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Monica Jun 10th, 1998 01:40 PM

Best Places to Visit in France for 1999???
Okay gang, I'm ready to ask some questions about France. Planning to go next year. 1. Which month (for great weather and low crowds) is best to go in: April, May or June?. 2. What are your favorite cities/towns in France (besides Paris) that you recommend and what makes them so special that they are your favorite? Thanks a million in advance!

Rich Jun 10th, 1998 04:04 PM

April is the best month out of the ones listed. It will be warm enough for spring clothing, but not too hot, hotels and airfare may be cheaper depending on off/on season deadlines and you will find fewer tourists compared to busy May, June and July. <BR>I lived in France for a time and my favorite cities, desides Paris/Versailles, are: Rouen, Riems, Strasbourg, Dijon and Cannes.

Sparky Jun 10th, 1998 07:33 PM

It is hard to beat St Remy de Provence. It is just the right size, not too big or small, really beautiful and charming and several other little towns nearby to visit.

Monica Jun 11th, 1998 04:51 AM

Thanks Rich and Sparky for your information. Rich, won't it be rainy in April? I know that the crowds get worse in May and June, but I want to avoid bad weather too. I'll look up both of yor "favorites". Thanks again.

Kelsey Jun 11th, 1998 05:21 AM

Monica, I can't speak for the rest of the country, but I have visited Paris in early May and found the weather to be perfect (70ish in the day, 50ish at night) and the crowds to be minimal. I thought it was a great time to be there.

wes fowler Jun 11th, 1998 05:21 AM

Monica, have you considered something off the beaten track? Alsace, Burgundy, Champagne for Gothic cathedrals (Strasbourg, Reims), vinyard tours and wine tasting, walled towns (Beaune, scenic drives (Ardennes)?

Rich Jun 11th, 1998 05:59 AM

Kelsey is right, early May can be great. You may experience a shower or two in April but not as likely as if you went in March. I usually leave for European trips the last week of March and return about the middle of April, although I sometimes go in early May. I don't think you can go wrong either way.

Christina Jun 11th, 1998 09:46 AM

To me, May or June would be best--tourism is not <BR>that high yet in June, weather is very pleasant and <BR>it stays light very late at night. Although it may <BR>have seemed that way to someone, according to official <BR>French weather statistics, March is actually one of <BR>the driest months of the year in Paris, and drier <BR>than April, in fact. It has fewer days with precipitation <BR>(avg of 12) than April (avg of 13), and less avg <BR>total precipitation (avg 1.3 inches in March vs. <BR>1.6 in April).

Monica Jun 11th, 1998 09:59 AM

Thanks to everyone so far for your comments! Keep them coming! The month I "pick" will actually depend on when my husband, who's a pilot, will get his schedule. At least I have a couple of months to choose from and hopefully we'll be lucky enough to get late April, May or early June.

Nicole Jun 11th, 1998 02:05 PM

I haven't travelled too extensively in France (been to a few places including Paris) but one town that I fell in love with last year was Annecy. Its "old town" is so charming. Annecy is located on Lake Annecy in the Haute Savoie region of France near the French Alps. It is right below Geneva and also close to Chamonix. Lake Annecy is a gorgeous turquoise crystal clear lake, and there are picturesque canals running all through Annecy's old town, not to mention plenty of cafes and shops. If you'd like to see photographs, visit our personal travelogue at, and if you have any questions feel free to email me.

Al Jun 11th, 1998 03:30 PM

Monica, I hve just one comment. TAKE ME WITH YOU!

ellen Jun 11th, 1998 03:47 PM

<BR>My favorite place in France for scenery was Annecy. Agree with the other poster in that it is really just beautiful and not too far from Chamonix to ascend Mount Blanc. Also, Lyon has some of the best food in France and it is also not so far from the French Alps.

Monica Jun 12th, 1998 05:05 AM

Nicole, I'll check your web site out. I had a few months ago for Venice. Al, you'll have to wait in line after my husband and my Mother!!! I'm sure you can find someone to go with. :)

Monica Jul 23rd, 1998 06:56 AM

Bringing this to the top and hoping others will add to this for me. Thanks!!!

