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Your vote for the most charming village/town 2-3 hours outside of Paris by train.

Your vote for the most charming village/town 2-3 hours outside of Paris by train.

Jun 11th, 2008, 06:34 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,179
Last night when I thought you had to travel by train I was thinking Loches, but I could only figure a day or two's worth of enjoyment out of it. Now that I know you have a car, it's even more worth considering.

Loches is history on a hill. It has two lively markets a week, good boulangeries, a French-style public garden with a view of the historic towers/church/donjon at the top, and it's on one of the prettiest rivers (the Indre). Also it's surrounded by pretty, flowery villages, one of them France's officially most beautiful (Montresor). These are not in walking distance, but since you have a car, you can drive the back roads. We especially like the drive along the river from Loches to Cormery to Sache. You can visit a few chateaux en route.

But Loches might be farther from Paris than you want to drive.

A look at the Most Beautiful Villages of France website will give you more ideas. Also, check a Michelin map for the green, scenic roads.

Wherever you find your village, try to be there on its market day.
Coquelicot is offline  
Jun 11th, 2008, 07:13 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 38
Chartres is nice. Be sure to visit the cathedral.
happycampr is offline  
Jun 12th, 2008, 05:40 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 976
Chantilly and Senlis-lovely, but may be too close and not 3 nights.
virginiafish is offline  
Jun 12th, 2008, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 16
How about Chartres - and there is a train that takes you straight to it!
mpaucker is offline  
Jun 12th, 2008, 06:41 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,654
Mokolea - It might be worth obtaining a copy of a very beautiful book by Dominique Reperant - publisher: Thames & Hudson - called
"The Most Beautiful Villages of France".
I really treasure this book.

Even if most of them are more than a 2/3 hour train journey away, there is a special section at the back of the book on Protected Villages and a detailed directory on Selected Hotels and Restaurants in each area of the villages.
tod is offline  
Jun 12th, 2008, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 48
We had a great few days in the Loire Valley in October one year (train, then rental car). We stayed at Hotel La Roseraie (www.charminghotel.com) in the small village of Chenonceaux - it really is charming! I still dream of that French onion soup... You can drive from village to village, visiting castles and stopping at all the "degustation" signs, usually a picturesque old barn surrounded by vineyards.

If you opt for Beaune, be sure to visit Hotel Dieu, and Marche aux Vins, and eat at Abbaye de Mazier.
newcomer1 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2008, 09:05 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 23
Thanks tod. I researched and ordered on Amazon the book you referenced. I also ordered some others. Thank you very much.
mokolea is offline  
Jun 12th, 2008, 11:52 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,244
I'll add a vote for Chartres, Loches, Avallon or Honfleur. But they're not villages. Check out
Semur-on-Auxois, Vezelay are good villages in the Burgundy area. In another direction are Lyon-la-Foret or Gerberoy.
twoflower is offline  
Jun 13th, 2008, 01:04 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,640
Near Semur en Auxois do not forget Flavigny sur Ozerain (Chocolate movie. pop 350)) and further South on the way to Beaune, Chateauneuf en Auxois and its medieval castle (pop 83).
You could stay in one of the villages between Dijon and Beaune (Gevrey Chambertin (pop 3260)
or Chambolle Musigny(pop 313)
cocofromdijon is offline  
Jun 13th, 2008, 04:32 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 7
Hey there,
my husband and I went on our honeymoon to France in September 2004. We flew into Paris and took a three hour train to Strasbourg, FR. The city is a little bigger, however, we drove 40 minutes from there to Ribeauville, on the Alsace wine route. Very picturesque and quaint. Can't wait to get back there ourselves. have fun
zandy is offline  
Dec 24th, 2015, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 2
mokolea - Did you ever find the location, did you go, and would you recommend it? I keyed off of your Cotswolds thread - exactly same sentiment here!
qwpeupasd93e3 is offline  
Dec 24th, 2015, 09:18 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,997
welcome to Fodors qwpeupasd93e3: mokolea likely won't see your question -- hasn't posted on Fodors in over three years.
janisj is offline  
Dec 25th, 2015, 01:00 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,958
Finally clicked on this thread which is more than 7 years old. People do not seem to realize than even Marseille is only a bit more than 3 hours from Paris by TGV.
kerouac is offline  
Dec 26th, 2015, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 2
Well - we are going to Epernay. Use that as a base for a few days. Will drive from CDG. Family trip. Looking forward to exploring.
qwpeupasd93e3 is offline  
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