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Seeking suggestions for our 17th vacation in France

San Antonio, Texas
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Seeking suggestions for our 17th vacation in France

Love the country, so much so that we keep going back, each time exploring a different region. We've been to Paris, Strasbourg, Nancy, Beaune, a bit of the Jura region, Selestat, Colmar, Nice, St Paul de Vence, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, St Remy-de-Provence, the Luberon, Arles, Montpelier, Carcasonne, the Dordogne, St. Emilion, St Jean de Luz, Brittany, Normandy, some of Picardy, and Lyon. I speak French and am happy almost anywhere if I can strike up some conversation. We like to walk --I call it urban hiking--and get the unique flavor of a place. No problem driving or taking the train. We're not extravagant but willing to spend what it takes to experience a place. We vacation, i.e, slow down and do less than we would if we were just starting to get to know France. We both like good French food. My husband really knows his wines but has agreed to a no-vineyards trip. We're healthy 60-plus year-olds, neither of us into outdoor sports. We often stay in B&Bs with French-speaking hosts but when in a city, we prefer to stay in city center and near a metro stop. We both like classical music. I like French pop music. We find contemporary culture as interesting as history. We have our plane reservations, giving us 2 weeks, the second half of May. Help please! I'm as overwhelmed by the choices as I was when I was planning our first trip to France!

England, United...
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1. Re: Seeking suggestions for our 17th vacation in France

Although you mention Beaune and Lyon, have you visited the large area in between the two?

I am particularly thinking of Macon, the caves de Lugny, Cluny Abbey, Solutre (great hike to the top of this magnificent rock). Several vineyards, (twin villages of Pouilly Fume/Fuisse chateau Cormartin,, etc. etc. So much to see in Burgundy outside of the two places you have already visited.

Edited: 22 January 2014, 09:32
Toowoomba, Australia
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2. Re: Seeking suggestions for our 17th vacation in France

Good suggestion Pam. We spent a week there in 2010, liked it so much we are returning this year. Fabulous views from the roche de solutre. You could also look at the Auvergne region. We have spent time in de l'allier [ 2010 ] and the Haute loire. And the Aveyron is beautiful. As is the Gers with its' bastides. Here is my trip report [ on another forum ] from our 2012 trip where we visited the above regions. How about the Pyrenees Orientales ? We spent a week near Prades and enjoyed it. Some beautiful abbeys, priories, Plus Beaux Villages.

fodors.com/community/europe/our-own-country-…

Happy travels.

Toowoomba, Australia
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3. Re: Seeking suggestions for our 17th vacation in France

And of course, as Burgundy is one of our favourite regions of France, you have the whole area up past Dijon. Auxerre, Vezelay, Semur en Auxois, Noyer sur Serein, Flavigny, the Abbaye de Fontenay

We also enjoyed the Drome region which probably overlooked because of its' proximity to hugely popular Provence.

4. Re: Seeking suggestions for our 17th vacation in France

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Paris, France
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5. Re: Seeking suggestions for our 17th vacation in France

How about the Cevennes, or more general, the lower Auvergne region - probably my favourite "non-city" part of France. Google "Cevennes Stevenson travel" which will show a route through the Cevennes taken by the writer Robert Louis Stevenson in the late 19th century. His book of that journey was one of the first big-hit published travel books. A few people follow this route, staying at B&Bs along the way.

Great, unusual scenery and lovely villages and towns not overrun by tourists. The second half of May should be just fine.

Toowoomba, Australia
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6. Re: Seeking suggestions for our 17th vacation in France

dg, I have 'Travels with a Donkey ' in my bookshelves but it is , as yet, unread. I think I should get to it before our upcoming trip as we will be close.

So much of France to see and so little time !!!

Paris, France
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7. Re: Seeking suggestions for our 17th vacation in France

As others have said, I didn't see the Alps, Aveyron, Auvergne or the Cevennes on your list of previous France visits. Also Midi-Pyrénées, Languedoc-Roussillon and the Pays Basque. The southern Corrèze and Lot départements, while somewhat similar to the Dordogne, are far less touristed. I've got photo reports about a couple of the regions I mentioned if you want to take a look and see if they interest you.

Annecy and environs: http://tinyurl.com/3awectn

Corrèze and nearby: http://tinyurl.com/q6bb5av

I've also got loads of photo reports about the area that lies within about an hour and a half by train from Paris, in all directions. You could spend quite a bit of time just circling Paris and still find lots to see and do and also drive to a train station and take the train into Paris for the occasional day trip. Here are just a few reports:

Near Giverny: http://tinyurl.com/362xrle

Near Fontainebleau: http://tinyurl.com/4bduunh

A bit of Picardie: http://tinyurl.com/298tppr

Edited: 22 January 2014, 11:07
England, United...
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8. Re: Seeking suggestions for our 17th vacation in France

Yet another suggestion is the Ardeche where we spent a week in June 2008. It too is quite mountainous. The Southern Ardeche (South of Aubenas or thereabouts) has a lovely Mediterranean feel. The Northern Ardeche (places like Privas and Lamastre) is wilder and more remote and is a place to visit if you want to get away as much as possible from other tourists. Since you speak French that shouldn't be a problem.

Paris, France
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9. Re: Seeking suggestions for our 17th vacation in France

Where are you flying in to?

Paris, France
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10. Re: Seeking suggestions for our 17th vacation in France

Phirhon, I haven't done the whole trek as one journey, but as I lived & worked for many years in Languedoc-Roussillon I was able to visit almost every place along the trail. Even with the opening of the A75, it still remains one of the areas of France the least affected by the influx of tourists & outsiders.