To the beach from Paris???

Old Jan 16th, 2003, 01:55 PM
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To the beach from Paris???

Hi all. My husband and I are planning a trip this summer with our 5 children (all boys!) to London and Paris. We are thinking about spending 4 days in Paris and then heading to the beach but I'm clueless as to whether there are any nice ones relatively close? Should we plan on going to Marseilles? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated--we probably only have 2 or 3 days for the beach trip. Thanks!
Old Jan 16th, 2003, 02:22 PM
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You could certainly head to the Riviera (fly to Nice and back from Paris) - keep in mind that a lot of the beaches there do not have sand, but rocks.

You could also go to Normandy or Brittany, the closest beaches, but the water will not be terribly warm even in high season. Plenty of other things to do and see in the area, though.

Or you could fly or take the TGV to Bordeaux or keep going on the train to Biarritz or St-Jean-de-Luz. There's a lot to do on the Atlantic beaches and in surrounding areas, but again the water will be cold.

There are some nice beaches also around La Rochelle/Ile de Ré - and again other sites of interest.

In sum, you have lots of choices, but the bottom line is that there are no beaches terribly close to Paris and you'll need to do a lot of logistical planning no matter where you go.I suggest you get a good guidebook to France, investigate the various possibilities, and choose an area, then come back here for more precise information.
Old Jan 16th, 2003, 02:33 PM
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Thanks for the response! I think we will look into Normandy and Brittany--and I'll also check the guide books!

Thanks again.
Old Jan 16th, 2003, 05:20 PM
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I agree with the poster who recommended La Rochelle, Ile de Re area. La Rochelle is a wonderful old town that was a fishing village in the 10th century. It's got a beautiful port on the Atlantic (though small beach) and is very lively in the summer. Also it's on a TGV line from Paris, which gets you there in about three hours. From La Rochelle, you could easily drive to Bordeux in under two hours and/or visit the St. Emilion area. Ile de Re (sp?)which is for some Parisians, the French version of Nantucket, is very close, too, although it can be really crowded at the height of the summer. Have a wonderful trip!
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 08:02 AM
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I think you will enjoy the coast of Normandy or Brittany. There are huge tides and the shore is interesting with numerous rocks, forts, lighthouses, etc.

And wonderful shellfish.

Old Jan 17th, 2003, 10:03 AM
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there are natural sandy beaches in the western part of the French Riviera, such as at Saint-Tropez, as well as man-made ones in the east. The water is warmer and, I believe, prettier than you would find in the north. You could fly or take the TGV (fast train) to Marseilles (primarily a seaport), Saint Raphael, Cannes or Nice. Consider flying out of Nice on your return.
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 10:14 AM
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The beach in Cannes is really great and is definately sand, not rocks. However, it can a bit pricey for 7 people as the hotels all have a beach fee surcharge. (At the Carlton Intercontinental it was something $25 per person.) There is a public beach and a few private beach clubs which will be more economical.

In terms of hotel, the Hotel Lucien Barriere (sp?) looked nice and it has a pool. While Cannes definately has some high end hotels, it isn't nearly as exclusive as I anticipated. You can find reasonably priced restaurants and in a pinch, especially with 5 boys, there is a McDonalds!

As previously mentioned, you can fly into Nice or take the train from Paris.
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 10:55 AM
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You can train to Marseilles (3 hours), then take a tram or a bus to Cassis (30 km from the station), a great, unspoiled little town in the Calanques with all the trappings (including beach and, rare in the French Med, crystal clear waters).

Alternatively, you can take the TGV to Nimes (3h15 mn), where a charming little train will get you in less than 30 mn to Le Grau du Roi, a charming, old fashioned, sea resort, with sandy beaches and the lot. You can also get off at the next stop on the TGV line, at Montpellier, and then take the tram to Palavas les Flots (20 km), and onwards to La Grande Motte (French 70s resort planning at its worst), but the coast is less alluring there.

But remember: wherever you go on the Med, between mid July and mid August, it will be extremely crowded (Europeans get 5 weeks' vacations and do use them ! )
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 12:27 PM
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Firstly, there are no beaches in or around Paris.
Head North/NW and the sea is colder but the landscape is beautiful and most things are reasonably priced.Normandy is lovely.
Head west and you will find Brittany, very quiet with lovely beaches and quite warm.
Head South and the Beaches are beautiful warm sunny and expensive.
The choice is yours

Have Fun
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 12:40 PM
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That's why I love this board! You all have been so helpful--great recommendations--thanks again for your help!!

Old Jan 18th, 2003, 06:03 AM
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For a day trip, Trouville-Deauville are possible. These are popular beaches and are about 2 hours by train from Paris St. Lazare.
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