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leavin Nov 28th, 2011 05:15 PM

8.5 day trip tp Paris itinenary
Please help! We are travelling to Paris mid July for 8.5 days (leaving on the 9th day) 2 adults, 2 kids, ages 13 (boy) and 10 (girl) We are currently thinking of spending 3.5 days in Paris and then travelling by train to either Royan or Marseille for 3 days of beaches and then back to Paris for 2 days before flying out on the 9th day. We wanted to be able to see Versaille and hopefully Normandy's D-Day beaches as well. My questions are:
1. Which would be the better beach to visit?
2. Should we try and do Normandy as well or just stick with Paris and a beach area?

It seems like there is so much to see and do and I'm overwhelmed wit trying to plan a grea trip.
Any advice on any areas we should see would be appreciated

Shanti Nov 28th, 2011 05:41 PM

If I were you, I'd spend the entire time in Paris along with a trip to Versailles. It would take quite a bit of time to go to Normandy and even more time to go to the south of France. If you went to all three, you'd be spending pretty much all of your time traveling back and forth.

I'd also repost this in the Europe forum.

Michael Nov 28th, 2011 05:45 PM

You should re-post this on the Europe forum.

spirobulldog Nov 28th, 2011 05:53 PM

I see you are new to this sight. It's a great place to get good info. You have posted in the US forum.

Click on the "Change Forum Button above.

You can also just do a search of this site and a "search the forums" button for a ton of info. Just type in Paris maybe Paris Beaches

joannay Nov 28th, 2011 05:54 PM

I too suggest you stay in Paris and avail yourselves of the Paris Plage, the river made into a beach in the summer with 2012 apparently the 100th anniversary of the tradition (bottom of this page):

Michael Nov 28th, 2011 08:54 PM

<i>the river made into a beach in the summer with 2012 apparently the 100th anniversary of the tradition</i>

Less than a hundred years, more than 100 days, as it was created in July 2002.

leavin Nov 29th, 2011 03:54 AM

Thank you all so much!!! I will re-post in the Europe forum and look into your suggestions. Happy travelling :)

ira Nov 29th, 2011 04:30 AM

Hey L,

I agree with Shanti,
>If I were you, I'd spend the entire time in Paris along with a trip to Versailles. <

Enjoy your visit.


mamcalice Nov 29th, 2011 04:34 AM

I suggest that you stay in Paris for 6 days and travel to the Normandy beaches to see the WWII sights for the other 2 days. With the short time you have, traveling south to the beaches is a bit impractical.

Go directly to Normandy from CDG and then return to Paris for the remainder of your time. Your family might be more comfortable in an apartment than a hotel.

leavin Nov 29th, 2011 04:35 AM

thanks everyone but....I've heard Provence is so beautiful! is it not possible to catch the fast train for a few days in Marseille as well as time in Paris?

StCirq Nov 29th, 2011 07:33 AM

Well, of course it's possible, but you've planned a very, very short trip. And Marseilles, though not without its own charms, isn't exactly the Provence most people dream of.It's a big, bustling, somewhat disorganized city. If you wanted to visit the beautiful Provence you've heard about, Marseilles would not likely be your destination, but rather Avignon and the Bouche-du-Rhône or Lubéron. It's true you can get there on the TGV in under 3 hours, but you'd want at least 3-4 days there to appreciate it, and there goes half your trip!

I would either add a week to your trip or stick to Paris with a couple of days in Normandy and a day trip to Versailles or Auvers-sur-Oise or Chantilly and Senlis or elsewhere.

Shanti Nov 29th, 2011 07:37 AM

It's possible. But I don't think it would be a good use of time. Also, (I'm hoping that someone who has been to Marseilles will post here since I've only been to the Nice area), but from what I've heard it wouldn't be the most worthwhile use of time for a first trip to France. There are areas near Marseilles that are very nice but it would take even more time to get to and from them.

joannay Nov 29th, 2011 07:50 AM

Michael wrote, regarding Paris Plage, "Less than a hundred years, more than 100 days, as it was created in July 2002".

I lived in Paris in 1966 and it was going then so maybe you're right about it's current incarnation but I was inclined to believe the website as a witness to it 45 years ago. Maybe others here can settle the matter for us.

nukesafe Nov 29th, 2011 08:31 AM

Your alternate French city, Royan, is even more time consuming to get to than Marseilles, since the TGV only goes to Bordeaux. You don't say where you are coming from but, if the journey to get to Paris is a long one, most of your trip will be spent in travel, not vacation.

Christina Nov 29th, 2011 08:33 AM

I'd veto the Marseille trip if the idea is to experience Provence because you won't.

Paris Plage is a gimmick and is NOT a beach. It is sand trucked into Paris and laid along the Seine, like a sandbox for children.

Michael Nov 29th, 2011 08:34 AM

From Wikipedia:

French city-dwellers traditionally escape to the seaside or the countryside during the summer, especially in August. Paris is avoided, as the weather is unpleasantly hot and humid, and the centre is full of tourists. Nevertheless, each summer many residents are obliged to remain in the city, however reluctantly. The Paris-Plages scheme was instigated in 2002 by Bertrand Delanoë, the newly-elected Socialist Party mayor, as a haven for relieving the misery of those cooped up in the sweltering city.

joannay Nov 29th, 2011 08:44 AM

Well Michael, again, in it's "current incarnation" but there has been a version of it for many decades. I was not a plage goer but my best friend made full use of it and obviously enjoyed it very much. I'm not dreaming.

Michael Nov 29th, 2011 09:22 AM

People were sunning themselves on the banks of the Seine for decades; but not under palm trees and with sand under them. Then in the late sixties the authorities changed the right bank into a road. I believe that part of the intent of Paris Plage was to take back the river bank from car traffic.

tdk320n Nov 29th, 2011 09:57 AM

I also agree spend the entire time in Paris. Last year I invited 3 neices all age 13 and 1 nephew age 14 to spend 8 days with me in Paris. Other than a 1 day trip to Versaille we spent the entire time in Paris. The kids were never bored, we all had a fabulous time. There is so much to see and enjoy in Paris that when it was time for the kids to return to the USA they were really sad.They all agreed it was the best vacation they ever had.

annhig Nov 29th, 2011 12:11 PM

errr - don't they have beaches in Normandy too? yep, that's right, you're going to visit them, and in July too!

I would suggest trying to combine your D Day beach visit with some more conventional activities aimed at the children, ideally at the beginning or end of your trip so as not to break up your time in Paris.

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