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Travelling to France with two teens - ideas and/or suggestions needed!

Travelling to France with two teens - ideas and/or suggestions needed!

Old Oct 16th, 2000, 05:59 AM
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Travelling to France with two teens - ideas and/or suggestions needed!

My husband and I are thinking about a trip to France next August with our kids - ages 15 and 17. Active but curious would best describe them so my challenge is to find a place that will keep them and us happy. Cathedrals, museums, castles would do the trick along with some biking. We would be in Paris for a few days and then on to ....? for a week. We will be renting a car once out of Paris. Would prefer to stay in one place that would allow us to do day trips. Any help on where to stay/go greatly appreciated!
Old Oct 16th, 2000, 06:01 AM
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Sorry folks, also meant to mention hiking! Thanks for your help!
Old Oct 16th, 2000, 06:43 AM
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I predict that you will get the most votes for Normandy, the Loire valley and the south of France (which is really two places - - "western Provence" - - Avignon to Marseilles and Provence/Alpes Maritimes - everything east of Marseilles). And of these, I will vote for Normandy. Terrific diverse possibilities; Normandy can help keep the driving distances down, and you wouldn't run out of things to do in a month.

My nomination of a place that won't jump out at you from the leading guide books is the castle (ruins) at Les Andelys. Not far from Giverny, and a great place for active imaginations.

I spent three weeks in Normandy last year with a group of fourteen 10- and 11-year olds (not the same as kids your age, I understand full well), and I would be delighted to discuss some other ideas with you, if you would like to write to me directly.

Best wishes,

Rex Bickers
Westerville, Ohio
Old Oct 16th, 2000, 07:01 AM
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I don't have kids...but I've been to Paris often. I wouldn't rent a car - everything is extremely accessible through the Metro - and you can take a train to the country or to Versaille. I would suggest you visit all the monuments (eiffel tower, Notre Dame, Arc D'Triomphe, Rue de Honor, Trocadoro etc) and go to the Louvre museum. Montmartre by Sacre Couer (sp?) is great - and the kids can have their portraits taken! Hard Rock Cafe is cool. If you get out of the Metro at La Bastille stop - that's where all the night life is - not sure how old your kids are! go to: http://guides.travel.roughguides.com...3788/index.htm.

Suggest you go to London for the following week. The English speaking is a great relief and there is a TON to do with kids -- Go to dinner at the BeefEater where they dress up like the Kings and Queens and you have a traditional meal "Bring me my Wine, Wench!!" Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Picaddily Square, Covent Garderns - all great for any age! Day trip to Windsor Castle or Hampton Court... or Wimbledon - depending on what your interests are...
Old Oct 16th, 2000, 09:04 AM
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Paris has all the churches, museums, galleries, shopping, etc. you could want. More and more bicycle lanes are opening, as well as bicycling paths in the Bois de Boulogne and along the Canal St Martin. Day trips to Giverny, Versailles or Fontainebleu for a change.

For (relatively) inexpensive accommodations, food and sights; plus hiking, country walks, watersports, etc., Perigeux/Dordogne Valley. Rent a house and a car, visit castles, fortified abbeys and villages, caves, grottoes, monkey forest, eagle sanctuary....eat walnuts and truffles and foie gras...
Old Oct 16th, 2000, 12:03 PM
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Can't say it much better than Elvira - I second the Dordogne. Also, consider canoeing down the Dordogne.
Old Oct 18th, 2000, 08:19 AM
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Thanks folks for the suggestions. We will now have a good place to start planning from and will spend this weekend looking over maps. I'm sure I'll be posting more questions in the future!
Old Oct 18th, 2000, 11:30 AM
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How about the region around Lake Annecy-- near the alps, great hiking and biking and swimming in the lake. We stayed at the Hotel du Lac in Duingt (a few miles outside Annecy) this summer and it could easily be a base for a week's travel in the region.
Old Oct 18th, 2000, 03:28 PM
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Dear Barb,

My advice: rent properties vs book a hotel, it will be cheaper, you'll have space to unwind and enjoy family life and you will have a more comfortable trip. A great US-based company for rentals in France and Paris is www.rentvillas.com, great web, knowledgeable people.

In Paris, try to stay in the central districts (1st to 8th).

Paris offers a lot of walking and biking tours (central or along the River Marne), even roller blade ones, check the tourist office web on www.paris-touristoffice.com. The best way to enjoy Paris is to walk through the city (fairly compact), so you can mix museums/culture with strolls through the parks and narrow streets.
For a complete change of scene while having still a lot to see and hike, I'd suggest that you spend your other week in Provence, a goldmine of history, art, roman architecture, street scenes and hiking opportunities. The French culture scene tends to move from Paris to the provinces and you will enjoy plenty of festivals (art, performance, etc.). There are several high speed trains from Paris that take you there in c.4 hours, then rent a car from the local station, www.autoeurope.com is a great car rental agency for that.
Old Oct 18th, 2000, 08:17 PM
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Elvira, if you happen to read this again, or anyone, where is the eagle sanctuary you mentioned? Thanks.
Old Aug 3rd, 2002, 07:12 PM
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timelss also
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