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France other than Paris, Provence and D-Day Beaches

France other than Paris, Provence and D-Day Beaches

Aug 5th, 2011, 01:44 PM
  #1  
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France other than Paris, Provence and D-Day Beaches

We are headed to Europe in late September. Headed first to Amsterdam and environs, then Brugge and environs and wanted to then head to France, Second trip to France-went to Provence and Paris then.Where to? We will rent car. 20 days- 19 there.
We love to eat, go to markets, see historic sights, gently hike, fish, hand glide (maybe) some museums. We do not drink so wine trips not interest. We are retired and love the search. Tend to center in one place and take day trips. RT out of AMS with an easy jet/ryanair from France back to AMS or Brussels.
Any suggestions?
inbetweeny is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 01:59 PM
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an obvious area is the Dordogne. lovely towns, castles, gardens, great food.

you might also like the pyrenees/ the area around toulouse.

you could in fact cover most/all of that area in the [almost] 3 weeks that you have got.
annhig is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 02:19 PM
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---so many places to go -- so little time ---

You might like Sarlat as a base. It has a good market (Saturday only I think) and the old town center is living history -- medieval buildings everywhere you look. Sarlat is the fois gras capital of France if that interests you, and there are farms in the area where you can see the geese being fed. If you rent a car, there are many interesting towns for day tripping. Rick Steves France guide book has good driving tours of the area which we did recently. There is much in the area to keep you busy several days. For best description, get a copy of Rick Steves France book. A couple of tips - don't plan to drive into Sarlat on market day -- streets blocked, traffic jams, a nightmare. The most convenient hotel to the historic center is Hotel Madeleine. From there you are in the center of the market and historical area. However, if you have a car (recommended for the day tours)be sure to reserve ahead for a parking place at the hotel; otherwise, it's catch as catch can on the street or up a very steep hill to the parking lot. You'll get lots more recommendations for places to go from other fodorites. In France, it's hard to go wrong.
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Aug 5th, 2011, 04:02 PM
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sap
 
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I would definitely recommend the Dordogne. We absolutely loved it every inch of it. It's a gorgeous place with a lot of history and the best food we had during our month in France. It sounds like a perfect fit for your interests. You would probably want to rent a car and, as recommended above, either base in Sarlat or one of the nearby towns.
sap is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 04:21 PM
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Last year, I did:

Brussels
Antwerp
Gent
Brugge
Honfleur
Abbey of Jumieges for a few hours on my way to...
Rouen
Giverny for a few hours on my way to...
Reims
Dinant for a few hours on my way to...
Namur before flying out of Brussels the next day
joannyc is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 04:27 PM
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Dordogne

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 11:55 AM
  #7  
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Thank you all for suggestions. Interesting no suggestions for Riviera???
inbetweeny is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 12:04 PM
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You know who else loves the Dordogne? Moi.
mr_go is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 12:08 PM
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Lyon
Loire
Brittany
Michel_Paris is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 12:09 PM
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Riviera is part of Provence, which you ruled out. In September, I'd choose Dordogne.
Judy is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 12:11 PM
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Duh...Dordogne.

There's a Wednesday market in Sarlat as well, though not as big as the Saturday one.
StCirq is online now  
Aug 17th, 2011, 09:44 AM
  #12  
ira
 
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Hi in,

>Interesting no suggestions for Riviera???<

Since you seem to wish it:

Riviera.


Who would go to the regions surrounding the the Lot, the Dordogne and the Tarn.
ira is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 10:55 AM
  #13  
 
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I will echo everyone who has suggested the Dordogne. We just returned from 20 days in the area and loved it. You can read my trip report if you'd like to get some ideas.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...guedoc-lot.cfm

We stayed in Sarlat and found it very convenient to all of the other towns in the area (no more than 30-40 min drive). It also has a lot of good restaurants that you can walk to if you don't want to drive in the evenings.
winnick is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 11:16 AM
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Obviously Strasbourg (Metz, Nancy) is the ideal direction to take for late September. The fabulous autumn colors in the Vosges mountains will be at their ajax. You can take the "route des crêtes" following the upper spine of the mountains, on to the Jura and the Ballon d'Alsace, known to the sufferers of the Tour de France. By then you arrive at the northern side of the fabulous Alps and can go into Geneva for a taste of Switzerland. After that, it's your decision -- see more of the Alps or turn into Burgundy for Beaune, Dijon and other splendors.
kerouac is online now  
Aug 17th, 2011, 11:17 AM
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Actually, I meant apex instead of ajax!
kerouac is online now  
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