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customized itinerary (8 French cities)

Little Egg Harbor
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customized itinerary (8 French cities)

My wife and I are planning a 5-week tour of France involving 8 or 9 cities next Sept. Although I may be a bit early, I am looking for suggestions on how to go about doing so. My breakdown is as follows: Paris 8 nights; Annecy 3 nights, Dijon 4 nights; Colmar 4 nights; Strasbourg 4 nights; Reims 3 nights; Amiens 3 nights; Rouen 3 nights and back to Paris for an additional 3 nights. Al-though I've driven in southern France before, I only want to travel by train. Which train package do I use? I know that the TGV requires a reservation and prepayment, but how do I find out about local trains servicing the above cities which I mentioned. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Dan

Bellflower...
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1. Re: customized itinerary (8 French cities)

Bonjour, Dlk4vr,

To find out about train schedules and costs, use the following site:

http://en.voyages-sncf.com/en/ - use Antartic as the Ticket Collection Country (not the U.S.)

The following link gives instructions on using the above ticket ordering site:

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

Local trains are indicated as TER in the schedules - you won't need seat reservations. Also, second class is comfortable.

Bonne chance! I'm envious of 5 weeks in France.

MrsJAS

Le Bugue, France
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2. Re: customized itinerary (8 French cities)

I think 4 nights in Colmar is too much, especially with 4 nights in Strasbourg. And 3 nights in Amiens is too much, too.

You don't want a train "package." You want point-to-point tickets, available at www.voyages-sncf.com or www.capitainetrain.com. Buy the long-distance ones 3 months out from your dates of travel; the short-distance ones can be bought anytime up to minutes before you board.

Fairbanks, Alaska
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3. Re: customized itinerary (8 French cities)

I know you said you want to travel by train only, and you undoubtedly have your reasons, but last year we drove from Annecy through Switzerland to Alsace before turning in the rental car in Strasbourg. We really enjoyed staying in smaller towns and exploring by car. Yvoire, on the south side of Lake Geneva, was a highlight. We took the TGV from Paris to our initial destination.

You lose a lot of yor vacation time packing, checking into and out of hotels, getting to and from the train station, and waiting for the train. That all seems like less of an impact when the car ride is part of the sightseeing, and also you can be more casual about packing for a car trip.

Little Egg Harbor
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4. Re: customized itinerary (8 French cities)

Thank you for your input and insights. Can you tell me how you would modify the itinerary which I wrote about (cities to visit, length of stay, etc.). Any information would be greatly appreciated!

Dan

Little Egg Harbor
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5. Re: customized itinerary (8 French cities)

Thank you AAL08 for your input concerning traveling by rental car rather than train. Can you please tell me which auto rental company you used? Thanks again!

Bellflower...
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6. Re: customized itinerary (8 French cities)

I also wondered why 4 nights in Colmar, but figured that you had your reasons. It is a short ride from Strasbourg on the train.

My husband and I have enjoyed riding trains and also driving, when need be. I wouldn't give up on the plans to use the train. It's a different experience and can be very relaxing.

Perhaps you could plan the route on the voyages-sncf link in my previous post and decide then whether to train or drive.

Good luck. I'm sure that you will have a wonderful trip.

MrsJAS

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Montreal
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7. Re: customized itinerary (8 French cities)

Do you intend on visiting only each city or do some visit around as well ?

I'm asking since you will be travelling by train, I was wondering what you were planning on visiting.

Knowing that would help.

For example for Amiens 3 nights might be too much IMO. But if you have other visit in the area that you want and can do. It might then be ok.

You have a few possibilites of visits by train between Colmar and Strasbourg... but the choices will mostly be the same from either cities so 4 nights in each might be a little too much.

Le Bugue, France
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8. Re: customized itinerary (8 French cities)

It would be helpful to know how and why you put together this itinerary. Maybe there are things you really want to see, or friends you really need to visit, or whatever...we can't know that. Four nights in Strasbourg with a daytrip to Colmar (which I find totally underwhelming) would do it for me, but perhaps not for you. Amiens I would devote a good day to, no more, but again, why did you pick 3 days for this underwhelming French venue?

I wouldn't know what to do with 3 nights in Reims or Rouen, either. Well, Rouen, maybe, because I'm a big Jeanne D'Arc fan, but Reims? Just not that inspiring unless you're a champagne expert (don't drink the stuff myself and even if I did, three days of it would be way overkill, and I don't find it a pretty region of France).

Overall, it sounds like a fairly long voyage around some of the rather ho-hum regions/places in France. But again, that's MY take. You may have really good personal reasons for pinpointing these places. I'd be ALL OVER a dozen other regions, myself, but that's just me. Maybe if you could explain how this itinerary came to be, it would help us figure it out. It's not as though you'll have a "bad" trip, just I think you can do better.

Andrésy, France
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9. Re: customized itinerary (8 French cities)

The train is fine when you want to see cities, but with no car in provincial France you will miss out on a lot. Many of the more interesting sites, not to mention better value accommodation and restaurants are located in places inaccessible without a car.

Paris, France
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10. Re: customized itinerary (8 French cities)

Look at this link to see a map of where the regional and long distance trains go in France:

www.bueker.net/trainspotting/map.php…

To see maps of the local train routes for each region go to www.ter-sncf.com and look at the map of France in the upper right corner and click on the region that interests you. Once you click on a region scroll down and look on the lower left of the page in the column that says "Se déplacer en TER" and in that column click on "Carte du réseau TER" and you'll get the map of train lines in that region.