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4 nights in France -between Grasse towards Paris by train

4 nights in France -between Grasse towards Paris by train

Jan 22nd, 2013, 03:34 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 33
4 nights in France -between Grasse towards Paris by train

Dear Fodors Friends,

We are a family of 4- my wife and I and 2 teenage girls.

Need your advice in spending 4 nights between Grasse(France) and Paris -we would have already done a week in the French Riviera-Cannes, Monaco, Nice etc(between 15-22 June)....then we head to Paris by train so can stop enroute for 2 nights each at any 2 nice towns/cities -any recommendations!
We love cycling and follow the Tour de France every year on tv,so would not mind stopping in some of the nice little towns that we see on the Tour. This is between 22-26 June,2013.

Nauhar_Rana is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 04:15 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 114
I'm slightly struggling with the idea that you are considering the train for this leg of your journey. The train between Paris and Grasse takes only marginally less time than it would to drive. If you were to break this up into two separate train journeys, you will increase your costs. I cannot believe that it is much more expensive per person to hire a car for the 8- or 9-hour journey to Grasse. You will see much more this way and will be able to break up the journey into two chunks of around four hours.

I would therefore recommend hiring a car and stopping around Lyon or Macon for a night or two before heading for Paris. You could then drop off the car just outside Paris and get the metro or RER in.

If you really wanted to do two stops, you could stop in the Valence/Montélimar area initially and then around Dijon. I'm sure others will be along with their own suggestions for you to consider.
bdsbeautyblog is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 09:24 AM
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I completely disagree and would never consider driving 8 hrs straight when essentially I could be transported far more effortlessly by train. Paris is not the easiest city to drive in if you have little or no experience and 8hrs certainly doesn't take account of driving conditions and traffic, which would take it to more like 10hrs and that's without stops.

The quickest trains from Grasse to Paris are 6hrs including a transfer in Cannes. Or you could easily do Cannes to Lyon, Lyon to Paris. Perhaps look at the Tour de France 2013 schedule over on Wikipedia and be inspired:


YOu could do a day from Paris to Versailles by bike? Just a thought!
Loco2com is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 09:49 AM
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I don't really agree with renting a car, either, although it is a possibility. First, gas isn't cheap, although I do understand with four people, that makes a car more attractive if money were the sole object. But there are not only gas costs but the costs of doing whatever you need to with the car if you stop overnight in Lyon, which is a big city, so that will cost. There are some toll road fees in France, also, but I don't know what route this will be.

And then the real nuisance of getting rid of the car in Paris, which will involve driving into Paris to some extent and then having to get wherever you are going from the car rental location. Dropping the car somewhere outside Paris and taking the RER in is not that appealing and will be very time consuming to do that.
Christina is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 09:55 AM
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How about Annecy and Beaune.
adrienne is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
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But the OP isn't talking about travelling for 8-9 hours straight. And neither am I.

If they take the train, they will not have a choice of stops, and yet the OP is asking for suggestions of where to stop. The train is not a bespoke service, whereas a car journey is.

I can also, as mentioned, imagine that a single train ticket to (say) Cannes or Lyon, staying overnight there, having to drag luggage from place to place for both of the OP's desired stops, and then having to purchase extra single tickets for subsequent days, would increase cost and hassle.

It's also erroneous to assume that an RER journey from the outskirts of Paris will be so time consuming. It doesn't necessarily need to be/isn't necessarily always, otherwise so many of us would not do it for work each day.

Don't get me wrong, I can see the advantages of both plans (car vs train), but it's up to the OP to decide which best suits their desires for this trip.
bdsbeautyblog is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Also, six hours is a LONG time to stay in a train, even if there is a layover. I've done a 5-hour TGV journey, and even though I'm not unused to long-haul flights, I'd say a 5-hour train journey is quite enough.
bdsbeautyblog is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 10:43 AM
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My vote goes for a train to Lyon and a stopover there, then on to Dijon for another stopover. Finally, Dijon to Paris. That plan allows for seeing two cities with much to offer, as well a breaking up what would otherwise be a really long train trip. If you wanted, however, you could drive--about 2 hours--from Grasse to Aix-en-Provence, spend a little time there, and then pick up the TGV for Lyon.
Underhill is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 11:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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The Avignon area makes perfect - sense - about half-way timewise by train (less than 3 hours from Paris - and so much to see and do in this fabled city and environs with public transit adequate to get to the famous Pont du Gard - Roman aqeduct in nearly mint shape at places - or Arles - Van Goghs stomping grounds, etc.

Train to Avignon TGV station and then shuttle bus to town center. Avignon's Palace of the Popes is one of Europe's major historical edifices and its broken bridge of nursey rhyme fame are two famous sights but the town itself exudes an old-world romance. Kids can swim in the outdoor swimming pool on the edge of town - piscine as they lovingly call it in France!
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2013, 02:42 AM
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Thanks all for your replies -ok,I have to now decide on wether to drive or take a train-most favor the train with 2 stops and that makes sense -also the car drop off maybe expensive if I take it at Cannes/Nice and drop it in Paris or outside .....
Nauhar_Rana is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2013, 04:23 AM
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Then how long do you have in Paris?
I like the Avignon idea.
Gretchen is offline  
Feb 18th, 2013, 01:55 AM
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Hi Gretchen...sorry for the late reply-we have 4 days in Paris....
Nauhar_Rana is offline  
Feb 18th, 2013, 11:18 AM
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I like the Avignon idea.>

Some folks prefer nearby Arles more than bigger Avignon - Arles is a 20-minute train ride from Avignon so also a good base and also has direct trains to Paris. Day trips are just as easy as from Avignon. Arles was a city where Van Gogh painted until slicing off his ear and then committing himself to an asylum in nearby St-Remy-de-Provence, which also makes a great day trip from either Arles or Avignon by bus - copies of Van Gogh paintings have been set up right at the bucolic places around the asylum where he painted them.
PalenQ is offline  

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