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11 days in France!

Traveling in March 2015 with daughter, son-in-law, and 7 yr old granddaughter. Flying into Brussels and spending the night with friends. Last 5 days in Paris. Love trains. Suggestions for itinerary, please? Also, lodging. Not Normandy or Disneyland this trip. Love markets, parks, people-watching, good food. Would love to walk labyrinth in Chartres! Thanks!

Posted by
388 posts

If you are spending the last five days in Paris, then you will really only have about 4-5 days to do something else in France. Two options might be to spend some time seeing the Chateaux in the Loire valley, OR Eastern France and Burgundy. For Eastern France you might consider towns like Riems, Metz, Strasbourg or Colmar. In Burgundy, towns like Beaune or Dijon are good options.

If you are coming from Brussels, you'll probably have to connect in Paris to anywhere else in France. You can find train schedules on www.bahn.com. I hope this helps some.

Posted by
11613 posts

As I recall the labyrinth in Chartres is only open for walking on Fridays.

Posted by
4125 posts

I'm going to assume that 11 days does not include the day in Belgium, but does include the day you fly home.

So my first suggestion is to add another day to Paris, for 6 nights = 5 days plus your travel day. you cold add more: there are some great day trips possible (Chartres, Rouen) with Paris as the rail hub.

For the rest: I'd rate Burgundy highly IF (1) the weather cooperates and (2) you get a car for your time there and (3) you and yours want to tour the region (see a guidebook). Otherwise, I think, not really worth it.

You would similarly need a car to get about the Loire valley.

Another possibility is Lyon. The TGV trains are so fast it's only 2 hours from Paris, and you could travel Burssells >Lyon > Paris. Or even catch one of those trains to Charles deGaulle if you have an afternoon flight home.

Lyon is bad-weather proof because it is a city.

Posted by
6749 posts

Having spent many years visiting my in-laws who lived in Burgundy, I wouldn't recommend it too highly before late April when things begin to bloom. Some of the Loire might be better if you choose chateaux that might interest a seven year old, such as Chambord. Otherwise, the rural areas can be a bit dreary in March. The suggestion of eastern France was good, as those are all cities or towns with a few castles and interesting museums thrown in. Likewise, since you are arriving in Brussels, why not go to Bruges where a child can see canals, take a boat ride, ride a bike on a bike path. I agree about day trips from Paris, again so the little one can get her fill of train rides.