A family trip to France

Jun 27th, 2010, 08:26 AM
  #1  
YA
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 5
A family trip to France

Hello,

We're a family of 6 adults and 4 kids that will travel to France for a week or so.

We plan to land in Paris, rent cars and drive 3-4 hours to a nice place where we could stay in a villa and go in each of the next 4 days for some short trips around and mostly relax.

Then spend 2-3 more days in Paris and head back home.

We're looking for any tips on where would be a nice place for the first part of the trip, where to go in that region and where can we find villas to rent there.

In addition, anyone knows of an option to rent an apartment in Paris for such period for all of us or we'll have to go with a hotel?

Thanks in advance!

Y.
YA is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 09:11 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,962
Welcome, YA. I see you are new to Fodors.

For anyone to be of real help you need to give more particulars i.e. budget, space requirement, # of bathroom requirements, interests, age spread of kids. Is this your first trip to Paris/France? Have the drivers of the vehicles done this sort of think before? What do you consider "short trips around"?

You might want to read up and search the France forum to narrow down particulars and then folks will definitely be able to help you once they have a little more direction from you.

Again, Welcome!
klondike is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 09:24 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 16,649
Burgundy might be a good place to visit. Easy to reach from the airport. Three hours probably places you in the middle of that area. Richard www.burgundyeye.com www.burgundy-tourism.com and www.burgundy.worldweb.com/index.html
iris1745 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 09:52 AM
  #4  
YA
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 5
Klondike,

Thanks so much for your reply.

The kids are aged 9(f), 7(f), 7(m), 4(f).

We'll need 5 rooms in the villa, and I guess 3 bathrooms will be enough.

Not the first trip in this 'group'. Last year we went to Tuscany and had a great time, and certainly not the first time in Paris. Yet...around it not that knowledgeable.

"Short trips around" means...we're not looking to wake up at 7am and spend time outside in driving and traveling until dark time. It's more of a vacation to relax, but sitting all day in the villa for 4 days isn't the idea as well. Something in between... laid back concept.

I did read some and see the two main options are Brittany and the Loire valley, but if anyone has any other ideas...more than welcome. If the main two options are the above two..would love to understand better the +/- of each.

Thanks again!
YA is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 09:58 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
It would also help to know what time of year you are going - weather can affect which places have the most to do/see. Also - to find a house of the kind you want (a larger house) you probably need to start looking fairly far in advance. (Many of the "gites" in France are of the overgrown garage variety - with 3 not so big bedrooms and one bath.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 10:26 AM
  #6  
YA
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 5
End of September.
YA is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 04:43 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 103
Two possible issues with the Paris apartment.

1. Most owners require three-night minimum, although that can be negotiable depending on season.

2. Size of your party. Not a lot of choices and would most likely be luxe and pricey. But you might be able to find two or three apartments in the same building. And that might make an owner willing to take two nights if that's all you want.

I love Burgundy but young kids may find it boring. Another alternative is the train to Avignon. Nice that time of year, bigger city and you could take bus or train to other sites such as Pont du Gard, Nimes or Arles.
Eurocentric is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 04:57 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
I would think the Loire would be good for kids those ages - as long as you have exposed them in advance to info about castles, knights etc (I know not exactly the right era - but will make more sense to them). There are quite a few sites, pretty countryside, cute towns and you an probably find a rental with other attractions for kids in the area (biking, fishing, perhaps boating etc).
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 08:06 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,997
Not to disagree with nytraveler, but for me, the Loire does not have very interesting landscape, and I would think kids would soon tire of the chateaux.

I would vote for Normandy or taking train to Provence (around Avignon) or even Alsace.
grandmere is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 12:08 AM
  #10  
YA
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 5
Thanks a bunch for all the ideas.

Grandmere, in what is Normandy better?

nytraveler, do you know of any websites that offer villas around the Loire?

Eurocentric, good points. Do you know where I might be able to find 2 apartments in the same building? All my searchs led me to ...no results as nobody can host 10 ppl, and can't figure out from the ones I do find which are in the same building or not.

Thanks again all!
YA is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 09:14 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,997
Normandy has Bayeux, Rouen, Honfleur, D Day Beaches and other WW II sites, to name a few, as well as beautiful countryside inland from the coast, little villages like Beuvron-en-Auge. Not far away is Mont St. Michel; guess it is technically considered to be in Brittany(?).

I have nothing against the Loire area, it's just that after seeing the chateaux, I didn't find it to be a very interesting locale. Others will disagree, and the Loire certainly has its fans, and rightly so!
grandmere is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 12:10 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,962
I agree with grandmere that Normandy may fit your needs better than Brittany, mainly from a distance point of view. You can easily reach the Pays d'Auge area in a couple of hours from the CDG/Paris area.

Too bad you are going end of Sept. I was going to suggest a visit to my favorite working farm, St. Hippolyte in the Pays d'Auge, but it closes for the season 9/18 until March.

You might be interested in checking out this site:
http://www.bienvenue-a-la-ferme.com/en/
We stayed at one near Coutances and enjoyed the experience very much, though you wouldn't be able to prepare your own meals (a considerable savings to a large group). Most don't have lodging, but are rather educational activities. We visited a goat farm this way down near Angers and the "fee" for the visit was having to buy some cheese.

Gites-de-France might be a source for a villa. Because it is in September and post French summer vacation, you might be able to find someone willing to rent for less than a week's visit. There are too many to choose from so this is something you would have to research.

The other way to go about it would be to choose a specific town you want to be located in and then contact the local tourist office for help in finding lodging.
klondike is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 12:26 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,962
One other idea in case you are game...we did a self drive canal boat trip in Alsace beginning of Oct and it was fantastic. They have boats that accommodate up to 10 I believe and with 4 being children it wouldn't be cramped.

Fall is wine harvest time so either Alsace (We liked it because the locks were electronic so there was not a lot of "work" involved) or Burgundy are great for this time of year. The leaves are turning, late harvest is taking place, great produce in the local markets for fixing meals. You rent a few bikes and adults and kids have an activity and means of transportation.

Here is a website in English:
http://www.leboat.co.uk/vacancescourtes

Most companies now allow shorter rentals of 4 days, especially after August. We can personally vouch for Locaboat in Lutzelbourg, but there are quite a few reputable companies to choose from.

The kitchen is well equipped for simple cooking with fridge and stove but you need to provide spices, condiments etc.
klondike is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 02:19 PM
  #14  
YA
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 5
You guys are great.

Thanks so much for the tips!

Will drop by for another visit if some follow-up questions may come up.

Thanks again!
YA is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Fixtravel5
Europe
15
Mar 6th, 2015 08:15 AM
msk14920
Europe
6
Sep 13th, 2009 10:55 AM
Cally
Europe
12
May 24th, 2009 09:24 AM
Mayoite
Europe
8
Aug 21st, 2005 03:22 PM
Shilo
Europe
14
Feb 10th, 2004 01:00 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:18 AM.