Day trips from Paris..

Feb 22nd, 2007, 10:46 AM
  #1  
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Day trips from Paris..

..I know, I know, totally generic question. I'll be in Paris for seven nights in April. Have an apartment rented in Montmartre. It's my 4th trip to Paris, and I haven't been to any other part of France (aside from whatever I can see from the train window on the Eurostar!).

Vaguely interested in visiting a vineyard for perhaps a wine tasting--how is this usully organized? I'm assuming I can't just show up at a vineyard and demand to taste some of their wine--that would be rather rude A I correct in thinking that Reims would be the spot for this?

I love riding trains and really don't mind a long train ride, even for a day trip.

Would be nice to see some of the countryside, perhaps a small picnic (it'll just be me)

I also have a big interest in WWII history..any sites for me to check out that would make a good day trip?

thanks, seasoned travellers



MissZiegfeld is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 10:57 AM
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Check out this website: www.parisvision.com

or:

www.citirama.fr

Both offer tours within Paris and many, many side trips; e.g. Giverny, the Champagne region, or tours to the Chateaux...day trips to Normandy or Mont St. Michel. I've done all of these and they have all been wonderful.

Bon voyage!
wanderlust5 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 11:00 AM
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Reims is a nice daytrip, interesting town, nice cathedral, 2 hrs from Paris, train down and back, ~22 euros, and can visit champagne cellars..I did Taitinger.

And of course, Versailles is a good trip, but no wine cellars (maybe just royal ones?)
Michel_Paris is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 11:11 AM
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Hi we are doing a daytrip to Reims from Paris in March. I booked on sncf.com. They have prems fares if booked ahead for 10euros each way. Instead of regular fare of 22 euros one way. Just a heads up, PJ
pjsparlor is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 11:16 AM
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In Paris itself i believe the old wine warehouses at Bercy, now renovated into nice shops and restaurants...that some of them retain their wine atmosphere and offer tastings of French wines. Near the Bercy metro station. An interesting place with novel parks and nicely renovated old warehouses in any case.
Reims is a great day trip - the Champagne tours (most are closed i believe 12-2pm or so) as well as the stunning cathedral, traditional crowning place of French monarchs i believe, and a vibrant shopping area and the war room from WWII where the Allies plotted their final assault on Germany - the map room has been left as is with names of who sat where and old war maps on the wall. very close to the train station.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 11:18 AM
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MissZiegfeld:

If you love train rides (I do as well), Chantilly (chateau/museum) and Chartres (cathedral/museum and stained glass shop, both next to cathedral) are very worthwhile and very accessible from Paris. Iím going to train it by myself from Paris to Giverny in May, and many have said here itís quite manageable.
wanderful is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 11:33 AM
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The Paris Vision Minivans are good ones. The minivans are the best weay to do it. They have one that goes to Epernay..a half day type tour..you can also take about a 12 hr. one.
gracejoan3 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 11:41 AM
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Giverny is a great day trip. Train to Vernon then hop taxis or minibuses to village and Monet's gardens (Apr-Oct; closed Mon) or can walk along an abandoned rail line about 3.5 miles from Vernon to village.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 11:53 AM
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Reims sounds perfect to me; is this easily done on your own? My french is pretty good. Is it easy to get around on foot/public transport? Is the cost of a ticket signifigantly higher if I just show up at the station and buy one, or is it best purchased in advance? Any recommendations on a champagne tour once there?

Looking at the Paris vision tours to Normandy which I will probably do--thanks for the link and recommendations!
MissZiegfeld is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 12:12 PM
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Thank you, Michael_Paris, for info about train tickets. We plan to make several day trips from Paris in May, but I did not think about buying tickets in advance. Now, after I read your answer, I had a look in sncf.com and it, and I saw that we can save a lot of money for 5-6 trips, for two persons. Thank you a lot for this useful recommendation.
valtor is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 12:14 PM
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reims is a snap to do on your own. train station right in heart of town. you can just buy your ticket before the train, they go about hourly and take about an hour. Though there is at least one Champagne house near the train station most of them are about 1.5 miles south of town centre. Buses easy if not into walking.
Tattinger as mentioned above is one of the major houses as are Mumm's, Moet et Chandon and several others. I don't think it makes much difference which one for the experience - you could actually do a couple as the major houses are clustered together.
The tours however vary in the caves you go thru. Some have works of art in them, etc. but all provide the basic tour of how Champagne is made and stored. Tours take about an hour and i think are mainly guided. Some may be free but others a small fee. Some give samples others a dry surprise at the end of the tour in the tasting room.

