Tips for Day Trip to Southern France

Old Nov 19th, 2000, 11:14 AM
  #1  
Murray
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Tips for Day Trip to Southern France

I am planning a surprise trip to Paris for my wife and her girl friends for May 2001. They have 5 days in Paris, so there should be time for a day trip by TGV to "the country" - I was thinking of Provence, since it has Roman ruins. Can anyone advise on a logical destination, and an itinerary that gets them back to Paris the same night?
 
Old Nov 19th, 2000, 11:20 AM
  #2  
Patrick
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I personally think doing day trip to Provence is a little too much travel for being able to get anything out of the day. Provence deserves to be experienced and I'm not even sure which one town you would be able to pick out for a couple of hours stay. How about a day by train to Reims and Epernay, visiting some champage cellars and the sites of Reims? Or going to Chartes for the day, a delightful town, plus its cathedral? The gardens at Monet's Giverny are really lovely in May. A Loire valley loop to see a couple of chateaux would also be a pleasant day.
 
Old Nov 19th, 2000, 11:59 AM
  #3  
Al
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Break out your geography book. Would you make a day trip from Dallas to Houston and return? From LA to SF and return? No way. France is about the size of Texas. Pat gives you good advice.
 
Old Nov 19th, 2000, 01:11 PM
  #4  
Ellen
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I too would very much avoid going to Provence for a day. I think Versaille or Giverny make excellent day trips from Paris. A day trip to the Loire Valley would be rushed too much no where near as much as Provence. They would need a rental car for Loire unless they did an organized tour from Paris. Versaille is easily done by local public transportation.
Ellen
 
Old Nov 19th, 2000, 03:12 PM
  #5  
Christina
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Provence is too far for a day tripr--even Avignon, about the closest destination you might call Provence is about four hours one way by TGV train (Arles and Nimes with the Roman ruins are even further). You can do a day trip to the Loire without a car and on your own, if you have a limited agenda; Blois would be nice as it's a cute little town with a beautiful setting on the river and has an interesting chateau and some other things to see; the scenery on the train towards Tours is very pretty in the summer, although I expect it won't be so special in May (no sunflowers which I really like to view). If Roman ruins are a big attraction to her, though, I would recommend Lyon (I can't think of another big Roman ruin site good for a day trip from Paris as they are mainly too far) as they have a Gallo-Roman museum and Roman theater remains. You can get to Lyon in only two hours by TGV, but Lyon is a city, not the country (you pass through the country on the way, but it's not that exciting IMO). I think the search for a country daytrip do-able by train where there is something to do once you get there without a car is sort of difficult. Five days isn't really that much, so even though they are not that far from Paris and have no Roman ruins (that I know of), I would think either Giverny or Chantilly might be the best bets as both have nice gardens, at least, and are easy day trips; both are small French towns, also, so give you that perspective. You won't see major country vistas on your way, though, I don't remember the scenery on the way as anything special.
 
Old Nov 19th, 2000, 03:33 PM
  #6  
cmt
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A day trip from Paris to Provence and back is unrealistic. Chartres is a beautiful and very easy day trip. (I happen to dislike Versailles.)
 
Old Nov 20th, 2000, 11:21 AM
  #7  
elvira
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If you do a day trip to Avignon, the best you'll get is 9 hours in the town, and 7 hours of travel time - not a good ratio. Look for something closer, like the suggestions for Rheims or Giverny.
 
Old Nov 20th, 2000, 11:30 AM
  #8  
elaine
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Hi
If you're looking for Roman ruins, there are some in Paris!
Les Arenes de Lutece, an original Roman ampitheatre. You can still see part of the central area, and the tiers of seats.Nearest metro stop is MOngwhich is in the Latin Quarter.
In addition, next to the Museum of the Middle Ages, aka the Cluny Museum, are remains of Roman baths.
Take the above advice, Provence is too large an area and too far away for a daytrip.
5 days just seeing Paris is not too much, but if a daytrip is wanted,
May is a gorgeous and lucky time to visit Giverny, or any of the other suggested daytrips.
 
Old Nov 20th, 2000, 11:31 AM
  #9  
elaine
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that metro stop I meant is Monge, not mongwhich
 

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