Christina Jul 23rd, 1998 09:25 AM

well, I just got back from France and spent about <BR>4 days in the Strasbourg area (first time). I <BR>didn't really care for Strasbourg that much -- it is <BR>really a tourist trap, although I could see visiting <BR>it for a day or two. I really dislike the cuisine <BR>in that area, though, except for the wine (they <BR>consider it gourmet cuisine to chow down on a huge <BR>platter of sauerkraut and hot dogs, basically). <BR>However, I took a day trip to Nancy and loved it--I <BR>liked it a lot better than Strasbourg. They have a <BR>wonderful Art Deco museum there and a good regional <BR>museum, also, and beautiful parks -- lots of cultural events, also. I visited St-Remy on a day <BR>trip once, it was very nice and luckily good weather <BR>so I could walk to Van Gogh's old asylum--but, I <BR>can't imagine wanting to stay there for any length of time. It has no rail connections and is really <BR>just a small town, I would get bored stiff-- But, I <BR>love Paris and am mainly a city person. My non-Paris favorites: Aix-en-Provence, Rouen, Nancy, Avignon, Blois. I haven't been to the western <BR>half of France yet, though. Lyon was okay, but not <BR>one of my favorites--same for Nice.

Nils Jul 23rd, 1998 12:35 PM

My favourite places in France are: Paris, Alsace (south of Strasborg), Beaune, Annecy, Provence, the town of Cognac and the Pyrenees. Nils

Rebecca Jul 24th, 1998 11:05 AM

I was is France last June and it rained everyday but we didn't care. However, we also encountered school busses full of children on field trips every where we went. I would recommend earlier in the spring. <BR> <BR>However, we were in Paris for the summer solstice. Little did we know, all of Paris has a party and getting back to our hotel that night was quite a challege. <BR> <BR>We also visitied the Normany area. It was very beautiful, but Paris in wonderful. The first day you arrive, take a taxi ride at night. The Effiel Tower at night it not to be missed.

jennifer Jul 24th, 1998 11:16 AM

I've read all the responses so far and no one has mentioned Brittany. My husband and I went to Quimper and Benodet for 4 days and loved it. The small town atmosphere, lovely, friendly people, and ALL THE FOOD WAS GOOD!!! In fact, there is a restaurant in Quimper called "L'Istanbul" that we would highly recommend- it's owned and run by a Turkish man and an Arabian type fellow (I can't remember where he said he was from). They are quite interesting to talk to, and of course, the food was excellent. It's also close to extremely uncrowded beaches and I hear the hiking in that area of France is quite good as well. bon Voyage!

Carol Jul 24th, 1998 12:32 PM

Hi Monica-- <BR>I can't believe no-one has mentioned the Loire Valley! I was there at the beginning of May and it was really fabulous, although the temperature was a little cooler than I expected (mostly in the 50's--60 degrees was about the warmest day). But all the lilacs and wisteria were in bloom, the countryside is absolutely beautiful, the chateaux are right out of a fairytale, the food is fantastically fresh and varied (not for nothing is the Loire Valley called "the breadbasket of France")--and believe it or not the prices are reasonable. We stayed in Tours in a tiny 18th century hotel in a pedestrian only zone for two weeks and fell in love with this charming town. Most people who just pass through it have no idea of what it's really like. Take my advice and put it very high on your list of possibilities. You won't be sorry!

anne Jul 29th, 1998 06:57 AM

Just back from our 3rd trip to France. We chose the Dordogne area to "explore" for 5 days and just loved it. We have visited Normandy and the Loire valley on past trips, and the Dordogne is our favorite. <BR>Full of tiny spectacular villages - superb views of rivers winding through fertile fields, medieval fortress towns atop rocky promontories,chateaus - near Beynac (where they were filming a new movie version of Joan of Arc in the chateau as we ate our dinner in the Tavern of the Ramparts - knights on horseback kept riding by!!) you can see 5 chateaus spread around the valley, and delicious food. Even though we always enjoy getting to know new places, we are planning on going back to the Dordogne.

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