You have 10 days to spend in France and want to discover South of France with the Riviera, Cannes, Nice, lavender fields and small villages in Provence? I can tell you that it is possible and easy to make by yourself a beautiful circuit in South of France by train.To help you, this 10 days trip to France here below is my train itinerary that can inspire you to build your own tour. The times and duration of journeys may vary depending on the period (summer or winter), strikes (yes we are in France!), changes in schedules and so are therefore only indicative.
South of France in 10 days – Map of my train itinerary
To visualize better my tour by train, here is the map showing the circuit in the South of France that you could be done in just 10 days. Of course, if you have 12 or 15 days, this tour will be even more pleasant because you can better enjoy places to visit and restaurants by taking more time. But for an optimized trip of 10 days in southern France, it’s a very good compromise !
South of France by train in 10 days – Train tickets
As this route is made for a train tour, you may be wondering : where should I book train tickets? Directly in train stations? On the Web ? What are the good sites to book tickets ? Should we book them in advance? Of course, you can pick up your tickets at the train stations, but it’s likely that you will not be able to access all schedule and price options. Most people book their trip months in advance because otherwise the chosen trains are full and the prices are much higher by buying the tickets at the last moment.
Here is a reliable site where you can book your tickets in advance: https://www.thetrainline.com/en/train-companies/sncf
Otherwise, you also have EURAIL which gives you the option to take a pass to get to most trains without prior reservation. Plus d’informations sur EURAIL
South of France by train in 10 days – Detailed stages
Paris Avignon – Day 1
- Train Paris – Avignon (2h40)
- Departure from Paris Gare de Lyon with TGV train at 16h37
- Arrival in Avignon at 19h17
- Night in AVIGNON
Which hotel to choose in Avignon ? Le Vernet
The Vernet is a beautiful old building with very quiet apartments. It is located in the historic center of Avignon. The apartments are very tastefully decorated and functional. There, you feel like you were at home. Lola is very friendly and attentive to all your questions. Near, you can enjoy great neighborhood with good restaurants and many shops. The budget for one night is very small : only 80 Euros.
Avignon Gordes – Day 2
- Visit Avignon on the morning
You can visit the Popes Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest Gothic palace in Europe, surrounded by impressive fortifications and defense towers.
- Train Avignon – Cavaillon – Gordes
- Departure from Avignon at 15h19
- Arrival in Cavaillon at 15h51
- Cavaillon – Gordes by bus or by taxi (30 minutes)
- By bus : go to Cavaillon bus station to take the bus for Gordes (Place du Château)
- Arrival in Gordes in the end of afternoon
- Night in GORDES
Which hotel to choose in Gordes ? Le Relais du Silence Le Mas des Romarins
As Gordes is a small village, there is not much choice of cheap and well placed hotels. Here is the best value for money : The Relais du Silence The Mas Des Romarins. This hotel housed in a 19th century building, is about 10 minute walk from the village center. With its exceptional view, its beautiful swimming pool, its garden and its restaurant serving good regional dishes, it has everything you expect from a Provencal hotel !
Gordes Abbaye de Sénanque – Day 3
- Visit Gordes
- Take a taxi to visit the Senanque Abbey
- Visit the Abbaye Notre Dame de Sénanque
- Walk in the lavender fields. You must know that the best time to see the lavender in bloom is from late June to early July.
- 14h30 return from Gordes by bus or taxi (30 minutes) to Cavaillon train station
- Train Cavaillon – Marseille (1h15 min) :
- Departure from Cavaillon at 15:52
- Arrival in Marseille-St-Charles at 17h06
- Night in MARSEILLE
Which hotel to choose in Marseille ? NH Collection Marseille
In an imposing old building from 1864, this hotel is very well located in the secure area of La Joliette. This is the new business and leisure district of Marseille located next to the Old Port and the Panier. 15 minutes walk from Gare Saint Charles, its location is ideal because it is in the city center, close to tourist sites. For the luxury of the hotel, it is one of the cheapest in Marseille center (100 Euros per night).
Marseille Hyères – Day 4
- Visit Marseille in the morning. You can take a touristic panoramic bus for 19 Euros only : For more informations
- Train Marseille Hyères (1h30)
- Departure from Marseille-St-Charles at 14h32
- Arrival in Hyères at 16h01
- Night in HYERES
Which hotel to choose in Hyères ? Hôtel La Potiniere
Located near Hyères, the Hotel La Potinière has its own private beach. This hotel is in front of the islands of Porquerolles and Port-Cros. Decorated in a typical Provencal style, the rooms of the hotel are functional, comfortable and peaceful. So, it is perfect for a relaxing break and lazing on the beach.
