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Initial itinerary for France trip -- please poke holes

Initial itinerary for France trip -- please poke holes

Old Apr 21st, 2021, 03:29 PM
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Initial itinerary for France trip -- please poke holes

Just starting to think about a trip to France in October 2023. Here is the basic itinerary, I'd love any comments or suggestions:

Land at CDG (before 9 a.m.), rent car and drive to Amboise, visiting Chartres on the way.
Spend three nights in Amboise, so two full days to visit chateaux, etc.
One day to drive to Beaune
Three nights in Beaune, so two plus days to tour in that area (could stretch his to four nights to be able to go slower or get a bit further afield)
One day to drive to CDG, drop car, then take train into Paris
Five nights in Paris
Taxi/Uber to CDG for early flight home

Note -- we've been to Paris a few times; we've previously spent time in Provence, the Dordogne, and Alsace.

Thanks
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Old Apr 21st, 2021, 03:42 PM
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Instead of driving to CDG, drive to Dijon, visit Dijon, & take the train to Paris from there. We've done that several times.

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 21st, 2021, 03:50 PM
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CDG is north of Paris and you want to go SW of Paris. You won't get out of CDG before 10a.m. (wait for luggage, go through passport control, get to rental agency, process rental agreement, pick up car) and then you will have to drive on the crowded autoroutes around Paris. You won't get to Chartres before 2 p.m. without a lunch stop, I am guessing. Some would say that you should not even drive that far if you spent the night on the plane, and I say that driving to Chartres is a maximum distance.

A better time line would be to start with Paris, pick up the car at the end of your Parisian stay and drop the car off at CDG. Depending on the rental company you should not be paying a fee for a one way rental. Spend your first day in Paris by taking a ride on the bateau mouche and just walking around the neighborhood of your hotel.

On your return trip, shorten your Beaune stay by one night and stay in Sens. There's a great market there, and if you can, buy cheeses, specifying that they should be vacuum packed and are meant to be consumed two days hence. You should be able to start early enough in Sens to catch your plane at CDG unless it is a very early flight, but count on being on line to sign in at least two hours ahead of your flight departure.
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Old Apr 21st, 2021, 04:28 PM
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I wouldn't drive at all on arrival day. Either take a train to wherever your first destination ends up being, then on day 2 or 3 collect a car and do the rest of your final itinerary, dropping the car in Paris.

Or - better yet IMO, do as Michael suggests and put Paris at the beginning (much better to recover from jet lag and get acclimated car-less), collect a car when leaving Paris and drop it at CDG to fly home.

(BTW - If you do pick up a car on day 1, you would be pretty lucky to have the immigration, luggage, and rental car formalities completed and on the road out of CDG in less than 2.5 hours after arrival)
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Old Apr 21st, 2021, 06:59 PM
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Five hours of driving after landing?!

However you start/end, I think 3 nights in Beaune is an awfully short stay. October is Beaune's wettest month of the year. When we were there in October a couple of years ago for I think 5 nights, it rained off and on one day and poured buckets all day another day
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Old Apr 21st, 2021, 07:16 PM
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Thanks for the comments, and I appreciate the ideas about (hopefully) avoiding an extra charge for pick up and drop off of the rental at different places, I will certainly check that out.

We will be flying first class (tons of miles), so I will be reasonably rested (emphasis on reasonably, for sure). We have done this a number of times. Flight out of CDG will be before 9 a.m., so silly to think of getting there that morning. A reason for ending in Paris (and I don't argue with the reasons against that plan) is that we've been there, know what we'd like to do, and we feel that that is actually a decompression place for us (we like walking). And that way, an early hired car to CDG is painless.

Question about Dijon -- I've read mixed things about it as a tourist destination -- that is, a good sized city without a ton of charm. Maybe that's unfair? But the idea of dropping a car there and then taking the train into Paris is appealing. So, pros and cons on Dijon?
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Old Apr 21st, 2021, 07:29 PM
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dedlaw, I spent a month+ in eastern France in 2016. Here is a link to my photos which include Dijon, Beaune, and a number of other places. The name of each location is on the first shot from that location. Many of the photos has an additional explanation if you click on the individual photo.

Hope they can help you decide you where you would prefer to spend your time.

https://goo.gl/photos/ow3aLU7BH4i3HHx6A

Happy planning!

Last edited by joannyc; Apr 21st, 2021 at 07:32 PM.
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Old Apr 21st, 2021, 08:26 PM
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Most visitors seem to enjoy themselves in Dijon, and the daytrips make for a good selection too: *Semur en Auxois, Vezelay, Flavigny, Noyers et al.
Chez Leon is one good place to dine at in Dijon. The Muse des Beaux Arts there is worth a look and Les Halles is a good example of a covered French food market. Dijon was the sole place where we were able to find our sought-after artisanal brand of jam 'Trinquelinette'--worth crossing an ocean for.
If Beaune do_not_miss_Bistrot de Bouguignon on the main drag. They are the original wine bar/cafe there and feature an unrivalled assortment of A-list wines by the glass. Worth every euro. Thought we'd died and gone to heaven.
Good Luck with this planning Dedlaw.
I am done. The Coco.

