Bonjour! You’ve decided you want to take a trip to France. Excellent decision!! France has so much to offer and is truly my favorite place to visit again and again. In this article we will go over where and how to book your flight to France.
The flight, more often than not, will be the most expensive part of your trip. My advice is to do a little research and find out if a major city near you has better pricing than your closest airport. Same goes for your destination. For example: I no longer live in Boston but it only costs me $80 on a good day to fly there and back. A trip from Boston-Paris will cost be around $600 less than flying from my closest airport OR flying into another part of France, like Nice. If you’re going for enough time and seeing multiple cities, it’s better to fly in and out of the least expensive airport and travel by train.
My trick for finding the best prices flight is to type “flights” into google. (See images below) Scroll down a little and there should be an input section for your departure and arrival city. Enter that and then pull up the handy price calendar. This will give you the prices of all the airlines on each day. Sometimes I will watch it for a few days or weeks and screenshot it to see sales trends and I always input “one way” instead of “round trip” to get more accurate pricing per day, and then reverse the cities to get the return flight prices. This is hands down the fastest and easiest way to figure out when to fly.
Years ago I would have picked any random day and had my travel agent book it for $1,200. Yes, I flew direct and with Air France which is wonderful but for $600 I’ll take the one quick layover in Iceland with Iceland Air on a Monday. (Which was a great flight by the way).
Where the heck should I go?
I often have to laugh at my ambitions to see an entire country (or continent) in a week. Think about a European coming to the states with plans to see the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, the Golden Gate Bridge, and maybe a quick stop in Key West in 10 days. Not. Enjoyable. And maybe not even possible. France is the size of Texas so yes, you can area lot of it in a short amount of time but be realistic and have enough time to enjoy the places you’re visiting. Below are places I’ve visited or plan on visiting based on endless research and recommendations.
Paris: Paris is broken up by districts, called arrondissements. Read more about visiting Paris here!
Nice: (pronounced “niece”) (south) Nice is a beautiful coastal town on the French Riviera and my favorite place to go. Read more about visiting Nice HERE!
Loire Valley: pronounced (Lou-wa) (central/west) The Loire Valley has a large span and is great escape from the city being only an hour train ride from Paris. Go here to visit the chateaux and to have great wine. I recommend staying in Tours. From Tours you can easily travel to the chateaux and to Amboise and Chinon. Read more about staying in the Loire Vally here.
Monaco: (south-east) Monaco is an independent microstate in between France and Italy. It is the fairytale town where Princess Grace Kelly lived. The harbor is lined with yachts and the district Monte Carlo is super luxe, filled with amazing Italian food and casinos.
Eze: (pronounced Ez) (south-east) A short ways from Nice, Eze is the perfect day trip offering unforgettable scenery. This medieval village is in a rocky peak overlooking the Mediterranean sea. It is one of the most memorable and incredible places I’ve ever been to. Read about day trips to Eze and Monaco here.
St. Tropez: (pronounced: Saint Tro-Pay) Located on the French Riviera just 62 miles west of Nice.
Cannes: (pronounced: Can) Located on the French Riviera west of Nice, notoriously known for it’s film festival. It is a very rich and luxurious city.
Mont St Michel: (pronounced: Mon- Saint_ Michelle) (north) An island commune in Normandy, north-west of Paris. It is a beautiful historical site, often packed with tourists, but worth seeing at least once.
Etretat: (pronounced Eh-tre-ta) (north-west) Known for it’s cliffs with natural arches, Etretat is a beautiful commune in the Normandy region of France.
Colmar: (east) Colmar is a colorful, beautiful town that borders Germany and is known for their magnificent Riesling and Gewurztraminer wines.
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie: (south) Located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, it is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France. The village is built up the side of a limestone cliff and on a clear day at twilight, a pink light is cast across the village. Above the town, a gold star hangs on a 225m-long chain suspended between two cliffs. It provides a very interesting legend as well as a beautiful view.
Gordes:(pronounced: gohrd) (south-east) A famous hilltop village in Provence, Gordes has a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets and a beautiful mountain view.
Carcassonne: (pronounced car-ka-sonne) (south-east) A beautiful southern city behind a fortified wall, famous for the medieval fortress, Cite de Carcassonne.
Easy One Week Combinations
Paris-Nice (6 hour TGV) I highly recommend flying into one city, and out from the other instead of taking the train there and back.
Paris-Tours (1 hour TGV) read more here.
Cannes-Nice-Eze-Monaco Train/Bus 30 minutes
Paris-Strasburg-Colmar (RER 6 hours)
Normandy-Mont St. Michelle-Etretat Train (2 hours 40 min) Normandy-Mont St. Michelle
*The most helpful way to navigate in between destinations is to use http://rome2rio.com and input your starting and ending location. It will tell you all routes via walk, car, taxi, train, plane, etc*
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