France this year, these 7 itineraries will help you plan the perfect trip to France. With just 7 days, you’ll have to narrow it down to just one or two regions in this expansive, beautiful country. I’m here to help you do just that! 

These are the best 7-day French itineraries to consider for your week-long trip to France!

Glamorous French Riviera: Côte d’Azur

The Cote d’Azur is a glamorous region of France and the most popular area to explore for Americans visiting France. The French Riviera refers to the Mediterranean coastline located in the southeastern part of France. It has some amazing places that you can visit on your 1-week trip to France. This weeklong Riviera trip is perfect for anyone who wants to take a glamorous French vacation.

Day 1: Train to Nice

Take a train to reach Nice on the first day. Once you arrive, you can have some breakfast or early lunch in one of the best bakeries of Nice. This place has a lot of amazing things to see. First of all, you have to start with a walk on the Promenade des Anglais. It offers a beautiful and stunning view of the Mediterranean beach. Besides that, you can also visit Castle Hill, Cathedral Saint-Nicolas, and the Marc Chagall Museum.

Nice France one week travel ideas

Day 2 & 3: Antibes

The next day, you have to head straight to Antibes which is a lovely place enriched with beautiful architecture and museum collections. Here you will spend two days as there are a lot of things to explore. When you are in Antibes, you have to walk through its old town. You will love it as there are plenty of sites to cover. You must also explore the Musée Picasso in Chateau Grimaldi. Make sure to visit the Cap d’Antibes and the open-air markets.

Day 4: Saint Paul de Vence

On the fourth day, visit the stunning and beautiful Saint Paul de Vence. It is a delightful town which is located on a hill and it provides some stunning views. If you love greenery and scenic beauty, then you need to visit this place.

Day 5 & 6: Cannes

Now, it is time for you to visit the most glamorous and luxurious city – Cannes. It is quite famous for its glitz and glamor. You must have heard of the famous Cannes Film Festival. This is a resort town on the French Riviera where you can visit its top attractions – Marche Forville, Iles de Lerins, Le Suquet, and La Croisette.

Day 7: Saint Tropez

The last day of your one week in France brings you to one of the most famous waterfronts of the French Riviera – Saint Tropez. Start your day with a walk around the Old Port (Vieux Port) followed by exploring the beautiful coasts and beaches and a stroll around La Ponche. You can also climb to the Old Citadel for enjoying a beautiful panoramic view.

French Wine Country: Basque Country 

If you love French wine and cheese, then you must visit the Bordeaux region and Basque Country of France! Here is a sample 1-week itinerary for visiting the French Basque Country. Want to include a part of Spain in your 1 week trip to France? Well, here is the perfect itinerary for you:

Day 1: Train to Bordeaux

You can find many high-speed trains to Bordeaux. On the first day one, you can start by visiting the notable Gothic Cathedrale Saint-Andre. There you can go to Place de la Bourse, Musee du Vin et du Negoce, The Water Mirror and La Cite du Vin.

Porte Cailhau Bordeaux

Day 2 and 3: Arcachon

Head towards Arcachon on the next day and you can spend two days here. This place is famous for oyster harvesting and some stunning views. Make sure to visit La Dune du Pyla which is the highest and longest sand dune in Europe. Besides that, you can visit Le Quartier de La Ville, Bassin d’Arcachon and Observatoire Sainte-Cecile.

Day 4 and 5: Biarritz

Biarritz is an elegant and beautiful seaside town located on the southwestern coast of France. There are a lot of things to do and see in this elegant city. You can spend two days here to enjoy the beauty and essence of Biarritz to the fullest. Some of the top-rated places to visit are – Biarritz Aquarium, Grande Plage, Biarritz Lighthouse, Plage du Miramar and Miremont Tearoom and Port des Pecheurs.

Day 6: Saint-Jean-de-Luz

On day six, head toward the fishing town named Saint-Jean-de-Luz. When you are in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, you must walk along the big beach’ on the promenade. Also, try out the regional special Basque foods.

Day 7: San Sébastian, Spain

End your one-week trip by visiting San Sebastián in Spain. You can witness the beautiful coastal lines with a picturesque Old Town. Don’t forget to visit the San Telmo Museum along with Urgull and the beach of La Concha.

French Countryside: Luberon Valley

Another popular French destination is the lavender fields of the Luberon Valley. There are dozens of charming small French towns in the countryside of Provence to explore. The Luberon Valley is the perfect French region to explore if you love nature. 

