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Suggest an itinery for France, April 2020

Suggest an itinery for France, April 2020

Old Nov 20th, 2019, 01:27 AM
  #1  
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Suggest an itinery for France, April 2020

Hello Fodors,

I had been thinking of my next vacation in april 2020 and got confused between Switzerland and France. Now that i am clear that swiss is quite heavy on the budget than france. I am sticking to france.

So need help plan my trip. Below are the details of the trip:
2 people, myself and my mother.
April 2020, 20 days which included fly in and out.
Prefer Airbnbs to stay at a buget price, also in a quite and friendly area.
Interest: historical places, hikes, town wandering, food


I do want to keep a base and do day triping around. Stay at a place for 3-4 days and be able to cover 2 places around on a day trip.

So request fodorites to suggest me an itineray.

Thanks in advance

Last edited by sudovim; Nov 20th, 2019 at 01:28 AM. Reason: typos mistakes
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Old Nov 20th, 2019, 04:44 AM
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<<quite and friendly area.
Interest: historical places, hikes, town wandering, food>>

Every single one of those things can be found in abundance in every single one of France's 96 départements and most of its 36,500 communes. You're going to have to buckle down and do some homework on your own and narrow this down; otherwise people are just wasting their time and yours by helping you throw darts at the map.
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Old Nov 20th, 2019, 07:36 AM
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Suggest borrowing or buying one of the glossy guidebooks - DK Eyewitness or Insight - and deciding what appeals to you. Alternatively, you could buy Ina Caro's "Paris to the Past" and just stay in Paris and do day trips.

If you were thinking of Switzerland for the mountains, obviously you should look at the French Alps. Personally, I like Nice at that time of year. Not yet crowded, and loads to see in the area. I'm also fond of Strasbourg and Nancy as a pairing, but perhaps not in April.
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Old Nov 20th, 2019, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by sudovim View Post
Hello Fodors,.....I had been thinking of my next vacation in april 2020 and got confused between Switzerland and France.
France is the one on the left.
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Old Nov 20th, 2019, 02:28 PM
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You need to do more research first, and purchase some good guidebooks, such as Michelin Green Guide, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides. However, I can suggest the following itinerary if YOU think it's something you would enjoy.

You could easily spend a week in Paris. It's a beautiful city, great for wandering through neighborhoods, and many, many wonderful museums and famous sites such as the Eiffel Tower and Versailles (just outside of the city, an easy day trip).

After Paris, you can take the TGV train to Avignon and easily spend a week in Provence (southern France). St. Remy makes a good base for 4 or 5 nights; you could spend a few nights in one of the Luberon villages. Or a few nights in Avignon or Arles.

After Provence, you could take the train to Nice, and spend 4 or 5 nights in Nice, and visit coastal towns on the French Riviera as day trips. And perhaps spend a night or two in the Nice Hinterlands, such as Vence or St Paul de Vence. And as Thursdaysd suggests, look at the French Alps.
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Old Nov 20th, 2019, 02:34 PM
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If you follow Karen's suggestion (a good one), attached are two itineraries that might be useful.

Stu Dudley
Attached Files
File Type: doc
Alps.doc (68.5 KB, 18 views)
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Old Nov 21st, 2019, 12:07 PM
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Prefer Airbnbs to stay at a buget price, also in a quite and friendly area.

My impression is that booking.com is more budget conscious than Airbnb. Gítes de France is another option for housing: https://www.gites-de-france.com/en and also
https://www.france-voyage.com/en/

No need to go to Switzerland for the Alps:

Last edited by Michael; Nov 21st, 2019 at 12:11 PM.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2019, 10:23 AM
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We did 2 weeks of France travel. It covered Paris for 5 days, chemonix (mt Blanc) for 4 days. We did Annecy for a day trip from chemonix on our own. We took train and then bus to Annecy. and 4 days in Nice(south France). And back to Paris. We took train everywhere. Loved France.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2019, 11:12 AM
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Chamonix.in case the newbie wants to Google it or use viamichelin.com to find out where it is.

