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France itinerary for a family with teenagers

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France itinerary for a family with teenagers

Old Jan 19th, 2013, 04:11 PM
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France itinerary for a family with teenagers

Hi
I am planning to take my family (including two teenagers) to Europe this summer. We'll need to go to Barcelona for an event. After that, we want to visit France. We are thinking about flying to Nice then make our way toward Paris via TGV. We are thinking about visiting Lyon or Avignon, but are flexible. Any recommendation for places to visit would be greatly appreciated. We plan to spend about a week in France. Would it be better to rent a car and drive from Nice to Avignon/Lyon or take the train?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 04:21 PM
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How old are the teens? Boy or girls? Interests?
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 04:28 PM
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For a week, Nice-Avignon-Lyon-Paris just about does it. I would even drop one city.

An alternative is to start in Nice, spend a week in the provence and fly out of Marseille, or vice-versa. I would rent a car to visit the small towns in the Provence.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...04539441/show/
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 07:06 PM
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Nytravler
One boy, 13. One girl, 16. None of my family has been in Europe. The adults would be interested in museum, architecture,etc. but we want to find a happy balance. If I want to travel by train, should I buy train tickets before I leave the US, or purchase once I am in France.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 07:09 PM
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Michael,
Your photos look awesome. Which city would you skip? Avignon or Lyon?
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 08:45 PM
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Pokemon, FWIW, if it were me, with just a week, I'd probably focus the majority of the time in Paris and one other city max, because there is so much there to do for everyone in your group in Paris vs provence.

I love the south of france but the beauty and pleasure of provence for me is having a car and driving around and taking in the rustic villages and relaxing in the quieter pace of life there, which might be boring to the kids. I've usually used Provence as a place to go to relax after spending time in a busier European city. Which, then again, might be just what you need after a week in Barcelona.

Two places that might be nice for you to visit with the kids are Arles with its old roman arena, and by car nearby there is an old fortified village named Les Baux that is charming and you can walk up into the old part of the town. But then again, depending on when you go in summer, the heat could be stifling.

Is there a reason you're wanting to start from Nice specifically?

Another thing to keep in mind is that the TGV from Nice to Paris is 6 hours, so that's a long day of travel up to Paris. If you don't need to be in Nice, you could fly in directly to Paris or somewhere closer to Paris to save yourself some of the travel time. '

What do the kids want to do? Everything I've read says to involve them in the choices.

I'm taking our 7 and 10 year old this year to Paris and the Loire Valley. No matter what you choose, your children will have a good time because it'll all be new to them.

Good luck planning.

-skatterfly
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 09:21 PM
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There is a festival in Avignon, I believe in July, that my 14 and 15 year old grand daughters liked and Cord sur cil (sp) had a medieval festival that likewise was a hit..The girls were not into experimenting with food and ate only pizza for several days but then they tried moules and were hooked.They tried more and became much more cosmopoliton in their tastes..The caves around Foix might be of interest also..Nice didn't offer much except high end window shopping and fancy cars!!!Your kids will enjoy it all but maybe only after they get home.. the Drome Valley saw Hannibel's elephants. The mountains above Di saw the "resistance" WWII Free French..Versaille and Petite Trianon..outstanding. Arles, as stated with the Roman ruins and Carcassonne should also be of interest. Happy Trails!!
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 12:45 PM
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All,
Thanks for the advice. There's a tendency to try to visit many places as you can, but it might be a good idea just to skip Nice. We definite will try to involve the kids in the choices. The girl is old enough to appreciate history, culture, etc. so mostly we'll just to have to make sure to include other activities so the boy doesn't get too bored.

Festival in Avignon sounds pretty interesting too. Any idea on the best way to get from Barcelona to Avignon? Is there a train that connect these cities?
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Old Jan 25th, 2014, 04:36 AM
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wondering how skatterflys trip was to Loire with kids?
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Old Jan 25th, 2014, 04:46 AM
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As has been said with only a week just go to Paris--it will totally suit and entrance everyone of every age. I would try to engage Michael Osman for at least one day, actually two--one for a tour of the city and the other for a guide to the museums.
We did this with our adult children, but Michael is a consummate "teacher" of all ages. We didn't want to spend much time in the Louvre but with him as a guide, we had a wonderful "taste" for the building and the art. And in the Orsay he tied together the evolution of the art of the time.
You may have time in the week to do a day trip--it could be the Loire chateaux or Versailles (not my favorite) or Giverney. But you could have that day trip on the back burner and see how your week is progressing.
There is, as you say, the temptation to pack things in but sometimes, more is less and you're just running around.
I will also say, we took our children to Europe at the age of yours and there is definitely a way to please everyone's desires and likes.
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Old Jan 25th, 2014, 04:46 AM
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As has been said with only a week just go to Paris--it will totally suit and entrance everyone of every age. I would try to engage Michael Osman for at least one day, actually two--one for a tour of the city and the other for a guide to the museums.
We did this with our adult children, but Michael is a consummate "teacher" of all ages. We didn't want to spend much time in the Louvre but with him as a guide, we had a wonderful "taste" for the building and the art. And in the Orsay he tied together the evolution of the art of the time.
You may have time in the week to do a day trip--it could be the Loire chateaux or Versailles (not my favorite) or Giverney. But you could have that day trip on the back burner and see how your week is progressing.
There is, as you say, the temptation to pack things in but sometimes, more is less and you're just running around.
I will also say, we took our children to Europe at the age of yours and there is definitely a way to please everyone's desires and likes.
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Old Jan 25th, 2014, 05:23 AM
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On our first trip to Europe with our girls we moved too much .... learned from that and on the next trip spent the entire time in an apartment in Paris. SO much better! I recommend you do the same - rent an apartment and plant yourselves for the week. I know it is tempting to keep moving but you will have already traveled and been in Spain...and if you get really want to - take day trips from Paris.

I also HIGHLY recommend Michael - he does book up a lot in advance so please reach out to him. He is a funny, fabulous, kind engaging person for all generations.
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