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Which towns are a must see in France, other than Paris

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Feb 7th, 2010, 11:32 AM
  #1
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Which towns are a must see in France, other than Paris

Hi All

We are going to Paris in end of May for 9-10 days (reaching Paris on May 23rd morning). We will cover Paris in about 3-4 days. What other cities are a must see that we could add on to this trip.

We love - nature, water-greenery-exotic locations.

thanks for your help

sumbul
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Feb 7th, 2010, 12:02 PM
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Bayeux, Strasbourg, Deauville, Oradour
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Feb 7th, 2010, 12:08 PM
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cmeyer54....could you please tell me a little bit more about these places, how far are tehse from paris and also whats teh best way to get to these- thanks
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Feb 7th, 2010, 12:09 PM
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or - not quite town/country i know - the marais region of western France. lots of water, greenery, and some lovely towns and vistas.

you could get a train to la Rochelle [worth at least a day by itself] and hire a car.
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Feb 7th, 2010, 12:09 PM
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St. Malo, Etretat, Rouen, Nantes, Bordeaux, Biarritz, St.-Jean-de-Luz, Arcachon, Sarlat, Domme, Montpellier, Carcassonne, Perpignan, Beziers, Nimes, Arles, Avignon, Orange, Vaison-la-Romaine, Aigues-Mortes, Nice, Cannes, Lyon, Beaune, Dijon, Colmar, Strasbourg, Munster, Reims, Chartres, Tours, Epernay, Laon, Amiens, Mulhouse, Poitiers - just to name a few.
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Feb 7th, 2010, 12:41 PM
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apart from the various low level river sites such as La Creuse, Loir, Bordeaux etc etc. You might look at Ouhans which is high in the Jura and an absolute delight. Fine walks around (also bike and cross country ski trails ) but also lovely alpine fields.
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Feb 7th, 2010, 12:46 PM
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Are you going to Greece and Turkey as well?
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Feb 7th, 2010, 12:47 PM
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I posted this recently - but here it is again. Places with a * can be reached from Paris for a day trip by train, ** can be reached, but needs an overnight. This assumes that you can leave eraly in the day & return in the evening.

What we like:
We are building architecture buffs – old architecture – not new. We also like to see lots of pedestrian-only streets, outdoor markets, non-touristy shops, & outdoor cafes. We typically don’t go to many museums, so cities get “no points” for having museums. Also, churches don’t give a city extra points. When ordering these cities, we did not consider the “setting” of a city, like the beach at Nice or the lake at Annecy.

In order of Preference.

Cities with a population greater than 85,000

1. Paris
2. Dijon*
3. Toulouse**
4. Rennes*
5. Strasbourg*
6. Avignon* or **
7. Aix-en-Provence**
8. Rouen*
9. Montpellier**
10. Lyon*
11. Nice**
12. Nancy*
13. Bescancon**
14. Bordeaux**
15. Nantes*
16. Marseille**
17. Perpignan**
18. Tours*

Cities with a population greater than 10,000 but less than 85,000
1. Sarlat***
2. Colmar**
3. Beaune*
4. Auxerre*
5. Chambery*
6. Vannes*
7. Annecy* or **
8. Troyes
9. Albi***
10. La Rochelle*
11. Figeac***
12. Perigueux**
13. Arles**
14. Bourges
15. Dinan
16. St Malo
17. Quimper

Stu Dudley
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Feb 7th, 2010, 12:49 PM
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>>leave eraly in the day <<
early
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Feb 7th, 2010, 12:54 PM
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Just did a re-read of your question.

>>We will cover Paris in about 3-4 days.<,

IMO, you will get only a "sniff" of Paris in 3-4 days. Add 2 other destination at most for 9-10 days

Stu Dudley
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Feb 7th, 2010, 01:13 PM
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studly

if we were to add 2 destinations as you suggest, close to paris, which ones would you recommend. I am not so mcuh into architecture and/or museums. we love to see pedestrian-streets, outdoor markets, non-touristy shops, & outdoor cafes, quant lazy towns, vibrant colors.
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Feb 7th, 2010, 01:15 PM
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Judy-- yes im going to greece and turkey but ive postponed that plan to august/september.
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Feb 7th, 2010, 01:19 PM
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Honfleur!
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Feb 7th, 2010, 01:57 PM
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If you do them as seperate day-trips from Paris.
1. Rennes
2. Dijon

I think it would be helpful if you:

1. Indicate what day of the week you arrive in Paris, at what time, and if you think you'll need to rest up from jet lag.

