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Please critique our itinerary through France


Aug 2nd, 2013, 02:38 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 184
Please critique our itinerary through France

My wife and I will be traveling through France for 2 weeks from Sept. 10 through the 24th. We fly SFO into Frankfurt, take the train to Strasbourg, go through our itinerary below before flying back from Paris on Sept 24.

We can afford up to 400 euros per night for lodging. More in Paris if we had to..

Please critique our activities vs. timeframe. Any not-to-be-missed?

Any restaurant suggestions? We are not much into *** restaurants every night, rather bistros/cafes neighborhood eateries with great food and warm atmosphere.

September 11
Arrive in Frankfurt.
Train to Strasbourg.
Hotel Rgent Petite France

September 12
Train to Colmar
Check out Colmar
Lunch in Colmar
Back to Strasbourg hotel

September 13
Train to Colmar
Take bus to do Riquewihr – Ribeauville
Back to Colmar/Strasbourg

September 14
Train to Lyon.
Check into hotel.
Hotel Royal Lyon
Check out Lyon.

Sunday - September 15
Train to Beaune
Take wine tour???
Back to hotel

September 16
Leave Lyon
Take TVG. Go to Avignon
Rent car in Avignon.
Go to Arles.
Lunch in Arles
Go to Saint Remy en Provence
Check in hotel. Hotel de L'Image

September 17
Drive to Aix de Provence, Lunch in Aix de Provence
Back to hotel

September 18
Do Gordes
Do Rousillon
Do Lourmarin
Back to hotel

September 19
Do Les Baux des Provence
Drive to Avignon
Return car
Check into hotel in Avignon. Hotel Le Prieure

September 20
Train to Paris.
Check into hotel. Hotel Villa Madame in the 6th
Do Paris
Eiffel Tower at night

September 21
Picnic lunch in Jardin du Luxembourg
Night river cruise

Sunday - September 22
Guided tour to Versailles in the afternoon

September 23
Do Montmartre walk

September 24
Return home
coolcamden is offline  
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 04:09 PM
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I have been mooning over Le Prieure's website! Have a blast.
laurela is offline  
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 04:54 PM
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Strasbourg,on Sept. 13 why not rent a car for the day to tour the Alsatian villages instead of going by bus. I think we picked up our rental car at the Strasbourg train station.You'll see more on your own; there are so many charming villages along the route.
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 06:09 PM
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@HappyTavelr - Thanks for the input. We thought about that, but we are a little concerned with parking the car overnight. It seems that the hotel is not very car-parking friendly, being smack dab in the middle of that peninsula. We'll check it out further when we get there.
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 07:16 PM
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IMHO you are not really spending any time in Strasbourg. I would spend the first and 2nd days there - then rent a car and make an early start - AM and lunch in Colmar and see the a couple of the wine towns on the way back.

Also I'm not sure about the Lyon/Beaune trekking to and fro. I think easier by car - and not so much circling.
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 07:47 PM
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@nytraveler - Thanks for your thoughts. We will check out Strasbourg aplenty when we are not out-and-abount... We have heard a lot about the area around Strasbourg so we want to give it more time, no??

Unfortunately we will be in Lyon on Sunday. Not sure what, if anything, we can do other than take the train to... someplace to take in some different sights. We may need to just hunker down in Lyon for the day.
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 10:21 PM
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Went back and reread the messages. I think the advice are so great. I think we will be very tired and jetlagged, so spending the 1st and 2nd days in Strasbourg may be the prudent thing to do.... then rent a car and do Colmar and the villages.

Renting a car and drive around on a Sunday from Lyon may also be The Thing to do...

Thanks and please keep it coming.
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 10:30 PM
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We had a friend pick up us in her car in Avignon at 9:00 am and drove to Rousillon, where we climbed to the top, had lunch, walked around. We drove through Gordes but did not have time to stop, and were back in Avignon at about 5:30.

Your September 18 day seems rather ambitious.
d_claude_bear is offline  
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Aug 3rd, 2013, 07:39 AM
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>>Renting a car and drive around on a Sunday from Lyon may also be The Thing to do.<<

We were in Lyon about 2 1/2 weeks ago, and we also took the TGV to Lyon several years ago, picked up a car, and headed to Beaujolais. Driving in & out of Lyon is VERY difficult - I suspect even on a Sunday (is the car rental office open on Sunday?). And as you know, many shops will be closed on Sunday. Get a map at the tourist office and visit as many traboules as you can (indicated on the map). Just punch the "button" on the door and most will open for you to explore.

Beaune will have some stuff open on Sunday (more things closed on Monday morning than on Sunday). I would do some traboule exploring on Sunday morning then head out to Beaune on the train.

Agree with others about having a car in Alsace. All the villages are lovely, but it won't take much time to explore each one. Relying on trains & buses to get there may involve a lot of wait time.

Many shops in Arles will be closed on Monday morning.

IMO, you are visiting too many large cities - Strasbourg, Lyon, Arles (not as big as others), Aix, Avignon, & Paris - and not enough countryside/small villages.

Do you have my 27 page Provence itinerary? I've sent it to over 3,000 people on Fodors. There is lots of detailed countryside drives/small-village visiting in it. If you would like a copy, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach a copy to the reply e-mail.

We live in the SF Bay Area.

Stu Dudley
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