17 days in North France

Dec 15th, 2012, 07:57 AM
  #1  
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17 days in North France

Hi all, I'm thinking of going to France with my wife on 20th September for 17 days, yes I know still far, but I'm in my planning stage. I will be flying to Paris and out of Paris as well. I will arrive according to plane schedule at around 11am. Due to distances I think it will be wise to visit the north part of France, although other suggestions are welcome. Now the issue is this, apart from Paris, what two other bases do you suggest to use? I want to leave Paris for the last base, so once I arrive in Paris I will have to take a train to another city. I prefer cities that there are things to see, and can make easy day trips (by trains) to other cities. We will be depending on trains and public transport. We are 30 years old and love to see historic buildings, museums, architecture, scenery and culture. I was thinking Base A 5 nights, Base B 5 nights and Paris 6 nights. Any help?
rbezzina is offline  
Dec 15th, 2012, 08:21 AM
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What are you interested in seeing and doing?

There are a lot of options with 17 days. You can visit upper and lower Normandy (allow at least a week), or the south of France; Pays Basque & Bearn on the Atlantic side, theMidi-Pyrénées, or Provance and the Riviera on the Mediterranean. You can go to Dejon for the day or spend a few days in Alsace-Lorraine. The Lorie Valley isn't that far from Paris, close enought for a day trip or spend a couple of nights.
Robert2533 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2012, 08:46 AM
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My interests are historic buildings, museums, architecture, scenery and culture
rbezzina is offline  
Dec 15th, 2012, 09:15 AM
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That makes it difficult as you've included all of France, which would be impossible to cover in only 17 days.
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Dec 15th, 2012, 09:18 AM
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Strasbourg could be a base outside Paris, although some of the area outside the city would be reachable by bus rather than train.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...45335898/show/
Michael is online now  
Dec 15th, 2012, 10:25 AM
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<< Due to distances I think it will be wise to visit the north part of France>>

I don't understand this, especially as you are planning to travel by train. You can get from Paris all the way to Provence by TGV in just under 3 hours, for example. I see no reason to restrict yourself to "the north part of France," though of course there's plenty to see and do there.
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Dec 15th, 2012, 10:58 AM
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And if you are only 30 - why no car??? I wouldn't want to visit the Pas de Calais, Normandy, Brittany, Burgundy, Provence, Loire without a car. Relying on public transportation is do-able but with only 17 days you'll be quite restricted by it.

My personal "best in France" for 17 days would be:

- Land at CDG and immediatly take the 3 hr TGV to the Avignon TGV station, rent a car, and spend 5-6 nights in Provence.

- Head east on the A9, visit Carcassonne for 2 1/2 hrs, and then take the A61 northwest & spend 5-6 night in the Dordogne near Sarlat.

- Head out to Brive la Gaillard, visit Colognes la Rouge on the way, then dump the car at the Brive train station and take the train to Paris.

- spend 5-6 nights in Paris.

Stu Dudley
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Dec 16th, 2012, 09:59 AM
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What do you think of these bases: 5 nights Grenoble with day trips for Lyon and other city, 5 nights in Strasbourg with day trips to Mulhouse and Nancy, and 6 nights Paris with side trip to Versailles. I'm still not 100% sure on the 1st base, as it looks a bit difficult to find a good place that can take me on easy day trips to other cities. Any help or suggestions please?
rbezzina is offline  
Dec 16th, 2012, 10:14 AM
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I would suggest you go to Normandy from CDG arrival--rent a car. Stay 6 days.
Drive to the Loire Valley and stay for 3 days.
Go to Paris for the remainder.
Gretchen is online now  
Dec 16th, 2012, 10:19 AM
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My main interest is northern France. If you click on my name, you will probably find some trip reports that will be of interest to you concerning this area.
kerouac is offline  
Dec 16th, 2012, 10:31 AM
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Strasbourg..day trips to the nearby wine villages of Alsace.
Normandy..Bayeux, Honfleur, Rouen, Giverny , D-Day History, beaches
Reims and Champagne region, Epernay
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Dec 16th, 2012, 04:46 PM
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Grenoble is OK - but not one of our top 20 large cities in France. We drove in, dumped the car, stayed near the train station, looked around for an entire afternoon, stayed overnight, and took a train to Paris the next day.

Consider Annecy instead. Good train service to elsewhere (Chambery, Lyon, Paris and Dijon & Strasbourg with 1 train change).

Stu Dudley
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Dec 16th, 2012, 04:49 PM
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>> Good train service to elsewhere <<

And Chamonix - Mont Blanc with 1 train change.

Stu Dudley
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Dec 16th, 2012, 05:09 PM
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Stu, no need to go into why some can't drive.
cigalechanta is online now  
Dec 17th, 2012, 02:27 AM
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Will think about Annecy..will read up some materials.
rbezzina is offline  
Dec 17th, 2012, 03:20 AM
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What do you think if I replace Lyon as a base with Annecy..or better Lyon as I will be visiting Strasbourg and Mulhouse later and they will have the same scenario as Annecy?
rbezzina is offline  
Dec 17th, 2012, 08:24 AM
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same scenario as Annecy?

If you mean scenery, the answer is no. Besides, Strasbourg is a larger city, with more to offer.
Michael is online now  
Dec 18th, 2012, 10:48 PM
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Wow..there is a lot to do..and 17 days are not even enough, but I think my base plan looks doable, what do you think of this: 5 nights Lyon - day trips to Grenoble and Dijon, 6 nights Strasbourg - day trips to Mulhouse, Freiburg and Nancy, 5 nights Paris - day trip to Varsailles as I think Paris needs 3 full days alone. What do you think? I will be using trains to move around. Any other ideas? I think like this I will tackle all my likes such as fairy tale cities, historical cities, museums, architecture and some scenery.
rbezzina is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 04:18 AM
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Leave your trip to Versailles "loose" and fit it in ONLY if you have seen everything in Paris you want--3 full days is not near enough!!
Gretchen is online now  
Dec 19th, 2012, 05:28 AM
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I would add at least a day to Paris if you plan to go to Versailles. We normally spend a week in Paris on each trip to France and seldom go to Versailles. There is just so much to see and do in Paris.
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