Ive been to Provence already. But I want to return again and his some sites i missed. Also I have a couple coming with me whos never been to anywhere but Paris. What other region do you think I could tie in for the second week?
Loire Valley was great, a good counter-point to Provence. Lyon is a worthy stop for a couple nights before or after Provence, and is right on the train line. It’s interesting to see how unlike Paris the other “big cities” of France feel.
1 Week in Provence then?
Then find a way to spend another week there!
The Alsace region is quite scenic and a great wine region.
Agree about the Loire Valley. It's a world-class, must-see, bucket-list, buzzword-worthy place that will wow you and anyone. Its also probably right on the way (more or less) - assuming you'e flying in/out of Paris. Makes a good combination to anywhere in the south of France.
So should I rent a car from paris, drive lOire, then drive to provence, or slap a train in there to maximize time?
If you're traveling to or from a Provencal town that's on or near the TGV line, the train will be much faster than driving, so I'd drive only if I had time to wander around on the way down or back up. Check on a one-way rental to see how much, if any, extra it will cost you.
A car will surely be very helpful in the Loire and in Provence. Some of the small Provencal places have no train service at all, and coordinating bus schedules is sometimes challenging. If you plan only to see Avignon, Arles and other large places, a car will not be required, but most visitors enjoy getting to the smaller spots as well.
You could try the Languedoc region of southern France, it's the lesser known western neighbor of Provence. The main town of the Languedoc region, Toulouse, is a nice base to explore the surrounding area.
For potential sites, Languedoc contains the well preserved medieval cities of Carcassonne, Montpellier, and Béziers, countless Roman ruins (such as the Roman arenas in Nîmes), medieval abbeys, Romanesque churches, and impressive feudal citadels (such as the ruined Cathar castles in the mountains of Corbières).
I would go to SW France and fly home from either Bordeaux or Toulouse.
The Riviera is a logical choice being close by. Over to Languedoc and Dordogne is a little farther, but those two regions are very special. Depending upon the time of the year the Alps region I found pretty special (Annecy/Chamonix). There is no region of France that I have visited (all of the above plus Normandy, Alsace, Loire, Burgundy, Paris) that I have visited that I would not return to. Provence is on my future itineraries list too. I am planning on starting with four days on the Riviera, six days in Provence, four in Paris. There are other areas I'd like to go to but I just can't stand the fact that I have not been to Paris since 2010!
Ok.im thinking Loire Valley then Provence. I haven't been to Loire and I would love to revisit Provence. Our travel companions haven't been to either. So would you suggest TGV from CDH to Loire...rent a car for a few days...then TGV to Provence or drive?
We too had never been anywhere in France other than Paris (with day trips to the D-Day beaches and a couple of Loire Valley castles). We just returned from a vacation in France spent with another couple who've traveled there pretty extensively. We used a rental car. Our main plan was a week in Provence but we had an extra week to spent in some other areas. We loved our itinerary, which was the following:
Flew into Geneva, rented a car, drove (1 hour) to Chamonix, spent 2 days and two nights there. One of our days was spent in nearby Annecy, the other was spent on a hike in the Mont Blanc range. We did the hike to Lac Blanc. Beautiful!
Drove (4 hours) to Provence - 7 nights there. We stayed on a vacation rental estate near Noves, very central to all the places we wanted to visit.
Drove (6 hours) to our next destination, Sarlat, in the Dordogne region, with a long lunch stop in Carcassonne, which was about the halfway point in the drive.
Our original plan had been to spend 3 nights in Sarlat, then return the rental car and take the train to Paris for the final two nights of our trip, but we revised this. We spent two nights in Sarlat, left at about 9 a.m. to drive to Chartres, with a long stop in Oradour sur Glane on the way, and a second stop to have a roadside picnic lunch. We arrived in Chartres by 5 p.m., in time to visit the cathedral, which is open until 7:30, had a lovey dinner there, saw the light show projected onto the facade of the cathedral, stayed overnight near the train station, returned the rental car the next morning, then took the train to Paris for the final two nights of our trip.
I loved both the French Alps and the Dordogne. Geographically, it worked well to sandwich Provence in between.
What time of year?
Yes, critical question, what time of year?
After a week in Provence we did a week on the Riviera it was a great combo! But I liked the Burgundy region and our stay in Beaune it was quite lovely. And we loved biking there.
End of April beginning of May