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advise of staying in the french country side

advise of staying in the french country side

Jun 28th, 2007, 08:01 AM
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advise of staying in the french country side

My husband and I are planning a trip back to Paris in September. We would like to stay in Paris for a few days than rent a car and head into the country. Can someone recommened a few places to stay and check out that are not to fare from Paris within 2 hrs driving.

thanks sally
kittpom is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 08:12 AM
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hi, sally,

depending on the length of your trip and whether you've ever been to Paris before, you may want to think about staying in Paris, and just doing a day trip or two by public transport.

ie if the answers are 7 days or less and never, IMO you should focus on Paris and forget about the countryside.

Hwever, if you want to venture out of town by car, the obvious places to go are Normandy - via Giveny, Rouen, up to Mont. st michel & Honfleur - and the Loire.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 08:18 AM
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Visiting the wonderful Mont St-Michel would mean quite a long drive. Better, perhaps, to look at the sights around Paris, such as Chartre, Giverny, and Versaille. All can be easily reached by train.

If you really want to venture further afield and can rent a car for a day, drive out to Giverny and then the towns of Les Andelys, located on the river Seine. Pretty countryside, lots to see--including charming villages.
Underhill is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 08:19 AM
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Hello, Sally!

Although I have not personally ventured to this region, you may want to consider some of the towns in the Loire Valley area. The region is touted as being the "Garden of France" with wonderful food, lovely chateaux and great wines. Amboise would make a great home base. Normandy would also be a nice region to visit -- also an easy drive from Paris by automobile. You have the beautiful countryside and the WWII sites to visit. You could even do a day trip to Mont St. Michel from Normandy. Bayeux might be a good home base in Normandy.

I apologize that I cannot recommend hotels or inns to stay, but a search in Fodors will give you many great options from those who are more in the know.

Good luck in your trip planning.
dlb716 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 08:23 AM
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Ann had some good suggestions. If you wanted to go the other direction, you could visit the champagne region, continue to Dijon and visit the wines in that area. Just wander around that area and find some nice villages to visit. France is lovely so it's almost any direction would find something interesting.

If you're driving, start to look for a nice restaurant around 11:00 or so. You might need some time which is something "Special" for stopping. A nice lunch will keep your memories for years.

blackduff is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 09:04 AM
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We stayed in Paris last year on our honeymoon for 5 days so we did see most of the sites. I just miss it so much with all the lovely cafe's. My dream place would be in to stay in the country ride bikes and tour some vinyards. Any sugeestions?
kittpom is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 09:06 AM
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If your goal is for long drives in the country, you might want to rethink your limits, as two hours from central Paris (when it can take you a while in traffic just to get out of the city) isn't that far. Paris itself has a population of a couple million people, and around 10 million in the metro area, so a lot around Paris is suburbs for a ways.

I'd suggest Honfleur in NOrmandy, it's right on the edge of time for what you want. Probably takes a couple hours to drive there. It's also a good place to drive because you can't get there by train.
Christina is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 09:10 AM
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Hi K,

Auxerre is within your driving limits. You can visit the rest of Burgundy from there.

ira is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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All of this sounds so lovely! We are going for 8 days so maybe 4 in Paris and 4 in the country.
kittpom is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 10:51 AM
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If this is your first trip to France or the Paris region, I think you'll have a better experience if you do as you mention and spend a few days in Paris and a few days in the countryside. Personally, I prefer the countryside to the big city (although Paris is one of my favorite big cities!).

Just to echo what some others have mentioned:
--Champagne region near Reims/Epernay--loads to due, charming villages, WWI sites, etc. Great food, great wine, etc. I love to stay at Royal Champagne (Relais & Chateaux) in Epernay--most rooms have balconies/patios overlooking the vineyards.
--Normandy/Brittany--WWII sites, calvados, Honfleur, Cancale, Mont St. Michel, etc. More than enough to do with four days. I prefer Chateaux Richeaux in Brittany. Normandy has a wealth of places to stay. If you like the countryside, I'd suggest staying outside of Honfleur (cute town, but crowded)--possibly Deauville or nearby.
--Loire Valley--wine tastings, chateaux, abbeys, gardens, etc. So many good places to stay here. We stayed at Domaines des Hauts de Loire in Onzain. Off the beaten path with its own garden--but convenient to explore the area. We even did an evening son et lumiere show in Blois from here and the drive was very manageable at night.

Have a great trip!
LoriS is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 11:30 AM
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You can expand the parameters of your search by taking a train from Paris to some central point, then picking up a rental car. This avoids driving out of Paris. I assume you still want to be within driving distance of CDG for you return. Alternately, look into open jaws tickets, flying out of, say, Nice.
Mimar is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 11:49 AM
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On my first night in France several years ago we stayed in Beaune. Loved it. Charming surrounding areas and wonderful wines! We then went down through the Loire Valley - also lovely. As I was travelling with my Mom and Sister, the trip is one of the best memories of my life.
jujubean is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 11:57 AM
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We've done the bike part, so I have a suggestion for you. Contact anjoubikecenter.com, and Claude can fix you up with a bike trip in the Loire Valley. He does custom arranged trips for as many days as you want. Take the train to Angers (only a couple hours trip from Paris) and he will pick you up at the station and set you up with bikes and lodging. We spent 9 days doing this and enjoyed every minute of it.
julies is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 12:07 PM
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I'm surprised I haven't run into you , LoriS! Our stays at the Royal Champagne and Domaine des Hauts de Loire are very fond memories. In fact we are planning another trip nest year to both of them.

Ira's suggestion for Auxerre is spot on. The town itself is lovely and easily walkable. The hotel, Parc de Marechaux is in a quiet neighborhood, with a pool, and less than a 10 minute walk to the old town. excellent restaurants in the town. It makes a very good center for exploring parts of Burgundy. We especially liked Vezelay . Beaune or Dijon are not that far with a car.

You could also drop the car off right across from the rail station and be in Paris in 90 minutes to avoid doubling back
jody is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 01:31 PM
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Wow this all sounds so amazing taking the train sounds like the best bet. Picking up a rental along the way sounds lesss stressful. Yes I will want to go back into Paris the night before we take off back to the USA. We also went to Nice last year that was also amazing.
kittpom is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 07:43 PM
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Dear Jody-

We're also planning a return trip to Champagne. Maybe I'll see you there!

LoriS is offline  

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