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Where to Go After Paris....In August

My husband and I (both early 60's) are traveling to Paris mid-August for my daughter's wedding. We will be staying in Paris for a week, but would like to plan a week in another area of France after that. We currently have return tickets from Paris as it is one of a few direct flights available for us and with so many flights being canceled, figured it was safer at the moment. We enjoy exploring towns, going to interesting museums and other historical sites, checking out local restaurants, some biking if available. Happy to take a train and then rent a car to explore, but would prefer one or two "bases" rather than moving to new hotels every night. We were thinking of Provence and the French Riviera, but I have heard it could be very hot and crowded that time of year. Also thought about Normandy, but I don't know if there is enough to hold our interest for a week. Someone mentioned the Bernina Express, which looks awesome, but I don't really know it that's reasonable with the time we have or what other areas to combine it with. I would appreciate any input or suggestions you may have regarding these or other areas, possible itineraries and the best options for late August. Thanks in advance!

Posted by
363 posts

I have spent a week in Paris and a week in Switzerland on the same trip (with the dog) and it was not rushed or too much time moving. Taking a fast train from Paris to Zurich is quick, then a regular train to a location you wish to see. In August I would go to the Alps, just too hot for anything else. J

Posted by
7688 posts

1) Normandy, be sure to go to Bayeux and see the 900 year old Bayeux Tapestry. Also, visit the D-Day beaches, etc.
2) Loire Valley- It has many great Chateaux. We stayed in Blois.

Posted by
10245 posts

Definitely stay north. Provence and the Riviera are hot and crowded in August.

You've received excellent suggestions. Additionally, consider Brittany and Belgium (Bruges, Ghent, Brussels). You can easily rent bikes in the Loire and Belgium.

Posted by
7048 posts

I agree with Bets, I'd either go North to Alsace (Strasbourg and Colmar and surrounding area) or head to the coast of Brittany. Chances are it will be somewhat crowded everywhere in France in August (except Paris) when many French workers are vacationing with their families around the country. I was in Brittany in late July, early August and crowds never seemed to be a problem but that was 10 years ago and times have changed. I loved the coastal area of Brittany - St Malo, Cap Frehel, Isle de Brehat (passenger ferry from Paimpol where you can hike and bike around the island). You could take a train from Paris to Rennes and rent a car there and you could go to Mont St Michel and then to St Malo and then explore the area along the coast. The Alsace area and the wine villages are a great area for biking and exploring. I also like Bets' suggestion of Belgium if you haven't been there.

Posted by
10245 posts

You can also take a high-speed train to or from the south coast of Brittany, Vannes. With high-speed trains, it's not worth driving to a destination, but you may want to rent a car once you are within a region. No car needed for the towns I suggested in Belgium.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you for the suggestions. I guess we will hit the guide books and try to finalize some plans using all this great information!

Posted by
8 posts

Traveling to Normandy and Bayeux is a great idea. Add on visiting Mont St. Michel. Its an abby on an island. Look it up. The pictures are amazing! We loved our time near Normandy. The Cemeteries and the beach there will be a few hours at best. Have a wonderful trip.

Posted by
8 posts

I love Montpellier and it is only 3 hr by train from Paris. You can visit lovely Arles, Avignon, Pont du gard. OK its hot but what better time to languish outdoors in lovely cafes. Lots of great BNBs, not very touristy but tons to see and do. Arles is also a favorite if small doesn't bother you. It is small but packed with amazing things to see, even a gorgeous roman arena. The South of France just makes me breath slower and relax...............drink rose.