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Paris/Nice/Alps in early May....Alps and transportation suggestions?

Paris/Nice/Alps in early May....Alps and transportation suggestions?

Jan 7th, 2009, 07:50 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 15
Paris/Nice/Alps in early May....Alps and transportation suggestions?

Hello all.

I'm starting to plan a honeymoon trip for my sister (she's not a planner). They want to leave on May 4th and AA airline mile restrictions have them coming back on May 14th. So that gives them 9 full days. They want to spend 4 days in Paris, 3 in Nice, and 2 in the Alps (no particular part). The Cannes Film Festival starts May 13th so I'd like to end in Paris to avoid that. That probably means starting out with the Alps. AA only flies into Zurich and Paris.

Therefore I'm looking for recommendations on a good Alps destination in either France or Switzerland for way early May that is easily reachable from Zurich with a heading towards Nice.

I'm also looking for recommendations on the most economical/feasible ways to get between Zurich and that Alps location, then Nice, then Paris.

Would it be better to rent a car and drive from Zurich to Nice (with the Alps in-between.....is it drivable in early May?)....or should they stick with trains?

I'm thinking it's best to fly between Nice and Paris, but would an overnight train be better? I really don't want them wasting six hours of daylight.

Input greatly appreciated!
aggie97 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 12:13 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
In May the high Alps will still be in winter mode (some passes don;t open until June).

If you land in zurich you can grab a train and be in Lucerne in an hour. This is a charming town on a lake with a variety of boat trips, several small villages nearby to visit and several mountains you can ascend by cable car or rail (Pilatus, Titlis). (Jungfrau is much higher, but weather at the top is dicey anytime and May is early.)

There are numerous trains to Nice every day - but it will be about 9 hours - but you'll see some of the Alps on the way.

For the trip they're doing I would stick with trains. They don;t have the time to do a road trip (spend days stopping off here and there at cute villages) - but just need to get from one place to another. Otherwise they won't have any time at their main destinations.

If they want to do a road trip I would start in Zurich/Lucerne and end up in Paris - leaving Nice out - but taking 2/3 days in smaller places in Switzerland and France along the way.

Frankly, if I were doing it - I would limit it to 2 cities in 9 days - since IMHO Paris deserves at least 5 days for a first visit.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 12:40 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,572
They are not restricted to Paris or Zürich, AA also flies to Milan, and BA - a partner to AA - flies to many more targets, including Nice.

If the website doesn't bring them up, it will be worth a phone call and the 20 bucks or whatever it costs to book on the phone - they could probably fly right into Nice, BA flies there from London, and then make their way to Paris and fly home from there. So call, insist that the miles be valid on AA and BA and it should work.

If they fly into Milan (not the best solution, but workable) they might want to take the airport bus into town, it takes an hour and goes to the central station, and stay overnight in a nearby hotel. Plenty of hotels near the station, some more expensive, some less so. The area is ok, lots of shops and restaurants nearby.

The train from Milan to Nice is 5 hours, could be a bit rough on the arrival day since their butts will hurt from all that sitting... Better to go out and about in Milan, walk to the Duomo and so on, stay on their feet until dinner time, have a good meal and some vino and sleep really well, then take the train to Nice the next morning. They could book it the day they get there so they'll have their ticket and seat reservations for the next day.

But whether it is via Milan or via a flight into Nice, assuming they can start out in Nice, the thing to do would be to then take the train into the French Alps, Chambéry or Chamonix or Annecy or Grenoble, and from there to Paris.

Google those names, and look up trains at
http://plannerint.b-rail.be/bin/query.exe/en?L=profi&
and at www.voyages-sncf.fr

DalaiLlama is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 02:48 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,939
I don't know their departure city, but judging by your screen name, I guess Texas. AA has a connecting flight from DFW-ORD-BRU-NCE. Nice is an easy airport to arrive or depart.
scatcat is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 03:47 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,522

Have a look at a map and you'll see Dalai's suggestion makes sense... going from Zurich to Nice to Paris involves a lot of backtracking... get the arrival/departure cities sorted first.

Rob
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 04:06 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 15
Thanks for the responses. Hopefully I can get them to Nice first. (Good guess scatcat!.....Gig 'Em!)

Given that, the next stop would be the French Alps via train, then on to Paris.

However, from my reading it seems early May is when a lot of the resort places shut down after the end of ski season. I'm wondering if anything will even be open? Do you think it will be dead and not worth going to? Maybe they should do the Provence area in France instead.

aggie97 is offline  

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