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Where to go next?

Hello! My family and I are US citizens but currently living in Paris on a job assignment. We decided to take a road trip to Annecy for 3 nights and then Chamonix for 2 nights. His work just granted him permission to take a few more days off so now I’m trying to figure out where to go next from Chamonix. I’m not a fly by the seat of your pants when traveling so this is outside of my comfort zone to plan so quickly. Where would you go? Switzerland, Italy or somewhere back in France on the way home to Paris? Ideally I don’t want to go much more than 4 Ish hours from Chamonix since the drive home back to Paris will be long. Traveling with two kids 8 & 11. We like outdoor adventures but also can swing a city adventure. Any help or insight would be appreciated!!

Posted by
3 posts

Have you been to Guédelon in northern Burgundy? It’s where a group of artisans & builders are building a castle using medieval techniques. As an adult on a Rick Steves tour I was fascinated. I think your children would love it. It could be a stop in your way back to Paris.

Posted by
3185 posts

You and the children will definitely find Guedelon fascinating. I’d spend a night or two in Beaune and leave early for Guedelon. Still a lot of driving, about 2 hours to Beaune and 2 1/2 from Guedelon to Paris.

Posted by
2560 posts

If you are traveling to the east you might find Provins interesting, possibly on the return to Paris.

Posted by
2916 posts

My suggestions would be Bern (Switzerland), Besancon, or Troyes.

Posted by
1375 posts

How about driving up to the southern shore of Lake Geneva and then over to the Montreux/Vevey area? You could then go over to Lausanne before heading back to Paris.

Posted by
12172 posts

Yes, spend the time in Burgundy or Alsace on the way back to Paris.

Burgundy is beautiful but I completely disagree with staying in Beaune. There are fantastic small medieval stone villages all over Burgundy, each prettier than the last - Beaune isn't one of them. If you want to stay in a city, Dijon's old center is much nicer. In addition to Guedelon, which is on the way back to Paris from Burgundy there is Bibracte (Celtic Gaul Museum) and Alesia (sight of Ceasar's victory over the Gauls in a major battle). Any of those are interesting historically and I think work hard to foster a love of history in children.

Alsace is a completely different feel. Think of the town in Beauty and the Beast; that's what most villages look like and there are lots of them. Again, each town is quainter and more lovely than the last. There is also a great castle in the middle of the area Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg and nearby "Monkey Mountain" where kids can see Barbary Apes. The cities at either end, Colmar and Strasbourg, are both nice. I think it makes a better train ride from Paris than drive (then have a car to explore the area) but it's definitely worth seeing.

Alas, so many great things to see and do - so little time.

Posted by
93 posts

I would go to Bern. We just came back from there in late October of 2019 and it was wonderful. Easy to visit city, nice views and good food.