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Paris to Provence: The Perfect Week Itinerary

From the glittering Eiffel Tower to its world-renowned art museums, Michelin-starred restaurants to its history-laden streets, Paris is iconic. But the reality is that France’s capital doesn’t represent the entire country. Only several hours away by train, southern France boasts endless sunshine, stunning beaches and bustling nightlife. The areas of Paris and Provence vary immensely, but visiting both on your trip to France shows you some of the best patrimoine, or cultural heritage, the country has to offer. The journey from Paris to Provence is fairly simple. At French Side Travel, we’re sharing our perfect week itinerary from Paris to Provence.

Paris to Provence: The Perfect Week Itinerary

How far is Provence from Paris?

Not only is Paris worthy of endless exploration, but it’s also quite convenient. With three airports in the region of Paris and direct flights to multiple continents, Paris is easily accessible. In 2022, the Charles de Gaulle Airport welcomed nearly 60 million passengers, according to its data. When visiting France, Paris is the perfect place to begin given its renown and accessibility. 

Luckily, you can also easily travel to the rest of France from Paris. Provence is a 3-hour train ride from Paris. From Paris’ Gare de Lyon to Marseille’s station, you can arrive in about 3.5 hours by TGV, or high-speed train. You can also hop off at Avignon or Aix-en-Provence, which would make the trip closer to three hours. The simplicity of multiple direct trains as well as the mere three hours make Provence and Paris the perfect destinations for your trip to France.

Paris itinerary

For the first leg of your Paris to Provence trip, you can bask in the rich Parisian culture. Whether you prefer taking a guided tour of its historical neighborhoods or simply sitting at one of its café terrasses, the city is yours. French Side Travel would be happy to organize your luxury itinerary at your pace. Here are some of our favorite activities in Paris. 

orsay museum paris

Stroll through one of Paris’ famed art museums 

With more than 100 museums in Paris, the city is especially known for its art scene. You simply cannot miss seeing the Louvre’s glass pyramid as well as its masterpieces such as da Vinci’s The Mona Lisa and Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People. If you’ve already visited the Louvre or simply want to delve deeper, then the Musée d’Orsay is calling your name. Be sure to admire Monet’s impressionist masterpieces and Degas’ ballet dancer statue.

Take a private painting class in Montmartre

On the outskirts of Paris lies the famed neighborhood of Montmartre, home to the Moulin Rouge and a vibrant arts community. After admiring Paris’ art museums, we’ll hand you the brush. We’ll organize a private painting class in this historic area with a French artist. 

Try your hand at French pâtisserie

Millefeuille, éclair, chouquette, brioche, Paris-Brest… You might as well need a dictionary for all the different French pastries and bakery items that exist. During your trip to Paris, we’ll organize a baking class led by a French chef. During your private desserts workshop, you’ll learn how to make chocolate soufflé, crème brûlée and crêpes Suzette. We won’t judge if you’re tempted to lick the bowl!

Where to Stay During Your Paris to Provence Trip: Paris

Bel Ami

Located in the cush neighborhood of Saint-Germain-de-Près, Bel Ami boasts five stars and a short walk to the Louvre. Decorated by Pascal Allaman, the luxurious rooms will have you drooling. The walls are decorated with art by Florence Bamberger, Manuel Merida, and Ced Vernay. The apartment with terrace suites, with its kitchenette and relaxing ambiance, is an oasis for weary travelers. Frequented by names such as Brigitte Bardot and Yves Saint Laurent, Café de Flore also is just a stone’s throw away from Bel Ami.

Provence Itinerary

After spending several days in Paris, you might find it difficult to part ways. But we promise that, albeit different from France’s capital, the region of Provence will charm you. The cool Mediterranean waves and fragrant lavender fields are certain to enchant, and our team can provide a tailor-made itinerary for your Paris to Provence trip.

Wander the lavender fields

Postcards just don’t do the lavender fields justice; see them up close and personal with French Side Travel. We’ll organize a private tour of a lavender distillery in southern France followed by a gourmet picnic. You’ll learn about lavender harvest and can taste lavender sorbet and a lavender beverage.

