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Family travel with teen to southern france

Family travel with teen to southern france

Old May 26th, 2006, 07:43 PM
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Family travel with teen to southern france

Hi Everyone!
We've just decided to plan a family trip to the southern part of France in August and are very open to where we spend our 10-12 days. We have a very knowledgeable 16 yr old who has been in a French Immersion progam since kindergarten and has recently studied the various regions in France. We would like to stay in nice/comfortable but not "ritzy" accommodations and are happy to be in 2-3 areas and do day trips to get a feel for the region and the people, history and culture. Has anyone traveled this area with a teenager? I'm not sure if we should focus on the provence area or travel further west to the basque region? Our son is pretty flexible, loves history/culture and would go anywhere. Any highlights not to be missed? Suggestions for lodging? I just fell upon this message board and am inspired by the great number of members who so generously share their experience and knowledge with others to help plan such wonderful trips. Any help would be greatly appreciated as I know I need to book many things ASAP!! Thanks in advance for ANY advice!
Ellen
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Old May 26th, 2006, 08:09 PM
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Hi Ellen
Why don't you travel a bit. If you're starting in Provence, spend a bit of time there. Then pack up everything and head west. You could visit Montpellier, Sete, Cap D'Adge, Bezier, Narbonne, Perpignan and the final coast just to the Spanish border.

Then drive adjacent to the tops of the Pyrenees. Maybe jump up to Andorra. Finally you'll be to the Atlantic coast and the Basque region.

A ride across this area will keep you interested. There's certainly enough for a teenager to want to visit.

Blackduff
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Old May 27th, 2006, 05:52 AM
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I'd suggest spending at least four days in the area around St. Rémy or Arles which is centrally located for seeing most of the sites, and then, as Blackduff suggests, move west.

However, since you're going to be here in August I would not recommend Sete or Cap d'Agde as the crowds will be horrendous. Also a word of warning about being on the roads around the 15th of August, which is a major holiday here in France... lots of traffic going in every direction.

I'd say head to Carcassonne and then perhaps to Figéac, Cahors or further west into the Dordogne.

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Old May 27th, 2006, 06:42 AM
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elliebe, welcome to Fodor's.

My wife and I took our daughter--then 15 years old--to Provence for a couple of weeks in 2000. It was her first trip to France and she, too, was in a French immersion program.

We rented a house in Lacoste (in the Luberon region of Provence) for the first week, and a house in Cogolin (near St-Tropez) the second. We made day trips to various attractions and covered a fair bit of ground.

It's hard to generalize about what teenagers will enjoy, but ours loved the food, the culture, shopping in markets, and scenery.

Provence is a wonderful (in fact seductive) introduction to France. You could easily spend your entire time in the Luberon or area around St-Rémy or Uzès. However, if you are happy to drive, the suggestions to move westward towards Montpellier and Carcassonne are excellent, too.

Anselm
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Old May 27th, 2006, 07:06 AM
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Ellen: Do you know the first thought that came to mind once I read your description of your teen? Why not let him plan the trip according to his curiosity. I'm dead serious. My sister just did that with her teens with their last trip to France. She told them her "musts" (three-star hotel with a cap of $200 per room per night; clean, clean, clean; no less than two nights in any town; availability of at least one decent meal, sit-down meal per day. They were Elinor of Aquitaine fans and planned the trip around her history. They accessed this site, SlowTrav, TripAdvisor and guide books and according to her, did a heck of a job.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 07:47 AM
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"Provence is a wonderful (in fact seductive) introduction to France. You could easily spend your entire time in the Luberon or area around St-Rémy or Uzès."

Just worth pointing out that Uzes is in Languedoc. i.e. Languedoc, not Provence !

The rest of Languedoc is well worth visiting, too !

Peter
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Old May 27th, 2006, 07:57 AM
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Peter, you're right of course. I remember stopping in at a wine store in Uzès. (It has since closed.) I mentioned that I was interested in buying wine from Languedoc. "Well, you've certainly fallen into the right place," said the owner. It took me a second to remember that I was on the west bank of the Rhône and that I was in Languedoc.

Anselm
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