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Is this possible? London-Paris-Nice-London in 12 days

Is this possible? London-Paris-Nice-London in 12 days

Apr 2nd, 2004, 09:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Is this possible? London-Paris-Nice-London in 12 days

My husband and I are going to Europe for the first time in July to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We have 12 full days. I just booked a Boston to London R/T via Air Canada for $392. I'm super happy about the airfare and am now building the itinerary and searching for hotels. Ideally, I would like to visit Paris and Nice in addition to London. Do you think this itinerary is doable or too aggressive? Would it be better if we just visited London and Paris this time and save Nice for another trip?

Day 1 - arrive in London in the morning and take the Eurostar to Paris in the afternoon
Day 2 to Day 6 - Paris
Day 7 - take the train from Paris to Nice
Day 8 to Day 9 - Nice
Day 10 - take the train from Nice to Paris then the Eurostar from Paris to London
Day 11 to Day 12 - London
Day 13 - return to Boston

I'm still searching the train schedules to see if it is feasible for us to go from Nice to Paris to London on the same day.
JJ625 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 09:54 AM
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Easyjet flies from Nice to all three of their London airports - Stansted, Gatwick or Luton. I've seen fares as low as <30GBP one-way.

Since you've already seen the scenery by train on your way down, it's much faster and cheaper flying back to London.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 09:57 AM
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I was also just going to suggest flying from Nice to London if you do this itinerary!

Whether or not it would be better is really a personal choice. I think for me, I'd rather have fewer travel days, and maybe do a day trip or two from Paris rather than spend such a short time in the Nice area. Then I'd go back and see other areas of France on a future trip.

Plus, I love Paris, and am pretty fond of London also, so I'd like to have plenty of time in both places.

But, if you do decide to do all three locations, your itinerary looks sane to me, with the exception of considering flying to London at the end, as mentioned before.

Happy anniversary! (I'm jealous that you live in city that you could take advantage of such a wonderful fare in July! )
Apr 2nd, 2004, 10:05 AM
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And just for the record, you can take the train from Nice to London in one day. There are at least 3 possible connections via Paris (but that involves getting from Gare de Lyon to Gare du Nord in 90 minutes) for total time of <11 hours; or a 30-minute connection at Lille that can get you to London under 10.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 10:18 AM
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By all means go to Nice! But not by train--the trip will take most of a day, as only part is via the TGV. Flying works much better in each direction, and certainly back to London at the end of your stay.

As well as looking at the discount airlines, check out special advance-purchase/off-hours fares on Air France. The Navette (shuttle) leaves almost hourly from Orly for Nice.
Underhill is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 10:19 AM
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I agree with rkkwan. Forget the train on the return. Take an early morning flight on www.easyjet.com to London and that way you will have day 10-12 in London. Make sure you buy R/T on EuroStar. It's a lot cheaper, but it also may make you feel guilty about not using the return, since you already paid for it. You just have to look at it from a different angle. It's your vacation time, and vacation time is extremely valuable. Once it's gone, it's gone. Would you rather spent it on trains all day, or walking around beautiful London? The extra $50-60, even $100, you will pay for the flight will be worth it. The early flight leaves Nice around 9:30 and in London by 10:30(London time). You could drop off your bags by noon at the hotel. Almost a full extra day.

Sounds like a great trip. Have a great time!

That AirCanada summer fare sale is outstanding!!!
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 11:38 AM
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I think that the no-frills flight from Nice to England is by Easyjet from Luton, Gatwick or Stansted, http://www.easyjet.com, ++44 870 6 000 000, and that BMIBaby http://www.bmibaby.com, ++44 870 264 2229, fly from Nice to East Midlands airport , near Derby and Nottingham.
You need not spend long days on rail travel, but can cut a hotel bill and travel time if you book couchettes or sleepers. For a note on getting the best from sleepers and couchettes please see http://www.twenj.com/tipsnighttrains.htm, but you may need to enter it via http://www.twenj.com/. The reference library of a city near you may have the Thomas Cook European timetable. The January issue showed examples of fares, and each month has your train times.
You leave Paris Austerlitz 2117, and the train runs non-stop till Toulon at 0557, but you stay in bed till Nice at 0815. The sleeper charge includes a cafe-croissant breakfast in your sleeper, but I take a bit if cheese to add weight to the meal. The train has in second class 6 berth couchettes and 2 berth sleepers (the best buy, I think) and in first has 4 berth couchettes and single sleepers. Coming back times are Nice 2049 to Paris 0745. Paris to Nice standard class one way is 81 euros. A berth in a six berth, standard class, couchette is 12 euros, and in a double sleeper is 45 euros.
Daily until 12 June, and then on Tueday, Friday and Sunday you can travel thus: London Waterloo 1639, Lille Europe 1929, metro or walk to Lille landers, dine in Lille, Lille Flanders 2125, Nice 1055. This has 6 berth couchettes, double and single sleepers, and a buffet car for your breakfast as you view the Riviera. Times back are Nice 1911, Lille Flanders 0814, Lille Europe 1012, Waterloo 1058. To dine at a good hour you can for no extra charge leave Nice 1750, dine on the station square in Toulon from 1947 to 2113, and then take your sleeper. The cheap way onto the Eurostar is a standard class return journey at 60 pounds or 90 euros. I do not know whether you can buy these on-line: they may be available only at Waterloo International and Charing Cross Main Line. Lille to Paris standard class one way is about 105 euros. Berth charges are the same as from Paris to Nice.
The fares I give are not reliable. You need to book the Eurostar seats as a resident in Britain (whether you are so or no), and if you wait till you can go to Waterloo you can see whether the Eurostar desk there has any special offers to Nice and back. If so, you should take that, and go to window number 8 at Charing Cross main line station to book sleepers across France. But even so, and after all that, no-frills flights from England to Paris, Nice, and back are very likely to have the cheapest trip.
Please do not book with railEurope on Piccadilly: they have higher fares than Eurostar Waterloo and berths bought at Charing Cross.
Also, please book berths for the nights. A night sitting up is nasty, and you arrive tired, whereas watching the Riviera or Picardy scroll pass as you drink your breakfast coffee is a film-star experience. Just watch out for Russian spies in the luggage rack.
Please write if I can help further.

