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traveling 11 nights in france with family

traveling 11 nights in france with family

Old Apr 14th, 2017, 10:25 AM
  #1  
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traveling 11 nights in france with family

hi, we are planning a family trip to France for our first time end of July for 11 nights, flying to Paris and leaving from Nice. Should we stick just to these 2 cities or add one more? what do suggest for the itinerary? Also we are thinking maybe to get the overnight train to Nice, what do you think about that?
thanks
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Old Apr 14th, 2017, 11:04 AM
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I have really enjoyed the times I did an overnight train. Wouldn't want to do it every night, but once on a 11 night trip would be fun. Get a private cabin (not a shared couchette).
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Old Apr 14th, 2017, 11:24 AM
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mjs
 
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I doubt that there is a night train from Paris to Nice. TGV is about 5 1/2 hours or fly. Plenty to do in Paris and the Cote in your time frame. Could also stop in Avignon for a few nights on way to Nice via TGV.
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Old Apr 14th, 2017, 03:21 PM
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The Lunéa night train was renamed Intercité de Nuit and may or may not keep running in 2017.

Mark of seat61 says
"Sadly, the French government withdrew funding for all intercités de nuit in October 2016, except for (1) Paris-Briancon, (2) Paris-Rodez & (3) Paris-Toulouse-Latour de Carol which will continue to be funded as socially necessary for the regions they serve.
The Paris-Cannes-Nice intercité de nuit should also continue running until at least October 2017..."

See www.seat61.com/lunea.htm
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Old Apr 14th, 2017, 03:30 PM
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As to what to see and do between Paris and Nice - to many people's taste there is more to enjoy in the Provence than on the Côte d'Azur.

For the Provence start drawing a rough circle encompassing Arles-Nîmes-Avignon then enlarge that circle into an oval that includes Uzès and the Camargue and Gordes and the Luberon.

But that region alone would easily keep you busy for 11 nights, and you'd want a car to really make the most of it. So if you have planned your Nice sojourn to your level of happiness, maybe save the Provence for another trip?
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Old Apr 15th, 2017, 03:01 AM
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Two cities great but for whom? What interests do you have, if into white water rafting then the trip is going to be a bit flat...
Family ages? Are we talking 75+ or 4-?
Take the day train, buy a picnic before you get on and share, book your train early and read seat61.com for advice on French trains.

Nice will be hot. You can use the train system to get around based on the train and last year we had an Oz lady touring around by bus andd train who had a whale of a time.

You know Nice will be hot right?

Can't help more until you tell us what your interests are.
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Old Apr 15th, 2017, 05:03 AM
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Paris will be empty (low season for hotels) and Nice and the riviera will be jam packed.
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Old Apr 15th, 2017, 03:40 PM
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I'm traveling with 2 teenage girls 13 and 16. My husband and my 13 year old are not into sight seeing so much, so we are trying to have some down time too. The overnight train is still an option and I can book it if we want to.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 03:09 AM
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One day at Disney ?
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 03:53 AM
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If you're not into sightseeing, what ARE you into? Why even go to Europe? The overnight train, if it even still exists, is a PITA and you will sacrifice a day or so being really tired. At that time of year I would just head to Avignon on the daytime TGV and spend time in inland Provence instead of the shoulder-to-shoulder Riviera, but if you're not into sightseeing it's really hard to figure why you would bother.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 05:59 AM
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2 days at Disney. One at parc Astérix.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 07:53 AM
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Much as Nice is nice, I'd do as St C says and go to Avignon or one of the other ancient cities in the area.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 09:19 AM
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StCirq, I know you are an expert on many things France, but I did not "sacrifice a day or so being really tired" when I used a night train in a private cabin to move between cities.

Two occasions did it from Geneva to Venice and once Venice to Paris thru Milan. It was fun.

No idea if it will work for this family and this particular itinerary, but I think one overnight train ride on an 11 night trip might be something they would enjoy or at least find interesting.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 12:30 PM
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As always, please remember to subtract a day en route to Paris, one leaving Nice for home, and at least 1/2 a day traveling from Paris to Nice. If you haven't, you have 9.5 days.

I'm in the "I didn't get any sleep in the overnight train" camp, but as suze suggests, it might be a fun adventure.

I'd split between the 2 cities but give Paris more because there are so many "iconic" things to see. A day trip to Versaille should be amazing to everyone if you have time.

In Nice, get a trip to the perfumery for your girls. We took a van tour that covered perfume, and all the local beaches--in July that will be fun.

What <I>does</i> your husband like???
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 12:32 PM
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OK, I'll buy that. I wouldn't do it,but that doesn't mean it's not do-able.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 01:45 PM
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After 2 overnight train trips in U.S., I wouldn't either, StCirq. BUT, tracks are probably in better shape in Paris.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 03:49 PM
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A recent train experience in the USA has zero comparison to what you find in Europe.

All I can say is I (solo) and we (twice with a friend) enjoyed it. We had a private cabin. Took a fantastic picnic dinner with wine on board. And so on.

I am a notoriously light sleeper but we still got some rest. Would I do it every night? - no. Would I do it once during a two week trip if the timing, price, and type of train accommodation available (very important! only a sleeper car made it fun) then sure, why not?
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 04:29 PM
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I have done a couple of overnight trains in Europe and not a big fan. On one trip sharing the toilet ( no private toilets but did have private room with bunk beds ) with the rest of the car was not at all a pleasant experience. Of course, I 've never liked public toilets and those on trains are often yucky. Unfortunately dinning cars seem to be a thing of the past and you need to bring your own food or stand in line for crappy food from the snack bar. I realize some will still enjoy the experience but I much prefer taking the TGV.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 09:48 PM
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I'm another huge fan of overnight trains. I live south of Munich, and the overnight train into Paris used to be my favorite way to get there -- I'd arrive in the morning, with the whole day available to me to get oriented & settled. Unfortunately, those have been discontinued, so now I always have to scramble to find the best option for the trip.

I've been taking overnight trains since the 1968, when my dear sister and I took an overnight from Switzerland (where we were in school) to Spain (where my parents were). I was 12 and my sister was 14. We loaded up with chocolate. The next time we did it together was from Augsburg to Paris in the 1980s; this time, we loaded up with chocolate AND wine.

The last night train I took was from Orvieto to Munich last spring.

These days, I still consider getting some wine, but I always have some nice gourmet snacks. Getting a private cabin is a necessity for me now; I need to be able to be ON a toilet within seconds of getting out of bed in the morning. I justify the cost to myself saying that I've saved a hotel night.

So, I get to my cabin. Once the train starts moving, I get undressed, turn off the lights, grab the wine/food, open the curtain, and snuggle into bed. I love seeing the countryside swoosh by the windows. I feel like I'm in a 1940s movie.

I adore night trains.

In addition to being good transportation, a night train will also give you a unique experience -- and isn't that what travel is about?

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 03:06 AM
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There's a reason why night trains are a thing of the past, mostly: they just don't offer a pleasant travel experience.
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