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Old 06-13-2012, 08:13 PM
 
3,559 posts, read 4,598,293 times
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We fly into Paris on July 23 and then fly back to the US on August 13. We are actually going to be in the south by Pau visiting family. At some point, we want to spend some time in Paris seeing what we can. I know the normal things; the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, etc, but want to see other unknown sites that are uniquely Paris. If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them. Our budget is somewhat flexible, but we do have to make sure that things do not get out of hand.

Traveling from Paris to Pau. should we use the train, which I think is about $117 per person each way, or rent an economical car for the entire time we are there and just drive down? Without collision, I found a Opal to rent from Avis for about $700. We will be meeting up with others and sight seeing, but thought we might be able to rent scooters instead. I dunno...any thoughts?
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:28 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
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Shamelessly lifted from a website:
In August, the French traditionally take their holidays. So you may find some shops particularly closed for the first half of August. Northern France tends to migrate south from mid July and Bastille Day to mid-August. The advantages are that attractions have longer opening hours and can be quieter than July. The South of France is very busy indeed, particularly on beaches. And throughout France you'll find lots of festivals and events.

you may want to visit Paris before August.
when the times comes to go south... yes, rent a car and stop where you like.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:22 AM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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If you were travelling to the Riviera, I would take the train because it's quick to get there from Paris and the Riviera is easily traversed via public transportation. But Pau is in the much less densely-populated southwestern corner of the country, where you will definitely want a car in order to sightsee. The distance between attractions (not to mention the rugged terrain of, say, the Pyrenees) makes scooters a less practical option. Besides, I imagine that you will get pretty restless in Pau after a short while and want to see other places.

This also gives you the possibility to make stops during your drive down from Paris. The Dordogne region, particularly the castle towns surrounding Sarlat-la-Canéda - La Roque-Gageac, Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, and Beynac-et-Cazenac - is one of the most breathtaking places I've been in France, and would make a great stopping point during your journey.

Also in the vicinity of Pau, you will almost certainly want to see the Basque seaside town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, as well as the great sandy beaches stretching northwards towards Bordeaux (many French insist that these beaches are superior to those on the Mediterranean coast). The Dune du Pyla, the highest sand dune in Europe, is a highlight of the region.

As for Paris, check out this thread about its "hidden gems": Advice Please - Hidden Gems of Paris
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:17 AM
 
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Thanks! I will definitely check it out.

I will keep an eye on this thread if anyone else wants to chime in.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley & Dunedin FL
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Pau is not in the Riviera--it's over towards the Pyrenees, near the Spanish border.

Makes sense to do Paris first, since you're going to be flying in, especially with the August closings.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:22 AM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwanderer View Post
Pau is not in the Riviera--it's over towards the Pyrenees, near the Spanish border.
Did I say otherwise?

"If you were travelling to the Riviera, I would take the train because it's quick to get there from Paris and the Riviera is easily traversed via public transportation. But Pau is in the much less densely-populated southwestern corner of the country"
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Eureka CA
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There's no such thing as an economical car in Europe.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:13 PM
 
Location: SW France
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Book your visit to the Louvre in advance or prepare to queue and/or be disappointed.

They are closed on Tuesdays;

Online Tickets | Louvre Museum | Paris
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:18 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 15,334,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jezer View Post
Book your visit to the Louvre in advance or prepare to queue and/or be disappointed.

They are closed on Tuesdays;

Online Tickets | Louvre Museum | Paris
If you buy the museum pass you can skip the queues. The Louvre has a separate door for people with the pass.
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Old 06-16-2012, 04:05 AM
 
Location: Berkeley, CA
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The catacombs is always interesting.
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