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October travel to Northern France--early or late?

October travel to Northern France--early or late?

Old Mar 7th, 2014, 07:40 AM
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October travel to Northern France--early or late?

Thanks to previous answers on this forum, my spouse and I are planning an October trip of between two and three weeks to northern France. We want good weather, the ability to "wing it" and not make reservations except for Paris and our first few days in France, and off-season or shoulder season rates if possible. Current plan is to stay just outside Paris--probably Chantilly--and visit Versailles, Chantilly and Rouen from there, then stay in Amboise or thereabout , followed by Dijon or thereabout, and ending in Paris.

We do not generally stay in B&Bs or fancy hotel, and on our last trips--to the UK--we had very good experiences with US and European branded mid-price hotels.

So, my question is would early or late October be better to achieve our objectives? Again, weather is most important, followed by flexibility.

BTW--please don't tell me we need to spend more time in Paris. As indicated, this will be our second visit to Paris, we will see a couple of Paris-related places prior to arriving in Paris so that we won't need to day-trip, and in general we prefer to stay in smaller cities, towns and villages.

Thanks for your help.
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Old Mar 7th, 2014, 07:55 AM
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In regards to weather/temps, obviously temps would be warmer in early October. Predictions of rain/precipitation are impossible to predict, even when watching
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Old Mar 7th, 2014, 08:01 AM
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Sorry, accidentally hit reply and my answer got cut off. Let's try again. Predictions of rain/precipitation are impossible to forecast, even when checking the forecast 24 hours in advance. If you aren't looking for fancy accommodation you'll have no trouble winging it in October and booking as you go. Having mobile internet access will be useful in this case but you can always stop at a tourist office (if a town is large enough to have one) and they'll assist with accommodation. Just make sure you arrive before they close.

I do a lot of exploring in the countryside around Paris and write photo reports about my explorations. If you want tips on places to visit or would like to look over my photo reports let me know and I'll be happy to give tips or post links to my reports.
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Old Mar 7th, 2014, 08:10 AM
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I would underscore but one point, make sure you reserve a hotel early and any restaurants you definitely want to visit for early October. September and early October are peak times in Paris for hotels.

Outside of Paris you will probably be able to wing it but not reserving, even then, means the top rated locations may not be available.
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Old Mar 7th, 2014, 08:14 AM
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If your primary consideration is weather, I suggest going as early in October as possible especially since you plan to travel for 3 weeks. The "sholder" season seems to get later and later these days - probably doesn't start until mid-November but you shouldn't have too much trouble "winging" it, especially if you have lists of possible hotels in the larger towns and cities.

I won't urge you to spend more time in Paris as we will be there for the 9th timein October and the fewer tourists, the better!

Have a great trip.
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Old Mar 7th, 2014, 02:16 PM
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Thanks everyone. Early October it is and, unless I see the "hotel of our dreams" earlier, I'll wing it after some point. I will have my iPhone and most hotels these days have an internet monitor to use.

.
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Old Mar 7th, 2014, 02:31 PM
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I'm not sure why you would choose to stay in Chantilly, when it's pretty much due north of Paris and you'd have to either cut back through Paris or circle the city to get to Versailles and on to Rouen. Chantilly (and Senlis, which is NOT to be missed) are easy to get to as a day trip on public transportation.

Early October, for sure.
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Old Mar 8th, 2014, 09:02 AM
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StCirq--thanks. I've discovered that "all roads (and railroads) lead to and from Paris." My idea is to stay somewhere northwest of Paris but fairly convenient to CDG, so that lodging will cost less than in Paris proper and I won't have to fight through so much traffic on our way to the Loire Valley. However, it looks like transportation to and from Versailles would not take more than 90 minutes, so that's probably doable. The alternative is to move after a nite or two to Versailles or the area.

I'll probably use TripAdvisor and Booking.com to find a better place to stay for up to four nites. Any suggestions welcomed.
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