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France Itinerary

See the very best of France with this beautiful itinerary. Kick off your trip in Paris and let the train carry you down to the sunny Mediterranean, exploring hillside vineyards and endless lavender fields along the way.

Itinerary in short

 

Click here or on the map to view this route in our Trip Planner.

Cities visited in this trip:

 

For this itinerary we recommend:

  • Interrail Pass: France Pass
  • Travel days: 8 days within 1 month

Train seat reservations

Most of the high-speed trains in France, like the TGV and some InterCités, require reservations. These reservations are not included in your Interrail Pass. Make sure to book your trains well in advance, or travel by regional trains to avoid reservations altogether.

 

More about reservations in France →

Paris, France

The famous city of love will charm you every step of the way. Walk underneath the Eiffel Tower and have a glass of wine on the banks of the Seine. Visit the art district of Montmartre, where famous painters like Picasso, Dalí, and Van Gogh used to work. Here you'll also find the pristine white Sacré-Coeur Basilica, the second most famous church in Paris after the hunchback's hideout - the Notre Dame

The city is also a haven for culture vultures, who could spend days exploring the wonderful collection of the Louvre museum. For a fancy touch to your trip, go shopping on the Champs Élysées by day and visit the magnificent Paris Opera by night.

Go for a drink in the charming Quartier Latin, Paris' student district.
View of Montmartre, Paris

From Paris to Versailles

Travel time:

0h12m

Transfer:

0

  • Paris, France

    Gare Montparnasse

  • 0h 12m
  • Versailles, France

    Versailles-Chantiers

Versailles, France

The magnificent Palace of Versailles is a breathtaking symbol of splendour and flamboyance. It has served as the royal palace for two centuries right up to the French Revolution. Take a stroll around the Versailles Gardens to follow in the footsteps of Louis XIV, the infamous Sun King.

Inside the palace, you’ll find extravagance in every room. Don’t miss out on the Royal Apartments and the fabulous Mirror Hall (Galerie des Glaces). Visit the Hall of the Battles (Galerie des Batailles) to see France’s military history in paintings and in sculptures.

The palace of Versailles

From Paris to Mont St. Michel

Travel time:

3h6m

Transfer:

1

Reservation needed:

  • Paris, France

    Gare Montparnasse

  • 2h 19m

    Reservation required

  • Rennes, France

    Gare de Rennes

  • 0h 47m
  • Mont St. Michel, France

    Mont St. Michel

Mont Saint-Michel, France

The tiny island of Mont Saint-Michel can be found just off the coast of Normandy. It is dominated by the monastery from which it draws its name and was an important place of pilgrimage in medieval times. These days, Mont Saint-Michel is one of the major tourist attractions in France.

For centuries, you could only reach the island when the tide was low, but these days a bridge connects the town to the mainland. Take a regional train from Rennes to get to Mont Saint-Michel.

Watch the tide rise around Mont Saint-Michel and be amazed by the speed of it.
Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy

From Mont St. Michel to Bordeaux

Travel time:

6h5m

Transfer:

2

  • Mont St. Michel, France

    Mont St. Michel

  • 0h 47m
  • Rennes, France

    Gare de Rennes

  • 1h 15m
  • Nantes, France

    Gare de Nantes

  • 4h 3m
  • Bordeaux, France

    Gare de Bordeaux-St. Jean

Bordeaux, France

The port city of Bordeaux is France’s uncontested wine capital. You’ll find many luscious vineyards and charming chateaux in the region, which have been producing wine since Roman times. If you're interested in a wine tour, by foot or by bike, beautiful Bordeaux is the perfect place for it!

The city itself is rich in architectural highlights from all periods. Climb to the top of the bell tower next to Bordeaux Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-André) for a stunning view of the city. In the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux you can find a large collection of masterpieces by famous European painters.

Visit the Marché des Capucins on a Saturday morning for some fresh oysters and white wine.
Vineyards in the Bordeaux region

From Bordeaux to Carcassonne

Travel time:

2h58m

Transfer:

0

Reservation needed:

  • Bordeaux, France

    Gare de Bordeaux-St. Jean

  • 2h 58m

    Reservation required

  • Carcassonne, France

    Gare de Carcassonne

Carcassonne, France

On your way to the sunny Mediterranean, hop off the train in Carcassonne for a sight you'll never forget. The town's medieval citadel will make you believe you’ve stepped out of a time machine.

Take a walk through history and visit the Chateau Comtal and the gothic Basilica of Saint-Nazaire. Stand in front of the impressive Narbonne Gate where the centuries look down upon you.

The medieval fortress of Carcassonne

The medieval fortress of Carcassonne

From Carcassonne to Nice

Travel time:

5h48m

Transfer:

1

Reservation needed:

2x

  • Carcassonne, France

    Gare de Carcassonne

  • 3h 11m

    Reservation required

  • Marseille, France

    Gare de Marseille-Saint-Charles

  • 2h 37m

    Reservation required

  • Nice, France

    Nice-Ville

Nice, France

The city of Nice is located on the Mediterranean coast near the Italian border. It’s one of the most popular tourist cities in France, second only to Paris. Enjoy the gentle sea breeze on the Promenade des Anglais and work on your tan on Nice’s beautiful beaches.

Only twenty minutes away from Nice you’ll find the tiny city-state of Monaco. Take a daytrip there to see the yachts in the marina and the Lamborghinis in the streets. If you’re feeling lucky, you can place a bet at the famous Monte Carlo casino.

Visit one of Nice’s museums to see the city and its beautiful surroundings captured in paintings.

The city of Nice on the French Riviera

The city of Nice on the French Riviera

From Nice to Lyon

Travel time:

3h58m

Transfer:

1

Reservation needed:

2x

  • Nice, France

    Nice-Ville

  • 2h 53m

    Reservation required

  • Avignon, France

    Gare d’Avignon Centre

  • 1h 5m

    Reservation required

  • Lyon, France

    Lyon Part-Dieu

Lyon, France

If you’re making your way back to Paris, the city of Lyon is the perfect stopover. For centuries now, Lyon has been known as the gastronomical capital of France. Go to a bouchon, a typical Lyonnais restaurant, to taste authentic local cuisine and have a glass of Beaujolais wine.

In Lyon's bustling center, you’ll find plenty of interesting sights. Have a look inside the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière and observe the city from the top of Fourviere hill. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, visit the Parc de la Tete d’Or, one of the most beautiful parks in France.

History lovers should check out the Roman ruins near the Basilica, as well as the Gallo-Roman museum.
View of Lyon from Fourviere hill

Experience France with the Interrail France Pass!