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StuDudley Oct 26th, 2014 05:10 PM

Leely - I was referring to Gites in the countryside - not apts or hotel rooms in Paris. We avoid extended stays in Paris from June through mid Sept because of the crowds mainly, but also the temps. We've been there a few times when it was hot - and we didn't enjoy ourselves at all. The apt we usually rent for multiple weeks in Paris has AC, but we've never turned it on. When we were in Paris this very-early July (Hotel) - it was chilly.

When we lived in The City (SF) and now down here in San Mateo - none of our friends or neighbors even had AC. I remember when Macys didn't have AC - just fans blowing with windows open when it was hot.


Melissa5. E-mail me at [email protected] to get the itinerary. It will answer most of your questions about Provence and other tips on avoiding crowds and not arriving into cities when all the shops are closed for lunch or Sun/Mon closings.

Stu Dudley

annhig Oct 27th, 2014 03:05 AM

we rented a gite [not a Gite de France one] in central France one July when it was stinking hot - 28C at 10pm on one occasion. There were many things wrong with it, but although it didn't have A/C [it didn't even have a TV that worked] it was very cool at night.

I would want A/C in Paris in July [and elsewhere if I were staying in a hotel] but I don't think I'd be so bothered if i were renting a gite.

mariajohanna Oct 27th, 2014 04:11 AM

You are talking about July 2014, but we are already in October 2014. So do you mean July 2015 ?
And about the summer (school) holidays ; they start in the beginning of July ( 4th July 2015 ) and never at the end of July.
Have fun planning your trip.

Gretchen Oct 27th, 2014 04:38 AM

Yeah, it's time to get the timeline right for both threads--such as they are. It always was July--whassup. No wonder she's frustrated!! LOL

Jeff801 Oct 27th, 2014 04:46 AM

Wherever you choose to go after Paris, consider flying to your next destination if the TGV is scheduled for more than 3 hours. There are many low cost flights available, and they are frequently less costly than the train. (This was a surprise to us when we moved here.) For example, to get to the Dordogne from Paris requires a train to Bordeaux, in a little over three hours, and then a 90 minute drive. In the alternative, Twin Jet takes an hour and 15 minutes to fly to either Bergerac or Limoges, there is a good low cost car rental available at both of those airports (Buggs rent a car) and you will be in the center of the area which you wish to visit.

Incidentally, for transportation to and from the Paris Airports, we have been very happy with They are reliable, courteous, and, unless one is very lucky with traffic, no more than or less costly than a taxi.

DebitNM Oct 27th, 2014 04:56 AM

Just read your old thread.

Fly into Paris and then home from Marseilles. Or vice versa, into Marseilles and home from Paris.

Put all your Paris days together, you waste time if you return to Paris to fly home. Splitting days in Paris at the start and end really is inefficient use of time. Take the train between Paris and Avignon to get you to the 2 different areas.

isabel Oct 27th, 2014 06:17 AM

I would probably shorten the Paris time by 1-2 days and then you could do two other areas as well. For example the Dordogne and Provence <i>OR</i> Provence and Alsace. I have done numerous trips to Paris and other parts of France in July and really do not see crowds to be a deterrent. I did all three of those areas a couple of Julys ago (I had more time than you) and would do it again in a heartbeat. The benefit of Provence in July is that that is when the lavender is in bloom which in my mind offsets a little bit of crowds. But really, it was not a problem. The Dordogne was especially 'un-crowded'.

HappyTrvlr Oct 27th, 2014 03:01 PM

It is confusing to keep posting different threads, just continue adding on to this one.
Congratulations on your new grandchild. Since you have to change the dates for your trip, is there a reason why you chose July? It will be more crowded and hotter than early fall. We usually travel to Europe in May, June or September, October. You will find that most restaurants do not use a/c, leave their doors open.
Have fun planning your trip. I don't use Rick Steves' books for planning but rather for his excellent walking tours in cities and his detailed tours of museums, historic sites. Fodor's guides are much better for planning but I don't take them along on the trip. I take Michelin and Rick Steves along. I bought the App for the Michelin Red Guide(dining) so I don't have to lug that heavy book along with me anymore.
You can take the Air France flight directly to Paris from LAX, an easy way to travel.
Happy planning!

Ian Oct 27th, 2014 04:53 PM

If this is your 1st trip France, keep it simple. 15 nights. Your last night will probably have to be in Paris for a flight. Add another night cause Paris deserves it. Now you are down to 13. Take the 1st 3 & make them Paris at the front end. Yes, I would split because Paris is worth it . . . ;) Now you have 10. Do 4 – 5 in a chateau in the Loire. Do the remainder elsewhere. Dordogne. Provence. You choose.

And a side benefit. A lot of Paris shops have amazing sales near the end of July . . .


DebitNM Oct 27th, 2014 11:57 PM

I do not understand (unless air flights were a major issue) why a person would not take advantage of flying into one city and out of a second city to avoid backtracking?

Checking out of a Paris hotel, travel somewhere to the south of France(takes time and logistics of transfer, check out, check in etc)and then repeating the process simply wastes almost an entire day each way.

Returning to Paris to fly home will only get the traveler a bit of time in Paris on that return day and unless they stay another full day, they're off to the aiort next morning.

Not to mention you have added an additional trip - train most likely- and cost.

And again, if OP is interested in staying at a gite - they typically rent Saturday to Saturday, so factor that in BEFORE you make your final plans for transportation, hotels elsewhere etc.

kja Oct 28th, 2014 12:00 AM

In addition to the Michelin Green Guide, check out the Rough Guide.

