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Paris to Nice by Car
There are many ways to travel Paris to Nice, all with their advantages and inconveniences. If you are looking for a great French road trip, however, and you have some time, then hit the road for a fun Paris to Nice road trip.
This scenic drive Paris to Nice is one of the best road trips in France as well as one of the best road trips from Paris. The Paris to Nice distance is 930 kilometers with some amazing stops along the way depending on the rote that you choose. If you decide to try this Paris to Nice drive, give yourself a week to 10 days to enjoy it. Of course, it can be done faster, but why rush? For this Paris to Nice road trip, the journey is just as interesting as the final destination . . .
Scenic Drive Paris to Nice Overview
- Start: Paris
- Finish: Nice
- Duration: 7 to 10 days
- Suggested Route: Paris – Lyon – Valence – Avignon – Marseille – Nice
- Total distance: 931 km, 8 – 10 hours in total
- Fuel and tolls approximate cost: €154.18 (tolls €70.10 + fuel consumption €84.08)
- 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.
Paris and the surrounding area is best explored on foot or by public transportation which means that for this road trip Paris to Nice, you will need the car only from days 5 to 10.
If you need to go back to Paris, you could rent your car in Paris with drop off in Nice and then take a flight Nice to Paris or board on the train Nice to Paris, via Marseille instead of the Nice to Paris drive back.
Road Trip Paris to Nice Itinerary
We have described this scenic drive Paris to Nice step by step with drive hours and some hotels and restaurant suggestions. This road trip Paris to Nice itinerary lasts 10 days. If you have less time, you can skip one day in Paris and perhaps day 5 and travel directly from Paris to Lyon.
Day 1 | Arrival to Paris
The first stop in your Paris to Nice road trip is Paris. Before hitting the road take your time to visit the French capital which really needs no introduction.
How many days in Paris? We recommend a minimum of 2 full days to get a feel of what the city has to offer plus a day out 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 at 800 meters from the Louvre, this hotel offers its guests great facilities, and always gets the best reviews.
TIP: Welcome Pickups offers a great door to door transfer service from the airport to your hotel at a fixed price.
Days 2 and 3 | Paris
For your days in Paris be sure to cover the city’s main highlights such as Cité, the Louvre Museum, Montmartre, the Latin Quarter, and of course the Eiffel Tower. You can also have a look at this 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 Full-day Tour. Do more in six hours than most people do in three days with this fun-filled tour.
Day 4 | Day Trip to Versailles
On the fourth day of your French trip grab a train or take a guided tour to visit the amazing Château de Versailles and its surrounding gardens.
Tere’s so much to see and do in Versailles that we recommend planning this day trip well in advance. Check out at this Versailles Quick Guide to find the best way for visiting Versailles for you.
Day 5 | Paris – Beaune
This Paris to Nice itinerary crosses the wonderful region of Bourgogne, world-famous for its wines. Bourgogne (Burgundy) is also home to picturesque small cities, towns, and villages, and most of these small villages in Burgundy are listed as “Beautiful Villages of France”.
Morning in Auxerre
Instead of heading directly to Lyon, we recommend taking your time and visit a couple of places in Bourgogne for beautiful architecture and delicious regional specialties. You can stop at Auxerre, the fourth-largest city in Burgundy, crossed by the river Yonne.
The historical center is made of beautiful medieval and Renaissance-style buildings and it is protected. Wander the old town with its beautiful churches, half-timbered houses, and its iconic Clock Tower.
You can take an early lunch at one of the local restaurants. The restaurant Au 87 (87 rue du Pont, Tuesday to Saturday) proposes original, quality dishes and has always good reviews.
Afternoon in Beaune
Beaune is another must-see in Burgundy. It is famous for the Hôtel-Dieu, a wonder of the Burgundian architecture, but there are other wonderful sights such as Notre-Dame Basilica, the Museum of Fine Arts.
Beaune is a good place to spend the night, especially because it is the capital of Bourgogne wines and you don’t want to miss some Burgundy wine tastings!
For a night in Beaune, we suggest something special. Stay at the boutique hotel Abbaye de Maizieres, a 12th-century former Cistercian Abbey, located in the heart of the historical center of Beaune. Enjoy the special atmosphere with all the comforts for the modern guest.
Day 6 | Beaune – Lyon
The next stop of this Paris to nice Itinerary is Lyon. The ride Beaune – 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, the third-largest city and major tourist destination offers yet another side to France.
If you only have one day to visit Lyon, spend it at Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon) the city’s most popular area for tourists. This district has been the best preserved of all of Lyon’s neighborhoods, with a beautiful Gothic and Renaissance architecture 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 for a short visit to the Fourvière Basilica which overlooks the city. The church is the focus of the famous Fête des Lumières, which takes place at the start of December every year.
Lyon has also been recognized as the food capital of France (and the world according to some!) so be sure to taste some local specialties!
Don’t know where to stay in Lyon? Hotel de l’Abbaye is an authentic spot, intimate, and full of charms.
Day 7 | Lyon – Avignon
The next stop of this Paris to Nice road trip is Avignon, the first destination in Provence of this drive Paris to Nice.
This charming historical city on the South bank of the Rhône River was home of seven popes and the Papal Palace, where they lived, is a jewel of civil gothic architecture and listed as 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 wander along the Pont d’Avignon (the famous bridge) or at least admire it from afar.
In Avignon, Hotel Central has a great location downtown plus there’s a private car park nearby that you can use for an extra fee. The hotel comes with comfortable rooms, a pleasant front garden, and an on-site bar.
If you are looking for a special treat, check out Hotel Cloitre Saint Louis Avignon. This hotel is located in a beautiful 16th-century construction with original arches and vaulted ceilings, which is surrounded by a beautiful garden and an outdoor swimming pool.
Day 8 | Avignon – Marseille
Marseille is the capital of the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA for friends) and a famous port city. It’s quite different from Avignon and Nice, both also in PACA, and a very interesting 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.
One day to visit Marseille is really short, we recommend spending at least two days. If this is not possible, have a look at this Marseille 2-day itinerary and pick the sights and activities that 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 9 and 10 | Marseille – Nice
The drive Marseille – Nice takes two hours and if you leave early in the morning you will have almost 2 full days to explore Nice.
The last stop of this Paris to Nice by car is Nice, the capital of the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur). Nice is also located in the PACA region but it is definitely more glitzy and glamourous than Marseille or Avignon.
Take your time to explore the Old town, taste some provençal specialties, and of course have a stroll at the famous Promenade des Anglais! For your 2 days in Nice, we recommend this Nice 2-day itinerary which also comes with hotel and restaurant suggestions.
So, what are you waiting for? Book your French road trip Paris to Nice today!