first time to france

Old Nov 20th, 2002, 08:25 PM
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first time to france

My husband and I are going to France for our 30th anniversary the last 2 weeks of June. We are thinking of staying in Paris for a few days then traveling south. What is the best way to travel south to see the countryside, enjoy the people, see castles, lavendar fields, good B & Bs, quaint warm places to stay??? Suggestions....
Old Nov 21st, 2002, 03:58 AM
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First, I would spend more than a few days in Paris. A week, 8 days would be better - there's just too much to see and do. In a few days you'll just be starting to scratch the surface. Then hop a train to Avignon, pick up a car and spend the rest of the time seeing Provence. Or better still, reverse the order - take the TGV directly from CDG to Avignon, then end the trip in Paris - once you're in Paris you won't want to leave. For more Paris information go to Click on "Provence Information" under "Paris A-Z."
Old Nov 21st, 2002, 06:02 AM
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The first time we went to France we stayed 3 days in Paris and enjoyed it very much but were anxious to be off to other regions.

I like trains between destinations and a rental car once there. A rental car is a must to get around and see the countryside. We made a very big mistake of trying to use trains only in the Loire Valley. However, if this is your first trip and you want to avoid the stress of driving, use the trains but make sure you book tours (chateaus for example in the Loire) ahead of time and stay in places that have good train service.

Your route would depend on your goal - relax and enjoy or see it all? You mention lavendar so I am thinking, Paris, Loire, Provence (we liked Arle), and ?? On to Villefranche-sur-Mer (day trips to St. Paul, Vence, Eze). Fast train back to Paris.

I love the Eyewitness France book because of the beautiful pictures. Always gets my travel ideas flowing.
Old Nov 21st, 2002, 06:14 AM
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If you want to do some further research about planning a trip to France check out a the recent 4-part planning postings I put together at:

Look in the archive listing for this month.

Old Nov 21st, 2002, 07:11 AM
Joe G.
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Hey Deb,

Coincidentally my wife and I just returned last month from our first trip to France to celebrate our 30th anniversary. We loved it. We got loads of great information from this forum. Somehow the original thread was lost but we posted a summary of our trip - "Arles! Pane, Train, Auto." which you may find interesting.
We had initially planned to go to Paris but as time went on we decided to spend the whole time in Provence (9 days 8 nights) You will have more time so I'm sure you can make it work.
Bon Voyage!
Joe G.
Old Nov 27th, 2002, 11:35 AM
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I would suggest you spend one week in Paris and one week in Provance. From Paris we took the TGV to Avignon, rented a car and drove to St. Remy (wonderful little town with a great farmer's market)which was a very good central location. We stayed at the B &B Mas de Cornud, a lovely restored farmhouse that offers cooking classes as well as very nice lodging, a pool & dinner if you so desire. We flew home from Marsaille. Have a memorable time--both Paris & the south of France are heaven on earth!
Old Nov 28th, 2002, 07:19 AM
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I would stay as long (or little) as you like in Paris.

Some people just love Paris. Personally I can't stand the place and find it very boring. Get on the TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse - high speed train) to get out into the country - it is by far the best way to travel in France.
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