Jan 23rd, 2008, 12:24 PM
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I am preparing an itinerary for a trip to France for 4 seniors in September. I was thinking of spending 7 days in Paris and 7 days on the road. Question 1: Is 7 days in Paris for first-timers too much, just enough or too little? Question 2: Some possible destinations in the country were St-Malo, Mont St-Michel, Vallée du Loire, Strasbourg. Other possibilities were Provence, Dordogne, Bordeau. We would like to do this without burning out. What kind of itinerary for this portion would you recommend? P.S. We are completely bilingual, so French is not a problem for us.

Maureen_QC is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 12:44 PM
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Is 7 days in Paris to much? This is a hard one to answer. For some it is not enough and others it is to much. I think I would ask the 4 seniors what their thoughts are. I would think 3 to 4 days could give them an overall feel for the city.

I think you also have some good ideas for other places, but again have you consulted the others? I have been to most of the areas you mention and feel they are all great.

One questions. Are the 4 Seniors more mature people or High School seniors?

By the way I feel September it a prefect time in France.
Randy is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 01:01 PM
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I suggest taking the TGV to Avignon and then spend your second 7 days somewhere in the lovely Luberon (Provence) countryside.

I'd also suggest you re-post with a better title - one with "France" in it. You'll get more answers; this one's too vague...
TuckH is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 01:23 PM
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No amount of time in Paris is too much for me - we are panning our 8th trip. There is so much to see and do that you can easily fill 7 days.

However, you ought to decide how you are going to spend your second week. I would do a little research and decide on one general area. May would be a wonderful time in Provence or the Dordogne but I would not combine the two in 7 days.

Once you have decided where you want to spend your time outside of Paris, it will be easier to decide how much time to allocate to each location.
mamc is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 05:12 PM
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Paris is a lovely city. Five days would be good for me. I spent three days there, and that was definitely not enough time for me.

Room 202 at the Mont St-Michel is high up and has a great view. It was a little spooky at night, but very nice and memorable.

Have a great trip!
KL467 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 05:27 PM
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Seven days in Paris is fine, as others have noted. A trip to Versailles for all or some in the group would be something different.

Seven days in either the Dordogne or Provence would be perfect.

I think 7 days in the Loire might be too long - especially if you visit Versailles while in Paris.

I also think 7 might be too long in Alsace for a first timer.

Seven days in MSM, & Brittany would be fine.

The city of Bordeaux is OK, IMO, but I've personally never read anything that would want me to spend 7 days in the immediate area - Burgundy yes, but not Bordeaux.

I 4 senior friends of mine asked me where to go, I would send them to Paris & the Dordogne in Sept, or Paris & Provence in late June.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 07:30 PM
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What about Normandy? If we're talking senior citizens(or any history buffs), the D Day beaches may be meaningful.

7 days in Paris and 7 days in the country sounds perfect. If you stay in one location and day trip while in the country, you likely could get an apartment or villa.
SusanSDG is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 09:12 AM
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Nomandy is not one of my top 10 favorite regions in France. I think there are prettier countrysides and ocean venues elsewhere. Honfleur, Rouen, and the Pays d'Auge are quite nice, however. The OP made no mention of the WWII stuff - in fact they may be from a country that did not participate in the European part in WWII.

If the "seniors" are interested in Monet, WWII stuff, MSM - then I think about 5 days in Normandy would be fine - but I would still prefer the Dordogne in September.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Jan 27th, 2008, 10:03 AM
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I'll put in a vote for Burgundy/Champagne. Lovely countryside, not too far from Paris, and terrific food.

- Pam
pamdamage is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 10:08 AM
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Hi M,

I wouldn't worry about 7 days in Paris for 4 seniors.

I'd be more concerned about 7 days on the road.

How about Fly into Paris - 7 nights, train to Strasbourg - 6 nights.

Pick a base in Alsace and take daytrips by car.

You can fly home from Stuttgart or train back to Paris.

ira is offline  
Jan 29th, 2008, 12:53 PM
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Thanks to all for your suggestions.

Paris is all square away now, so it will probably be 7 days.

I would like to rephrase the second part.

Mont St-Michel interests us, but the WWII battlefields a lot less so. We will be visiting Versailles, so maybe this will be enough in the way of châteaux and we could skip the Loire Valley. An acquaintance highly recommended Strasbourg.

We like history, beautiful countrysides, quaint villages...