Factory prices on Champagne in these places seem no different than in supermarkets in France as i think Champagne, like gold and silver, has a universal value, though the sales room may lead you to think otherwise.

Epernay is the more prestigious Champagne center and offers i think tours thru more prestigious houses than those in Reims (even though many are the same company - Epernay i've been lead to believe is more esteemed for Champagne. But Epernay offers little else besides Champagne tours but is a much smaller city than Reims and has equally good train service if Champagne tour is all you're interested in. Champagne houses there are more close to train station than in Reims (pronounced kind of like "Ranze" in French - not the English Reems.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 12:28 PM
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Thank you, PalenQ! 1.5 mile walk is fine for me, I love to walk, especially in new surroundings..do tours at a Champagne house have to be reserved in advance, or can I join one upon arrival?

thank you!
MissZiegfeld is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 01:23 PM
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I would be very disappointed not to have a tasting after a champaign house tour. Can anyone tell us which ones do or do not have tastings. Also, I am a little unclear about how we get a tour once we get there. Can we get a time schedule somewhere and then just show up at the proper time? Merci.
Susan3063 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 01:33 PM
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PalenQ, Did you reserve the tickets? How do you find out when the "houses" are open for tours?
travelbunny is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 05:51 AM
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well i haven't been on them for a while but at that time the Reims tourist office had a listing of tours, times and whether samples were given out. I think most do give out samples to spur sales at 'factory prices'
Traditionally i don't thing booking were possible for individual nor needed but like i say i haven't done them recently.
Google Reims Tourist Office (or Synicate d'Initiative (sp?) or just Reims Champagne tours and i'm sure you'll give all the nitty-gritty if someone else here doesn't add something more update.
Prost!
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 06:11 AM
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In Reims we walked up to the cathedral, You pass roman ruins, city hall,etc. About 10 mins walk. The tourist office is right beside the cathedral. Acroos from the cathderal was a large win/champagne store, Because the Taittinger cellar was closed during lunch hour, we walked down from cathedral to a pedestrian only street and ate there(from front of cathedral walk straight down, past main street). Taittinger was a left turn on main street (when coming from cathedral)

For Taitinger, we walked from the cathedral to the house, about a 15-20 min walk. We did not have reservations. Once enough people are there, they take you on a guided tour. For Taittinger, their cellars are built into old roman quarries, which were then built over by an abbey, which was later destroyed, but you see some of the remnants in the caves. At the end there is a tasting in one of their rooms, you then then buy champagne and accessories (engraved glasses, corkscrews,etc.). There is a cost for the tour, but I can't remember the price.


http://www.taittinger.com/intro.html
Michel_Paris is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 06:14 AM
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Reims trains leave from Gare de L'Est. There are multiple trains, some stop at Epernay on the way to Reims, another Champagne town. On the train trip, you will see vineyards from the window.

As with all trains, don't forget to stamp your ticket in the yellow "punchers" as you to to the trains.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 06:38 AM
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If you have a keen interest in WWII, I would highly suggest a trip to the beaches of Normandy..... We wanted to restep my grandpa-in-laws time spent in service in France a few years back. We visited a hospital in Paris where my he had worked as a medic and then drove from Paris to Reims to stop at the beautiful cathedral where he had worshipped while serving in WWII - then onto the beaches of Normandy where he had arrived on Day 4 following the invasion. It was such a moving trip for us to restep his time in France and recognize the very, long journey he made on foot from Normandy to Reims to Paris......
queener is offline  
Mar 9th, 2007, 12:11 PM
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I just booked one-way tickets to Reims from Paris (it was giving me trouble booking R/T for the cheap price). Do you think we'd have trouble getting tix to get back to Paris at the Reims train station? It will be a Friday night, which could be busy. Hmmm
Kyliebaby3 is offline  

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