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2 Weeks in France

Burbank, California
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2 Weeks in France


Me and my husband are planning on making a 2 week trip from April 30th - May 15th to France and spend last 4 days in Spain for our 4 year anniversary. We are flying in Paris and flying out of Barcelona. Our plan is to spend 4 -5 nights in Paris and then rent a car and drive down to south of France and then take a train or fly to Barcelona.

We need help planning our drive to South of France and what places to stay. We both love to see the beautiful country side, historical small towns with great culture. We also want to visit a vineyard. We both enjoy good food, good music and a great view.

We are planning on staying 6 nights in South of France. Right now, we are thinking from Paris we drive down to Avignon and spend 3 nights there and then 3 night in Nice.

1. Do you think we should stay in Marseille or Montpellier instead of Nice or Avignon ? Which places do you suggest to visit, which gives the best of South of France ?

2. Can you suggest good places to visit on our drive down to South of France? Like good food and any historic place to visit or a place where we can stop during our drive ?

3. Can you guys suggest any good activities or towns which we can visit in our 6 night trip in South of France ?

4. We both love white wine. Riesling is our favorite. Any suggestions to any vineyard with good wine ?

5. Is it better/cheaper to fly or take train to Barcelona ?

6. I know there is a lot to do in Paris, but would be great to hear your suggestions on what to do.

7. Lastly what should I keep in mind for my travel to France ? If I missed asking anything and if you want to suggest or advise something about the trip please do.

I appreciate all you all for any input in advance. Thanks for reading my question.

Tampa, Florida
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1. Re: 2 Weeks in France

I'll answer your last question first: The very first thing you should do is get your hands on at least one, and preferably two or three, guidebooks -- the forum usually recommends DK Eyewitness, Rough Guides, and Michelin Green Guides -- and a good map. BOTH of you need to read them, and make a list of your top things that each of you would like to do and see. Compile a final list from these.

The books don't have to be new -- they can be from the library, begged from friends, or purchased...and anything within the last 5 years is okay. The finer details (prices and opening hours) might not be exact, but the sites will be...and even books hot off the press aren't 100% accurate.

Refer to www.viamichelin.com -- this will give you driving routes, with distance and estimated tolls, as well as an optimistic estimate of drive times. It doesn't allow for rest stops, refueling, construction, weather, or traffic, so add 20-25% to their estimate to get something realistic.

There is more to do and see in the south of France than you can even think about doing in a week. The guidebooks will be invaluable for helping narrow it down.

You've got a crazily enormous area between Barca and Nice. Think what you'd say if someone said they wanted to visit everything from Eureka to San Diego in a week. You'd do well to dial in the focus quite a bit.

There is no Riesling in the south of France...while there are some whites, southern France is primarily known for its reds and roses. There are literally thousands of vineyards across the southern half of the country.

Aubrey, Texas
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2. Re: 2 Weeks in France

Sunshine has given you good advice. The need is for more clarity on what you wish to do and see and prioritization. The guide books are invaluable for that process. For the 5-6 days between Paris and Barcelona, a possible itinerary includes taking the TGV to Paris-Avignon, pick up a car there and tour some of Provence on the way to Nice.

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3. Re: 2 Weeks in France

If you are ending up in Barcelona, it doesn't really make sense to go to Nice - you would be better off staying in the Languedoc or Western Provence. You need to check a few guide books and do some research on this forum to get some ideas. And if you are after beautiful countryside and historical small towns, avoid the temptation to just stay in one or two cities. If I were you I would book a week in a gite in a small town or village in the hills or mountains away from the coast - you will have a car, so you will be able to explore the area you are in. You can then leave your hire car at Montpellier/Beziers/Narbonne/Perpignan and get the train to Barcelona.

Some (not all) car hire firms will add a premium for dropping your car off at a different location, but, as long as it is within France, it shouldn't be too much.

Burbank, California
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4. Re: 2 Weeks in France

Thank you for all the advice. We will do our due diligence. :)

5. Re: 2 Weeks in France

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