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Need help in selecting region in France to visit next summershould we visit next summer with 8 yr old.

Need help in selecting region in France to visit next summershould we visit next summer with 8 yr old.

Old Oct 1st, 2000, 01:22 PM
  #1  
Barb
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Need help in selecting region in France to visit next summershould we visit next summer with 8 yr old.

We would like to explore a different region of France next summer for 2-3 wks, mid-June through the 1st week of July. We visited the Loire valley years ago and the Dordogne area last year and just loved that region! It was fascinating for our son as well -caves, art, medieval villages etc. So we are ruling out those 2 areas for this trip. We are interested in Provence, but I am worried about the crowds and the hot weather at that time of year. Is there enough in this region to keep an 8 yr old happy, too? We also plan to spend time in Paris before venturing out to another region for a week or two. We are restricted to summer travel. Any suggestions, Fodorites? Normandy, Alps or other regions preferred over Provence?
 
Old Oct 1st, 2000, 01:24 PM
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Barb
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Sorry, that title should have read: "Need help in selecting region in France to visit next summer with 8 yr old."
 
Old Oct 1st, 2000, 04:49 PM
  #3  
Nano
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Barb, This is probably bad form to answer your question with a question to you, however my husband and I will be bringing our three kids (now 11, 9 and 5)to Dordogne and the Loire Valley next June and I would love to hear about any highlights, i.e. favorite spots you have from your trip. Thanks. Wish I could help with your question. Nano
 
Old Oct 1st, 2000, 04:53 PM
  #4  
adina
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Both the Alps and Provence could be great but the mountains could be clouded or rained out and the south could be really hot. We were in Chamonix four years ago and had two days of perfect weather; this year we planned on Megeve and when we got there it had been raining for a week with nothing but rain in the forcast. We left after one night and drove down to Provence and had, from what locals told us, very unusual weather-- sweaters in July-- but it tends not to rain in Provence (although it did for a few days before we got there). The hill towns are great to explore, as is Les Baux, Avignon and I'm sure lots of othere places. I don't think the crowds were bad at all-- not what we expected-- but the heat might be something to think about. But I think that ultimately I would recommend a combination of the Jura and the Alps-- especially if you are flexible to moving a little if the weather changes. We stayed on Lake Annecy at the Hotel du Lac in Duingt-- perfect for families-- large grounds, ducks and swans paddle-boats, swimming in the lake with a view of Duingt castle, wonderful owners-- check out their website and regional links for more info. With a car there are lots of towns and beautiful walks in the region and in Annecy itself. From there it is only a few hours to Chamonix. The views of Mt Blanc and the gondola ride over the glaciers and unforgettable-- the gondola fits only four so you'll have it to yourselves!
 
Old Oct 2nd, 2000, 09:11 PM
  #5  
Barb
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Nano, We went to the Loire valley about 10 yrs ago, so my info there is not very current, but I am sure your kids would love the castles. In Dordogne, there is a lot that will be delightful for the kids. Our favorites include Lascaux II which our son (7yrs old at that time) found fascinating.There are tours in English. We also loved the Gouffre de Padirac absolutely fascinating. You take elevators and stairs down many floors into a giant hole in the earth. Then you get into small boats and are paddled through a lake area. Once you step out of the boats you tour around an area that looks like you have landed on another planet. It is quite chilly so take a jacket. Another great excursion is to take a boat ride or better yet, paddle in rented canoes down the river at La roque-Gageac. The rental company picks you up at the other end. From this vantage point you can see incredible scenery, including midieval castles that can be explored later. We wish we would have had time to visit the castle Castelnaud which has a middle ages warfare museum.
We really enjoyed Sarlat, especially on market day on Saturday. Our son continued his own personal crepe sampling tour through France in Sarlat and was quite satisfied with the results. We visited Le Grand Roc, which is a giant cave with stalagtites and stalagmites - although interesting, we found it a bit touristy. I would not go out of my way to visit, but if in the area, it is worth a stop. There are many other caves that would be worth a visit - Lascaux II is a re-creation as you may know, and there are several other authentic caves that allow visitors. The countryside is gorgeous, the people are warm and friendly, the food incredible (the foie gras!!)you will have a fabulous time there!

We also visited St. Emilion for 1 night on our way to Dordogne and loved the village. We took a very interesting tour of the underground church and catacombs that were built beginning in the 8th century. Our 7 yr old was as fascinated as we were. We wished we had planned to stay there another day or two. Have fun! Barb
 
Old Oct 3rd, 2000, 04:37 AM
  #6  
Susan
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Spent several days in Provence this past July with our 10 year old daughter and we all absolutely loved it. I recommend a hotel with a swimming pool. We stayed at an absolutely beautiful inn in Les Baux de Provence called Mas de l'Oulivie(email [email protected]) and took day trips around the region. Don't miss Arles with its ancient Roman amphitheatre in the center of town. The weather was beautiful and we wish we had more time!!! You can email me if you have questions.
Susan
 

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