Pars->Barcelona->South of France?

Apr 3rd, 2016, 09:25 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 4
Pars->Barcelona->South of France?

Hi there!

Me and my husband are going to be in Europe from 5/21-6/2. We are going to be in Paris 21+22(airbnb already booked), and then we were planning on going to Barcelona for a few days. After Barcelona, we were hoping to go to the South of France and explore. I'm not sure where we should fly into, or where we should go. I keep reading that we should skip over Monaco, St. Tropez, Marseille, etc. I know that we would like to spend 2 days in Corsica because it seems really beautiful, and we would love some relaxation/beach time after exploring.

We are also toying with the idea of forsaking the whole Barcelona idea, and just traveling through France. But, I am very overwhelmed trying to figure out travel, and where exactly to go to get the most out of our trip. One thing to keep in mind is that we got our flights relatively inexpensively, so we are flying in and out of Paris.

Any help or suggestions would be so appreciated!!
nancyg87 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2016, 09:43 AM
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I would stick to France, and if you are unfamiliar with the Provence and the Languedoc, take the TGV to Avignon, rent a car and do a tour of those areas. The Michelin Green Guides will help you organize an itinerary--they usually have suggested car itineraries which vary according to the amount of time available.

For car rentals, look into or If cost is an issue, consider the "basic" rate where your visa card (if from the U.S.) will carry the CDW (collision, damage waiver).
Michael is online now  
Apr 3rd, 2016, 10:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You only have 11 days (10 if 6/2 is your travel-home day). Even skimping on Paris and spending only 2 days there, it will be rushed to get all the way to Barcelona and then back to the Côte d'Azur (or Corsica), then back to Paris.

I'd dump Barcelona and forget Corsica. As for the Côte d'Azur, it's hardly likely at that time of year that beach time, other than enjoying the views and walking, is going to be what you imagine. The Med is cold, even in mid-summer - doubt you'll be swimming or sunbathing except at a hotel pool.

Traveling in France needn't be overwhelming if you use guidebooks, maps, and internet sites to help you plan. You have, however, left the planning very late, so now would be the time to get deeply involved in research.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 3rd, 2016, 11:36 AM
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I'd dump Barcelona and Corsica, only because you have booked RT flights through Paris for some odd reason. Otherwise, I'd have dumped Corsica and perhaps southern France and just have done Paris and Barcelona.

But you have to at least drop some place in your time frame, Corsica is the real outlier here, obviously. Otherwise, you would have to fly from Paris to Barcelona, then take the train east from Barcelona maybe back to Marseille and maybe Montpellier and/or Avignon, then back up to Paris. That could be done if you only spend a couple days in Barcelona.

so Paris 5/21 and 5/22
Barcelona 5/23-5/25
train from Barcelona to Avignon (there are some that are direct, take 4 hours, not sure times, one is afternoon) on 5/26-6/1 (you can rent a car and stay in some smaller town around there and for touring)

train back to Paris 6/1 in order to get 6/2 flight home
Christina is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2016, 12:08 PM
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Your itinerary really doesn't leave enough time for Paris, unless perhaps you have been there before and just want to touch base? Otherwise you will barely scratch the surface.

If you are attached to the idea of going to Corsica, then I would definitely drop Barcelona, or vice versa. I can't speak to the travel involved in getting to Corsica; I've never had time to include it in an itinerary. I flew to Marseilles last year and took a train from Toulon to Barcelona, through Montpelier, and it was pretty painless, so what Christina is suggesting is doable...but you'll still be spending a lot of time in between destinations.

I think you'd enjoy it a lot more if you limited yourself to two of the four (Paris/Corsica, Paris/Barcelona, Paris/south of France). Certainly there are enough day trips out of both Paris and Barcelona that you could get out into the country in both places and not just be in the cities.
Barbara_in_FL is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2016, 03:20 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2016
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Thank you for the responses! We weren't really planning on going to Europe, but the tickets were very inexpensive, and we sort of did it on a whim, hence the lack of planning and the roundtrip flights to Paris.

Do you all think that we should stay in Paris longer than 2 full days & nights if we have never been before?

Do you have any recommendations on specific towns we should visit in France if we were to just stay in France?

Thanks for all the advice again!
nancyg87 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2016, 08:58 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,876
"Reading between the lines", it seems like:
1. You have 13 nights in Europe/France
2. You are on somewhat of a "tight" budget.
3. You want some "beach time"
4. You have no idea of geography, or how to get from A to B.

If I were a travel agent, and someone presented these "requirements" to me - I would suggest;

1. Upon arrival at CDG, immediately (minimum 3 hrs later) take the TGV (fast train) to the Avignon TGV station, and spend 4 nights in Provence. Rent a car. I would recommend staying in St Remy if you like a village where there is a lot of English spoken and many places to have dinner & shop. Or if you like countryside & small villages - stay in the Luberon near Gordes, Menerbes, Bonnieux, or Roussillon. Tour the Luberon, visit Avignon and/or Arles, visit Les Baux, Pont du Gard, and relax.

2. Drive to Nice and stay in Nice for 5 nights. Stay at the Windsor . Keep the car for the first two days. Visit the villages inland from Nice - St Paul, Vence, Tourrettes sur Loup, and the many canyons in the region. Return the car & visit the coastal towns you can get to by either bus or train - Cannes, Antibes, Villefranche, Menton, Villa Ephrussi de Rothchild, Eze. And spend a day at "Blue Beach" in Nice - sunning yourself with a nice lunch of mussels or fish at the restaurant at Blue Beach .

3. Take the TGV back to Paris & spend your remaining time there.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Apr 4th, 2016, 12:35 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,071
Get a copy of the Michelin Green Guide to France. Study it. Get other good guidebooks, or consult them at your local library. Decide what YOU want to do and experience. Only then can you actually even begin to make a plan. JMO.

Good luck!
kja is offline  
Apr 4th, 2016, 12:55 AM
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Yes, I think you should spend more than 2 days in Paris if you've never been before, especially since the day of arrival could be totally lost to jetlag and basic orientation.

I would pick one place other than Paris, Provence is a good and easy choice. Spend 5 days in Paris then 5 in Provence, then take the TGV back to Paris the night before your flight home.

You really are late to be planning things, though. For example, you've already missed, by a long shot, the cheap train tickets. For this and many other reasons, buying cheap airfares on a whim can end up biting you in the backside. But now that you've got the tickets, dig into the guidebooks, buy train tickets as soon as you can, and make arrangements for accommodations asap.
StCirq is online now  
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