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Help w/ France itinerary

Old Aug 11th, 2002, 06:02 PM
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Help w/ France itinerary

Going to France for 10 days in Nov & could use help with our itinerary. So far we know we will spend a few days in Paris & then would like to see the Burgundy/Champagne regions & possible Provence. Any ideas on the best way to go about this; should we drive the whole time, take the train, do a combination of both, etc & which cities should we for sure see? Thanks!
Old Aug 11th, 2002, 08:19 PM
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I know that your question is sincere, and that you probably think that it is specific enough - - but these four areas of France are such a rich tapestry, that a really good answer is a multi-thousand word undertaking. And then it might not be what you were looking for.

France is such a great place that your question is actually not all that different from asking "where should we go in Europe?"

Still, I'll throw out some ideas for you to search. This might be ten weeks worth of ideas - - just as Paris and the Ile de France could easily be ten days.

Dijon, Beaune, Epernay, Reims
Longsard, Lyon, Valence
Orange, Avignon, Arles, Aix-en-Provence
Les Baux, Gordes, Luberon, Roussillon

You could do it all car, all train or combo. I would favor all car, others would weigh in - - perhaps evenly for the other two answers.

You need books. Big, coffee-table sized picture books, and pick out the six places that make you salivate the most. And then come back for more focused questions, answers and advice.

I'm not trying to brush you off. There's just too many ways to answer your question.

Best wishes,

Old Aug 11th, 2002, 11:29 PM
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The itinerary that you have presented (Burgundy,Champagne and Provence) as well as Paris is probably too much. Not only is there a lot to see and do in these areas the distances between these regions could easily add up to 3000 km for your trip. At 100 km per hour you would be in a car or on a train the equivalent of 2 - 3 days. I suggest one of two itineraries. Paris for 5 days and Provence for the last ( it's farther south and warmer) or Paris 5 days, the Champagne region 2 days ( Rheims or Epernay)and Fountainleu 2 days (also Barbizon and Vaux la Vicomte) and possibly the last day at Versailles.
If you take the first the TGV to Provence and then a car rental would be best , the second probably needs a car (outside of Paris).
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 03:03 AM
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Good morning!
I fully agree with Rex; you really need to get more focused
You must keep in mind that France is approximately the size of Texas. Would you consider this itinerary? Fly into Dallas, spend a couple of days, visit Southfork, etc. Drive down to Houston,, shop, lay a wreath at the doors of the Enron building. Beat it over to Austin to check out the music scene, haul down to San Anntonio to see the Alamo and shlep the River walk, then (whew) because you've been told you simply MUST get a taste of West Texas, visit El Paso and environs before heading back to Dallas for the flight home...all in less than 10 days.
Don't know about you, but I wouldn't do it on a dare. Granted, some hardy souls might think that to be great fun, and manage to come home not exhausted, swearing that the whole trip was not a blur. My view is, you can try to see everything (and appreciate nothing) or really enjoy and learn from what you do see, saving the rest for another visit. Slow down. It's good for the soul.
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 03:13 AM
John B.
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Jennifer: I agree with all the comments made.
I suggest that you consider what would you specifically want to see or do: cathedrals, wine tasting, chateau, hill villages, mountains, food.
France is like a good wine, it has to be savoured. For example my wife and I have been to Provence for each of the past seven years. Each year we overlap a bit from the previous year. We are still far from seeing and doing everything.
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 03:18 AM
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Robdaddy, I wish there were some way to preserve your response as a classic. It really helps to think of something in familiar terms. This was great.
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 09:38 AM
John H
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Hi, Jennifer,

Like the others, I believe this is much too ambitious for 10 days. If you have NOT been to Paris before, I would suggest a minimum of 3-4 nights there -- enough to get over jet lag and experience the city in some meaningful way. I think Champagne makes sense for you only if you do a northern France itinerary as suggested by doug. Otherwise, I'd probably take the TGV to provence and rent a car there. You could plan on staying in 1 or 2 different locations in Provence (maybe southern area, like Arles) and then northern area, like Gordes). You definitely want a car here.

If you can fly back out of Nice or Marseille, that would be a good thing, saving you the travel time back to Paris.

Happy travels.

John H

Old Aug 12th, 2002, 05:55 PM
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