France in 10 days

Sep 8th, 2007, 04:14 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 13
France in 10 days

Hello everyone!

I want this first trip to be unforgettable, but in a good way. I want to see as much as possible without it being too exhausting. I have come up with an itenarary which I need opinions on. Is it too much or just right? Not sure what are the best ways of getting around: car, train, fly...

Arrive Sept 28 Friday, to Paris. Stay until Sunday (30) evening and then head to Lyon.
Stay in Lyon Sunday night, Monday, Tuesday
Wednesday head to Montpillier, stay there thursday and Friday go to Lourdes, stay in Montpillier.
Saturday head to either Nice or Monaco.
Stay in there until Monday which we would return to Paris on that day.
Tuesday we return home.

Hotels recommendations welcomed!
javi is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 06:19 PM
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Hi, javi:

How did you select the places on this itinerary? Do you have relatives or something compelling in one or more of these places, or did you just throw darts at a map?

Frankly, it looks nuts to me. It'll be unforgettable, all right, and not in a good way.

First, for a first trip to Paris, I'd suggest you stay a bare minimum of 4 days. Friday's a lost day with jet lag and getting settled in your hotel and all. At best, you'll enjoy a bit of the afternoon, a good meal, and an early bedtime. Then you have all Saturday and part of Sunday before you board a train for Lyon. You can't accomplish much of anything in that time, even though Paris is a fairly compact city.

OK, Lyon's a marvelous city and you could see the highlights in two days, which is all you've got there. But why are you going? What is it that appeals to you about it? (I'm just trying to wrap my head around why you put this particular itinerary together.)

Montpellier's a great town, too, but to go to Lourdes from there is impossible on a day trip. Then on to Nice and Monaco? Wowzers....

And to put this together without knowing whether you're going to be taking trains or driving or flying...well, that's the cart before the horse, I'd say.

Do you have a good map of France? If not, get one. Check out distances. Check out train schedules and prices. Check out car rental prices. Check out airlines. THEN see what you can do in the time allotted.
StCirq is online now  
Sep 8th, 2007, 07:19 PM
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I'm actually really glad you are telling me this. So would you just stick to Paris? or Paris and one other nearby place?
javi is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 07:24 PM
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Don't miss the wonderful countryside, but it still won't seem like enough time in Paris.
stokebailey is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 07:29 PM
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I could stay a week in paris and still not see everything. You can take day trips out of paris also. Seems like alot to do in a short time.
KARIME2 is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 07:59 PM
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what would be a realistic day's trip? in and out of France
javi is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 09:45 PM
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If you're amenable, I also recommend spending your time in Paris. Nice day trips from there include (all quite accessible by public transportation):
- Versailles
- Giverny: Monet's home, now a museum
- Chartres: take an English-language tour with Malcolm Miller of this medeval cathedral (google him for more info)
- Reims: burial place of the kings of France, and center for the champagne industry
- Chantilly: a beautiful chateau turned museum

If you really don't want to spend your entire vacation in Paris, look at taking a few days in Brittany or Normandy, or the Loire Valley. (I'm sure others will have more suggestions, too!) For these, you might want to rent a car; AutoEurope is a reliable, US-based service that facilitates renting from local companies.
ggreen is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 02:47 AM
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This type of itinerary has both taste and practical aspect.

Let me comment on the practical part first. Montpellier to Lourdes is a very hard day trip irrespective of the type of travel one prefers. It is 4hrs one way by car and 4.5-6.5hr by train. If you are a Catholic and Lourdes is a must visit, you have to sacrifice in other areas.

I counted 10 full days plus additional trip on 9/28, depending on your arrival.

It is possible to venture far away from Paris if it suit your style. Whether one stays in one place for a long time or spread across different locations is a matter of taste, of course within a physical limit of practicality mentioned above.

How long does it take to visit Paris? It depends. Some says one must stay there 1 week there before thinking about visiting other places while others may say do 4 days in Paris and 3 days in Loire: options are endless.

Best way to visit spread away places efficiently is to string them in transportation proximity and not to do a backtracking - which unfortunately is not your option.

If French Riviera is a must visit, it can be done by eliminating ground based backtracking and an additional check in/out in Paris by flying directly to Nice on 9/28 and start your trip from there.

I have done 3 cities across France including Paris and Nice over 9 nights at a leisurely pace. I had very focused agenda at each location, used open-jaw, and never had to travel more than 3 hours per move. I had just one (1) must do activity per day and added and subtracted other activities depending on how the days went.
greg is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 04:32 AM
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Hi J,

>I want this first trip to be unforgettable, but in a good way.<

I suggest that you start by scrapping your current plan.

You have 9 nights.

You could:

1. spend all of them in Paris and take 1 or 2 daytrips

2. spend 5 in Paris, 2 each in 2 different towns or cities (Lyon is not a bad idea)

What is it that you are lookiing for outside Paris?

Make up your mind quickly, as Sept is still high-season and you will want to make reservations.

ira is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 05:00 AM
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Geez, until I read St. Cirq's post I had missed that you were even going to be in Paris. Why Montpelier? MANY more interesting and fun and cute places in the South.
Nice is a long way--for what?.
Go to Paris and do a day trip from there, if you must, but even that would not be too long to stay in Paris.
You could even do a day trip to Lyon if this is a must see for you.
Others have given you other ideas for day trips.
Gretchen is offline  

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