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jdp867 Jan 21st, 2007 02:17 PM

Provence or Normandy, after Paris
My last posting got stale and I still really need your help. We have 8 days in France in July and have been discouraged from going to Dordogne (after 3-4 days in Paris) b/c of the time to get there on the train. We feel confident in narrowing it down to Provence or Normandy. My husband likes the idea of the rocks, waves, caves, and castles. I would probably enjoy anywhere as long as it's French! but I wonder if I'd prefer the small villages like Aix, St. Remy, Avignon, more than NOrmandy. Husband would like to get a good hike in, and I would like to visit at least one winery. And maybe take a cooking class.
Please help! I am so torn- even though I know we won't be disappointed with either, I feel like we should research as much as we can to make an educated decision. Any advice on 4 star boutique hotels would also be very much appreciated.

jdp867 Jan 21st, 2007 04:47 PM

just realized a glitch w/ camp return date for kids. Have to shorten trip- so if we stay in paris for entire week (July 3-11) can we do day trip to Normandy?

happytotravel Jan 21st, 2007 04:57 PM

Yes you can, just take the first train in am to Bayeux, and catch a d-day tour there if you want. We liked Bayeux is a lovely town in itself so even if you not interested in a D-day tour.

Underhill Jan 21st, 2007 05:05 PM

So go to Normandy--you'll still find lovely small villages (Aix and Avignon are actually cities), such as Petit Andelys, Lyons-la-Foret, Pont-Audemer, Honfleur, Bayeux, and many others. Castles too, and rocks/waves/castles--those are also choice in Brittany. You'll also find fewer crowds than in Provence, with luck, and the weather won't be as hot.

job816 Jan 21st, 2007 08:07 PM

We visited Normandy last September and it was better than we could image. On our way driving from Paris we stopped in Les Andelys and visited Chateau Galliard, - the “Saucy” fortress built by Richard the Lionheart. We then headed to Bayeux, which is a beautiful medieval town not destroyed during WWII. While there we did a full day WWII tour with Battlebus – wonderful. We also visited Mount Saint Michel, which if you arrive late and stay overnight during high tides will be magical. I totally recommend Normandy. You can also visit cider and Camembert farms on you way out.

jdp867 Jan 22nd, 2007 04:32 PM

that's really helpful- all of you- thanks. Now, might be able to fly 3 days earlier into Bristol- so we will have to get from there to France, presumably after spending 2 days or so in Bath. I know we can take a train from Bristol to London and then take Eurostar to Paris, but does anyone know if there is a better way to get from Bristol to Normandy, or to Paris?

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