French countryside...Fall foliage

Jul 6th, 2002, 09:39 PM
  #1  
jeanne
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French countryside...Fall foliage

A friend and I are travelling to France in mid-October for 17 days. We'll be in Paris and plan to take a week to travel in the country.

We've talked about the Loire valley and maybe the Bayeax area. But it occurred to us there might be some lovely fall foliage by the end of October. Can any of you suggest areas we may want to consider with that in mind?
 
Jul 7th, 2002, 07:37 AM
  #2  
Mavis
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Topping. I think it's a good question - I'd like to know the answer, too.
 
Jul 7th, 2002, 08:10 AM
  #3  
StCirq
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The fall foliage in the Dordogne, which is the most heavily forested part of France, is spectacular. I imagine, though I've never been in fall, that the foliage in the northeast is great in fall as well.
 
Jul 7th, 2002, 12:14 PM
  #4  
jeanne
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Now I'm intrigued with ANOTHER part of France.....sigh, I'm going to just have to stay for a year. Too much to see for just 17 days.
 
Jul 8th, 2002, 07:38 AM
  #5  
Byrd
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Driving in the Loire Valley in October several years ago, we saw so many buildings (chateaux as well as village houses) almost covered with vines which had turned a beautiful red. Does anybody know what the vine is? Wonder if it would grow here...
 
Jul 8th, 2002, 07:50 AM
  #6  
StCirq
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John: It's a kind of ivy. Don't know where "here" is, but you can buy it in the USA. I wouldn't recommend it, though; it's beautiful but it tends to destroy the surfaces it clings to after a while.
 
Jul 8th, 2002, 07:52 AM
  #7  
xxx
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Isn´t it just ordinary Virginia creeper (Boston ivy)?
 
Jul 8th, 2002, 08:14 AM
  #8  
Byrd
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"Here" is west central Alabama, and Virginia creeper certainly does grow here! It could very well be either a kind of ivy or Va. creeper, since everything looks better in someplace like the Loire Valley! I'm going to dig out my photos any look more closely. I remember making at least one pretty good picture.

StCirq- We've had trouble with ivy "taking over," so I wouldn't want to get that started--but the kind of ivy we have here doesn't turn red in the fall.
 
Jul 8th, 2002, 09:39 AM
  #9  
Matt
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The vine that turns red / orange in the fall certainly sounds like Boston ivy. Here in Canada, BI and Virginia creeper are sold seperately so I don't think they are the same plant (leaves certainly are different) though they may belong to the same family. If you're disappointed with the Fall colours in France, come on up to Canada to see our Fall display. It's spectacular ! Lots of people from France do.
 
Jul 8th, 2002, 01:08 PM
  #10  
mpprh
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Hi

Vineyards look good in fall.

Loire valley may be ready at that time.

Here's some near me -

http://tlp.netfirms.com/photo12.htm

Peter
 
Jul 8th, 2002, 07:02 PM
  #11  
jeanne
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Byrd: Hey, I'm in Alabama, too! Small world, isn't it?! We don't have enough cold weather to "turn" the ivy in the fall. But in Vermont last year, some of the prettiest colors were the vines...especially ivy. (It was cooooold in October).

I think we may just head to Paris and decide on the countryside tour after we get there. We'll have a week in Paris to see how the weather looks, get suggestions from locals, etc. I love unplanned side trips....can't help but be surprised!
 
Jul 9th, 2002, 05:05 AM
  #12  
Byrd
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Hey Jeanne! Finally, another Alabamian on the forum! I've been around here for several years and the closest neighbors I've seen are from Atlanta or New Orleans.

Where are you? We are in Demopolis..

Byrd
 
Jul 9th, 2002, 09:26 AM
  #13  
Molly
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Jeanne:

Hey! We just returned (yesterday) from 9 days in France, mostly in the Dordogne region. We rented a house with friends there. The area is stunning and vastly different from any I've ever seen. Lush, pristine farmland steches from the bastide towns up to the Dordogne river. It must be spectacular with the changing colors. The Dordogne is full of beautiful Chateau. We saw several along the river around Beynac. (Check your maps) I could not believe how cheap the food and wine are in grocery stores. We paid anywhere from 2-8 Euros for local wines and never had a bad bottle. However, I must say it is very remote and can take 7 hours to get there from Paris. If I can be of more help, let me know.
 
Jul 9th, 2002, 02:15 PM
  #14  
lori
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Byrd, the vine is called "verge vine" or virgin vine per the Chateau du Marcay. I haven't been able to locate it in the US, but I'm still looking. The local nursery didn't have a clue!
 
Jul 9th, 2002, 02:16 PM
  #15  
lori
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It isn't Boston Ivy. ):
 
Jul 9th, 2002, 03:59 PM
  #16  
jeanne
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Hey, Byrd. I'm on the coast...Mobile. Our summer heat hit today and I'm thinking maybe I will MOVE to France. (I go through this every summer!).

Dordogne is sounding better and better.

What do y'all think about simply waiting until we get to Paris to decide? We're thinking go ahead and reserve the car before we go. Spend a week in Paris and then decide which direction to head in. We may hear of a great festival worth visiting, etc. Do you think that's leaving it too loose?
 
Jul 9th, 2002, 04:12 PM
  #17  
elvira
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An impromptu trip in France in the fall isn't a bad idea; the heavy tourist season is over so getting rooms won't be too difficult. I suggest you pick out a couple of hotels (check the guidebooks for ones that don't close after the summer season) in each region that you will need for your first night so you'll have a place to call ahead for reservations when you decide. You can wing it from there.
 
Jul 9th, 2002, 04:51 PM
  #18  
StCirq
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You could wing it through the Dordogne in mid-October to some extent, but be advised that many hotels and restaurants close up from "mid-October" through the end of Easter weekend. The actual closing date is pretty much up to the caprice of the owners. I think I would at least want to investigate which hotels/B&Bs/auberges, etc., stay open through October before I set off from Paris. You can get that information in either the Cadogan book on the area or, better yet, the Guide du Routard book on hotels and restos in France (I'm pretty sure it's published in English, but I don't know what it's called - the Routard Guide perhaps? - anyway, it's got a red cover on it with a picture of a guy carrying a rucksack in the form of a globe).

And if you do decide to make the Dordogne your destination, I'd suggest you take the train from Paris to Périgueux or Sarlat or Bordeaux instead of driving. It's one long rather dull drive, and the train is fun.
 
Jul 9th, 2002, 10:14 PM
  #19  
Jo
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Another region of France with beautiful autumn foliage is Alsace. The vineyards and trees in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains create lovely patterns in varying shades of gold, orange, green and brown. And if you catch the sun shining through a sprinkling of raindrops, you may be fortunate to see one of the most vividly-colored rainbows you'll find anywhere.
 
Jul 9th, 2002, 10:33 PM
  #20  
jay
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Can anyone tell me about Burgundy in mid/late Oct? We'll be visiting Dijon/Beaune area as well as Lyon.
Thank you.
 

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