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after Paris we have 8 days... then what????

Hello everyone!
I have been reading this forum and there has been so many helpful tips and wonderful ideas i am hoping to get some specifically for my trip. I have 2 girls 10 and 11, and after we check out of our week long stay at a place right at the Luxembourg gardens (based on info here) we have 8 more full days before we fly out from Nice. The only for sure thing i would like to do is visit Monaco. We are renting a car so we are open to any ideas.... the days we check out of Paris is March 26 and we fly out April 4th.

I am excited to read all your replies...

Posted by
2579 posts

First, I recommend getting your rental car at Orly Airport so you'll be right near the Autoroute A6. No sense stressing with Paris city traffic and navigating your way to the Autoroute from an in-city pickup location (which we did; wouldn't do it again).

If it were my trip, I'd head south to Beaune or Lyon for the first night or two. Even though Beaune is oriented to wine -- not ideal for kids -- it is really scenic and charming and offers the possibility of outdoor walks. If you want a larger town/city with more options, then just stop for a couple of hours in Beaune and drive onward to spend the night(s) in Lyon.

Next I would spend a couple of nights somewhere in the Avignon-Nimes area. Then, onward to Monaco. Did you plan to spend night(s) there, or do it as a day trip from Nice? In either case, end up in Nice with enough time to see the city and relax a bit before your flight.

Posted by
118 posts

Would concur that the Loire is an excellent area to visit for a few days and also best to take the train to just outside Tours (St Pierre des Corps) where there is car rental (Europcar). Hirs ca from there a few years ago and found them very good to deal with
Also, there is an excellent B&B in Amboise which is a good base for the Loire. The B&B is Belleroche

Posted by
4259 posts

Loire vs. Burgundy -- a good problem to have! I'd recommend Burgundy just based on location, on a more direct line toward Nice. Beaune would be a good stopover, Lyon another, and on into Provence. Normally people here recommend multi-day stays in different places, but on your timetable, and with a car, I'd suggest getting to the south with a few one-night stands and using the remaining days where it's warmer. There's plenty to see and do. Use Google Maps or Via Michelin to plan routes, supplemented by a good map.

Posted by
4125 posts

My answer to abowen is influenced by the time of year. March is still chilly and often windy and wet, so I would stick to cities with the possibility of a day trip or two if the weather permits. If the weather is crappy, in a city you can go inside and eat, shop, or take in a museum.

I love Burgundy, but it is rural and can be miserable in bad weather. And think carefully about the drafty, empty castles of the Loire. I do not know your girls but don't be shocked if they tire of that fare quickly.

A good option is Lyon, just 2 hours from Paris by direct TGV. It is a fabulous city with great museums, food, geography, and architecture. You could easily spend 4 nights there; I wouldn't want to spend less than 3 (which equals 2 full days).

After that Nice is about 5 hours by train, a little longer if you drive. You could break that trip in Provence, but that might make everything a bit rushed.

Posted by
23 posts

This is great information! i have already started looking and seeing the difference of going thru the Loire valley and then to the cave I believe in Dordogne and then over to Nice. or go thru Lyon (2 nights could stay 3) and to Provence or just straight to Nice and have 6- 5 days to do things including day trips from there before leaving. would it be worth going through Djon if I head to Lyon?

I do hear your comment about the idea of rain...

Any stand out ideas for the girls??? they are not girly girls... but they love to eat and be artistic and physical. i think i will be tired!

Posted by
4125 posts

Not just rain, there is (or can be) Mistral, which is unpleasant. I don't think you should cower indoors, but that time of year every day should have a bad-weather plan B, just in case.

One thing that might be appealing (or maybe not) if the weather cooperates is Roman ruins, most of which you can climb about on. There are magnificent ruins in Lyon, Arles, Orange, and Nimes, as well as the Pont du Gard near Nimes. Lyon has a really fine gallo-roman museum on the hill next to the antiquities.

Also in Lyon is a medieval old town riddled with secret passageways, a museum of miniatures and movie props, a funicular, and a huge park with a zoo. There's also a bikeshare program for about a euro a day, if your family rides you can toodle about the park, weather permitting. And, more restaurants per capita than Paris.

