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StuDudley Nov 26th, 2014 06:52 PM

I wouldn't try to visit the Loire Chateaux from (day-trip) Paris - especially in July when the Chateaux are very crowded. Take a train to St Pierre des Corps, rent a car, and spend at least 4 nights there. Visit the "biggie" chateaux as soon as they open - before the hoards arrive.

Stu Dudley

Melissa5 Nov 27th, 2014 01:29 PM

MfromParis, thanks for the kind encouragement. Today is thanksgiving in the USA. When the holiday is over I look forward to posting questions on Paris specifically!

StuDudley, thanks for the itineraries. Will read tomorrow. (-;

FrenchMystiqueTours Nov 28th, 2014 01:21 AM

"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."

So, are you saying you are no longer considering a countryside location outside of Paris? I don't know why you think it's too late to book for July when it's only November. If it were April I might say you're a bit late but even then I'm sure you'd find something for July. As far as all the regions you mentioned (Brittany, Normandy etc.) there is not one that is better than another. If you are having a hard time choosing I would say flip a coin. None of those regions will disappoint you.

The only place in Provence you might hit major traffic jams would be around Saint-Tropez and Nice. Sometimes you might hit some minor traffic on the outskirts of some of the popular villages of the Luberon but that's usually just from people trying to find parking. I wouldn't let any perceived traffic problems scare you away from Provence.

Brittany is one of my favorite regions in France so since you mentioned Brittany, and the Alps, I can give you links to some photo reports I've written about visiting those places.

Here is a report about exploring the Gulf of Morbihan in southern Brittany:

Here is a report about exploring the area near Dinan, Dinard and Saint-Malo:

Here is a report about my two week vacation on the Lac d'Annecy in the French Alps:

When you mention Versailles I'm assuming you mean as a day trip from Paris and not staying overnight there, since it is only a short commute on the RER train from Paris. There are loads of other day trips you can do from Paris as well and if you want more info about other day trip destinations from Paris you can have a look at this current thread on Fodors:

Gretchen Nov 28th, 2014 04:51 AM

I haven't revisited any replies but we try to do our out of Paris part of a trip on the front end and return to Paris to enjoy and depart from.
If you have decided on the Dordogne/Provence take the TGV from CDG upon arrival--a good nap also after jet lag.
Return to Paris (Gare Lyon) and have your remainder of the trip uninterrupted with an easy taxi to CDG to depart.
And for us a week in Paris is just not too long and maybe without the day trip to Versailles, but be flexible and if you think you want to take that day, do so.

Melissa5 Dec 2nd, 2014 03:44 PM

Thanks for the continued support! I'm looking at Paris hotels, and still reading about Brittany, Normandy, Provence, dordogne, and the French alps.

kovsie Dec 2nd, 2014 05:27 PM


Melissa5 Dec 13th, 2014 01:28 AM

FrenchMystiqueTours, how did I miss your links to your various adventures in France? I just browsed through those, and I love your writing style, and the photos are great. Thanks for sharing. I can see from the photos that you do like rocks of all sorts!

FrenchMystiqueTours Dec 13th, 2014 07:23 AM

Well thanks Melissa and I hope your vacation planning is coming along well. :)

I believe you are also on TA and I just responded to a thread you posted on in regards to Versailles. :)

Melissa5 Dec 15th, 2014 03:24 PM

Yay I chose a PARIS hotel! >:D< It's in the St. Germain area and includes free breakfast if you stay 4 or more nights.

I'm now leaning towards splitting our trip, half in Paris, and half in the French Alps possibly. OR we could spend the whole trip in Paris but do day-trips by train outside the city... (I have even considered taking the train to Murren in the Berner Oberland in Switzerland, as I loved that area.)

Sounds like Versailles will be fine as a day-trip from Paris.

One problem is I have a pile of guidebooks, but they don't have much detail on where to stay in the French Alps for good access to half-day, easy hikes. They mostly focus on charming towns like Annecy. I'm not sure what the area around Annecy is like? We could get a train from Paris to Annecy and rent a car in Annecy.

Haven't entirely eliminated Provence, Dordogne, Brittany, Normandy yet... But leaning towards French Alps.

I'm getting excited!

bilboburgler Dec 16th, 2014 02:00 AM

Melissa5 Dec 29th, 2014 02:53 PM

Frustration is ended, yay! We decided to go to Paris and the Swiss Alps in late July/early August! >:D< It's our 1st visit to Paris, but our 2nd visit to the Swiss Alps.

We will take the train from Paris to the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland. We will stay in car-free Murren, which we loved on our 1st visit to Switzerland.

This trip seems perfectly balanced for us. Will spend 8 nights in Paris, and 7 nights in Murren in the Swiss Alps.

I need to book 1 more hotel in Luzern or Zurich, Switzerland, for the end of our trip. Then we fly home from Zurich.

I'm looking forward to posting more questions on Paris! THANK YOU for all of your help. I have a lot of ideas for more future trips to France, and next time hopefully we can go to France in June instead of late July.

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