We will leave Monterosso on July 5 and have allocated 2-3 days to get to Paris. We have 3 boys15, 13, and 10and have thought about the Riviera or other spots in Provence. Any suggestions for where to stay, what to see and how to get there would be appreciated!
Kevin, There are two directions you could consider (depending on your interests). You could certainly travel via Genova to Nice the French Riviera. There are lots of options in France on the way to Paris, including a canoe trip on the Dordogne. You could also stop for a few days in Arles (a very historic town with a large Roman Amphitheatre, which was used in the filming of the movie Ronin starring Robert De Niro). That would also allow a day trip to the village of Les Baux de Provence, where you might be able to watch a Catapult demonstration (I'm not sure what the schedule will be for those in July). You may have to rent a Car to reach Les Baux. You could also consider travel up through Switzerland, as travel from there to Paris via TGV is very easy and quick. Your boys will probably find travel at 300 kmH "interesting". There are lots of possibilities in Switzlerland. A few days in the Berner Oberland, including a visit to Piz Gloria and the Schilthorn, where the James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service was partially filmed. There are steep Cable Cars and good hiking options in that area. You could also stay in Lucerne for a few days, as the boys would probably enjoy the incredible Museum of Transport (I spent the better part of a day there last year). The city itself is great for walking, and you could also take a trip to Mt. Piilatus, boat trips and of course visit The Lion of Lucerne, which Mark Twain described as "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world." Happy travels!
I learned to alway's stay a min of 2 nights in one place. That gives you enough time to see all you want there. Otherwise your going to alot of places and not seeing much. And I try and keep my travel time to 3 hours or less. So saying that, a good place to go would be Nice, there is a small town next to Nie called Villefranche that is really cute. You can then go to Monocco and Nice from there. Then you can take the TGI trian to Paris and be there in about 3 hours I believe. Compared to driving which would take all day. I use Raileurope to figure out all my train travel. I want to see Europe but not out a window. You will love Cinque Terra, We walked a couple of the town after the crowds left and it's was wonderful. The small towns are great early in the morning before people get there and late in the after noon when everyone leaves. Have Fun Wendy
Thanks for the replies. Nice is exactly what we decided to do. We'll be there for 2 nights and want to get out and see some of the smaller towns like you suggested. We're staying at RS-recommended Hotel Cigales. Happy travels to all. Kevin