Stu Dudley
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Old Dec 11th, 2019, 01:49 AM
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Hello Fodorites,

Thanks for all the valuable suggestions. Post doing some research and considers few suggestions above, Below mentioned is the itinerary for 20 days trip.
Bangalore, India -> Nice, France (3 Nights) -> Avignon(3 nights) -> Chamonix(3 nights) -> ?????(1 Nights, 2 days)-> Lyon(2 nights) -> Colmar (3 nights) -> Paris(4 NIghts)

Need suggestions for some village town somewhere around chamonix, convenient to get around in public transport. Just want to give a break and just relax. Any suggestions on this. Would Annecy be such place to Chill?
Or should i completely ignore lyon in stay in Annecy?

Also i am seeing that eurorail has some blackfriday offer going on? Is it worth buying a travel pass. We would be 2 of us traveling mostly in train, Apart from Lyon <->Chamonix.
Please do also let me know about my itinerary.

Last edited by sudovim; Dec 11th, 2019 at 02:01 AM.
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Old Dec 11th, 2019, 06:46 PM
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Only 2 nights (just over a day) for Lyon? This trip seems incredibly rushed to me, your stop in Lyon in particular. Consider adding your night there.
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Old Dec 12th, 2019, 03:53 AM
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I agree with kja. I don't see how a stop in some village/town near Chamonix for 1 night would even begin to afford you some time for relaxation. Youv'e got to get there, learn your way around, get settled in, then repeat in reverse the next day. When's the relax time? Also, the formula is 2 nights = 1 day, not 1 night = 2 days. Picture it in your mind and you'll see how it works.

And no, it's almost for sure not worth it buying a rail pass. You''ll have to do the math yourself, but normally a rail pass, particularly within a single country, is a waste of money.
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Old Dec 12th, 2019, 06:58 AM
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I think you should do at least a week in Paris and then choose one or two of those other stops as bases and do day trips. Otherwise you're going to feel super rushed.

To answer your question about Annecy - I've never perosnally visited, but I have heard that it's very cute and relaxing, with mountain and lake views that it seems like you might enjoy.

I don't know how you're prioritizing these places, but if I were you (and I'm biased in that I do really want to see Annecy) I would think about an itinerary that looks like this. Although I would probably choose between Annecy and Chamonix instead of trying to do both, but that's just me:
Paris 7 nights
Chamonix 3 nights
Annecy 3 nights
Provence area 6 nights. Or if you don't mind feeling rushed, you could do 3 nights in Avignon/Provence and 3 nights in Nice.

Very similar to Karen's suggestion above, I'm realizing now
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Old Dec 12th, 2019, 06:50 PM
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I have visited Annecy, and it is charming! I absolutely loved it for about a day, during which I saw just about everything it offers in multiple lights and with varying numbers of other people (ranging from just a few to wall-to-wall others). After 24 hours, I was bored silly. YMMV.
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Old Dec 12th, 2019, 08:17 PM
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Karen Woo's advice is, actually perfect. I did a very similar trip with my mother in 2009 (she was about 80 at the time), for about the same period of time, and it was very easy on both of us.
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Old Jan 7th, 2020, 11:44 PM
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Hello All,

Had a quick question. I have recently read about the on-going strike in paris. Will this affect my trip in April 2nd - 18th April 2020. Should i consider cancelling my trip. Need help regarding this.
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Old Jan 8th, 2020, 02:45 PM
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The strike is not Paris specific. It us all of France. However it seems to be a little bit better now but for sure if it lasts until April we ll have some problems over here.
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Old Jan 9th, 2020, 03:34 AM
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Thanks for the update. Hope all is well with the country soon.
Also, trainline.com, is this the best place to book the train tickets?
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 10:44 PM
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Hello Fodorites,

I am a bit confused deciding between Avignon and Aix-en-provence to be as a base. Can someone help me out. I need to decide which place to keep as a base and then explore other provence places as day trips?
Or if someone can suggest any other provence city as base

Last edited by sudovim; Jan 14th, 2020 at 10:57 PM.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 11:19 PM
  #20  
kja
 
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I would think the choice of a base would depend on what, exactly, you want to see in the area. Spending some time with google maps might prove useful.
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