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7 days in France from Sept 14-22

Hi,

I am taking my mom to France for her 70th bdy and wanted to plan a special trip for her.
We will be flying 11 hours overnight arriving at Charles de Gale at 10:30am (next day)

From here, i would like to take a train or a short flight somewhere close to Paris where we could be stationed for 5 nights exploring by car charming and small towns. We will then return to Paris where we will stay for 3 nights before flying home

I thought Provence area would be a good choice...do you agree? Where and how do i get there?.

Is there a better route taking in consideration the 11hour flight? What cites close to Paris is a good location to stay and explore? Someone that is not too expensive and with easy access back to Paris.

Thank you kindly for everyone's help!!!
Renata

Posted by
7791 posts

Have you already bought your plane ticket to Paris? IF you decide to fly somewhere else in France you might do better to have it all on one itinerary with at least a 3 hour layover at the airport in Paris.

Posted by
10 posts

Yes, unfortunately the tickets have been purchased - I COULD stay in Paris for the first 3 days in the beginning of the trip and then get a ONE WAY from wherever i go in France. The flight back is Sunday, 1:30pm

Posted by
16796 posts

Trains from Charles de Gaulle take about 4 hours to Marseille or 7-8 hours to Nice. Train tickets are just as expensive and inflexible as plane tickets. They're affordable if booked ahead, expensive on short notice for a distance this long, and useless if you miss the scheduled train. I understand that splitting up your nights in Paris is not first choice, but allows train connections to be planned more reliably. Wondering how, when, and whether to match a train departure with a flight arrival is a frequent source of worry for travelers asking similar questions.

Posted by
1533 posts

TGV to Avignon?
Not sure if it goes from CdG or not- spend first night in Avignon then get your car next day-and maybe move St-Remy for the next 4. We found St-Remy to be perfectly located for day trips around Provence.

Another option is Loire Valley- not as far- but unless you are really into chateau visits I think 4 or 5 nights there is a bit much.

But-
Not sure I'd be up for any travel by train or plane after that long flight so splitting your Paris nights might be the better choice.

Posted by
3283 posts

What about Alsace? You could stay in one of the quaint, half timbered villages. We had a B & B in Eguisheim. You could take the train to Strasbourg or Colmar and then pick up a car. Train would be about 4 hours.

Or you could visit Chartres, Giverny, Rouen and Honfleur. Perhaps take the train to Chartres and pick up a car and head to Giverny. Or if you want to stay in one place, perhaps, stay in Rouen and do day trips--Giverny, Etratat, Honfluer.

Posted by
10 posts

Alsace área VERY MUCH on my mind. Is the round trip train ticket very expensive? Can you recommend a reasonable place to stay? I hear COLMAR is a better choice

Posted by
3283 posts

Paris to Colmar is a ticket you can save quite a bit by purchasing in advance. If you purchase in advance, it was about 60 euro. I don't like to purchase a train ticket for travel on the same day I arrive by air. It's too risky. I'm getting you would prefer not to be shifting locations a lot, BUT, what my husband and I did for that trip was to stay in Paris one night and left for Alsace the next day. We stayed one night in Colmar and three in Eguisheim . In Colmar we stayed at an inexpensive, quirky place and LOVED it. It was a working winery, with a nice breakfast. Domaine Martin Jund. In Eguisheim we stayed at a B & B. It was wonderful and reasonably priced right on the main street of the beautiful old town. http://www.hameau-eguisheim.com/en/ I wouldn't stay in Colmar the entire time, the little wine villages are so much more fun and interesting. Also, I wouldn't want to be driving in and out of Colmar every day.

Posted by
7327 posts

renata, what date do you leave the US and what date do you fly back?

Posted by
10 posts

we arrive in Paris Saturday, September 14 at 10:30am and leave Sunday, September 22 at 1:30pm.

What area of Paris or resolvable hotel I should look if taking the train to ALSACE area let’s say on MONDAY?

I am thinking then:
Paris on Sept 14-16 (2 nights)
Explore ALSACE 16-21 (5 nights)
Paris 21-22 (1 nights)

It would be great to stay in Paris in different part of towns - any recommendations that are Reasonably priced?

Posted by
3283 posts

Renata, I think you have a good plan.
I like the Latin quarter. I like the vibe its withing walking distance of many of the sights, its close to St Germaine which I also like, but generally cheaper. I would put myself close to the metro/RER. The trains to Alsace leave from Gare de l'est. That's not a neighborhood close to the main sights where I'd want to stay, but it comes down to preference for transportation.

Posted by
1518 posts

hey hey Renata
We are kinda doing something like you. we arrive in Paris September 15, rented hotel near gare de Lyon for 1 night, and take train to Geneva for 2 nights, annecy for 6 nights back to Paris 8 nights. it’s convenient to stay near train station and taking train at noon on Monday. Booked already for cheaper fare. Know where you want to go and book train now. We will pack a small picnic lunch and bottle of wine for train ride. I’m sure you and mom will be happy in Alsace area, heard it’s gorgeous. Rent car when you get to Alsace area. Don’t forget to get your IDP, international driving permit, from AAA/CAA. ($25 and 2 passport photos and receive same day) have fun
aloha

Posted by
3283 posts

Renata, If you are going to stay close to the train station (Gare de l'est), I'd recommend staying just one night. Then when you return to Paris, you have two nights to stay somewhere more central to see the sights.

Posted by
10 posts

I can’t THANK ENOUGH everyone who contribute to my trip planing!!! This has been so helpful and I am very grateful!!

Decided to take the Train to Colmar and will stay at the B & B in Eguisheim recommend here. I found it very cute and exactly what I was looking for!!! THANK YOU!