Bask in the sun on a private boat ride

Unlike rainy Paris, Provence is known and celebrated for its sunshine. One of the best ways to enjoy this golden light is from the sea. We’ll organize a private boat tour so that you and your loved ones can explore la Côte Bleue and Frioul islands. You’ll head northwest of Marseille to see Château d’If, which inspired Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, and Estaque, a neighborhood loved by artists including Cézanne. 

Hike through the calanques

Provence is also known for its calanques, or rocky inlets. These massive rock formations juxtapose the deep blue sea and make for the perfect hike. The Calanques National Park spills into several towns, but we recommend hiking through the Calanque de Port-Miou in Cassis. About an hour outside of Marseille, the village of Cassis promises a darling downtown and access to the stunning calanques.

Where to Stay During Your Paris to Provence Trip: Provence

Les Bords de Mer

Located at the feet of the Mediterranean Sea and on Marseille’s corniche, or its boulevard lining the sea, Les Bords de Mer promises a luxurious escape. Once a waterside villa in the 1930s, this retreat has been reimagined as a contemporary 4-Star boutique hotel. All of its 19 rooms boast sea views, and light pours in through its massive windows. 

If you can’t decide between the effervescence of Paris or the idyllic charm of Provence, we’re here to tell you there’s no need. With the high-speed train from Paris to Provence, you can enjoy the bustling metropolis as well as the sun-filled douceur of the south. Be inspired by some of our top tours: A Weekend in Wonderful Provence, Exclusive Private Culinary Tour of Paris and An unforgettable Fashion and Art Trip to the City of Light. We’re ready to help you plan the trip of a lifetime.

Need some help planning your trip?

Top France Travel Destinations in 2023

With the arrival of 2023, now is the time to start thinking about and planning a trip to France. Our travel designers have already been hard at work planning fabulous tailor-made trips throughout France for this year. We’re sharing some of the top France travel destinations in 2023 that we hope will inspire you. Read on to discover more about Normandy, Paris, the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, the South of France and more.

Top France Travel Destinations in 2023


top france travel destination 2022 normandy honfleur

Not far from Paris, there’s a reason why Normandy is consistently a top France travel destination. All along the coast visitors can enjoy wonderful seafood in picturesque seaside towns. The interior of the region boasts fertile green pastures yielding delicious creamy cheeses, crisp ciders, and fiery Calvados apple brandy.

Travelers won’t want to miss the natural beauty of the dramatic cliffs and wild seaside, specifically the striking Étretat, charming towns by the water like Honfleur and Deauville, the emblematic Mont Saint-Michel, and the powerful D-Day landing beaches and memorials. On the way to or from Paris, a stop at Claude Monet’s Gardens in Giverny are always a favorite.


paris café

It’s hard to come to France and not make a stop in Paris. This bustling hub of art and culture is filled with iconic landmarks that include the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Whether it’s your first or 20th trip, you’ll want to spend at least a day wandering around the picturesque streets. Part of the charm of Paris is stopping along the way at quaint cafés and charming boutiques. Visit the masterpieces in the Musée du Louvre and Musée d’Orsay and don’t miss an interactive sound and light show at the Atelier des Lumières. An all-time favorite Paris activity is taking a boat ride down the Seine after the sun sets to take in the twinkling Eiffel Tower. Afterwards, you’ll truly understand why it’s called the City of Light!

There’s something for everyone in Paris, whether you’re interested in history, fashion, cooking, art, food and wine, architecture, art, and beyond!

pavillon faubourg saint germain

New Hotel Opening in Paris: Pavillon Faubourg Saint Germain

This newly renovated 5-star hotel, formerly a favorite place for artists in the 20th century, welcomes you with its warm and comfortable ambiance. Backed by strong history yet still modern, this is a perfect hotel for you to discover the city of light.

The rooms are elegantly designed in harmony with modernity. They are spacious, luxurious and perfectly equipped. Indulge in absolute relaxation and unwind in the lounge bar nestled near the beautiful stone fireplace. The hotel’s attached restaurant serves delicious brasserie dishes made from fresh and seasonal produce. Savor a plethora of culinary delights! Experience the ultimate in well-being and forget the hustle and bustle of the city with the wide range of spa services.

