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France from lyon to bordeaux to paris...help needed please

France from lyon to bordeaux to paris...help needed please

Old Mar 14th, 2015, 09:17 AM
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France from lyon to bordeaux to paris...help needed please

Hello all,
I need some help please...we are a couple with 2 boys (6 and 1 year)..going to the following cities/ towns end of July to mid aug...need some help with the must sees in each city/ town and with the best day trips from each.
Our interests: nature..quaint villages with alleys and cobbled stones and cafes...parks...gardens...chateaux with gardens ( we stick to the outside so we don't bother people since we have kids...)
Any advice about any of the below is much appreciated:
Lyon
Aix en provence
Albi
Biarritz
Bordeaux...
We will drive from bordeaux to paris to leave to home but any advice on a nice city/ town to stop for a break and lunch is highly appreciated
Thanks
Micho
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Old Mar 14th, 2015, 09:46 AM
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There are thousands of things to do & see in the cities you've listed. May I suggest that you obtain a guide book to at least start your research???

I hope you have a minimum of 2 1/2 - 3 weeks planned for this trip. Also, except for Albi, why are you planning to only visit large cities? I would add Toulouse (very close to Albi) to this list - along with Dijon it's our second favorite city in France.

The drive straight from Bordeaux to Paris will "consume" at least 7 hours. That's a lot of time in the car - with kids. How about the 3 1/4 hr TGV instead, so you can have more time in Bordeaux or Paris? I would also take the TGV from Paris to Lyon. TGV tickets are cheap if you purchase them 3 months in advance.

If you do drive from Bordeaux to Paris, I would stop in either Poitiers or somewhere in the Loire chateaux area. But what would that day look like:

- Drive 3 hrs to Poitiers. 8:30 - 11:30
- Park near the train station and ascend up several sets of stairs to get to the "old" city. Pick up a walking itinerary from the TI that has 3 separate walks, covering 3 different periods of Poitiers' history. 11:30-12:00
- Do the walk, have lunch (lots of places) 12:00 - 3:00
- Descend stairs to car 3:00-3:30
- Drive to Paris 5 hrs 3:30 to 8:30

Long day - hope the kids "hold out".

Stu Dudley
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Old Mar 14th, 2015, 10:22 AM
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Thank you Stu...I wished you answer me!! Always good tips...I will see if I can stay a night or two in Poitier/Orleans/ Tours on the way to paris (from where we fly out)...yes I have 4 weeks for this trip...I fly into lyon so Dijon is a 2 hours drive north...I am not sure about this...I am googling a lot about each city and its surroundings...just wanted to hear from Foderers their best to short list and make sure I don't miss the 'must sees'...
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Old Mar 14th, 2015, 11:53 AM
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I have lived off and on in Orleans and would never recommend it as an overnight stop - Tours either - rather stop in a smaller town like Amboise, which has a great chateau (with nice gardens you can wander around in with the kids) and is a short drive from the most famous of the Loire castles - Chenonceau - Amboise is much smaller and nicer than the rather big cities of Tours and Orleans and it is right on the autoroute or a few km from it - getting by car into cities like Orleans or Tours can be a real hassle - horrendous traffic, problematic finding parking - many hotels do not offer it, etc.

In Amboise there is a Piscine Municipale right across from the chateau and town center - when my kid was 6 he loved this swimming pool - open to all and I loved the view of the castle overhead!

Leonardo da Vinci's Clos du Luce is also in town - where an over-the-hill Leonardo after being brought here by Francois I near the end of the artist's life stayed - reproductions of his then innovative works are on display - including many models he never saw thru to fruition.
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Old Mar 14th, 2015, 12:16 PM
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Four weeks seems fine. I'll assume you are not just visiting big cities - but also the countryside around them.

I have itineraries written up for these areas you will be near:
Burgundy
Provence
Languedoc/Albi/Toulouse
Pays Basque

If you would like any of these itineraries, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach them to the reply e-mail.

Our two favorite regions in France are Provence & the Dordogne. I think your 6 YO would love the castles, rivers, boat trips, villages, and caves in the Dordogne. I would certainly recommend including the Dordogne and perhaps skipping Bordeaux & Pays Basque/Biarritz. From the Dordogne, it is an easy drive to the Loire Chateaux area, and then on to Paris. I also have a Dordogne itinerary - so let me know if you would like it too.

Also, if you plan to visit Provence for several days, I would stay in Avignon instead of Aix. Avignon is more "centrally located" than Aix - but I would certainly visit Aix too.

Don't forget to visit the Traboules in Lyon
http://www.francetoday.com/articles/...traboules.html

Stu Dudley
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Old Mar 14th, 2015, 12:18 PM
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From Lyon to Bordeaux you could go over the Auvergne and stop in the Dordogne. Chateau des Milandes has a daily birds of prey show and Castelnaud has demonstrations of siege weaponry that might interest a six year old. Across the valley is the extensive garden of Marqueyssac which is pretty much child proof and has wonderful views of the Dordogne valley.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/5970138933
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Old Mar 17th, 2015, 09:48 AM
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Thank you all..I have visited the loire valley and the dordogne in the previous years and used a lot of Stu's help planning those ...I will see the above mentioned cities but also use them as a base to see the surrounding areas hence the post asking about the 'must sees' in each and 'best day trips' around them...
Stu, will surely write u to ask about the itineraries...I used the ones you sent me to plan my luberon, Dordogne and cote D'azure trips in the past...very useful indeed..thanks again and again...
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