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Trying to decide which route to take...

Hello fellow travelers,

I'm planning a trip with my daughter at the end of May & would like to visit France (& maybe Belgium).

Our trip will start in Edinburgh (where my daughter will be studying for a semester) & we plan to fly from there to our France destination & then fly back home (US) from Paris (flight already booked).

We will rely on public transportation for our trip.

I'm trying to figure out the most efficient route to take as we plan to visit the following cities:
Colmar/Strasbourg, Annecy/ Chamonix, Provence region (Avignon, L'Isle Sur La Sorgue, Nimes, Arles, etc...), Loire Valley (Amboise) & Paris.

Here are my options thus far:

  1. Fly Edinburgh to Basel => Colmar/Strasbourg (3N) => Annecy &
    Chamonix (4N)=> Avignon/Provence region (6N) => Amboise/ Loire
    Valley region (via Paris)( 2-3N) => Paris(6N)

  2. Fly to Paris => Colmar/Strasbourg => Annecy & Chamonix =>
    Avignon/Provence region => Amboise/ Loire Valley region (via Paris)
    => Paris (1 night before flight home).

  3. Fly to Lyon=> Annecy & Chamonix => Avignon/Provence region =>
    Amboise/ Loire Valley region (via Paris) => Colmar/Strasbourg (via
    Paris) => Paris.

  4. Fly to Brussels => Bruges/Ghent (4N) => Annecy & Chamonix (4N) =>
    Avignon/Provence region (6N) => Amboise/ Loire Valley region (2N)
    (via Paris)=> Paris(6N)

Thanks for your input, ideas & suggestions!

Priscilla

Posted by
7175 posts

I wonder if your flight home from Paris is afternoon/evening??

Fly Edinburgh to Lyon - easyjet direct with flight U26971
Train to Annecy & Chamonix
Train to Avignon (Provence)
Train to Colmar/Strasbourg (Alsace)
Train to Paris
Train to Amboise (Loire Valley)
Train to Paris for flight home

Posted by
5260 posts

Hi David,

Thanks for your suggestion!

Our flight departs at around 1 PM, so we will need to be at airport 3 hours before, right?

I know there's a train from Amboise to CDG (via Tours), so if our flight was in the evening, this would work very nicely.

Posted by
6670 posts

All I can suggest is that #3 seems inefficient, taking you through Paris twice before you even stop there.

Pick a base city for each region, the hub for your daily spokes. Try the DBahn website to test train trip times and connections. Play with scenarios till you find the most efficient route from hub to hub.

I haven't been to Provence but my impression is that a car would make things much easier if you're willing to drive. Likewise the Loire (based on experience).

Posted by
7175 posts

Yes, I would aim for 10am.
TGV8306 departs Tours at 7:35am, arriving Montparnasse 8:41am.
Then take Air France Shuttle Bus #4 at 9:00am to CDG - approx 1hr15min.
There are 2 earlier TGVs from Tours, if you want to increase your wiggle room.

Posted by
5260 posts

Dick,

I know option #3 is not great...

Is there a different route I can take from Avignon to Amboise, via train, without first returning to Paris?

When I check the French Railway website, it shows that I need to change trains in Paris before heading to Amboise (via Tours or Orleans)

David,

Thanks for the information! However, I actually prefer to spend the night before our flight in Paris.

Posted by
7175 posts

Yes, it is borderline. I don't think I would risk it either. Still, there's this ...

Fly Edinburgh to Lyon - easyjet direct with flight U26971
Train to Annecy & Chamonix - 1hr 51min
Train to Avignon (Provence) - 3hr 09min (change at Lyon)
Train to Colmar/Strasbourg (Alsace) - 5hr 28min (change at Lyon)
Train to Amboise (Loire Valley) - 5hr 26min (change at Paris)
Train to Paris - 1hr 36min
Fly home from Paris