France Itinerary - Looking for input!

Mar 31st, 2013, 09:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2
France Itinerary - Looking for input!

My friend and I (2 women - 50s & 60s) are planning a first-time trip to Paris and France from June 17 to July 3. We're flying in and out of Paris and will spend the first 6 days touring Paris. We've already booked a B&B and have a list of places to see so I think we have that covered. It's the rest of the time we're trying to work out - we have 10 more days. We'd like to take the train at least once as it is novel and seems like a fast way to get around and will drive as well. We don't want to be rushed and know we can't see it all so we've already ruled out Normandy and the north. This is what we've come up with at this point. Thinking of 3 bases - Burgundy, Provence and Bordeaux but haven't decided on which town in each area to stay in yet. This one cuts out the Loire, is that a mistake? (We will do a day trip to Versailles from Paris so maybe that will fulfill our chateau needs.) Should we do this in reverse? Does it matter?
Day 8: Monday June 24- train to Burgundy (Dijon?) pick up car
Day 9: Tuesday June 25- Burgundy
Day 10: Wednesday June 26- Burgundy
Day 11: Thursday June 27- drive to Provence (Avignon? Orange? Mazan?)
Day 12: Friday June 28- Provence
Day 13: Saturday June 29- Provence
Day 14: Sunday June 30- drive to Bordeaux region (stay in Bordeaux?)
Day 15: Monday July 1- Bordeaux
Day 16: Tuesday July 2- Bordeaux
Day 17: Wednesday July 3- drop off car, train back to Paris (3 hrs)
Thursday July 4- leave for home
Would appreciate any comments or suggestions offered. Merci beaucoup!
campgrant is offline  
Mar 31st, 2013, 09:54 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,505
Provence to Bordeaux is a very long drive - at least 6 hours non stop - and you'll be travelling on the first big holiday week-end, i.e. lot of traffic. I would skip Bordeaux and stay in Provence.
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 04:40 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,522
I agree with Pv... drop Bordeaux. I'd also look into dropping the car after 3 days in Burgundy and taking the train to Provence. You don't have a lot of time and you'll be able to skip a boring and expensive drive down the autoroute. Detrain and pick up a car
in Provence and train back to Paris the day before your flight home. If you haven't bought the plane tickets yet, see if you can fly into Paris but home from somewhere in the south like Marseille or Nice. It will save both time and money.

See for cars... they do rentals 3 days and longer.
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 05:29 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,055
If you do choose to drop Bordeaux, you might want to replace it with Nice. It is an easy drive from Provence, and you could even day trip to some of the other coastal towns from Nice. Then take the train back to Paris, or perhaps fly home directly from Nice.
msteacher is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 05:43 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Consider a multi-destination air ticket, into Paris and home from either Nice or Marseille. It will only cost a little bit more which will be more than made up for by not spending the time and money returning to Paris.
Southam is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 01:19 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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Thank you for the comments. Unfortunately air is already booked and we didn't thnk of leaving from another place so we'll have to make our way back to Paris. So, 2 votes against Bordeaux, hmmm maybe we should consider keeping it to Burgundy and Provence. If we wanted to drive south and train back north, does anyone recommend any scenic routes that avoid the busy highways where we could take our time driving south?
campgrant is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,060
Three votes against Bordeaux. You've got barely any time as it is in Provence. Stay in Provence, ditch the car the day before you fly out of Paris, and take the TGV back to Paris for the last night.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 1st, 2013, 11:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,505
"If we wanted to drive south and train back north,"

See which gives you a choice of itineraries.
Pvoyageuse is offline  

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