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DallasAlice Mar 10th, 2004 01:17 PM

Our 20th Anniversary
Bonjour..first time user. We are travelling to France this summer, have 12 days for sightseeing. Beginning in Paris and ending in Nice...not sure how long to spend in Paris, Tours and Nice areas..any suggestions? What should we NOT miss. We are planning on driving ourselves...all suggestions are appreciated!! Merci..D.A.

Underhill Mar 10th, 2004 01:40 PM

My recommendation would be to spend 6 days in Paris and the balance in the Nice area. Save Tours for a different trip (our do you mean tours of Paris??).

There are several current posts on Nice; try the search engine to bring them up.

As for Paris, the first thing to do is to get yourself a good guidebook and start doing research; I prefer the Eyewitness Guide to Paris for its arrangement by neighborhoods, which simplifies sightseeing planning, or the green Michelin Guide to Paris, which has excellent itineraries already laid out. Once you have a look at those and a sense of what YOU want to see, we can make more suggestions.

jamikins Mar 10th, 2004 01:47 PM

I agree with Underhill..Paris warrants at least 6 days, and you could have another wonderful 6 days in Nice!

mclaurie Mar 10th, 2004 01:58 PM

I "third" Underhill's always good advice, but in fairness, I've never been to Tours so I can't speak from experience. If you're just going to do Paris (with maybe a daytrip somewhere) & then Nice area, you might want to rethink driving. The TGV (train) might be a better idea.

In addition to doing some guide book reading, there is a fairly recent thread here called something like 100 things to do in Paris. If you type 100 AND Paris in the text search box above & then click find, it should come up.

If you tell us more about your interests, budget etc. we can help more.

rex Mar 10th, 2004 02:36 PM

I'm glad that you are excited about your anniversary, but out of fairness to everyone who participates here - - if you post again, you really should put something about your travel plans or questions in your title. Not everyone would have expertise or even any interest in a question about itinerary/time allocation in France. You're placing a bit of an expectation that others will click on your question to find out what it is that you want to know.

Welcome to the forum, even if that is a little bit lecture-y...

Best wishes,


StCirq Mar 10th, 2004 02:54 PM

I wouldn't go to Tours myself -it's a pain in the neck to drive in and out of. If it's a location in the Loire Valley you're looking for, there are better choices, like Amboise. And with only 12 days, I wouldn't drive to Nice, either. I'd stay in Paris for 5-6 days, then take the train to Nice and pick up a car there for touring.

rex Mar 10th, 2004 07:14 PM

Bringing your message back up "to the top" since it is your first message here, ever...

JeanneB Mar 11th, 2004 04:14 AM

I 2nd the suggestion to take the TGV down south. We had 3 weeks on our vacation and we rented a car and drove all over France, after a week in Paris. I now wish we had concentrated on no more than two places outside Paris. Resist the temptation to see everything. Plan a couple of smaller areas you want to see, then use the rental car to get around those areas.

4totravel Mar 11th, 2004 04:23 AM

Congratulations on 20! Where are you staying in Paris and Nice? A lot of people here have some good suggestions...

Gretchen Mar 11th, 2004 04:54 AM

As others have said maximize your time--Paris, then TGV to south, maybe Provence. Rent a car there and drive that area ending in Nice. One more thing--the 20th anniversary is the china anniversary. Get a memorable piece of china to remember your trip. We took our kids to Europe over our 20th--bought a set of Villeroy & Boch in Paris.

DallasAlice Mar 11th, 2004 10:50 AM

Thanks to all for your input and advice about France and postings. We are interested in museums, antiquing and seeing how the "french" live rather than tours. Yes, I meant Tours, by the way. Our budget is not limited since we are using frequent flyer miles. No hotel reservations are made yet, sugggestions are welcomed. Thanks to all for your congratulations!

Underhill Mar 11th, 2004 11:04 AM

You could take the TGV to Avignon to begin your time in Provence, then head over to see some of the Lubéron villages (vide Peter Mayle) and finish up with the big antique market in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, especially busy on Sundays. It's spread all along the street bordering the town (which is also interesting). You might want to spend one night at the nearby Mas de Cure Bourse, a pleasant small hotel with a very good restaurant, headed up by a very talented woman chef.

After that you could take the scenic drive across the Route Napoléon to Moustiers-Ste-Marie and buy yourself some exquisite faience, often beautifully decorated in antique patterns. From Moustiers you could head south and pick up the motorway for the Côte d'Azur, ending up with 2 nights in the Nice area. That would make for quite a nice trip, and there's an abundance of museums and fine Romanesque churches to visit.

In July you will see many French on vacation in Provence but an equal number of tourists from other countries. But in the smaller villages you will have the best chance of mingling with the French themselves, especially in supermarkets.

dindle Mar 11th, 2004 11:31 AM

If it's your first time in Paris, you need loads of time to see the "high points." I would not miss the Louvre or the Palace at Versailles. Yes, they're heavily touristed, but so worth a visit. I personally like Tours and all of southern France much better than Paris. The people are friendlier and the countryside is beautiful. I wouldn't rent a car until you plan on leaving Paris - you really don't need one in the city (in fact I wouldn't recommend driving in Paris to anyone!)

kevin_widrow Mar 11th, 2004 11:47 AM

Another great thing about summertime in Provence is all of the antique fairs - you'll find at least 3 or 4 per weekend - and it is a great way to visit various villages and do your antiguing at the same time. Pick up a copy of a magazine called "Antiquites/Brocante" when you get here - it has a calendar listing all of the fairs each month. You will have a grea time.

If you want any further info, feel free to email - my wife and I have spent the last two years furnishing our place and we know lots of local dealers.

Bon voyage and bon anniversaire!

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