The caves in the Dordogne and Lot are magnificent but please do not underestimate the time involved in seeing them and getting to them, and from the region to Nice. I honestly do not see how cramming the Loire, the Dordogne, and the Cote D'Azure into 8 days can possibly make for a good trip.

Posted by
12117 posts

Hi,

What about going to eastern France? Spend the week in Alsace-Lorraine. Easily and quickly accessible on the TGV, Paris to Metz, or Paris to Strasbourg.

Posted by
23 posts

Thanks everyone for the ideas
I would like the caves but maybe next time....
I also heard a tid bit (would have liked to hear more about some Joan of Arc spots) but just don't think the castles would keep their interest for long

So when we leave Paris on the 26th and head down to Lyons what about stopping in Dijon? my daughter LOVES mustard any really good places to taste mustard???? or just head to Lyon.

Is the some place people would recommend stopping on the way down to the south of France? staying 2 nights and the 2 plus days in Lyon would still give us the rest of the 28 all the way through the night of the 3rd to do things.

I am ready for all the ideas... less then 2 months to figure the rest out... i haven't even figured out all the stuff to do and where the got to eat places....
Has anyone ever gone with tween/teens to Grasse to do the perfume factory tour or know how expensive "creating your own" would be???
Thanks for them in advance!

Posted by
1206 posts

Thinking of the two girls, you could head down to Orleans for some Joan of Arc sites there--her first victory in battle, I think.

Then I'd recommend a drive down to Amboise to Clos de Luce, where Leonardo lived the last three years of this life. There's a room with small models of some of his inventions, and outside in the gardens are full-size models of his inventions. Plus, a little cafe to eat lunch amidst the rose bushes.

Then perhaps over to Chennoceau--a smaller but excellent chateau to see, unless you want the massive Chambord. But take your pick of chateaux in the Loire.

Chinon is also an idea for Joan, but I haven't been there. Chinon is where Joan met the king and told him she was taking over ;-).

Avignon would be a good place to see--the Hist-O-Pad would be a great thing for girls as they tour the Palais des Papes. Plus, it is a nice town to walk around inside the walls--plenty of crepe and gelatto places. There's even a just remodeled McDonald's.

You can then go see Pont du Gard--there's a little children's area in the museum, which I saw and thought was excellent on the daily life there in Roman times.

Next, you can head to the sea!

Posted by
603 posts

I would consider taking the train to Annecy for 2 nights, then train to Arles for 3 nights then train to nice for 3 nights.

Posted by
23 posts

WOW there are many ideas here thank you!
i am really interested in learning more about the Joan of Arc stops and then the idea from Barbra ( i would love to hear more about the trip you mention!!!)
"Then I'd recommend a drive down to Amboise to Clos de Luce, where Leonardo lived the last three years of this life. There's a room with small models of some of his inventions, and outside in the gardens are full-size models of his inventions. Plus, a little cafe to eat lunch amidst the rose bushes"

Have others gone???

i will check in further to the last 2 ideas.... i worry the castle building may again be a short time interest for them compared to me...ohh the attention span of tweens....

Posted by
603 posts

I've been to clos Luce with my daughters. They enjoyed it though they like chenonceaux and chamborg better.

Posted by
23 posts

Good to know
Do you have any good ideas for places to stay with children? i would like to try a BNB or maybe something different. We are staying in a rented apartment when we stay in Paris so want to try something different... don't have to stay in the same place for both nights maybe 1 night close to to Amboise and then another further down????

Posted by
4259 posts

At this point I'm not sure which region(s) you're focusing on, but I'll just suggest that you not go to Dijon just for mustard. It's a nice city with a good art museum but not necessarily that interesting for your kids. And you can get all kinds of good mustard in stores all over France -- some of it doubtless made in Dijon.

If you're still looking at Burgundy, a stop in Beaune might be good. The 15th century hospital there is beautiful and very interesting to tour. You could spend one night there, or just part of a day if you're driving further. Well located near two autoroutes.

Lucky daughters you have. I hope they're getting plenty of chances to join in this planning process.