Loire or Provence in January?


Sep 26th, 2017, 06:52 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 4
Loire or Provence in January?

My partner and I are visiting France for the first time this January, and we have 4 or 5 days in which we would like to visit a part of France other than Paris. I'm looking mostly at the Loire or Provence, but unsure which would be best for that time of year. We don't have a problem hiring a car (but a bonus if we don't have to), and we're from Canada so the cold weather is not a deciding factor. What are the chateaux like in winter? Would we be better off seeing the provencal towns in winter when the tourists have gone? I know both areas have some exceptional things to offer, but wondering what other people would recommend if they had to choose just one. Thanks!
catpm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2017, 07:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,761
The châteaux are pretty much what you'd expect in January: dank, cold, and miserable (but you don't have to live in them, thankfully). The Loire area is brown, stripped of most vegetation, cold, and can be rainy, and a lot of things will be closed. You certainly won't be enjoying the vineyards.

Some of this will also be true of Provence, which while possibly a bit warmer, will hardly be pretty or lively.

I wouldn't choose either, myself, though I suppose I'd opt for Provence and hope for the best under the circumstances. We flee southern France in January and go to places that, while cold and dreary, some of them, might at least have some semblance of vibrancy: cities and regions that have learned to acclimate to January weather (I wouldn't consider either the Loire or Provence to be in that category).

Depends in part on your interests. There aren't a whole lot of châteaux in Provence, for example.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2017, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,450
I was in Antibes once in January. We used public transportation and found the weather to be fairly mild (able to be out and about in light jackets and occasionally have lunch outside)

The coast was probably more lively than Provence villages and the sea was always pretty to look at.
Judy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2017, 07:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,759
I wouldn't go to either, what are you really expecting in January? The chateaux have reduced hours, also, as few people thing visiting chateaux in January is a thing to do. I'm not really into the whole ting about visiting big old stone houses of rich people, but when I have, part of the interest is always the gardens, which won't be there. okay, Amboise and Blois have chateaux that have more historical interest and no gardens that I can recall.

I'd go to Provence before the Loire in January, I guess. But it certainly is not going to be like the photos you see nor the reason people like to go there.

I don't really understand why you picked these two spots for January, if you want to travel in January, seems you'd pick more city locations (Lyon, Strasbourg, Toulouse, etc). Marseille and Nice at least have some things to see, though.
Christina is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2017, 08:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 4
Sounds like I've picked the wrong locations! Can you offer any suggestions for areas of France that would be nicer that time of year? We're open to anything, just would like some experiences outside of Paris. We will be in the mountains and skiing here in Canada for a month before travelling, so the Alps was not necessarily on my radar. Any other suggestions would be very welcome!
catpm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2017, 08:15 AM
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 216
Do you have to fly back from Paris? In January, I would take the overnight train to Venice and spend time there after Paris.
ToujoursVoyager is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2017, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 68,262
Nice and Antibes area will be somewhat warm in January at least was when I was there during that month. Public transit goes everywhere you want - can't be said for 'Provence' (usually applied touristically to Avignon area) and Loire.

Take train from Paris in 5.5 hours and fly home from Nice - book train fares early to get deep discounts at www.voyages-sncf.com - check www.seat61.com for help booking your own tickets (regardless of where in France you're going) - for general info on French trains and where to go also www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2017, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,853
OK, It is not France and it is another city, but if you can get cheap tickets RT from Paris or multi-destination, into Paris and out of Spain, I suggest you consider Barcelona or Seville. Both are very different from Paris and each has much to offer. Read about each to see which you might prefer, and check the cost of tickets. Both are so interesting, beautiful and fun, I would probably let cost and convenience of tickets be the deciding factor, especially if I could get multi-destination to one.
Malaga might also be an option.
Sassafrass is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2017, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 68,262
Into skiing - TGV trains will take you to ski resorts in a few hours.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2017, 11:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 900
A more appropriate French location?

St Barts.
BritishCaicos is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2017, 12:09 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 4
Unfortunately I don't think we'll be making it to the Caribbean Sounds like I have a bit more research to do. It is unlikely that we will ski as we will just have been doing so for a few months. Perhaps Nice will be more appropriate or another city. I was hoping to see some of the countryside, but I guess that's just not the thing to do.
catpm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2017, 12:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 32
On several occasions we have spent time on the Riviera during December January and found it to be delightful.

It is naturally...not the same experience as during the summer...but it is pleasant.

The year round residents are there and many restaurants are open as are the hotels.

If it is your first trip to the area,sightseeing is much more easily accomplished at that time of year.

Better than Provence.
stache is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2017, 01:49 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,154
Andalusia or a city like London after a January visit to Paris would be my recommendation
mjs is online now  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:09 PM.