Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
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Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
Paris to Nice by Car
There are many ways to travel from Paris to Nice, from night trains to quick flights. But if you are looking for an epic French holiday and have some time, then hit the road for a fun Paris to Nice road trip.
The drive from Paris to Nice is straightforward, and it is our favorite road trip from Paris. The distance from Paris to Nice by car Paris is 930 kilometers, with some memorable stops along the way depending on the route that you choose.
If you decide to try this road trip Paris to Nice, give yourself a week to 10 days to enjoy it. Of course, driving from Paris to Nice can be a lot faster, but why rush? For this Paris to Nice drive, the journey is just as interesting as the final destination.
How far is Nice from Paris? The distance from Paris to Nice by car is from 932 km to 1039 km, depending on the route.
How long is the drive from Paris to Nice? The drive Paris to Nice non-stop takes from 9 to 10 hours, depending on the route.
This Paris to Nice itinerary by car is one of the best road trips in France. Read more about road-tripping in France:
Road Trip from Paris to Nice Overview
- Start: Paris
- Finish: Nice
- Duration: 9 days
- Suggested Route: Paris – Beaune – Lyon – Avignon – Marseille – Nice
- Total distance: 994.3 km, 10 hours in total
- Regions covered: Ile-de-France, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
- Best for: sightseeing, landscapes, small towns, food, and wine.
If you are looking for a Nice to Paris road trip, you can also use this itinerary with a grand finale in Paris.
Drive from Paris to Nice – Map
Road Trip Paris to Nice – Itinerary
As this road trip begins in Paris, take this opportunity to explore the French capital before hitting the road. There is no road trip travel on the first three days of this Paris to Nice itinerary, but we have included recommendations on what to visit and where to stay.
For this road trip from Paris to South of France, you will need the car only from days 4 to 9. If you need to return to Paris, you could rent your car in Paris and drop it off in Nice. Then, you can take a train from Nice to Paris instead of driving back. If this is your first road trip to France, check out our tips for hiring a car in France.
Day 0 | Arrival in Paris
The first stop of this road trip from Paris to Nice is Paris. Before getting from Paris to Nice, take your time to visit the French capital, which really needs no introduction.
How many days in Paris? We recommend a minimum of two full days to get a feel of what the city has to offer, plus an additional day trip to visit the Palace of Versailles and its Gardens.
If you have the budget, go for a hotel with Eiffel Tower views. A good (and cheaper) alternative is the Handsome Hotel by Elegancia in Paris 1. Located just 800 meters from the Louvre, this hotel offers its guests great facilities and always gets the best reviews.
Days 1 and 2 | Paris
For your days in Paris, be sure to cover the city’s main highlights such as Cité, the Louvre Museum (check out how to visit the Louvre in 2 hours or less), Montmartre, the Latin Quarter, and of course, the Eiffel Tower. You can also have a look at this list of 50 iconic things to do in Paris and choose your favorite ones.
A good idea for short stays in Paris is this top-rated Paris Highlights Bike Tour. Discover the city’s most emblematic landmarks on two wheels with an expert guide. This tour by bike is also available at night.
Day 3 | Day Trip to Versailles
On the third full day of your Paris to South of France trip, grab a train, or take a guided tour to visit the amazing Château de Versailles and its surrounding gardens.
A trip to Versailles deserves a day in full. You can decide to visit just the Palace and the Gardens or do the Palace plus the Trianons, with the Queen’s Hamlet.
There’s so much to see and do in Versailles that we recommend planning this day trip well in advance. Check out this Versailles guide to find the best way to visit Versailles for you.
Day 4 | Paris – Beaune
This Paris to Nice scenic drive crosses the beautiful region of Bourgogne (Burgundy in French), world-famous for its wines. Bourgogne is also home to picturesque small cities, towns, and villages, and most of these small villages in Burgundy are listed as “Most Beautiful Villages of France.”
Morning in Auxerre
Instead of heading directly to Beaune, we recommend a stop at Auxerre, a lovely small city in Burgundy bisected by the river Yonne.
The historical center is made of beautiful medieval and Renaissance-style buildings, and it is protected as a historic city. Wander the Old Town with its beautiful churches, half-timbered houses, and its iconic Clock Tower. The promenade along the river is beautiful and relaxing.
Afternoon in Beaune
Beaune is another must-see city in Burgundy. It is famous for the Hôtel-Dieu, a wonder of Burgundian architecture, but there are also other beautiful sights such as Notre Dame Basilica or the Museum of Fine Arts.