Porquerolles Cannes – Day 5
- Relaxing day at the beach on the Porquerolles Island
- 8h00 – Go to La Tour Fondue (35 minutes)
- 9h00 – Take the ferry to Ile de Porquerolles (15 minutes)
- 9h15 – Discover the Island and enjoy beach and sea
- Return to Hyères at 17h00
- Train Hyeres – Toulon – Cannes
- Departure from Hyères at 18h02
- Arrival in Toulon at 18h22
- Train change in Toulon (26 min)
- Departure from Toulon at 18h48
- Arrival in Cannes at 20h10
- Night in CANNES
Which hotel to choose in Cannes ? Hôtel Renoir
This beautiful hotel is just a 10-minute walk from the beach. Renoir Hotel is well located at 5 minute walk from the Palais des Festivals and from the marina. Great location to explore the city of Cannes, very friendly staff, comfortable bed and very fluffy, very clean, very good breakfast ….
Cannes Saint Paul de Vence – Day 6
- Visit Cannes in the morning
A seaside resort on the French Riviera, Cannes is famous for its international film festival. La Croisette, a chic and elegant boulevard along the coast, is lined with sandy beaches, fine jewelers, luxury shops and palaces.
- Cannes – Cagnes sur mer – Saint-Paul-de-Vence (1h20)
- Departure from Cannes at 15h21 by train
- Arrival in Cagnes-sur-Mer at 15h44
- From Cagnes-sur-Mer walk about 15 min (or take a taxi) to the bus station at about 1 km (Square Bourdet)
- Take the bus n° 94 Hourly (5min)
- Arrival in Saint-Paul-de-Vence (Les 4 Chemins) at about 16h20
- Visit Saint Paul de Vence
- Night in SAINT PAUL DE VENCE
Which hotel to choose in Saint Paul de Vence ? Hostellerie de la fontaine
For this stopover night, I selected one of the most beautiful hotels in the heart of the historic center of Saint Paul de Vence. This beautiful old hotel has a very good restaurant and a nice terrace where we take meals. Everything is good in this hotel: the location in the alleys of old stones, the view from the rooms, the fruit platter and the bottle of rwine to welcome you in the room, the breakfast on the terrace … and of course the kindness and good humor of all staff.
Saint Paul de Vence Nice – Day 7
- Visit Saint Paul de Vence in the morning
Facing the Mediterranean Sea, backed by the mountains of the Southern Alps, this medieval village is one of the most beautiful on the Côte d’Azur. This little corner of Provence attracts many creators and artists. Sensibilities and talents of the most diverse horizons settle and meet in the many art galleries.
- Train Saint Paul de Vence – Nice (50 min)
- 14h30 – Take a taxi to go to St-Laurent-du-Var train station (20 min) ;
- Departure from St-Laurent-du-Var by train at 15h23
- Arrival in Nice at 16h33
- Night in NICE
Which hotel to choose in Nice ? Hôtel Ellington
This beautiful hotel is close to everything: train station, downtown, old Nice, the Promenade des Anglais, beach, good restaurants … The Ellington Hotel has the charm of old buildings with all the comforts of the modern hotels. A hearty breakfast with lot of choice and fresh fruit is served in a wonderful setting (beautiful patio). As for the room, the cleanliness is impeccable. This hotel is really a good choice to visit and enjoy Nice !
Nice Eze – Day 8
- Visit Nice on the morning
Nice is the capital of the Côte d’Azur. Nice people have preserved in their city its indefinable charm since its cosmopolitan past. This city has become a pole of tourist excellence with a lifestyle and local culture well preserved on the walls and on the restaurant tables !
- Train Nice – Èze (15 min)
- Departure from Nice at 15h36
- Arrival in Eze at 15h51
- Visit Eze village
- Night in EZE
Which hotel to choose in Eze ? Eza Vista
Stunning views of the sea, close to shops and the medieval city, continental breakfast on the terrace … all for a small price (80 Euros per night) in an equipped beautiful studio !
Eze Marseille – Day 9
- Visit Eze in the morning and take lunch
This beautiful hilltop village with views of the peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferret, offers a remarkably preserved medieval architecture. The alleys lined with vaulted houses with many shops of artists and artisans give this village a special atmosphere of authenticity and traditions.
- Train Eze – Marseille (3h23 min)
- Departure from Eze at 16h39
- Arrival in Nice at 16h54
- Departure from Nice at 17h23
- Arrival in Marseille St Charles at 20h02
- Night in MARSEILLE
Which hotel to choose in Marseille ? NH Collection Marseille
When there is little time, it is better to choose a hotel close to the tourist centers of Marseille. An hotel near the Vieux Port would be perfect.
I recommend of course the same hotel described above for your third night.
Marseille Paris – Day 10
- Visit Marseille city (touristic bus For more information),
- Or spend your morning cruising in the Calanques of Marseille or Cassis : For more information
- Train Marseille – Paris (3h26)
- Departure from Marseille-St-Charles at 18h04 with TGV train
- Arrival in Paris Gare de Lyon at 21h23
You might prefer a car trip ? So, here is an article that may interest you :
and if you have enough time : 2 week itinerary south of France