Where to go in France in July

Old Jan 21st, 2011, 11:48 AM
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Where to go in France in July

My 15 year old daughter and I are planning a trip to France this summer. We want to do about 4 days in Paris and then are not sure which way to go from there. Have always wanted to go to the south but know it is horribly crowded. Not crazy about car rentals and prefer public trasit. Interested in countryside and dealing more with local customs then big touristy crowded areas. Dont want a super tight jammmed filled week-just would like to immerse ourselves in the culture and find some surprises along the way. We love coming upon a surprising village and can spend an entire day just wandering the streets. We speak no French but are polite travelers. Any ideas would be appreciated. Beach time not a requirement, as we have that here in the States. we have no problem flying in and out from different areas. Planning a total 12 days in France. Thanks for any help.
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Old Jan 21st, 2011, 11:52 AM
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What about Dijon: http://www.google.co.uk/images?q=dij...w=1259&bih=656

only a couple hours on the train and in Burgundy wine country
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Old Jan 21st, 2011, 12:41 PM
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Where ever you go it will be super hot..Coastal areas would probably be the coolest..How about the north (easy access by train) Normandy for a little history, La Rochelle and area for Atlantic vistas...La Cruese area is certainly not crowded and Limoges and Aubusson (sp). Find out the route of the Tour de France and see if you can pop into a village enroute. Carcassone...The caves near Foix..Lots to do. But take a hat!!!
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Old Jan 21st, 2011, 12:50 PM
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I probably wouldn't go to the south in July as it will likely be hot and definitely crowded. With 12 days, you might consider spending more than 4 days in Paris so you can include some day trips such as Giverny, Versailles and Chartres. All are easily accessible by train and there are lots of other options as well. Then spend the rest of the time in Normandy or the Loire. If you choose Normandy and base yourselves in Bayeux, there are bus trips to see the WWII sights and the countryside. I'm not certain but you can probably arrange a day trip to Mt.-St.-Michel as well.
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Old Jan 21st, 2011, 12:56 PM
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You will have somewhat of a difficut time "coming upon a surprising village" in an uncrowded area without a car.

The first 1 1/2 weeks in July (even in parts of the south of France) are not nearly as crowded as the last week of July & first 3 weeks in Aug. We were in Provence last year till July 3, and then headed into the Alps for 2 weeks. Provence was not as crowded as you might think, if you don't try to visit Gordes, les Baux, or St Remy mid-day - and instead visit interesting villages like Brantes and the lavender fields around Sault.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 21st, 2011, 01:00 PM
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>>probably arrange a day trip to Mt.-St.-Michel
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Old Jan 21st, 2011, 01:42 PM
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We spent 5 weeks in France this past summer, arriving on July 14. We experienced no crowds, no bad heat and no rain, but we avoided the south. Brittany, La Rochelle area, Loire, Burgundy, and the north including Lille and some of Belgium. Each area is so different from the others. Do some research as to what you'd enjoy, but don't be afraid of crowds or heat.

If you rent a car, driving isn't difficult, you'll have many more options. Brittany may be a good choice.
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Old Jan 21st, 2011, 02:04 PM
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I go to France in July a lot, almost every year, it seems, I love it!!! but I just like summer vacations and it's hotter where I live, anyway. Provence is lovely in July, but is hot in day time. Anyway, I agree there are plenty of alternatives for you, and that's not a great idea anyway if you don't want to rent a car. You cannot come across any surprising village by train. Villages aren't on the train line too much, but you have to plan where you are going by train, anyway.

but there are some smaller places on the train line you could stay if you use the term village very loosely. And there are smaller towns -- like Colmar in Alsace, plenty of small towns in the PArisian exurbs and places like that. Someone's idea of Burgundy isn't bad -- Dijon is not remotely a small vilage, it's a major city, but you could stay in Beaune nearby which is kind of podunk.

hah, I must have a low attention span, I can't think if any village I loved to walk around all day and do nothing. Small villages aren't that big and there isn't anything much to do there. And I do know French, also. I've spent entire days in towns, though.