Beaune is an excellent place to spend the night, especially because it is the capital of Burgundy wines. Because wine-tasting and driving are far from perfect partners, we recommend parking the car for the afternoon and taking part in some Burgundy wine tastings.
Here’s the list of some great wine houses worth exploring during your afternoon in Beaune:
- Maison Champy (5 Rue du Grenier de Sel, Beaune; Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune wine regions)
- Domaine Chanson (10 Rue Paul Chanson /Rue du Collège, Beaune; Beaune wine region)
- Bouchard-Ainé & Fils (4 Boulevard du Maréchal Foch, Beaune; Beaune wine region)
- Domaine Loubet-Dewailly (11 Impasse Notre Dame, Beaune; Pommard wine region)
For a night in Beaune, we suggest something special. Stay at the boutique hotel the Abbaye de Maizieres, a 12th-century former Cistercian Abbey located in the heart of Beaune’s historical center. Enjoy the unique atmosphere with all the comforts for the modern guest.
Day 5 | Beaune – Lyon
The next stop of this road trip from Paris to Nice itinerary is Lyon, where we recommend spending one night. The drive from Beaune to Lyon is only one hour, so if you leave early in the morning, you will have a full day to explore Lyon.
Lyon is a bustling city that’s also a cultural hub. Situated in the country’s east, near the Alps, Lyon is France’s third-largest city and a major tourist destination that offers yet another side to France.
Park your car for the rest of the day (there’s public parking near the recommended hotel for Lyon) and visit the city on foot. If you only have one day to visit Lyon, spend it walking through the streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon), the city’s most popular area to visit. This district has been the best preserved of all of Lyon’s neighborhoods, with beautiful Gothic and Renaissance architecture, the iconic traboules, and some fascinating cultural museums.
Afternoon at Fourvière Hill
In the afternoon, you can climb the Fourvière Hill for great views of the city and a short visit to the Fourvière Basilica, which overlooks Lyon. This religious building is the focus of the famous Fête des Lumières, which occurs at the start of December every year. The climb up to Fourvière Hill is an easy walk up from Old Lyon, but you can also take the funicular from the cathedral.
Lyon has also been recognized as France’s food capital (and the world, according to some!), so be sure to taste some local specialties! This Old Lyon food tour always gets excellent ratings.
Day 6 | Lyon – Avignon
The next stop of this drive from Paris to Nice is Avignon, the first destination in Provence. This charming historic city on the South Bank of the Rhône River was home to seven popes. The Papal Palace, where they lived, is a jewel of civil Gothic architecture and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Enjoy one day in Avignon. Here everything is within walking distance, and you can easily explore the city while strolling through its small cobblestone lanes. Be sure to visit the Palace of the Popes and wander along the Pont d’Avignon (the famous bridge) or admire it from afar.
For your night in Avignon, book at Hotel Cloitre Saint Louis Avignon. This hotel is located in a beautiful 16th-century building with original arches and vaulted ceilings surrounded by a beautiful garden and an outdoor swimming pool.
Day 7 | Avignon – Marseille
Marseille is the capital of the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA between friends) and a famous port city. It’s quite different from Avignon and Nice, both in PACA, and an exciting city to explore.
For your night in Marseille, we recommend the Hotel La Résidence du Vieux Port, a charming hotel with the perfect location right on the banks of the Old Port.
The city is best explored in two days, but if you only have time for one day, look at this Marseille 2-day itinerary and pick the sights and activities you like most.
You can also decide to wander around the picturesque port of Marseille and then take a catamaran cruise with lunch to explore the wonderful Calanques of Marseille – Cassis. The catamaran stops at spectacular coves for a swim and snorkel.
Days 8 and 9 | Marseille – Nice
The drive from Marseille to Nice takes two hours, and if you leave early in the morning, you will have almost two full days to explore Nice.
For your stay in Nice, book at the Hotel La Pérouse Nice Baie des Anges. This 4-star hotel is nestled into the Colline du Château, and it comes with Nice’s best view over the Baie des Anges. The rooms are huge, with elegant Mediterranean décor. Some of them also come with a private balcony with great ocean views.
For your two days in Nice, we recommend this Nice 2-day itinerary, which also comes with some restaurant suggestions for your dinners in Nice.
Take your time to explore the Old Town, taste some provençal specialties, and of course, have a stroll on the famous Promenade des Anglais! Nice also has some of the best French Riviera beaches, and their turquoise waters are calling for a dip. If you want to explore the French Riviera from the water, this boat tour always has excellent reviews. You can also rent a boat or charter a yacht with or without a skipper.