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Autumn weekend in France: 4 exotic ideas

octobre 31, 2022
soft mobility - A couple under a blue umbrella walking under trees with red autumn leaves

With your family, with your loved ones, for a 2 or 3 day getaway, discover 4 ideas for a weekend in autumn in France. From the sunny shores of the Mediterranean to the flamboyant colors of the vineyards of Burgundy, escape to the four corners of France. Between September and November, when the hustle and bustle of summer subsides and the leaves of the trees take on their most beautiful colors, enjoy a well-deserved fall break.  

  1. #1 The Morvan and the golden vineyards of Burgundy
  2. #2 The French Riviera still bathed in sunshine in the fall
  3. #3 Annecy for a successful fall weekend in France
  4. #4 Clermont-Ferrand and the Puy de Dôme in the fall

#1 The Morvan and the golden vineyards of Burgundy

What to do during an autumn weekend in the Morvan ?

Beautiful walks in the forest to recharge your batteries, wine tasting and golden colored vineyards as far as the eye can see: here is what awaits you during a weekend in the Morvan in the fall.

Here are a few ideas of escapades between nature and culture to plan:

  • A pleasant stroll around the lakes of the Morvan Regional Natural Park such as the lake of Saint-Aignan or Chamboux to enjoy the beautiful colors of autumn;
  • The Basilica of Vézelay, which harmoniously blends Gothic and Romanesque architecture;
  • The Fortress of Thil, classified as a Historic Monument;
  • The imposing castle of Bazoches, home of Vauban.
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To extend the stay, the Route des Grands Crus de Bourgogne from Dijon to Chalon-sur-Saône is not far from the Morvan.  In addition to tasting famous wine appellations along the route, the vines are dressed in a beautiful golden color in this season and promise you an unforgettable show.

Where to stay in the Morvan ?

Discover the Ferme des Ruats, an eco-gîte in the Morvan in the middle of nature. For a stay with friends or family, book the old renovated farm which can accommodate up to 9 people. For a couple's getaway, a comfortable tiny house for 4 persons is waiting for you. More than a simple accommodation, discover at the Ferme des Ruats a place of meeting around nature and biodiversity.

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How to get to the Morvan ?

The city of Avallon, which is part of the Morvan Regional Natural Park, is accessible by train. It takes between 2 hours 30 minutes and 3 hours by TER from Paris Bercy. From Avallon, it is possible to rent a car to explore the region freely.

#2 The French Riviera still bathed in sunshine in the fall

What to do in Nice in autumn?

Want to extend the summer? Then head for the French Riviera, which will delight backpackers looking for a bit of sunshine as winter approaches.

For a weekend, take the time to explore Nice, a beautiful city facing the Mediterranean Sea. Discover a more authentic face of the city, without the summer tourist influx. Take advantage of your getaway to soak up its rich culture and beautiful scenery.

Lose yourself in the colorful streets of the city, take time to walk along the Promenade des Anglais along the Mediterranean and discover the city's treasures:

  • The Matisse Museum. In this place which mixes art and nature, discover the work of the famous artist, who participated in person in the design of the exhibitions;
  • The park of the hill of the Castle. Take advantage of the beautiful autumnal light to get a great view of the old town, the port and the Bay of Angels, as well as a pleasant stroll;
  • The Saint-Nicolas cathedral. Near the train station, admire the amazing architecture of the first Russian-Orthodox church built in France, which contrasts with the rest of the city with a very Mediterranean atmosphere.
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Where to sleep in Nice ?

For your stay in Nice, discover Casa Musa, a bed and breakfast in the heart of the city. A real haven of peace with a beautiful tropical garden, forget the hustle and bustle of the city center and enjoy a relaxing break in a pleasant setting. Don't hesitate to ask your hosts for advice on exploring Nice.

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How to get to Nice ?

It takes 2 hours and a half by TER from Marseille to reach Nice. From Paris Austerlitz, night trains take you comfortably to the French Riviera. Perfect to enjoy it even for a weekend!

Read also: discover where to travel by train in Europe.

#3 Annecy for a successful fall weekend in France

What to do in Annecy in autumn?

A weekend by a peaceful lake surrounded by beautiful mountains ablaze with autumn colors: what more could you ask for? This is what awaits you in Annecy from the end of September to the beginning of November.

Here are some ideas to enhance your Annecy weekend:

  • A hike on the Mont Baron or Mont Veyrier, to get some height and admire one of the most beautiful views of Lake Annecy and the old town, with the colors of autumn to accompany your ascent ;
  • The visit of the old town of Annecy. Nicknamed "The Venice of the Alps", it will surely seduce you thanks to its very pleasant and pedestrian downtown. On market days, enjoy a lively and animated atmosphere, before finding some peace and quiet on the shores of the lake ;
  • A bike ride around Lake Annecy. A beautiful greenway reserved for pedestrians and cyclists runs along the western shore of the lake and allows you to enjoy the autumn in Annecy in a peaceful way.

Read also: discover our guide on soft mobility on vacation.

Where to sleep in Annecy?

For your weekend in Annecy, discover Côte Ouest, an authentic, intimate and eco-responsible accommodation concept in Annecy. Stay in a comfortable apartment with a breathtaking view of the lake and the summits in the background. A change of scenery and rejuvenation guaranteed!

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How to get to Annecy ?

It takes 3 hours and a half by TGV from Paris or 2 hours by TER from Lyon to get to Annecy. Once there, enjoy the city on foot and rent bicycles to explore the shores of the lake.

To go further, discover in an Explor'Acteur travel story how to reconcile a weekend at Lake Annecy with sustainable tourism.

#4 Clermont-Ferrand and the Puy de Dôme in the fall

What to do during a weekend in Clermont-Ferrand in autumn?

Do you want to discover the country of volcanoes in autumn to enjoy the beautiful colors and hilly landscapes? Go to Clermont-Ferrand for a weekend between city and nature.

Start your getaway by exploring the charming historic city center:

  • Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption Cathedral, the tallest volcanic stone cathedral in France;
  • The Salins flea market to stock up on good produce every Sunday morning;
  • Place de Jaude, the focal point of the medieval district, adorned with the imposing statue of Vercingetorix at its center.

All around you, the Puys chain stretches as far as the eye can see. Plan a day to discover its unique volcanic landscapes in France.

Why not climb the Puy de Dôme, on foot or by taking the famous cog railway, the Panoramique des Dômes? At the top, a breathtaking view of the 80 volcanoes of the Auvergne volcanic chain awaits you.

Where to sleep in Clermont-Ferrand ?

For your stay in Clermont-Ferrand, the Hôtel Littéraire Alexandre Vialatte is ideally located. In the heart of the city center, at the foot of the Notre-Dame du Port Basilica, enjoy an ideal location to discover the city and its surroundings.

Stay in a comfortable room dedicated to the world of the writer Alexandre Vialatte, a famous local figure. At the end of the day, enjoy a well-deserved relaxing break on the 6th floor terrace, with one of the most beautiful views of Clermont-Ferrand before your eyes.

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How to get to Clermont-Ferrand ?

From Paris, it takes 3 hours and a half by Intercity train to reach Clermont-Ferrand. From Lyon, it will take you 2 hours and a half by TER.

So, which idea for a fall weekend in France appeals to you the most? Tell us in comments.

Photo by jp from pixabay.

Photo by Arno Smit on Unsplash