The Luberon Valley is one of the most beautiful places that you can explore in France. It is made up of 3 major mountain ranges and to explore this area completely, you will need this one-week itinerary:

Day 1: Train to Avignon

Start your journey from Avignon which is a beautiful region located on the Rhone River. Take a train there and spend your day one exploring Avignon. Visit the stunning Pont D’Avignon, Palais des Papes and Rue des Teinturiers.

Day 2 and 3: Gordes

From Avignon, travel to the beautiful French commune Gordes. This is one of the most beautiful hilltop villages in Provence. You will love the cobblestone paths, winding streets, and picturesque views. There are a lot of things to visit in Gordes such as viissit the art galleries, tour the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Senanque, Le Sentier and explore the Vieille Ville de Gordes.

Day 4 and 5: L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

On the fourth day, head to another beautiful town named L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Here you can spend 2 days exploring the beautiful antique stores and markets. You can also explore the famous places here like Fondation Villa Datris, Partage des Eaux and Collegiale Notre Dame des Anges.

Day 6 and 7: Aix-en-Provence

Spend the last two days of your week in France exploring Aix-en-Provence. It is a beautiful town that overlooks the Arc River. It is a perfect place where you can do different things as well as spend a laid-back vacation. Some of the important places to visit are Aix Cathedral, Cours Mirabeau, Montagne Sainte-Victoire, Atelier Cezanne and Musee Granet.

Chateau Life: Loire Valley

If you love historical architecture, then you must visit the Loire Valley of France. Being popular for its exquisite wines, Loire Valley is definitely a place worth exploring. If you are planning to spend a week at Loire Valley, here is a 1-week itinerary for the Loire:

Day 1 to 3: Train to Tours

Start your trip from Tours – the western Loire. You can take a train to the western Loire and stay there for about three days. There are a lot of things to do in the vicinity of Tours. Start by visiting the Tours Cathedral. Besides that, you can visit Musée du Compagnonnage, Place Plumereau, Chathedrale Saint-Gatien, and the Basilique Saint Martin. The best reason to go to Tours, however, is for the amazing French chateaux at your feet in the region! Some of the most magnificent and impressive French castles are just a 20-minute drive away.

Day 4 and 5: La Rochelle

On the fourth day, head to the beautiful coastal city of La Rochelle which is located in southwestern France. Here you will spend the fourth and fifth day. Start by visiting the beautiful La Rochelle Aquarium followed by a tour of the Lantern Tower of La Rochelle. You can visit the Musee Maritime de La Rochelle the next day. You will love the lively vibe of this city with sparkling seas and great seafood.

Old Harbor, Vieux Port, La Rochelle France

Day 6 and 7: Ile de Ré

Keep the last two days of your one-week trip to France for a laid-back and relaxing time on the beautiful island named Ile de Ré. It is located on the west coast of France which is quite famous for its beaches, salt marshes, and vineyards. You can witness the authentic French villages here. You can visit the Conche of Whales, Phare des Baleines and Ernest Cognacq Museum while you are in Ile de Ré. Don’t forget to visit the beaches here and try out the various seafood options.

French History: Bretagne and Normandy

History lovers will be happy to spend a week in the north of France exploring the regions of Bretagne and Normandy. These are the northern and northwestern regions of France. You can have a beautiful one-week trip to Bretagne and Normandy following this itinerary:

Day 1: Train to Le Havre

Start your trip from Le Havre which is one of the major ports in Normandy. Take a train to Le Havre and you can enjoy the day in the Hanging Gardens. Also, do not forget to visit St Joseph’s Church and Andre Malraux Museum of Modern Art.

Day 2: Honfleur

The next day, you can go to the beautiful city of Honfleur. There are some great tourist attractions that you can visit. These are – Le Vieux Bassin, Saint Catherine’s Church, and Notre-Dame de grace. Don’t forget to visit the famous Normandy Bridge.

Day 3: Deauville

On the third day, head to the seaside resort of France. It is one of the posh and upscale holiday destinations that is quite popular for its horse races, grand casinos, film festivals and golf course. While you are in Deauville, make sure to visit Villa Strassburger, Deauville Beach, and Casino Barriere Deauville.

Normandy France_IMG_5013
Deauville beach

Day 4: Mont Saint-Michel

From Deauville, start your journey to Mont Saint-Michel on the fourth day. It is a beautiful tidal island located in Normandy. Some of the best things to visit here are – Baie du Mont St Michel, Abbaye du Mont Saint-Michel, and more.

Day 5: Saint-Malo

This is a serene and beautiful port city. With tall granite walls surrounding the old town and some amazing interesting spots to visit, this place can offer a lot. Make sure to visit Grand Be, Grand Aquarium Saint-Malo, and Fort National.

