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France in a week from Paris!

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Feb 17th, 2016, 07:20 AM
  #1
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France in a week from Paris!

HELP! I am going to France for a work thing. My boyfriend is coming to meet me in Paris. He has never been to Europe. We only have 8 days to run around. We are doing a few days in Paris and then overnight near Normandy Beaches (DDay) and Mont Saint Michael.

So my question is what else can we do? I don't want to do another long day trip(s) so maybe another overnight somewhere? Any advice? We like wine and food as well. Medieval towns are great as well. I am used to running around on trains but the hotels seem to book up pretty fast so I am thinking that I need to book this soon.

Or do we spend the last few days in Paris enjoying wine parings and food tours?
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Feb 17th, 2016, 07:27 AM
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Wine, food and a medieval town: Auxerre. By train 1:48 from Paris-Bercy.
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Feb 17th, 2016, 08:13 AM
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Paris and a couple of days in Amsterdam? I like Normandy but an overnight will eat up more time than you really can afford, IMO, unless the Normandy beaches have a very special pull for you.
But if you wanted a Normandy trip, heading to Rouen and taking the Abbey Road on to the coast (honfleur), Bayeux, etc. for 3 days say, might be a nice interlude.
Even going to Amsterdam from Paris for a few days could be nice.
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Feb 17th, 2016, 08:31 AM
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IMO, the D-day beaches and MSM are really not the "France experience", if that's what you are looking for. Most of the medieval villages were obliterated in that area. If you want to pay homage to the WWII soldiers and learn something about the invasion - fine. MSM is nice - but if you hit it mid-day from about May through October - it can get mobbed and un-enjoyable for many. Friends of ours drove to MSM, took a look at all the tour buses in the parking lot, and departed. Someone on Fodors about 3 weeks ago reported doing the same thing.

My two favorite cities in France after Paris, are Dijon and Toulouse. Toulouse is too far away for a day-trip by train, but Dijon is just 1 1/2 hrs away. You could do an overnight to Dijon and visit Beaune also - 20 mins by train from Dijon.

I would never persuade anyone to spend less time in Paris - so a full 8 days there would be perfect.

Stu Dudley
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Feb 17th, 2016, 08:39 AM
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If I interpret your "title" to say that you'll be in Paris the last week in February - remember that Paris & Normandy are farther north than anyplace in the USA (except Alaska). Weather in Honfleur, Normandy beaches, and MSM could be pretty bad - and much of the time you'll need to be outside. It might be a better idea to make a decision about where to go at the last minute - based on the weather and how much you are enjoying Paris itself.

Stu Dudley
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Feb 17th, 2016, 10:16 AM
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another day trip option is Reims - the Medieval cathedral is wonderful, and then there's the champagne of course....
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Feb 17th, 2016, 11:11 AM
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Reims indeed, a beautiful town and an easy trip from Paris. Another possibility: Dijon, easily reached on the TGV from Paris in under 2 hours.
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Feb 17th, 2016, 12:23 PM
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If you don't want to stay in Paris, I think Reims or Dijon would both be good ideas for a day or two. Strasbourg is also only 2.5 hrs by TGV and a different flavor being Alsace (wine and food). Its old quarter (Petite France) is really from the 16th-17th century, though, but the cathedral is Gothic, as is the one in Reims.
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Feb 17th, 2016, 02:58 PM
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but the cathedral is Gothic, as is the one in Reims.>>

of course it is, Christina - what was I thinking of?
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Feb 17th, 2016, 03:18 PM
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I agree with Stu. We saw Normandy/D-day the first week of March of 2011. Cold. Very Windy. Difficult to stand next to the ocean on a cold and windy day then. 45 degrees and windy is bad. 35 and windy was nearly impossible. But the sites were beautiful, interesting, and we're going back this year. But at the end of May.
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