Which parts of France should I consider

Jan 23rd, 2007, 06:05 AM
  #1  
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Which parts of France should I consider

OK, now it looks like there will be a french leg in my european trip and I am not familiar with the regions of the country. I'm looking for an area with several charming towns I can walk too as I won't have a car. I can get to any area.

Here's what I'm looking for.

Id rather the towns not be in the mountains, although they can be at the base of mountains.

I'm not really interested in castles or stately dwellings. I'd prefer more casual,
old, small villages.

I'd rather not be on water. Pastoral countryside would be nice. Id like the towns to be of small size, a few thousand or less.

Wineries would be a nice bonus although not necessary.

Finally, perhaps a bit off the beaten path.

Any ideas?
celfan is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 07:00 AM
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I've spent considerable time in Provence, Cote d'Azur, Languedoc, Roussillon, Ardeche, Auvergne, Pays Basque, Loire, Alsace, Brittany, & Normandy. Of these, I think Alsace would fit your requirements the closest, followed by Provence (although Provence is definately not off the beaten path - little in France is, that would meet your requirements). With a few exceptions, none of the areas I've visited have villages that are close enough together so that you can walk from one to another. Alsace is pretty compact, and you can certainly bicycle from one village to another or take public transportation. Stay in Riquewihr if you want to be centrally located. Don't walk on the over crowded Route du Vin - take the small roads through the vineyards west of the Route du Vin to get from village to village.

Click on my name & see if you can locate a write-up I posted on Alsace within the last month.

Stu Dudley
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Jan 23rd, 2007, 07:12 AM
  #3  
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Stu

Thanks for your help. I will look into alsace.

I was browsing through one of your past messages this morning. You were talking about a gite in Quercy (just south of Dordogne)that you really liked. Your description sounded really nice. What kind of area is this? Does the gite have a website I can acces?

I may end up getting a car.

Thanks
celfan is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 07:22 AM
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That area is quite rural. No villages that you can walk to. The Gite is out in the countryside. I don't reveal specifics on Gites we have stayed in - we want to return & don't need any more competition. The Gite is one of the 50,000 or so on the Gites-de-France web site. It has no web site of it's own.

Stu Dudley
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Jan 23rd, 2007, 07:29 AM
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If you have a car, I'd recommend the Gers.
sheila is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 07:48 AM
  #6  
ira
 
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Hi C,

Alsace is a good recommendation.

You might also want to consider Burgundy near Beaune.

ira is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 08:10 AM
  #7  
 
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I forgot about Burgundy... We've spent considerable time in Burgundy & Beaujolais also. Beaune would be a good choice. Good train transportation for getting you to different cities, but still the villages are not close enough to each other so you can walk. Beaune itself is a very charming village, but it's quite touristy & it's larger than your few-thousand requirement (22,000). Also, I did not find as many cute small villages in Burgundy as I've found in most other regions of France that I've visited.

Alsace, IMO is a little prettier than Burgundy & more compact.

Stu Dudley
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Jan 23rd, 2007, 08:14 AM
  #8  
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Thanks for your help Stu. I found one of your older posts describing Alsace and it sounds great. Do you know which airport would be closest? I'm assuming that one of the new european discount airlines can get me within an hour or so.
celfan is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 08:27 AM
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Those are all great ideas, but don't assume some discount airline is going to get you within an hour of Alsace. There are airports at Reims, Nancy and Metz, and in Luxumbourg, of course, but no discount airline goes to those French cities that I know of. Those generally go to real major cities (even if suburban locations), as they need business trade, I think. I don't know where you'd be flying from, but I think you should be thinking of the train, not flying, to these type of locations being discussed. The only cheap flights shown on whichbudget.com to any of those are very limited -- like to Metz from Italy or Luxumbourg from Greece/Turkey.
Christina is offline  
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