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Collmar, Bern & Provence Help

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Mar 12th, 2016, 06:01 AM
  #1
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Collmar, Bern & Provence Help

Hi! My husband & I are flying in & out of CDG in September for 10 nights. We both love beautiful villages, gardens & landscapes and being outdoors. We are in our 50s & travel light. We have been to Paris 3 times & visited Giverny & Versailles and really loved Giverny in May!

We were thinking taking the train from CDG to Colmar upon flight arrival of 8;25am. We would stay in Colmar for 3 nights and tour the Route du Vin villages by car.

Next we would take the train to Switzerland to stay in Bern or Interlaken for 2-3 nights?

We were thinking of taking the train next to Provence to stay in Arles or Avignon? Then touring the area by car for 3 nights. Then taking the TGV from Avignon to Paris CDG & stay close to the airport for 10am flight home. But we are open to suggestions.

We looked at skipping Provence and taking the train back to Paris to visit Vaux le Vicomte or Fontainebleau. Are there any other areas that you would suggest visiting if we work our way back west to Paris instead of going to Provence?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you!
Jules
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Mar 12th, 2016, 08:23 AM
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Your post is tagged Finland. It should be tagged France to get more responses. You also spelled Colmar incorrectly.

To get from Interlaken to Provence it's a around a 6 1/2 hr train trip with 2-3 train changes. Assuming you want to explore the Junfrau area - that takes more train trips. Getting to Interlaken from Strasbourg, the best train choice departs Strasbourg at 9:51 & arrives in Interlaken at 1:28 with 1 train change. So you're really only going to have 1 1/4 to 2 1/4 days in the Interlaken region and 2 days in Provence.

I would go to Bern instead - but stay there for 2 nights and stay in Provence for 4 nights. Many departures from Strasbourg to Bern - 2 1/2 hrs 0 train changes. To Provence, depart 10:34 & arrive at the Avignon TGV station at 3:50. Stay for 4 nights in Provence and depart for Paris late on the 4th day. This will give you 4 full days in Provence - which I consider to be the bare minimum.

Stu Dudley
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Mar 12th, 2016, 09:16 AM
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To Stu Dudley you listen. Consider renting a car in Provence. There are many wonderful villages and markets to explore in the region if you have wheels. Stu has a thoughtful guide he has personally compiled over the years from many extended visits to the area. He might be willing to share!

Maybe even consider skipping Switzerland entirely given the very limited amount of time you have budgeted for it. I'm a big fan of the Interlaken region (Berner Oberland), but you really need 4-5 days to thoroughly enjoy it and to have a chance of catching great weather. It will still be there for your next trip.
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Mar 12th, 2016, 11:56 AM
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Thank you Stu Dudley and Edward2005 for your ideas!
Sorry for the misspelling of Colmar. I tried to edit & change the forum on my cell.

Our flight arrives at CDG at 8:35am Friday.
Our plan was to take the train to Colmar for 3 nights.

We can skip Switzerland. We just figured it was so close & the pictures are so beautiful.

We could head straight to Avignon from Strasbourg on the TGV train. Stay 4-5 nights in Provence. We can rent a car to tour Provence. We drove all over Tuscany and it worked out great. Is Provence similar in landscape to Tuscany?

After Provence- We would catch the TGV train back to Paris. Stay 2 nights in Paris before departing at CDG on Monday at 10:40am.

My husband said we could go to Provence FIRST if it was more logical and then "train it" to Colmar.

Is Provence pretty in September?
Thank you so very much!
Jules
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Mar 12th, 2016, 12:49 PM
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The Luberon Valley and north around the Cote du Rhone & south of Mt Ventoux are similar to Tuscany - although I think the Val d'Orcia in Tuscany is prettier than anyplace in Provence. Provence has more mountains than Tuscany, and there are a few gorges in, or "next-door" to Provence. There is even a cave with stalactites & mites just 30 mins from Provence.

Edward mentioned my itinerary for Provence & Cote d'Azur. If you would like a copy, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach one to the reply e-mail. I have a shorter one for Alsace also.

Stu Dudley
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Mar 12th, 2016, 06:35 PM
  #6
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Thank you StuDudley. You are very generous & kind to do this. Are you from the South? Your hospitality is so gracious!

Val d'Orcia in Tuscany was gorgeous. We really loved Italy and the Italians were so friendly.

We do not speak French. Do you think in the smaller villages it will be a problem?

Thanks!
Jules
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Mar 12th, 2016, 09:28 PM
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>> Are you from the South? Your hospitality is so gracious!<<

Born in San Francisco in 1947. Moved to LA 1 year later. Raised there, married, then moved to San Francisco at 28 - and have lived in the Bay Area. So yes - I was raised in the South of California.

>Val d'Orcia in Tuscany was gorgeous. We really loved Italy and the Italians were so friendly.<<

We will be back there for 4 weeks in Sept/Oct 2017.

>>We do not speak French. Do you think in the smaller villages it will be a problem<<

Don't know. My wife speaks French. France gets more visitors than any country in the world. They are proud of their language & heritage, but the will try very hard to accommodate you.

Stu Dudley
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