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one month family trip in France (july august)

one month family trip in France (july august)

Old Sep 12th, 2019, 06:01 AM
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one month family trip in France (july august)

we are planning our next trip for july-august. We had thought of California, but the prices are a little off the charts for our tastes. From what we see France seems a little cheaper for us Canadians!

We wanted to look elsewhere than in Europe after having been there for the last 4 years, but we came to the conclusion that France would not be bada idea. I went to Paris and Alsace 20 years ago, but since then we have never been there. Since we are french speking (frenh canadians) I think it would be nice if our childrens (7 and 12 years old) could, for once, be able to read restaurant menus, museum posters, etc

We have the budget to make about 3 weeks-1 month of travel. We would do it by rental car. It is obvious that we can not see everything, but we would like to have a mix of culture, great food, nature, beach and attractions for the kids.

We had a blast in the the Dolomites last summer and would like to return a few days in mountainous regions. We are the type to find a base for 4 or 5 nights and then hop around this place by car.

The challenge for us is to find central places to enjoy the different regions.

From what I've read we have a list of places to see (I do not think it's possible to see it all!)

And yes, I know there is a mix of city regions and attractions!

- Paris
- Brittany
- Normandy for things related to the Second World War
- Puy du fou and / or Asterix and / or Disney paris
- Dordogne
- Bordeaux
- Nimes and Avignon
- Marseille
- Chamonix and Annecy
- Lyon

I know it's a lot and that's where you need your lighting! What should be the regions / attractions / cities to put at the top of our list given our desires and our family situation?

Thank you !
tostaky is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2019, 06:36 AM
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August is very high season in France so you need stuff booking up and will get a wallet hit at that time.

I also wouldn't worry too much about France, let your holiday stretch into Germany/Belgium/Spain as it is all so interesting.

I'd do fewer movements but up to you. I might not stay in cities I would prefer smaller towns so maybe your list should be more about regions rather than cities.

- Brittany
- Normandy for things related to the Second World War (and great food and ancient castles and......)
- Puy du fou and / or Asterix and / or Disney paris
- Dordogne
- Bordeaux Aquitaine....is the region
- Nimes and Avignon + Arles
- Marseille
- Chamonix and Annecy or you could look at the Jura north of Geneva stretching up to Alsace.
- Lyon (not that excited)
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Sep 12th, 2019, 06:47 AM
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Thanks Bilboburgler !

We know theres other parts of Europe as much (or more) interesting than France. But you have to know that we alredy been in Germany for one month 4 years ago, we've been to Catalonia 3 years ago and Belgium...meh. I,ve been there many years ago (20) but dont feel the need to go back again this time.

Our main drag for France is really the fact that we are french speaking, until now we have aoided France for that reason because we thought that speaking french in a french country lacks of exotism ! But now....

We also like more some smaller place to stay than big citiez. The only place we really want to be in the heart is Paris, For all other places (like said in my first post, the challenge will be to find a somewahat central place to do daytrip.

Last edited by tostaky; Sep 12th, 2019 at 06:50 AM.
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Old Sep 12th, 2019, 07:44 AM
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For Normandy, my cousin recommended staying in Bayeux, so that’s what we’re doing - 4 nights next week. We’ll drive from Paris via Giverny and Honfleur. Once in Bayeux, we plan to do the WWII sites and maybe Mont St. Michel.
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Old Sep 12th, 2019, 08:28 AM
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Well, your list of places is enormous, to put it mildly. If your usual scenario is 4-5 nights in a place, then that dictates you need to focus on 3-4 places at most (there will be traveling time between them if you want to spread all over the country like this), and that would be 3 places if Paris is included in a 4-week trip, or 2 if it's included in a 3-week trip.

In order to satisfy your wish for mountains and nature and beaches, I'd look farther afield than you have and head for Languedoc-Roussillon and the Midi-Pyrenées. There, you have all those things in a fairly concentrated area. You've got the beautiful Pyrenées for the mountains, the lovely beaches running from Port-Bou up to Montpellier and beyond, and nature all around. Kids attractions I'm no expert on, sorry. There are plenty of castles, and if you venture into the Dordogne, there's no end of things for kids to do.

So I would probably approach this by flying into Toulouse or Montpellier, then moving on to someplace like Narbonne or Collioure for beach, then deviate up into the Pyrenées, maybe over them and up the Atlantic coast a bit to Bordeaux, maybe a brief excursion into the Dordogne from there, drop off the car, and take a train to Normandy, then to Paris for the end of your trip.

The Languedoc-Roussillon has the advantage of being not infested with visitors in August (though Collioure will be jammed). I'm afraid to say that the Dordogne, where I live, is pretty intolerable in August and will slow you down. So will all the the well-touted Riviera and Provence towns and all the major sights of Normandy. I'd just forget about them and Lyon and the Alps for this trip. 3-4 weeks, with close to one of them reserved for Paris, honestly doesn't leave you time to criss-cross the country.
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Old Sep 12th, 2019, 08:32 AM
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For the Dordogne I based in Sarlat and loved it. Very popular though so crowded. Even with that, I found driving in and out for day trips was not a problem. Ten minutes of traffic jam and you're out on rural roads. No place is perfect. But by basing there you have more choice of things to do at night. And evenings and early morning Sarlat is less crowded than if you visited it on a daytrip from some where else.

I was in Marseille for 6 nights this past July and loved it. I didn't drive there though. I did a day trip to Nimes by train and was glad I wasn't staying there. Glad I went to see the roman sites though. Also visited Cassis which I liked a lot. If you wanted a smaller town than Marseille (since you will have a car) that might be an option. Aix is also near there.

You probably need a separate base for Avignon and around. For that area I really like St Remy as a base. Maybe you could do 4 days (approximately) each for two bases one St Remy/Avignon area, the other Marseille/Aix/Cassis area. I did drive in and out of Avignon, St Remy, etc. with no problems (in July)

I also visited Lyon this past July. I didn't dislike it. But if I were rating all the places in France that I have been, it would be at the bottom. I also visited Dijon this summer and that I really loved. I would make that your base for that region.

Here's my photos of France. This summer's trip of Marseille, Dijon and Lyon are not up yet (soon) but most of the rest of the areas you are looking at are there. https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/f667172952
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Old Sep 12th, 2019, 08:38 AM
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I"m not clear on what you are wanting advice on, which of those places to go or not go?

The south seems an outlier. Given it will be August, also, I'd knock that idea off the list probably (you only list Marseille, Nimes and Avignon and I'll admit of all places in the south to go, I'm surprised you picked Nimes as a top draw). Marseille is not a place you can easily base and drive around every day, it's a huge city.

I haven't been to Annecy so can't comment on that idea, I guess you'd combine it with Lyon or something.

I think you could thus do a trip around the NW area of France, that could include Normandy, Brittany and even down to Bordeaux and you'd get Puy de Fou in there. And Angers, which is nice. I guess that sounds most appealing to me (I presume the WWII stuff is for you, not that your kids are WWII buffs). Because your other amusements parks are to the north or east of Paris and if you aren't that interested in the NE of the country, and since you've been there, I wouldn't think they would work in the itinerary that well, not sure what you have in mind with that idea. Of course you can go to/from Disneyland even from Paris.

There is another theme park over to the northwest area, near Poitiers,. Then you'd have two over there.

And there is la Rochelle, also.
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