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Old 04-20-2010, 11:38 PM
 
Location: In my own personal Twilight zone
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Did anyone of you ever visit France?
I know it's strange posting this as a German, being situated rather near to France, in a US forum but I know that some of you have been to Europe and are avid travelers.

We like to see a lot of places but in a relaxing pace so where do you think we could go? It shouldn't necessarily be Paris, although we might make a stop there, I'm more interested in rural areas, nature, the sea and small towns.

Thanks a lot!
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Australia
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Although it's been years since I've been there, I remember loving the countryside and fishing villages in Brittany, and Normandy is really interesting too.

More recently, I spent time on the Riviera - didn't like Marseilles much, but did enjoy the other towns along the coast, especially Nice and Monte Carlo.

I can't go to France without spending at least a few days in Paris!

Hope you have a great time. I'm green with envy!
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:26 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobber View Post
... I remember loving the countryside and fishing villages in Brittany, and Normandy is really interesting too.

... Nice and Monte Carlo.
I second these. PLUS

The Palace at Pau and
Musée National du Château de Pau, Pau, France Reviews - TravelPod

Carcassonne
Office de tourisme et ville de Carcassonne : Vous habitez à Carcassonne ou à proximité ?<br />Le domaine 'Ma ville' vous est dédié
Carcassonne - Google Maps
We stayed in a really interesting farm guesthouse to the SE of the Castle (it was cheap...and very rustic, and old (of Course))

We did Bayonne, San Sebastian, Andorra while in the south of France. Really enjoyed the people in the countryside and had some very pleasant encounters while traveling / living / working in the area for 6 months with 2 kids (ages 8 & 10) tagging along. The local people in small towns really enhanced our experience and were quite different than our trips to Paris and Lyon.

When in Paris you must get out to the catacombs, we just took a bus and they dropped us off at a 'manhole' type place (opening in street w/ a ladder)

The kids got a thrill out of the 'self-tour' and I liked the price (Free IIRC)

Stayed in very few hotels, tho the kids got a kick out of one 'Credit Card' hotel (like a vending machine, no attendant). Usually used private guest houses in small towns. Occasionally a Hostel (kids referred to them as 'foster homes for college kids')
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Old 04-21-2010, 04:54 AM
 
Location: on an island
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Have you done a search of this forum yet?
France has been discussed, and Paris has been discussed quite extensively.
Also, there are several photo threads in the World forum with beautiful photos of France.

I have visited a bunch of times, and now I have a kid who lives in Paris so we went again last spring for a few weeks.
If you can, rent a car so you can have a bit more freedom to get out and see the smaller villages, however train travel is quite convenient.

Strasbourg, near the German border, is one of my favorite cities in France.
The countryside around there is beautiful--lovely train rides.
Strasbourg was beautiful and walkable and the EU Parliament is interesting.

LOVED Rouen--so walkable. Also enjoyed champagne tasting in Reims.
The Loire Valley is touristy but the gardens are exquisite and the history is fascinating.

Toulouse is like a small Paris, really enjoyed it the older central area, we took an early train to Carcassonne and had la Cité to ourselves.

Nice is a must-see but I would never stay there, we preferred Antibes.
Didn't much care for Monte Carlo--prefer the smaller places way down towards the Spanish border (DM me for more information.)

I really loved Normandy and Brittany, and the western Atlantic side of France. The southwest region has some interesting towns that are less touched by tourism.
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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Versailles was pretty cool. We didn't go inside the palace as the queue was over 2 hours but the gardens alone are worth seeing. We also stopped in the town of Cognac and you can take a tour of the distilleries. I would like to go back to Paris as my one trip was a business one so I didn't get to see much of the city.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:07 AM
 
Location: St. Croix
737 posts, read 2,250,184 times
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THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF ILE DE RE : Prepare your stay... - Ile de ré - you'll need a fast internet connection for this official site, so here is more info (we extended our stay longer than we planned), Île de Ré - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - or just use a search engine to get more info. Very laid back, seaside town but rather rural inland on the island. Yes, a bit touristy in the main portion of the main village, but so many places to wander and not have to share a beach with anyone else.

Limoges and the surrounding area was also quite interesting but a bit more of a Paris feel to it. The surrounding area is very rural. Travel from the island to Limoges should put you in the heart of the Cognac area where roadside stands that sell it are quite convenient and charming. If you speak French, you will enjoy yourself a little bit more as you can easily converse and get more info about the various regions.

Also, use TripAdvisor.com for more on travel in France.

And yes, I second Normandy!
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:12 AM
 
14,253 posts, read 15,341,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunsetBeachFL View Post
THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF ILE DE RE : Prepare your stay... - Ile de ré - you'll need a fast internet connection for this official site, so here is more info (we extended our stay longer than we planned), Île de Ré - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - or just use a search engine to get more info. Very laid back, seaside town but rather rural inland on the island. Yes, a bit touristy in the main portion of the main village, but so many places to wander and not have to share a beach with anyone else.

Limoges and the surrounding area was also quite interesting but a bit more of a Paris feel to it. The surrounding area is very rural. Travel from the island to Limoges should put you in the heart of the Cognac area where roadside stands that sell it are quite convenient and charming. If you speak French, you will enjoy yourself a little bit more as you can easily converse and get more info about the various regions.

Also, use TripAdvisor.com for more on travel in France.

And yes, I second Normandy!
Il de Re is gorgeous and well worth the visit. Neighboring La Rochelle is also very interesting.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:50 AM
 
Location: St. Croix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
Il de Re is gorgeous and well worth the visit. Neighboring La Rochelle is also very interesting.
Absolutely agree; however, we spent our time on the island and had friends to meet in Limoges. Hope to get back there someday, sooner rather than later!
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:52 AM
 
Location: on an island
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
Il de Re is gorgeous and well worth the visit. Neighboring La Rochelle is also very interesting.
We spent a couple days in Il de Re and visited La Rochelle.
Our hotel was a splurge and probably the best value of our entire trip.

I really loved the dramatic coastline in Brittany and Normandy, though.
Cancale was another good value, delicious food and a cute B&B.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:59 AM
 
3,060 posts, read 7,163,348 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueWillowPlate View Post
...LOVED Rouen--so walkable....
I second this. It is the only place I have visited thus far in France, but it was GORGEOUS as is the surrounding area. We toured a Calvados distillery - that was very cool, and followed the Emma Bovary trail one day (must be done by car) for a history lesson in a day.
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