Christina Oct 28th, 2014 09:45 AM

Personally, I think there are advantages to being in Provence in July. This heat people keep talking about has never bothered me one iota in Provence. Provence just feels like summer to me, you get the cicadas, the sunflowers and lavender in bloom, it's just lovely. And I like being able to pack very lightly with summer clothes, sandals, and that it stays light late. Wouldn't be the same experience in October. But it depends what you like, of course.

It's nothing remotely like San Francisco though (Stu saying they don't have AC in SF, not comparable at all).

StuDudley Oct 28th, 2014 10:03 AM

Christina. Re-read my posts. In no way did I say that summer weather in Provence is anything like what we have in San Francisco. Just the opposite - our summer fog/cool temps are famous. Provence weather is more like LA & San Diego - where the OP lives. I was just trying to point out that AC is not a necessity in the SF Peninsula nor in Gites in France that have meter thick exterior walls and shutters that close to keep the sun out. Others seemed to imply that AC is a must everywhere in July throughout France. None of 46 different gites we've rented had AC. Even our apt in Nice this summer was cooled by large ceiling fans.

Stu Dudley

Patty Oct 28th, 2014 10:26 AM

<i>I do not understand (unless air flights were a major issue) why a person would not take advantage of flying into one city and out of a second city to avoid backtracking?

From the OP's other thread -

<i>I should mention I HATE flying, and love trains. We rent cars only when necessary. I prefer nonstop flights, since airports and flights are nerve-wrecking for me. So...will probably fly LAX to and from Paris, nonstop. We could also fly out of San Diego, but it wouldn't be nonstop.</i>

I don't like splitting either. Other options would be to head directly from CDG to the other destination on arrival or take a train back to CDG on the day of flight departure. Both involve some element of risk which we've been happy to accept in lieu of splitting. There's a non-daily 7:10pm departure out of CDG on Air France to LAX. The OP could also purchase the train segment as part of her air itinerary if it makes her more comfortable.

DebitNM Oct 28th, 2014 10:51 AM

I missed that, Patty. But no matter what means of getting from city 1 to city 2 - the best is a one way route, flying into one city and out of the second city.

isabel Oct 28th, 2014 11:48 AM

If you want to do RT in and out of CDG you could do Paris at the front end and then the evening before your flight home take the train to arrive at CDG (not Paris center) and stay at an airport hotel. My daughter did Avignon to CDG the night before her flight and the train didn't leave Avignon till around 6pm so we had most of that day (i.e. no wasted day). I then did the same a few weeks later from Strasbourg. In both cases our flight was too early to safely get to the airport from the other city that morning so staying at the airport hotel gave us the 'almost' whole day for sightseeing but still got us where we needed to be.

DebitNM Oct 28th, 2014 11:51 AM

That works well too, isabel. We've done that too.

Melissa5 Nov 1st, 2014 05:36 PM

<b>JULY 2015....LOL yes, our trip is JULY 2015! (Not 2014)</b>

Flying: HATE flying, too nerve-wracking. So will only fly to and from France. Love trains...and don't mind renting a car when necessary...husband is a good driver.


<b>7 NIGHTS:</b> Paris & Versailles

<b>6 nights:</b> Provence or Dordogne or other scenic countryside destination in France.

<b>2 nights: Paris</b>

Fly home from Paris to LAX or San Diego

THANK YOU FOR BEING MY FODORITE CHEERLEADERS FOR FRANCE! =D> I'm a creature of habit when it comes to trip-planning, and I really got thrown off the horse when I realized that my Rick Steves guidebook, which I normally rely on for trips to Europe, just wasn't helping! I'm really relying on your positive ideas, tips, and enthusiasm to get me back on the horse. It's time to book my trip, and yet I'm still stumbling over the question of PARIS and WHERE ELSE in France for my itinerary! But you've all given me many excellent resources to help me make an informed itinerary decision as soon as possible.

I LOVE when other travelers give me a peek at their vision of France. For example...right now I'm happily dreaming about the blooming lavender and sunflowers in Provence in July! Thanks for that! >:D<

StuDudley Nov 1st, 2014 05:54 PM

Did you ever e-mail me for my Provence & Dordogne itineraries???

Stu Dudley

Melissa5 Nov 26th, 2014 02:14 PM

StuDudley, I didn't email you yet. We are considering limiting our July visit to only Paris and Versailles due to the fact that it's time to book, and we're still unable to choose between Brittany, Normandy, Provence or dordogne or Alsace for mid July 2015. I may email you today anyway. I've been looking at Paris hotels. Fodorites tell me to do more research, but that doesn't seem to narrow down my choices.

I think our most pressing need is to add a place in the countryside of France which will allow my feet to escape from the Paris city streets. Because I wear orthotics and have foot issues, city walking on hard pavement is hardest on my feet. Whereas. I can walk in the countryside for several hours, I have to rest frequently in the city and take taxis and buses or metro to save my feet from the pounding of city streets.

If we spend the entire trip in Paris, I will be spending part of my time sitting in a garden writing in my journal while my husband explores Paris on his own. He has more walking ability than I do. Or we can see some shows, when my feet are sore.

The Celtic culture in Brittany sounds appealing. I love the Swiss alps and wonder if the French alps are good in mid July. But as we are running out of time, I'm looking at Paris hotels, and my hubs is looking at airlines. We don't need a car for Paris but if we rent a car for the countryside we don't want to head into major traffic jams so maybe Provence is out for mid July.

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