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Need advice for 9-day France itinerary

Singapore
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Need advice for 9-day France itinerary

We are travelling in family of four (2 kids 10 and 13). Have planned the following :

Day 1

Arc de Triomphe

Champs Elysees

Louvre

River Seine cruise

Day 2

Versailles

Day 3

Notre Dame

Saint Chapelle

Latin Quarter

Pantheon

Eiffel tower

Day 4

Mont St Michel

Day 5

Montmartre & Sacre-Coeur

Day 6/7

Disneyland/Disney Studio

Day 8/9

Strasbourg

Alsace wine route

Colmar

By train to Lausanne, Switzerland

I need advice on :

1. Is the above itinerary too busy?

2. I plan to stay in the Latin Quarters; have read the forum for recommended stays but cannot decide yet - since i'm planning to go in November which is low season, is it ok to book my accomodation later on?

3. Is there any train passes that will save me some money for trips to Versailles, Mont St Michel, Eurodisney and Strasbourg?

4. Is Mont St Michel worth the 7-hour to-and-fro journey from Paris?

5. How to get from Colmar to Lausanne?

6. Noticed there is a Nazi concentration camp on the Alsace wine route - is this worth visiting?

Would appreciate advice from French experts on this forum.

Bellflower...
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1. Re: Need advice for 9-day France itinerary

It may be better if you ask some of these questions on the Paris forum. Also, I am definitely not a French expert, but I think some of my answers will be helpful.

#1 - Will you be arriving in Paris on day 1 and getting to your hotel, enduring jet lag, etc? I don't think that you will use up all of day 5 for visiting Montmartre and the Sacre-Coeur. Maybe move something else to that day. Also, the Eiffel Tower is nearer to the day 1 sights and Louvre is nearer to the day 3 sights.

#3 - They use different train lines: Trips to Mont St Michel and Strasbourg use the regular trains operated by the SNCF. Use RER line C to get to Versailles. I don't know how to get to Eurodisney.

#4 - You may want to ask this question on the Mont St Michel forum. It is a worthwhile trip, but maybe you would want to add a day to Strasbourg instead.

#5 - The following is train information. If there is a flight, perhaps another poster will inform you.

Reserve the train on:

http://www.tgv-europe.com/en/

**Important**: Before you make the reservations, be sure to read the following tips:

www.nickbooth.id.au/Tips/FrenchTrain.htm

# 6 - Ask this question on the Strasbourg-Colmar forum.

MrsJAS

Bellflower...
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2. Re: Need advice for 9-day France itinerary

I have just thought of something. You need to take into account travel from Paris to Strasbourg. Also,are you planning to drive a car or take a tour for the Alsace wine route? That will also affect your timing.

MrsJAS

London, UK
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3. Re: Need advice for 9-day France itinerary

Personally I would not attempt a day trip from Paris to Mont St Michel. If you want to visit a major religios site outside Paris, go to Chartres it is only an hour away on an ordinary train so you do not need to book it in advance and so you could keep it flexible.

From Colmar to Lausanne, you catch a train to Basle and change there for a train to Lausanne. Again, no need to book in advance for either leg of this journey.

Tampa, Florida
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4. Re: Need advice for 9-day France itinerary

The day of your arrival is lost to airport logistics, jet lag, and fatigue. You might get a few hours to walk around, but it is anything but a full day.

Mont St Michel is not a day trip -- it's 5 hours (could be 7 if you run into delays) by bus each way to the Mont, then the queue and wait for the shuttle bus....leaving you with precious little time to see anything but your reflection in a bus window.

In November, the days are woefully short -- sunrise doesn't come until 8 to 8:30 am, and it's **dark** by 5:30 pm or thereabouts. You don't have long daylight hours to sightsee.

Versailles and Disney are within the Paris metro system, so there are no discounts and no passes for that transport. For local trains (which these are) you just buy a ticket and get on the train. No discounts, no passes, no reservations.

Mont St Michel is absolutely not a viable day trip by train, as you cannot go directly to the Mont by train, but rather have to go to the nearby town of Pontorson and take a bus.

No pass for Strasbourg, either -- only that the further in advance you purchase, the lower the price will be.

You'll also want to ask on the Strasbourg/Colmar forums how much of the wine route is actually open that time of year.

And oh yes -- it is very likely to be COLD, especially at Mont St Michel and Strasbourg. There may or may not be snow, but it is definitely winter and will require you be dressed for same.

Singapore
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5. Re: Need advice for 9-day France itinerary

Thanks MrsJAS, railtraveller...and Sunshine817 for your comments!

Looks like Mont St Michel is not recommended for a day trip. We'll either stay overnight in Mont St Michel and cut Paris by one night, or skip Mont St Michel altogether then.

MrsJAS, we'll be taking a train from Eurodisney to Strasbourg and hiring a car in Strasbourg to do the wine route. Will probably spend the rest of Day 8 and overnight in Strasbourg and starting off early on Day 9 to reach Colmar before sunset. Sounds feasible?

Bellflower...
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6. Re: Need advice for 9-day France itinerary

Rachelong, I agree with the others to cut MSM, especially if day 1 is your actual arrival date and you wouldn't be able to do all the activities that you have planned. My husband and I took a day trip to MSM, so it's doable. However, it wasn't our first trip to Paris and it was in September.

Colmar to Strasbourg is less than an hour by train. I don't know the driving time, but I'm sure that you will arrive by sunset if you leave early. I was in Strasbourg and Colmar many years ago. It will be a different experience from Paris, but still French.

Good luck with your travels,

MrsJAS

7. Re: Need advice for 9-day France itinerary

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