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HELP! Paris and... western France or South France?

HELP! Paris and... western France or South France?

Old Aug 2nd, 1999, 08:17 PM
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HELP! Paris and... western France or South France?

My wife and I are spending two weeks at the end of August(from 21st). Our only trip to Europe was last year to Greece and may not be back for quite some time. We love the beach and Mediteranean atmosphere and didn't mind the crowds as long as we were able to get away from it all too. Perhaps though Riviera would be redundant and we'd get a better feel for France renting a car in Paris and heading to the Loire Valley and down the Atlantic coast. How do the Western beaches compare to the Riviera? Any recommendations?
Old Aug 2nd, 1999, 08:50 PM
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The Atlantic beaches on the Bay of Biscay are wide, sweeping, sandy beaches while those along much of the French Riviera are short, shingle (small rocks) beaches. Sheltered coves along the Riviera provide some sandy beaches. Water temperatures on the Atlantic shores tend to be much colder than those along the Riviera. There is almost no tidal action along the Riviera just as there is little if any tidal action any place in the Mediterranean. Some Atlantic shores show wide tidal extremes, especially north of Lorient.
Old Aug 3rd, 1999, 01:35 AM
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It's a common cliché among French magazines in summer to run a story featuring : "Atlantic vs Mediterranean", the latter being considered now as vulgar, and chic people emigrating to the islands of the Atlantic (Ré, Oléron, Yeu, Batz, etc. ). Britanny is really wonderful, but can be chilly (don't expect water temperatures above 18° C). If you want to combine a milder climate with an experience different from the Mediterranean's you could try the Vendée or Charente-Maritime coasts (close to Cognac country ! )
Old Aug 3rd, 1999, 09:29 AM
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AARRGGHH the choice from hell. It's like asking which is better - a vintage Bordeaux or a vintage Champagne!
To throw another spanner in the works, there are always the beaches in the Languedoc - sandy, populated by families, not the Beautiful People. Inexpensive lodging, great food, happy happy wines, and lots of historical junk. Hop, skip and a jump from Spain, too. Horseback riding on the beach.
Old Aug 8th, 1999, 06:03 AM
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As Vincent said, Brittany is really wonderful (I am living there) but after mid-August it can be much more rainy and windy. However if you like large beaches and sailing it is worth going there.

Atlantic islands (Ré, Yeu, Belle Ile en mer where I have already spent vacations) are really beautiful and after mid-August perhaps less crowded.

I will not recommend Vendée or Charente-Maritime coasts as an alternative to Mediterranee (sorry Vincent, I do not agree with you ;-), personnally, I find this coast monotonous.
I would suggest the Atlantic coast near Biarritz, Anglet etc ...I really like the Ocean and the waves there. The beaches are large and the water temperature is higher than what you can have in Brittany.
Enjoy your trip and do not forget to visit the Loire Valley.

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