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Loire Valley or Alsace Lorraine in January?

Loire Valley or Alsace Lorraine in January?

Oct 22nd, 2007, 08:56 AM
  #1  
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Loire Valley or Alsace Lorraine in January?

Hi All!

I will be in France for one week in mid-January. We are going to spend time in Paris, but would also like to take a 2-day trip to another region of France. The Loire Valley and Alsace Lorraine look wonderful - can anyone recommend which might be better for January? Any other regions we might be better exploring that time of year?

Thanks!
katiejean is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 09:14 AM
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are you driving or training it

in under 3 hrs you get to Provence by TGV train and the weather there will be much more tolerable than the other two venues

I've spent time in Loire in winter and though never really cold and rarely any snow it's oft grey and dark - but a chateau is a chateau so that might tip the balance to the Loire.
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 09:21 AM
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As I have Lorraine origins, I will plead for the east of France. In the east, people are used to cold weather so all sorts of activities continue in Strasbourg, Metz, Nancy, Luxembourg and other cities easily accessible from Paris. The Loire valley tends to live for the summer.

And if it snows, it is even better. Wherever you go, it will be cold in any case.
kerouac is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 09:24 AM
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Thanks! We are taking the train. What's on your "not to miss" list for Provence?
katiejean is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 09:27 AM
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by train i'd head to Avignon or Arles, two cities 20 mins apart and spend my two days in those historic lovely towns.

Avignon, perpetually mobbed in summer should be very relaxed in January. The Palace of the Popes is the star attraction, along with the Pont d'Avignon of the ditty song about it - it stands half cut.
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 09:30 AM
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I do agree with Jack that all those cities are excellent places, even in winter. Strasbourg and Nancy are to me two of the most underrated cities in France by foreign tourists.

Colmar, near Strasbourg is a gem of a smaller wine town - very cute and even has a copy of the Statue of Liberty (model) as its creator i believed live there
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 09:32 AM
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Wow - much thanks to both of you! Great information
katiejean is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 09:32 AM
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Ha ha -- it snowed more in Provence last year than in Paris. In fact, we haven't had snow on the ground in Paris in about 3 years.

Meanwhile, in the 'south', they were making snowmen in Algiers last winter....
kerouac is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:35 AM
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Hi K,

In January, I think that I would visit Nancy or Strasbourg.
ira is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:08 PM
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katiejean:

Be prepared that Provence can be very cold in winter. Especially the winds can be icy. And many hotels are not really insulated. And most things in Provence - Roman ruins - are open-air.

In Alsace, you would visit well-heated museums, wineries, restaurants. When the weather is fine, you might stroll through the villages and vineyards in the midday hours. In the afternoon, you would go into a bar to have some warming drinks... (Alsace is famous for fruit schnapps).

The Loire Valley is also an option. You would spend most of your time visiting the gorgeous chateaux in the area. Why not in winter?
traveller1959 is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 12:35 AM
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There's nothing wrong with the Loire Valley in January. But you'll do better to stay with the western Loire, as the cities and towns there are less dependent on tourism and thus stay in full swing year round. Contrary to what kerouac posted, these parts of the LV do not live just for summer.
We've been to Angers and Nantes in winter and they were chilly but sunny and quite lively. They are both easy to reach by train. Nearby, Fontevraud looks pretty amazing in the winter, as does Chinon.
Strasbourg would also be fine, you would have the chance to ride the latest TGV line and check out those Christian Lacroix interiors (featured in a photo spread in the current issue of Cote Est magazine).
BTilke is offline  
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