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France/Germany/Luxembourg itinerary - suggestions?

France/Germany/Luxembourg itinerary - suggestions?

Jul 25th, 2018, 10:35 AM
  #1  
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France/Germany/Luxembourg itinerary - suggestions?

We are about three weeks away from making this adventure happen - I think I have figured out our itinerary, with help and expertise from Fodorites, along with my own research. Some dates and places are set in stone, particularly the private homes we will be renting, because they are prepaid, but others, particularly travel days, are still somewhat flexible. For some travelers, it may seem we are planting ourselves for too many days in various places, but we really like to relax and get to know an area - and we are fortunate to be retired and to have time and resources enough that we don't feel that we want to rush around and see "everywhere." Been there, done that - and it was fun and exhilarating, but for now slow travel is what we are looking for.

We are a couple in our mid and late 60s, fairly well traveled, and in reasonably good physical shape. We enjoy walking, hiking, sampling local foods and wine, historic sites, and getting to know neighborhoods and countryside. We've been on a few whirlwind European trips when we were younger, and now are more in the mode of wanting to slow down and savor the local scene. We are not much for shopping. We'd probably like to find a few wine-tasting day trips, so we can enjoy the local spirits without having to drive. Any suggestions for that, as well as must-see sights along our route would be greatly appreciated. Restaurants and local cuisine ideas especially appreciated. Ready to fine tune this itinerary and get going!

So tell me what you think!

Day 1 Flight on Norwegian Air from OAK to CDG
Day 2 Arrive CDG midday and take train to Reims
Day 3 Reims - Hotel in city center
Day 4 Explore Reims, recover from jet lag, cathedral
Day 5 Pick up rental car in Reims, drive to Luxembourg. Hotel in Vianden
Day 6 Luxembourg - explore castle, museum, (suggestions welcome)
Day 7 Drive to Ellenz-Poltersdorf in Mosel River Valley, Germany. Apartment rented.
Day 8 Ellenz-Poltersdorf - explore villages, island, vineyards. (suggestions welcome)
Day 9 Ellenz-Poltersdorf - river boat to Cologne - explore city by day (suggestions welcome)
Day 10 Drive to Strasbourg - hotel in city center - explore city
Day 11 Strasbourg - boat trip around old town, (suggestions welcome)
Day 12 Drive to Kayserberg, Alsace. Village cottage rented.
Day 13 Kayserberg - explore other villages
Day 14 Kayserberg - walking, hiking, wine tasting
Day 15 Kayserberg - more of the same
Day 16 Kayserberg (suggestions welcome)
Day 17 Kayserberg
Day 18 Kayserberg
Day 19 Drive to Dijon - Hotel in city center
Day 20 Drive to Beaune - cottage rented
Day 21 Beaune - wine tasting, mustard, day tours (suggestions welcome)
Day 22 Beaune - more of the same
Day 23 Turn in car in Dijon - take train to Paris
Day 24 Paris - apartment rented on rue de seine - Left Bank
Day 25 Paris - we have spent time in Paris before, so will mostly just relax and enjoy the city, without feeling pressed to see all the sights. Restaurant suggestions especially welcome here.
Day 26 Paris
Day 27 Paris
Day 28 Fly home
scdreamer is offline  
Jul 25th, 2018, 10:43 AM
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Bok that Dijon-Paris train well inadvande at www.oui.sncf for sweeet discounts - train to Reims probably involves going into Paris and changing from Gare du Nord to Gare de l'Est - maybe take taxi after all-night train. Itinerary looks great - lots of wine! I'd consider renting car at CDG and driving to Reims - not that far or maybe check out minibuses that fan out from CDG to many places - nice after all-night flight.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 25th, 2018, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Bok that Dijon-Paris train well inadvande at www.oui.sncf for sweeet discounts - train to Reims probably involves going into Paris and changing from Gare du Nord to Gare de l'Est - maybe take taxi after all-night train. Itinerary looks great - lots of wine! I'd consider renting car at CDG and driving to Reims - not that far or maybe check out minibuses that fan out from CDG to many places - nice after all-night flight.
Spot on advice, Pal - and thank you! I booked a car and driver to take us directly to Reims from CDG - it wasn't much more than the train would have been, and while there are a couple direct trains daily from CDG, I was hesitant to book the train, as you never know if your flight may be delayed, and then no refunds on the advance train tickets. We will be tired after the flight from the west coast of US and nine hour time difference, so no way we wanted to deal with driving ourselves.

Also - booked the train from Dijon to Paris - think I got a good price!
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Jul 25th, 2018, 01:53 PM
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I just cannot look at itineraries with so much detail. I did not see any room for improvisation. I will nevertheless throw in a couple of little Luxembourg reports that I made, since nobody ever talks about Luxembourg.

The discreet charm of Luxembourg City | Any Port in a Storm

Luxembourg wine country | Any Port in a Storm
kerouac is online now  
Jul 25th, 2018, 01:55 PM
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I guess it is only fair to throw in an old Strasbourg report.