Loire Valley

château de villandry

For fabulous French castles, stunning scenery, and delicious wines don’t miss the Garden of France, located just a couple hours drive southwest of Paris. This area was a battleground during the Hundred Years War before becoming a retreat for French royalty in the 15th and 16th centuries. Châteaux (castles) span the entire region. Chenonceau, Chambord, and Amboise are the first châteaux that most visitors see, but many others are worthwhile (you can see French Side Travel’s Top 10 Loire Valley Châteaux here). Having access to a car is a must in this region. We recommend letting an expert driver/guide show you the ins and outs of the Loire Valley.

relais de chambord hotel

A Unique Stay in the Loire Valley: Relais de Chambord

Located in Chambord, a four minute walk from the château, this refined 4-star boutique hotel designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte is situated in an unrivaled location. With captivating views around almost every turn, you’ll get to know each spire of the castle’s famous rooftop skyline.

The stylish rooms are full of natural light. Every room is unique, so you will find each one slightly different in a charming and individual way. Some rooms offer a view of the Château de Chambord, while others overlook the Cosson River, Place Saint-Louis or the forest.


top france travel destination 2022 bordeaux arcachon

While it’s best-known for its fine wine, charming Bordeaux has a lot to offer beyond grapes and wine tastings. Its architecture, with spacious avenues and alluring classical facades, begs exploring. The city is low-key and friendly, with a fabulous food scene and great shopping. Try the canelés, a small rum and vanilla-flavored pastry with a caramel crust.

Wine-aficionados will come here to visit the world-famous châteaux in the countryside. Be sure to visit the tranquil Arcachon Bay, which emerged as a luxury retreat for Bordeaux’s rich in the 19th century. The elegant Belle Époque villas, rejuvenating spas, and expansive golden sandy beaches make it a favorite of the French. The largest sand dune in Europe, the Dune de Pilat, is an impressive site with even better views from the top. You can even visit an oyster farm to sample some of the best oysters in France!


top france travel destination 2022 provence

Provence of course makes the list of top travel destination in France for 2023. It oozes charm that most people only dream about. Nestled between sea and mountains, its striking colors range from azure sky to bright pastel facades and deep purple lavender fields to vibrant yellow sunflowers. In the summer cicadas melodically buzz in the background. Wine lovers can’t miss the powerful Côtes-du-Rhône reds and the refreshing Coteaux-d’Aix-en-Provence rosés. History buffs should make time to explore the exceptional Roman ruins and the Gothic Palais des Papes. Enjoy the relaxed pace of life with great weather, millennia of history, and a fantastic art scene.

villa la coste provence

Luxury, Art and Architecture in Provence: Villa La Coste

This Palace hotel set in the midst of the Provençal landscape, and in the heart of a biodynamic vineyard, is an international destination for art, architecture and natural beauty.

The property features 28 Villa Suites, surrounded by gardens, herbs and flowers. Each opens onto a spacious terrace offering expansive views over vines and valley. The hotel’s contemporary architecture embraces the natural setting with an emphasis on local materials. The close-to-nature philosophy runs through in each of the four contrasting restaurants, all of which feature organic produce.

The spa with its clean lines, natural stones and light wood conveys contemporary elegance in keeping with the spirit of the property. 100% natural treatments feature regional ingredients: think oils from Provençal plants and flowers, mineral salts, clays and more.

While book at this hotel with French Side Travel, enjoy a free guided walking tour of Art and Architecture path and wine tasting.

Côte d’Azur

top france travel destination 2022 cote d'azur

Further east, the glittering French Riviera is a Mediterranean paradise. The Riviera marries glamour with old-world charm. Bask in the bright sun and soak in the superb turquoise waters. Indulge in the Rivera’s flair for luxury. Michelin-starred restaurants, yacht rides, legendary nightlife, and Monaco’s Monte Carlo Casino await. This sparkling coastline from Cassis to Menton has long drawn celebrities and the jet-set crowd. The Côte d’Azur is a wonderful place to visit anytime of year, you can see French Side Travel’s guide to visiting the Nice area in the winter here.

French Side Travel thanks you for your support in 2022 and sends our Meilleurs Voeux (best wishes) for 2023. We hope this list of the top France travel destinations in 2023 inspires future travel. We would love to help you plan a dream trip to France this year with a custom itinerary that includes stops in any or all of these destinations. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

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