Recommendations on Itinerary for France

Old Jan 19th, 2004, 11:10 AM
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Recommendations on Itinerary for France

My husband I just booked a trip to France for the summer. We have approximately 10 days to spend there. We have never been and are interested in going to Paris, Normandy, & Nice. Any suggestions on an itinerary - how long to spend in each location, recommendations on how to get from one to another, and things to do in each location? My husband is a huge history and war buff. I'm more into the cooking, shopping, beach relaxation. We'd like somewhat of a compromise. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 11:28 AM
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Wow. That is quite a lot of area to cover in 10 days...any thoughts on limiting it to just 2 locations perhaps Paris and Normandy? You could spend 10 days in Paris alone.
If you're into cooking and shoppping Le Cordon Bleu (as do other schools) has cooking courses - one particular that takes you to the local markets and Poilane bakery, etc. - really fun, in English and French - it's a whole day affair but well worth it. Check out their website for details.
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 11:49 AM
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Since your husband is a war buff, spending part of your trip in Normandy would be a natural. But don't try to do Provence as well! A thorough exploration of Normandy, with perhaps a jaunt over into Brittany to see the megaliths, will easily use up 5 days. That leaves 5 days for Paris, which is full of things that will interest both of you. Save Provence for a time when you can go off season: late spring, early fall. Much less crowded and with better weather.

My husband and I are touring Normandy in September, going from Rouen to Honfleur to Caen to Bayeux, with stops in between. There's quite a lot to see, and it's lovely country.
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 12:15 PM
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The others are right - Nice is too far out of the way for a first-time trip to France. I'd divide the trip up equally -5 days in Normandy and 5 in Paris.

Take the train to Caen. It's about 2.5 hours from Paris and an easy place to pick up a rental car, which you'll want for touring the D-Day beaches, museums, etc. I like Bayeux as a base for exploration of that part of Normandy - beautiful, manageable town with lots of charm, good cafés and restaurants, etc. You could easily spend three days there, and then perhaps dip down to Le Mont St-Michel and back to Paris via Chartres, where you might drop off the car and take the train into the city.
That's just one itinerary suggestion; I'm sure others have done it differently.
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 12:48 PM
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One more vote for leaving Provence for another trip.
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 11:23 AM
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I agree with Underhill, St. Cirq and others. From long experience, two separate sites are enough in a ten day period. I would do Paris and Normandy.

In Normandy consider staying in Bayeux which uis a nice town very close to the American Cemetery at Colville sur Mer. Nice hotel is the Chateaux Bellefontaine, within walking distance to center of town. (An hour away is pretty Honfleur on the Atlantic--do not know if there is an available beach there.)

Paris can offer you all you seek except beach though the Parisians have even contrived to build a "beach" on the Seine--of course, no swimming.

Provence is worthy of a separate vacation. If I can help further please let me know by posting a follow-up question. Best wishes.

Anthony
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 11:27 AM
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I too say to limit it to just Paris and Normandy. You say you've already booked, so I suppose your flights are in and out of Paris, which eliminates flying into or out of Nice. But if you mind is made up about doing all three, your only hope is to fly Easy Jet or someone cheap like that from Paris to Nice for two nights. Frankly I think it isn't worth the time and expense to do that, but if you end up not wanting to give up Nice, that's the only logical way to do it in my opinion.
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 12:40 PM
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Nice is absolutely not worth a trip, especially if you have only 10 days. Provence is lovely and if you decide to go there instead of Normandy, a side trip to Nice would be fine. But in the summer, I definitely suggest Normandy and Paris.
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 02:02 PM
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For a history buff the natural location to visit in paris is the museum at Les Invalide with Napolean's tomb. You could leave hubby there for the day and visit the Rodin Museum yourself, or do some St. Germain shopping.
I stumbled onto a great place to visit outside of Paris, near Giverny and Vernon, La Roche Guyon. http://www.france-random.com/escapad...sen/index.shtm
It is a medieval castle that now has a museum in it. During WWII it was headquarters for Rommel and the history of the town is wrapped up in the history of the war. I'm not much of a history buff and I loved it. Unfortunately it isn't served by rail and you will need a car to get there. It would be easy to incorporate with a day trip to Giverny (home of Monet)
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 02:14 PM
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for cooking you can take an afternoon class at the Ritz Paris for 47 Euro which is a demonstration and tasting. Check this website for all kinds of info http://www.ritz.com/home_ritz/home_ritz.asp?id=2

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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 04:28 PM
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One more vote for doing Paris and Normandy. You said you were going in the summer. Nice is on the Riviera and that is a tourist zoo in the summer. It is so crowded and pretty warm if you aren't used to the temperatures. Save Nice and go in the Spring or Fall some time. Then you can explore Provence and not feel rushed. Nice is nice, but Provence is meant to be explored lovingly.

Normandy is great for a history buff, and in Paris someone above mentioned the WW II museum at Invalides next to Napoleon's Tomb. It is amazing and you might want to visit it too. I walked out in tears. It's very moving. There is also the Memorial to the Deportation behind Notre Dame which is also a very touching experience. It's also small and you can visit it in about a half hour which gives you time for . . . shopping!!
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Old Jan 21st, 2004, 05:41 AM
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In Normandy I highly recommend the Broc Fontaine B&B.
Wonderful food (possible cooking classes),great accomodations and wonderful hosts.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2004, 10:15 AM
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Thank you all for your help and suggestions. I really appreciate all the great information you've given me.
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