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ben_haines_london is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 12:05 PM
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Hi JJ,

I suggest that, for first time visitors, evenly splitting your visit between London and Paris would be the best thing to do for this trip:

3 days London, 6 days Paris (via the Eurostar). 3 days London.
ira is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 12:59 PM
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I totally agree about flying from Nice to London. And while we're at it, why not fly from Paris Orly to Nice as well, saving the better part of a day on the train. Easy Jet also offers that service and it is cheaper and quicker than the train. I flew Easy Jet from London Luton to Nice, and I found the flight nicer (certainly friendlier) and more comfortable than the flights I've done on British Air between cities in Europe.
Patrick is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 01:52 PM
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Underhill has the best suggestion...I think Patrick also agrees...skip the trains.

It's your trip and all 3 places are what you want, so go for it!!

As to enough time in places..there never is. You would have to be in Paris a year, at least to feel that you might have seen SOME of it..that is why many of us continue going to Paris year after year...also enjoying the rest of France along with it.

gracejoan is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 02:32 PM
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I'd stick with the TGV from Paris to Nice. It takes 5.5 hours, but you get to see the French countryside, plus passing through a few cities. Sure, it takes a little longer than the plane, but to me that's part of the experience, and more fun.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 02:47 PM
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Actually that comment I made above is one of the few times I've ever suggested flying instead of taking a train. I love the trains. My only thought in suggesting flying from Paris to Nice was because you seem very concerned about time. Although admittedly with the travel time to Orly, an hour and a half or more advance wait time at the airport, and the flight, you're not saving THAT much time by flying. And you can also save some money by flying.
Patrick is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 07:24 PM
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Congratulations on your travel plans and great airfare. You did well!
I would recommend visiting London initially rather than hopping on a train to Paris right away while you are jet-lagged and adjusting to European travel. I would also probably skip Nice in favor of more time in London and Paris with possible side trips as I think that would be more relaxing. However, if Nice is also important to you, it can be done.
KathrynT is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 11:41 PM
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Parrick and rkkwan.
I agree. So I think they should take sleepers. Why do you think not ?

Ben Haines
ben_haines_london is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 01:42 AM
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1)In July you'll have a lot of company in the south of France. Is there something special that you are very excited about seeing or doing in Nice?

If not, I'd divide the time between London and Paris.

2)It will be a very long travel day from Boston to Paris and I think it will be difficult to enjoy the second half of the trip on the train.

3)I love trains but I didn't find the train to Nice that scenic. It's rolling countryside to be sure and pleasant enough but not impressive.

4)I don't find Nice that impressive either but some people here adore it so to each his own. I honestly wonder what the attraction is. That being said, if you have your heart set on it go for it!

5)I'm a werewolf of London and will wander around the neighborhoods endlessly until my feet absolutely refuse to take another step. What an exciting, vibrant, engaging city it is!

I'd probably hang out there for half the time and then go on to Paris and return to London for a day before I left.

6)Paris must be seen and is lovely in many ways but its not one my favorite places either. But you can easily spend several days there in museums and gardens. I'd spend a night in the town of Versailles (quick trip)and skip Nice! ; )

7)The train would be a very long haul on the way back. I think you got good advice here about that.

Great airfare! Have a wonderful trip!

kakalena is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 07:23 AM
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Message: Hi everyone! Thank you for your informative suggestions and tips. We'll finalize our plans in the next week or two as we reserve our hotels. It's a busy time there as my top three hotels choices are already booked (Hotel Leveque, Hotel du Champ de Mars and Hotel Muguet). =(
JJ625 is offline  

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