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France Itinerary--Top 10 places to see not in Paris

France Itinerary--Top 10 places to see not in Paris

Oct 6th, 2007, 04:09 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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France Itinerary--Top 10 places to see not in Paris

Working on a 3 week itinerary for our first trip to France (will spend the first week in Paris and then the next 2 driving around France)--can you help me to find some of the great places not to be missed that are NOT in Paris. We want to see places of beauty and historical interest--yes this is a very broad request but am hoping that I get lots of responses and can include in my itinerary the ones many people suggest!!
bornintheusa is offline  
Oct 6th, 2007, 04:45 PM
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What time of year???

If you are going to see the top 10 places in 14 days, that means 1 1/2 days in each place - which is WAY to fast to rush through France, IMO. For 14 days on a FAST/LOOK SEE pace, I would hit only 4 regions at most - perhaps the Dordogne (4), Provence(5), Burgundy (3), and Alsace (2).

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Oct 6th, 2007, 04:59 PM
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Every place in France is not to be missed. The food, the landscape will be different.One of our first trips we drove along the coast to get feel of those areas another we did inland til we knew what we preferred
cigalechanta is offline  
Oct 6th, 2007, 05:11 PM
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1. Mont St-Michel, in Normandy
2. If World War II interests you, the landing beaches in Normandy.
3. The towns of Honfleur and Bayeux, again in Normandy.
3. Chartres cathedral and old town, about a 30-minute train ride from Paris.
4. A few of the Loire Valley châteaux.

That will nicely take up your second week without overtaxing your time.

Then either

1. Spend 2 days in Burgundy, seeing the Gothic cathedral at Autun and the basilica at Vézelay--2 crusades were preached at the latter, and it's the starting point for the pilgrimmage to Santiago de Compostela. Add in the ancient Abbay de Fontenay, a very well preserved monastery.

3. Head south, seeing the Roman ruins at Orange and in Arles, along with the beyond-description Pont du Gard. Allow 2 days.

4. Spend a day driving among the perched villages of Gordes, Ménerbes, Roussillon, and perhaps Bonnieux.

5. Visit the historic ruins at Les Baux; drive through the Alpilles region and visit some olive mills. See St-Rémy.

Take the TGV back to Paris with a good sense of having seem some of the best that France has to offer.
Underhill is offline  
Oct 6th, 2007, 05:51 PM
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We will be 2 weeks in June and first in July---This is a great start to creating my itinerary--some great suggestions and yes I know we will be breezing through France--did Ireland in 2 weeks but got a good sense of the land and the people driving and seeing lots of great things!! Keep them coming!!!
bornintheusa is offline  
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:02 PM
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Run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore and buy a copy of the Michelin Green Guide to France. It includes all the top sites and a whole lot else in addition, including suggested itineraries. With that in hand you'll be able to plan a great trip.
Underhill is offline  
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:56 PM
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Late June and early July is lavender & sunflower booming time in Provence. Long daylight hours to dine outside or sit in cafes, vineyards, warm evenings. Smell of wild thyme & rosemary and chicadas making their noise. I know where I would be heading that time of year !!!!

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 03:42 PM
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we did a week each in the Loire and Normandy - nice close areas with plenty to see without alot of car time - close to Paris also to drive or RR.

also a week each in Burgundy and then Provence - drove from Paris to Burgundy(Beaune) and then to Carianne but took the bullet from Avignon direct to airport

just dont over do it and try to see all of France in 2 weeks - stop and smell the roses!! we have decided that out of a week in an area, we will tour for 4 days and then kick back the other days at the gite with a good book etc
dsevig is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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Get the Michelin Green Guide for France and figure out an itinerary. In two weeks you will be anyway limited to the highlights that are listed in the guide.
Michael is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 05:27 PM
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Did you know that France is about the same size as Texas? A lot bigger than you thought, I would guess.

The more you drive, the less you see.

I have been to France many times. And I have yet to see it all. I am missing a big hunk of the Pyrenees, the Aquitaine, and more. For some reason, Bordeaux eludes us. Pick your targets and take your time.
USNR is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 05:41 PM
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The alps are beautiful. Annecy is an enchanting town.
palatino82 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 05:53 PM
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eveywhere mentioned is worthwhile.
One of our first trip we started with coastline from Honfleur down to Biarritz
Another year inland from coast to coast.
as UNSR says, you never see it all.
cigalechanta is offline  
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