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France in December

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France in December

We will be visiting friends in Spain in December and have roughly about 3-4 weeks where we can really just explore France and Spain. We will probably be with our friends during the main holidays (Christmas and New Years but even that can be changed). We are really open as to where to visit. We are not afraid of the cold and are looking for charming towns that will be gearing up for local holiday festivities, have good food and spirits during the this season. Doesn't have to be the typical major cities- not looking for huge tourist areas. Anything good in the Southwest of France or Provence during this season? We will probably be flying out of Paris - so any suggestions in and around Paris during this time would be great too.

Note: We speak french ok.

Thanks for your help!

Tampa, Florida
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1. Re: France in December

This is where a couple guidebooks (specifically the DK Eyewitness Guides) would be a really good investment (when you're spending thousands of dollars on airfare, hotels, and rental cars, $100 for guidebooks is nothing).

Read up and see what interests you...then we can guide you from there.

Spain is a LONG way from Provence by car (from Paris, too, truth be told)....get an idea of what YOU think looks interesting, and we'll help dial in the details.

Paris, France
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2. Re: France in December

If you are looking for real holiday decor and season spirits I would suggest heading to the Alsace region and see Strasbourg which has a fantastic Christmas market and is all decked out in Christmas decoration. You can also visit Colmar and although I don't know much about Germany, you are near the border here and with a little research I bet you'll find lots of places that go all out for the holiday season. As for which other regions in France you should visit, well, that's up to you. That is so broad a question as to be essentially unanswerable. Realize that France is a northern country with a northern climate and even the south of France will be cool in the winter months and without blooming vegetation. I suggest buying a few good guidebooks and figure out what you might want to do and see based on your interests. You know better than anyone else what interests you and some research on your part will make for a much better vacation than letting a stranger tell you what you should see and do. Some popular guidebooks are Michelin Green Guide, Lonely Planet, DK Eyewitness Guide etc. A resource for finding charming villages in France can be found using this link:


There are literally hundreds more charming villages to visit that aren't on this list but it should get you started. Once you've done some research and have narrowed down the list of places you are considering you can come back and post with some specific questions about those areas/places and you'll find you get more and better responses than just posting a general "where should I go" question. You have ample time to plan before you leave and with 3-4 weeks to travel you will have the luxury of not being rushed and being able to see things at a relaxed pace. Good luck!

3. Re: France in December

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Removed on: 07 March 2011, 17:18