Given all this, what kind of itinerary would you propose for 7 days (we are open to flying out of somewhere other than Paris)that would be enjoyable and not too mentally and/or physically exhausting?
Maureen_QC is offline  
Jan 29th, 2008, 12:58 PM
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Take the TGV to Bordeaux and go to the Dordogne for most of the time. However, if you think Versailles will castle you out, be forewarned that it is said that the Dordogne has a castle for each day of the year.

To whet your appetite, you could browse through various albums to decide which region interests you:

The albums are pretty much in alphabetical order by country and then by region.
Michael is online now  
Jan 29th, 2008, 01:40 PM
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Here is a very brief description of what you might find in the regions you are considering.

A. Alsace - easy to get to on the TGV
1. Strasbourg - interesting city, but I'm not sure it makes it into my top 5 in France
2. Very cute flower filled wine villages. It's kind of like Vermont with vineyards. However, after about 4-5 of the "cute little villages", you'll notice a lot of similarities & you might get "villaged-out".
3. One nice castle
4. Colmar. Along with Sarlat in the Dordogne & Beaune in Burgundy - it's one of my favorite medium/small village in France.
5. Not as many diverse things to do & see in Alsace as in the other two regions below.

Notes - things might start to drag a bit in 7 days in Alsace. I would visit naancy on the way to or from Alsace.

B. Provence. Easy to get to on the TGV (3 hrs).
1. Lots of Roman ruins
2. Many cute little villages - many remote & without tourists, and many with lots of tourists.
3. Diverse terraine. Rugged Alpilles with Les Baux, rolling countryside in the Luberon, the Alps, vineyards everywhere.
4. Avignon and/or Aix probably makes it into my top 5 cities in France.
5. Warmer weather in Sept - you'll probably get to dine outside more than in the other regions.
6. The coast is within striking distance
7. Not too many castles.
8. Great markets for tourists
9. Best shopping of the three regions, IMO

Note - you won't run out of things to do in 7 days.

C. Dordogne - a little more difficult & time-consuming to get to.
1. Lots of caves with pre-historic drawings
2. Lots of cute little villages
3. Caves with stalactites & mites and with rivers running through them.
4. Hundrds of castles - not the Rennaisance ones like Versailles or in the Loire, but medieval/feudal ones.
5. Boat trip down the Dordogne river.
6. Pretty countryside
7. Interesting gardens
8. Great markets
9. Sarlat (see above)
10. Perigueux - very interesting city.

note - you will not run out of things to do & see in 7 days.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Jan 29th, 2008, 01:43 PM
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>>Notes - things might start to drag a bit in 7 days in Alsace. I would visit naancy on the way to or from Alsace<

In case you could not figure out my typo - it's Nancy not naancy.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Jan 29th, 2008, 02:17 PM
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I'm liking your plan. I've been to Paris many times, and am still filling in the blanks. Part of the time you will need there will depend on your traveling style. Last time I went, day started with coffee, OJ and croissant at local cafe, while reading local paper. Then, a walking tour and one museum, with longish lunch and much walking around neighbourhood I happened to be in.

Not efficient if you hav never been there, but goes to point out you could spend days in Paris not "seeing" a lot, but definitely absorbing and enjoying yourselves.

So...I like the idea of the Dordogne, it's on my list. I could also see, if you like small towns, countryside, markets, castles,etc..filling in 7 days in the Loire. Probably not quite as scenic as some places in the South, but none the less a possibility. I did a 10 day trip along the Loire years ago and enjoyed the castles (though could get a bit much at the end), the Sons et Lumieres at the castles, vineyards, town fairs, caves, city ramparts, museums, and good food. Plus, I found it reasonably priced. I drove from Paris, got lost and ended up at Fontainebleau and took a private tour of the chateau, then did Loire from East to West, looped back north to go see Chartres and then Giverny.

Part of the fun was getting lost in the small backroads and stumbling on little villages, fields of sunflowers,etc..

For Paris, Versailles would be a nice day trip. If you are also included towards bubbly, a day trip to see the city of Reims and adding in a tour of a xchampagne house would be a nice full day trip.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jan 29th, 2008, 02:30 PM
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>An acquaintance highly recommended Strasbourg.....what kind of itinerary would you propose for 7 days.

Take the TGV Est to Strasbourg. PREMS fares are about 25E pp.

Rent a car.

Choose somewhere in Alsace as a base.
Tour Alsace and the Black Forest.

Return car in Strasbourg and train to Stuttgart. Fly home.

ira is offline  
Jan 29th, 2008, 02:32 PM
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Wouldn't it be better to take the train to Frankfurt rather than Stuttgart?
Michael is online now  
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