2. What day of the week you depart - and at what time.

3. Will you be in Paris for the entire time & take day trips elsewhere OR are you only going to be in Paris 3-4 nights (please indicate nights - not days) and you're seeking advise for a 5-6 night excursion elsewhere.

4. If you are seeking the multi-day excursion, will you rent a car for a portion of the excursion to get you to quaint villages in the countryside. If this is the case, you could do:
a. Rennes & the Brittany coast & countryside - including Dinan & St Malo
b. Strasbourg, Colmar, and the cute wine villages & countryside of Alsace.
3. Avignon and Provence
4. Dijon, Beaune, castles & countryside in Burgundy

All of the 4 above regions are easily accessible from Paris via the fast TGV.

Stu Dudley
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Feb 7th, 2010, 02:02 PM
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The Michelin Green Guide for France might give you some good ideas of what would interest you.
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Feb 7th, 2010, 02:09 PM
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i arrive paris on saturday morning (may 22nd). we return on 31st morning (monday). Other than that our plan is flexiblen, we may stay in paris for 4 nights and then either take a train to a different city and stay there for a few nights or can take a few day trips. we are open to suggestions.

i heard the south of france is very beautiful; would it make sense to take a train to south france- i mean i know it will probably be a long train journey- so im wondering if places down south are worth the journey.
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Feb 7th, 2010, 02:11 PM
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It's not a long journey to the south of France - 3 hours or a bit less on the TGV Paris to Avignon.

I think you need a good guidebook or two to get some sense of all the possibilities. They are endless.
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Feb 7th, 2010, 02:13 PM
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on second thoughts, we actually prefer to leave paris after 4 nights and live somewhere else- im assuming hotels in other places will be cheaper than in paris.
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Feb 7th, 2010, 02:24 PM
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"We will cover Paris in about 3-4 days."

I noticed that too Stu, ah well.

Among many other cities in France, I enjoyed Beaune and Dijon and think they should be easy to get to.

"i heard the south of france is very beautiful; would it make sense to take a train to south france- i mean i know it will probably be a long train journey- so im wondering if places down south are worth the journey."

I think so, but I also think you should be looking at guide books to see what appeals to you. However, I'm not sure that hotels in cities in the south will be much cheaper than in Paris in May. But I could be wrong, probably depends on which city you want to visit.
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Feb 7th, 2010, 03:43 PM
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You still have not answered the question about the car. To really get out & explore the countryside & small villages almost anywhere in France, you'll need a car. The TGV (fast train) from Paris to Avignon takes 2 hr 40 mins - and you're smack in the middle of Provence. The TGV even goes to Provence from CDG airport, so you could start your trip in Provence & end in Paris (thus saving a possible inefficient transportation day back to Paris for your flight home).

>>i arrive paris on saturday morning (may 22nd). we return on 31st morning (monday)<<

So you really have only 8 1/2 days/9 nights...

I would land at CDG and then immediatly take the TGV to the Avignon TGV station on Saturday. You'll find the TGV very relaxing, and it is a great way to catch a 1 1/2 hr cat-nap.

Rent a car, and stay in St Remy de Provence for 4 nights.

Sunday morning, get an early start and visit the morning food/antique/crafts market in l'Isle sur la Sorgue. In the afternoon, visit Gordes & Roussillon in the Luberon.

Monday morning, visit Les Baux near St Remy in the AM, then perhaps Arles in the afternoon.

Tuesday, visit the Pont du Gard in the morning, then Uzes in the afternoon.

Wed, explore the market in St Remy in the morning, then Avignon late morning & the remainder of the day.

Thursday, take the TGV to Paris for the remainder of your stay.

This is just a "generic" itinerary. Do more research to find out what YOU want to do in Paris & Provence (if you choose to travel to Provence).

Stu Dudley
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