Strasbourg in September | Any Port in a Storm
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Jul 25th, 2018, 05:47 PM
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On the way out of Luxembourg City is the Hamm USA Military Cemetery whe lies the body and tomb of Gen Patton - I always find such visits to these memorials to be rather moving. On way out of Reims to the east you'll find a monument to some French dude who was one of the first aviators.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubert_Latham

Trier makes of great few-hour stop going down the Mosel - see the Porta Negra, one of the most intact Roman edifices outside of Rome - and other Roman relics - great for a short stroll.

Benkastel-Kues is a great town for a short stop too - one of cutest on Mosel.

Of course those Mosel towns could be great day trips too.
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Jul 25th, 2018, 07:36 PM
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"kerouac;16768011]I just cannot look at itineraries with so much detail. I did not see any room for improvisation. I will nevertheless throw in a couple of little Luxembourg reports that I made, since nobody ever talks about Luxembourg."

Hmmm, I didn't think there was that much detail - other than the dates/places we will be staying. I was looking for ideas regarding local sights and things to do, not so much to change the actual route (it is summer and I wasn't comfortable with just heading out on the road without making arrangements for lodging) - I still think there will be spontaneity and improvisation; after all we will have a car, so can venture out and about.

Thanks for the info on Luxembourg!

Last edited by scdreamer; Jul 25th, 2018 at 08:02 PM.
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Jul 26th, 2018, 02:39 AM
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Hello
I think you spend quite a few days in Kayserberg... I'd stay a little bit less there and more in Strasbourg, and visit the small villages like Riquewihr and such.

In dijon, I just slept in l'auberge du chapeau rouge last month, I highly recommend it - it also hosts a 2 stars michelin restaurant that was great too.
We never do wine tours, we buy the Hachette guide and go to specific owners where we taste (and buy) wine.

We don't like Luxembourg city but like the countryside, such as Vianden. There are some great restaurants around there - ask your hotel...
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Jul 26th, 2018, 03:20 AM
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Mosel: don't know the village but look for tourist info (they have their ownwebsite) and look for walks and wine. Bike hire should be easy and a river boat is around, I love Urzig which is closer than Bernkastel (though not as pretty) but lots of fine walking and local wines, you cannot go wrong. Special features include older sweater wines by the glass are often dirt cheap and wonderful with onion tart.

Luxembourg; the wine route down on the mosel river front can get busy but again not bad, with Lux fizzy being especially good

Kaysersberg, up into the hills, bike hire and look out Equisheim which is picture perfect as Riquewihr

All these places have good websites look out for the chance to tour vinyards with wine makers (often in English or just go for the walk and normally a free tasting at the end) often in evenings or weekends and advertised on the website and in TI.) In theGerman area you will find they are allowed to run

Strausswirtschaften

Selfguide: bike tour german wine festival tasting and strausswirtschaft
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Jul 26th, 2018, 08:52 AM
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I think your itinerary is perfect - not too detailed and not rushed. For Paris restaurant suggestions start a new thread as buried here some Parisian gourmand/gourmet experts won't see it.

Cheers!
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Jul 27th, 2018, 10:47 AM
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Day 9 Ellenz-Poltersdorf - river boat to Cologne - explore city by day>

that's gotta be a long boat ride with rather uneventful scenery after Koblenz - hve you done boats thru Rhine Gorge - drive to Bingen via over the hills route and take boat up an hour or so and train back -going thru best of Rhine Gorge - www.k-d.com. If taking train back check out Lander Passes where boht can ride unlimited regional trains for the whole day for a pittance -like 30-35 euros - sometimes boats have a discount with them. Buy at stations.
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Jul 27th, 2018, 01:04 PM
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There are plenty of day cruises on the Moselle leaving from Remich, Luxembourg.
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Jul 27th, 2018, 02:42 PM
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There are plenty of day cruises on the Moselle leaving from Remich, Luxembourg.>

Not famliar with these - do they go or down the Moselle (in French, Mosel in Germany I think) and what kind of scenery - curious - thanks!
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Jul 27th, 2018, 03:35 PM
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Thanks - a whole different look at nice - interesting Schengen Accords were signed on that ship!
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Jul 28th, 2018, 02:29 AM
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Hiking on the Mosel is interesting if you take the high path (along the cliff on the north side especially) maps are available and the views can be spectacular
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Jul 28th, 2018, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
Hiking on the Mosel is interesting if you take the high path (along the cliff on the north side especially) maps are available and the views can be spectacular
That's something we will definitely look into - assuming the heatwave that is plaguing the area has abated by the time we arrive.

And, yes, to the idea that a boat trip to Cologne would not be the best use of time. Not sure where I picked up that consideration, but it's pretty ridiculous. We'll see about a boat excursion along the river when we get there - will probably nix any plans to make it to Cologne, unless we take the train in from Cochem. Hopefully we will have so much to see near Ellenz that we will have to save Cologne for another day.
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Jul 28th, 2018, 07:57 AM
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https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/d...hts-Trail.html

https://www.mosellandtouristik.de/en...istance-trail/

they also connect up to the Saar river walks with the most spectacular bend at 190 degrees
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Jul 28th, 2018, 10:59 AM
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bilboburgler - Thank you so much for the links - I have copied and put into my travel folder. Exactly what we are hoping to do.
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Jul 29th, 2018, 08:47 AM
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If foul weather strikes a day trip to Cologne by train could be nice - cathedral is worth it.
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