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Paris to Provence updated itinerary-opinions/suggestions please


Nov 19th, 2013, 08:49 PM
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Paris to Provence updated itinerary-opinions/suggestions please

Ok, so further to my other posts, I have made some amendments to our French itinerary based on peoples ideas. As a background we are going to France/Italy for a 5 week holiday in May 2014 plus an additional 3 nights in London at the start, we are flying from Aus (will be our first Europe trip, my boyfriend and I). I would like to split the time evenly between the two countries (so approx 2 and a half weeks in each), so I am planning the itinerary to take us down through France to be able to get the train into Italy. So far the itinerary looks like this:

7 nights in Paris (our rental apartment has been booked for this already)
Get train to burgandy and stay for 3 nights (if anyone has suggestions on where would be a good base for this stay and if we would require a car to get around)
Get train to Lyon and stay for 2 nights (is it easy to get around and see other places out of the town?)
Get train to somewhere in Provence (have not decided where we will base ourselves) and stay for 5 nights. We will probably hire a car for this area. Would it be best to base ourselves at one place in Provence or try two different areas?

Aside from Paris, does the amount of time I have allocated to each place sound good, is there anywhere I have allocated too long too? For a first time trip do these sound like good places to visit in France?

Thanks for everyones help
ReneeLJ is offline  
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Nov 19th, 2013, 09:33 PM
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If you are only two nights in Lyon, there is enough to do there w/o going out of town. If you would want to visit the restored medieval village of Perouges, there is public transportation.

Dijon would be a good base for Burgundy b/c it is a very interesting city in its own right, and it's only about 1/2 hr. from Beaune, which I would imagine you'd want to see. I can recommend this lovely studio apartment: www.myhomeindijon.com

I would not change bases for only 5 nights in Provence; you really lose time by packing up and moving on. But I guess this depends upon what you mean by Provence; if you want to do the western area around Avignon and also the eastern, say Nice, then you would need two bases.

Happy planning!
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Nov 19th, 2013, 09:56 PM
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Thanks grandmere.....I have to do some more research into Provence...but we don't plan on venturing over to the eastern area such as Nice, so it sounds like one base would be best....Saint Remy has been recomended as a good base, if anyone can suggest other areas to base ourselves in Provence I will look into it though!
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Nov 27th, 2013, 08:58 AM
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There are numerous fixed fees which you pay each time you rent a vehicle, i.e. environmental fees (for cars with automatic transmissions), location surcharges (for pickup at either a rail station or airport), second driver fees (usually 25€), and road taxes are the bulk of them. It is for this reason that taking the train and renting upon arrival at some new location can be a very expensive way to travel.

I would pick up a rental car in Paris (avoiding the location surcharge and the unnecessary expense of train tickets) and drive to Burgundy, Lyon and on to Provence. If you avoid Avis and Hertz you can probably avoid the one way fee as well. Typically Europcar, Citer, and Sixt will not charge you for one way, in France drop off. The per day cost of the car rental itself will decrease as you increase the duration of the rental period. You might check on line with companies such as Autoeurope or Kemwel.

You will also like the flexibility of having a car as you travel south.
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Nov 27th, 2013, 09:38 AM
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I really would not worry about doing day trips from Lyon if you are only there 2 nights, aren't you going to visit the city itself?

As for Provence, I usually stay in the Pernes-les-Fontaines area and really like it a lot. I'ts between Carpentras and Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. It isn't as touristy but is even more centrally located than St Remy IMO -- you can visit the Luberon, Avignon area, Mt Ventoux, and the Vaucluse and Drome easily. If you have never visited Arles or Nimes and want to visit them, it would not be as close as St Remy, of course. I don't really like ST Remy, but I know a lot of people do. You could easily visit it from where I stay if you want to see the Van Gogh asylum, as I've done that.
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Nov 27th, 2013, 11:12 AM
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We stayed in St. Saturnin les Apt in The Luberon. It was the perfect location as there were so many places [in every direction] to visit and they were all fairly short drives.

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Nov 28th, 2013, 10:17 AM
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Deb, i tried booking Accomodation in Provence based on you rec and had several email exchanges with David who is very nice. But unfortunately they only take two week reservations during June/July

We are staying here:
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Nov 28th, 2013, 02:45 PM
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So many helpful suggestions here, thanks everyone!

Ben @loveprovence - the place in Les Baux de Provence sounds amazing...I am looking for some interesting and unique places to stay and visit, thanks for the idea!

Christina - Will definitely look into Pernes-les-Fontaines as it sounds nice that its a bit less touristy.

Will also look into some of the other places that have been suggested, such as St. Saturnin les Apt.

Thanks again, love all the help from everyone
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