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Old Apr 22nd, 2021, 07:21 AM
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My wife & I retired in our early 50s in 1999 so we could travel more. We normally spend a month in Europe in June and another month in September. We spend about 85% of our time in France. We have explored every corner of France, and Toulouse & Dijon are our favorite cities in France - after Paris. There always seems to be something "going on" in Dijon. Lovely architecture too. Very walkable.

We've rented around 70 cars in France. Never incurred a drop off charge. But Hertz was starting to do so when we were there last. We almost always rent a Europcar through Autoeurope.com or Kemwel.com (same company).

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 22nd, 2021, 02:18 PM
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Joannyc, thanks for the quick tour.

Stu, as you truly like Dijon (as do others, it seems), would you select that as a base ahead of Beaune? Weird as it is (because we live in Wine Country), we do like the idea of touring the Burgundy wine region, which seems best concentrated around Beaune.

Thank you all. We understand we cannot do this wrong, only differently.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2021, 06:53 AM
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I live near the wine country also (San Francisco Bay Area).

I would base in Beaune. Much easier to get in & out by car, and plenty of restaurants. We stayed just south of Beaune in a gite for 2 weeks about 10 yours ago. Also stayed in Dijon on 2 different occasions plus visited it several times from our gite.

We had/had reservations for 2 weeks in Burgundy in 2019, 2020, and 2021 but my FIL's stroke eliminated the 2019 trip, Covid killed the 2020 trip, and may do the same for this years trip. Attached is a short write up I did on Burgundy.

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 27th, 2021, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by StuDudley View Post
My wife & I retired in our early 50s in 1999 so we could travel more. We normally spend a month in Europe in June and another month in September. We spend about 85% of our time in France. We have explored every corner of France, and Toulouse & Dijon are our favorite cities in France - after Paris. There always seems to be something "going on" in Dijon. Lovely architecture too. Very walkable.

We've rented around 70 cars in France. Never incurred a drop off charge. But Hertz was starting to do so when we were there last. We almost always rent a Europcar through Autoeurope.com or Kemwel.com (same company).

Stu Dudley
Hi Stu, Thanks for your post. I am planning to stay in a lovely hotel in Rayol Canadel Sur Mer. Bormes Les Mimosas and Le Lavandou are nearby towns I want to visit (20 minutes from my hotel). Do you recommend renting a car or can I take a bus? Taxis are 100E round trip! Also wanted to know do you all stay in hotels or Air B&B type of place when you go to France. Thank you!
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Old Apr 27th, 2021, 06:38 AM
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Rent a car. The Bormes area is spectacular. Buses will slow you down.

We stay in Gites while in France - usually rented for 2 weeks at a time. We rent these through Gites de France. Very few hotels. When we last stayed near Bormes recently, we stayed in an Apt in St Tropez for a week (no longer available)

See my attached 35 page itinerary for the area.

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 27th, 2021, 10:45 AM
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Thank you! Have you ever considered moving there which I am researching?
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Old Apr 27th, 2021, 10:49 AM
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France

I hear Niomandy, Alsace are nice


Lynn
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Old Apr 27th, 2021, 12:26 PM
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I like living where we are now - just 20 mins south of San Francisco. If I moved to France, it would probably be in just 1 location. I like moving around to visit several different parts of France. Plus I prefer San Francisco winters over France winters.

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 27th, 2021, 01:24 PM
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Do you already know that you love wine country, dedlaw? I know that it is written up as a great experience, but even though I like wine, it does nothing for me to visit the area. Of course there are plenty of other things to see in the region but unless you want to see winery after winery, you might run out of activities sooner than you think. I find Alsace and Lorraine much more intreresting.
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Old Apr 27th, 2021, 05:17 PM
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Kerouac.

Have you ever tasted Noble wine from Mississippi???
Old South Winery
Our close friends/ neighbors in San Francisco brought some back from Gulfport about 40 years. It was terrible. We corked it up immediatly & proceeded to pass the remains back & forth to each other for about 20 Christmases until either they or us misplaced it (to our benefit).

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 28th, 2021, 05:20 AM
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Thank you. BTW can u email me itinerary in a pdf format? I would love to read it but my computer cannot open the file. Merci!
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Old Apr 28th, 2021, 09:13 AM
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Stu, what a horrible idea. Why would anybody do such a thing. When I lived in Mississippi, alcohol was illegal.
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