my advice-- go to Auvers-sur-Oise, a lovely village on the Parisian suburban rail line that is nice to walk around and has things to see when you do (Van Gogh died there)! there isn't hardly any place to stay there, though, as it is a village. But a couple B&Bs, perhaps.
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Old Jan 25th, 2011, 05:30 AM
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thanks everyone for the help. will do some research. would it be benificial to have a car?? I am horrible at directions and European driving frazzles me...but I can do it just prefer to use public transit.
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Old Jan 25th, 2011, 08:21 AM
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If you ever choose Dijon (which is a great choice) you'll have access to all the bus network and trains. There are nice walks too, like the one that goes to Kir lake following the river, and you can even enjoy the beach there! The town centre is really great, bigger than the one in Beaune of course but it will keep you busy and you can walk everywhere. Museums, market, shopping and parks. Follow the owl's trail to know all about the monuments and sites you'll see. http://www.travelsignposts.com/Franc...jon-owls-trail
TO video will give you an idea of Dijon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5CojSGoJ4k
More ideas on this one http://www.cotedor-tourisme.com/bour...age_en_04.html Have fun!
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Old Jan 26th, 2011, 01:36 AM
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Just a thought - have a look at this:

http://www.hfholidays.co.uk/activiti...walking/france
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Old Mar 15th, 2011, 10:16 AM
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thanks so much for all the great tips...
would you recomend touring dijon or lyons? think will do several days in paris with day trips around and want to do 2 days in one of the other regions. I dont think I could go to France and not try and get down to Provence so I will save that for last.any help is appreciat4ed....
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Old Mar 17th, 2011, 01:01 AM
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Th South West is lovely too, you know? Toulouse, Pau, Biarritz.
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Old Mar 18th, 2011, 11:15 PM
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For Provence you definitely need a car, take a GPS. It is hot in summer but bearable and it is part of the experience. The lavender will be in bloom, you should not miss this beautiful part of France.
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Old Mar 31st, 2011, 04:12 AM
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can anyone recomend an inexpensive area to stay in Paris? we are planning 4 nights. It is my 15 year old and myself...we dont need anything fancy and are willing to use public transit to get to areas of the city that we wish to see.
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Old Mar 31st, 2011, 08:43 AM
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The Latin Quarter is a bit cheaper than some other popular and expensive areas (ie, St Germain or the Marais)--by Latin Qtr I mean specifically the 5th arrondisement. But the 14th, 15th and 9th arrondisements are cheaper and I usually stay in one of those. You can also get cheaper hotels in the 12th (or 13th) and 17th. Of the ones I named, the 5th would be more than 9/14/15, etc, on average. The 7th arrondisement (which is rather large, the Eiffel Tower is on one edge of it) generally has cheaper hotels, also.

There are a few cheaper hotels within the most expensive areass, of course. Depends what your budget is.

Here's one hotel I really like in the 9th, it is 140-150 euro for a double. http://www.hotel-langlois.com/en/index.html

This is a hotel I like a lot in Montparnasse (it has some huge rooms in the superior double categ.), it also has some internet rates around 150 euro per double http://www.hotelraspailmontparnasse.com

Here's another in that area a bit cheaper, I haven't stayed there http://www.hotelmontparnassedaguerre.com/

One of the cheaper deals in St Germain, but a twin is 160 there http://www.hotelbonaparte.fr/

one budget hotel in the Latin Qtr
http://www.hotel-saintjacques.com/

there are tons of others, these are just examples

This is a popular hotel in the 7th, their std doubles are around 150 euro, superior more http://www.hotelparismuguet.com/
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Old Mar 31st, 2011, 09:35 AM
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July = the Avignon festival. Unmissable.
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Old Apr 19th, 2011, 05:10 AM
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thanks everyone...I have two more questions...my plan is to be in Paris for 5 days, rent a car-head to Sarlat and then head down to the Luberon region. we will have 6 days for all of our exploring. I would like to keave the car in Avigon and get the TVG back to Paris on the 28th for our flight out on the 29th. Ddoes this sound like a decent itinery? and can someone recomend a cheap hotel by CDG with shuttle service to the airport?? Thanks for all the helpful suggestions...
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Old Apr 19th, 2011, 07:29 AM
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Not a decent plan, IMHO.

First of all, don't rent a car and head to Sarlat. If you're going to visit the Périgord, take the train to Brive or Toulouse and rent your car there. Or Bordeaux or Libourne if you want to explore on the way into the Périgord.

Second, with only 6 days you don't have time for the Dordogne and Provence, especially in July when both will be crowded and the going slow. Pick one or the other.
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Old Apr 19th, 2011, 07:39 AM
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This is not an airport hotel -- this is a recommendation for while you are in Paris. Look at www.hotel-paris-familia.com. We have stayed here several times. It's in the 5th, walking distance to Notre Dame, metro nearby. Double w/shower 99 euro, with breakfast 111 euro. Frankly, I would skip the breakfast and eat in the neighborhood.
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