Day 6 and 7: Brest

End your one week in France trip by visiting the beautiful port city of Brest located in Brittany. It has a rich culture and history of maritime. You can visit the Musee National de la Marine museum to know more about their marine history. You can also visit Musee des Beaux Arts de Brest for some great exhibitions. You can take two days to explore this beautiful city.

Christmas in France: Alsace

One of the best French itineraries for one week, you should explore the fabulous region of Alsace in eastern France. Among other things, Alsace is well-loved for its picturesque villages, Christmas markets, and traditional wines.

There is an abundance of things to do when in France, but one of the most distinctive itineraries is coming up with a trip that hits some of the regions famous for their vibrant colors and history. One such region includes Alsace.

Alsace is a delightful eastern region recognized for its dramatic landscapes, impeccable food and wine, and nice white-washed villages. Strasbourg is the capital city of this eclectic region, rich in French-German heritage that straddles the Rhine River. It’s also where you’ll find one of France’s best gothic cathedrals. France happens to be home to numerous ancient cathedrals if you’re curious!

Strasbourg, the capital of the Grand Est region, is a beautiful and dynamic city well worth visiting during your one week in France. Strasbourg’s Old Town is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The famous Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the best Gothic cathedrals in France you can admire.

Colmar is a nearby city worth exploring at Christmastime. 

Want to explore a historical region of France? Then you need to visit Alsace. Here is the one-week itinerary that you can follow for exploring this region:

Day 1: Reims

To start your one-week trip to France, you have to begin with Reims. It is actually the unofficial capital of Champagne which is a popular wine-growing region. When you are in Reims, you have to start exploring Our Lady of Reims Cathedral. After that, you can go to Tau which is located very near to the Cathedral. You can have your lunch in the city center as there are plenty of options followed by your visit to Reims Planetarium.

Day 2 to 4: Strasbourg

The next day, you should head to Strasbourg which is the capital city of Alsace. You have to spend your seconds, third and fourth day here. There are a lot of things in Strasbourg that you can explore. Some of the top attractions of this place are – Parc de l’Orangerie, La Petite France, Centre-ville de Strasbourg and Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg. If you have time, you can also visit Ponts Couverts and barrage Vauban too.

Day 5 to 7: Colmar

After that, you have to head towards Colmar and end the rest of the trip there. It is a beautiful town with a different vibe. You can witness the old town here with cobblestone streets. Things to enjoy here are – Little Venice, Maison Pfister, Eglise St-Martin and Marche Couvert. You can also visit their Musee Unterlinden too.

French Ski Adventure: The Alps

This weeklong trip is obviously seasonal! If you love skiing, then you should explore the French Alps for one week in winter.

Want to witness the beautiful mountain ranges more than the coastal areas of France? Then you can plan a one-week trip to French Alps. Here is the detailed itinerary:

Day 1: Train to Grenoble

Grenoble is one of the major French cities at the foot of the Alps. It’s a great place to start your trip! Start your journey from Grenoble and easily move through the Alps region of France. You can take train from Paris and arrive right between the Isere River and Drac River. Enjoy the cable car ride to get a panoramic view of this stunning destination. You can also visit Musée de Grenoble for some French history!

Day 2 and 3: Courchevel

If you want to enjoy skiing, then head to Courchevel which is the best ski resort in the French Alps. It is a beautiful place that remains snow-clad most of the time. You can visit Patinoire Olympique, Momentum Snowsports, Sweet Snowsports, and 3 Valley Snowboard School. You can also try skiing there if you want.

Day 4: Val-d’lsere

On the fourth day, you have to head towards Val-d’lsere which is another ski resort and is located near the border of Italy. If you are visiting in summer, do not miss cycling in the Col de l’lseran pass. You can also enjoy dining there with many restaurants and bars located nearby.

Day 5: Megève

Next day, you can visit another ski resort, Megève. Here you can enjoy a lot of amazing places like Mont d’Arbois Ski Areas, Le Chemin du Calvaire, Lac de Javen, Eglise Saint-Jean Baptiste and more.

Day 6 and 7: Chamonix

Keep the last two days of your one week in France Alps trip for Chamonix, a beautiful resort area which is located right at the junction of Italy, France, and Switzerland. Chamonix is known for its epic natural beauty. While you are in Chamonix, take a cable car to witness the surreal mountainous beauty of this place. Take the time to enjoy Mont Blanc, Aiguille, and Parc de Merlet.

Chamonix - best winter destinations in France

I hope you found my 7 ideas for a one-week trip to France useful! These 7 different options can suit different travelers’ needs for a trip to France based on what you want to do. France really has something for every type of traveler!

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