France is known for having a variety of different landscapes to experience within the same country. You can find everything from mountains and rivers, to forests and beaches – there’s no shortage of diversity in this one country. When you plan a trip to France, you’ll want to decide on the best regions and cities to visit to create the ultimate travel itinerary.
Read on to discover our suggested route. Plus, with Tour de France taking place this July and kicking off in Brussels, it’s the perfect way to tour the country and cheer on your favourite cyclists at the same time!
France’s third largest city is widely regarded as the gastronomic capital of the country, but it is not just for foodies. This bustling city presents a beautiful mixture of the Old Town and the growing metropolitan which can easily be toured by foot. The stunning structure of the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, sits in the heart of the Old Town. You will find the best view of the city from the Radisson Blu Hotel, Lyon, housed in the city’s landmark building Tour Part Dieu known for its pencil-like structure.
You can catch the Tour de France cyclists in Saint-Etienne, just an hour’s drive away - perfect for a detour during the day.
This is one of the most exciting destinations in France, and coincidentally the oldest. Full of multicultural and new age creative spaces, Marseille is a must for your French itinerary. The most unique aspect of Marseille is its 20km stretch of rugged terrain comprising limestone formations that form the Massif des Calanques. These white rocks perfectly encase the turquoise blue waters that swim around them.
Stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Marseille Vieux Port, to be treated to a divine view of the historic harbour. Cycling fan? You will be an hour's drive away from the Tour de France route in Nimes. So why not may a short trip to cheer them on and see some more of the region while you’re at it?
Psst! When you're in Marseille, don't worry about planning a day of activities - we've got you the top 3 things to do in the city!
From sunny coastal cities, we move on to the breezy French alps and to the ski station of Les Arcs. Not a fan of snow? Worry not, this popular ski spot isn’t just for the winter – there are plenty of summer activities available, ranging for golf courses to a bike park, to hiking. If you stay in July, you won’t be far from Albertville, one of the cities the cyclists of Tour de France will go through, and just a 45-minute drive away. Make the Radisson Blu Resort, Arc 1950 your base for exploring this mountainous region.
Also known as ‘La Ville Rose’ or ‘The Pink City’ due to the terra-cotta tiles and bricks used in many buildings and architecture, Toulouse is a multi-faceted city with an endless supply of activities in store. Head to Aeroscopia Museum where your inner pilot can shine through as you get to experience some of the most legendary aircraft carriers and find out all about the history of aviation – something children will also love. If you happen to be in Toulouse on the 18th and 19th of July, you will be lucky enough to see the cyclists pass by and show them support as they make their way through the city. If you’re looking to pop in and out of the city fast, you’ll find comfortable and convenient accommodation at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Toulouse Airport.
A trip to France cannot be complete without a visit to Paris, right? There is so much to do and see, and of course, eat! As the biggest city in France this is a real hot spot – especially if you’re visiting on a romantic getaway. With an endless supply of museums, brunch spots, and more, Paris made it on the CNN Travel list as the 6th most visited city in the world in 2018. You can catch the end of Tour de France on the 28th of July as the cyclists ride under the iconic Arc de Triomphe at Champs-Élysées. For an unrivaled view, stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Champs-Élysées Paris, just at the foot of the arch.
Psst! If you think the Eiffel Tower is the prettiest structure in Paris, there are plenty more Instagrammable spots you must capture!
With jaw-dropping coastlines, charming old harbours, mouth-watering food, and more, France’s beautifully diverse landscapes make it a must for all travel lovers. With Tour de France taking place in July, you have all the more reason to add these cities to your travel itinerary!