France Initiation Itinerary (23 Days)

This itinerary of our first visit to France together covered a three-week trip that can be split up into two main parts. The first part of the trip could pretty much be summed up as a week-long self-driving loop of a limited part of Northern France that started and ended with Paris and covered parts of Normandie. The second part of the trip covered two weeks of a much longer loop of Southern France that started and ended in Lyon. We relied on mass transit for the days spent touring Paris and Lyon as well as taking the TGV between the two cities. As you can see below, we visited quite a few waterfalls though we acknowledge that there are still gaping holes in our survey of the country, which we hope we can fill with a return trip.

Now since this itinerary did cover quite a bit of rural France, where we couldn't expect English to be spoken, we had to rely a bit more on having a working knowledge of the French language. In order to prepare for this, I used my time on the Metro reading language books and in the car listening to audio CDs (translated onto iPods) to become accustomed to the speech. Even if we couldn't keep a normal conversation going at regular speed, we knew enough to communicate basic needs as well as reading road signs and maps.

Day Overnight Activity
1-2 Paris, France
Mercure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel
Travel, Eiffel Tower
3 Paris, France
Mercure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel
Champs Elysee, Place de la Concorde, Jardin des Tuilleries, Notre Dame Cathedral, Eiffel Tower
4 Paris, France
Mercure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel
Chateau Versailles, St Chapelle Cathedral, Chinatown
5 Etretat, France
Hotel d'Angleterre
Car Rental Pickup, Etretat, Falaise d'Aval, Falaise d'Amont
6 Etretat, France
Hotel d'Angleterre
Falaise d'Aval, Manneporte, Waterfall at Etretat, Etretat
7 Mont Saint Michel, France
Auberge Saint Pierre
Le Mont Saint Michel (Abbey, Causeway)
8 Lyon, France
Mercure Lyon La Part Dieu
Car Rental Return, Travel, Car Rental Pickup, Vieille Ville de Lyon, Les Traboules, Hotel de Ville
9 Lyon, France
Mercure Lyon La Part Dieu
Cascade du Ray-Pic, Pont d'Arc, Les Traboules, Vieille Ville de Lyon
10 Mont Dore, France
Hotel les Charmettes
Cascade de Salins, Gimel Les Cascades, Grande Cascade du Mt Dore, Mont Dore
11 Saint Savin, France
Hotel Les Rochers
Pont d'Espagne, Saint Savin
12 Saint Savin, France
Hotel Les Rochers
Cascade de Gavarnie
13 Carcassonne, France
Best Western Le Donjon Carcassonne
Cascade de Gavarnie, Cascade d'Ars, La Cite de Carcassonne
14 Gordes, France
Le Mas des Etoiles
Ramparts of Carcassonne, Pont du Gard, Pope's Palace in Avignon, Abbaye Senanque, Gordes, Village of Bories
15 Gordes, France
Le Mas des Etoiles
Nice, Grand Corniche, Eze, Moyenne Corniche, Saut du Loup, Cascade de Courmes
16 Gordes, France
Le Mas des Etoiles
Rousillon, Gordes, Sillans La Cascade
17 Annecy, France
Hotel du Palais de l'Isle
Saut de la Pucelle, Cascade de Glandieu, Lac d'Annecy, Vieille Ville d'Annecy
18 Annecy, France
Hotel du Palais de l'Isle
Cascade d'Angon, Cascade de Seythenex, Seythenex Cave Tour, Vieille Ville d'Annecy
19 Yvoire, France
Le Pre de la Cure
Cascade d'Arpenaz, Mt Blanc View, Chamonix, Cascade de Berard, Yvoire
20 Prevessin-Moens, France
Residhome Appart Hotel Le Carre d'Or
Saut du Doubs
21 Prevessin-Moens, France
Residhome Appart Hotel Le Carre d'Or
Cascades du Herisson, Cascade de Flumen
22 Paris, France
All Seasons Paris Gare du Nord
Car Rental Return, Travel, La Fayette, Sacre Coeur
23 Home Travel



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