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Day trips from Ile de France

Redlands, CA
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Day trips from Ile de France

In March we're going to France for the first time. We'll be staying at the Marriott resort in Ile de France for seven days (no plans to go to Disneyland!), then on to Paris for three days. We have lots of plans for Paris. However, while in Ile de France, we want to take some day trips, perhaps to Brussels or take the chunnel to London. Is this feasible? Would love any ideas for things to do, places to go. We love wine, architecture, light hiking, food...How do I determine what train system to use and where the closest stations are? I understand there is a concierge at the hotel who can help once we get there, but would like to make some preliminary plans. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

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Saint James, New...
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1. Re: Day trips from Ile de France

We are traveling to the same hotel next month, but we have plans to see Disney and we have 3 children. Would love to hear about places to see, eat, etc

Redlands, CA
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2. Re: Day trips from Ile de France

Hey there Walter, Denise and three boys...I've had no responses to this post yet but, if you'd like, I'll copy you on any information I put together....maybe you can do the same. Lori & Carl

winnipeg, canada
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3. Re: Day trips from Ile de France

I would say london is a bit far for a "day trip" sure it can be done, its about 2.5 hours each way. You could leave early in the morning, and come back late at night, but you would have to look into the times for the eurostar.

Brussels is about an hour and a half by Thalys TGV. IMO a much more doable day trip. Leave fairly early in the morning and you can be there by 9 am and spend almost a full day there. Although it depends if there is enough things to do for you in brussels to warrant the train ticket.

Are you visiting Versailles? That is a good day trip, although not far from paris, you can definately spend a day walking the grounds.

Another possible day trip would be to go to the Normandy D-Day beaches for a tour. There are tours that leave from paris. Although, this is about as "day trippy" as london, as it takes about 3 hours to get to the beaches from paris. these day trips to the beaches wouldnt allow you to see everything and go in depth, but if you want to see something so steeped in history, it is worth it.

Newcastle
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4. Re: Day trips from Ile de France

If you rent a car you could go to Senlis, Chantilly, Compiegne

( Forests of Compiegne) to the north. These are very nice towns with much to see and do.

To the south you could tour Vaux-Le-Vicomte,Fountainebleau, Barbizon.

Or south east you could see the chateaux of the Loire.

To the east you could tour Reims and the caves. There are wonderful museums there also and a city museum pass that is great.

if you rent a car rent it from the USA it is less expensive. Also designate wo drivers as the charge from USA is much, much cheaper than if you do it in France ( It would be $25.00 per day for the extra driver!).

It is very easy to drive on the outskirts of Paris but do not drive or rent a car for use in Paris!

Newcastle
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5. Re: Day trips from Ile de France

Also designate wo drivers

I meant to type two drivers!

the big blue marble
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6. Re: Day trips from Ile de France

Day trips vis high speed trains may be a bit inconvenient for your location, as they generally leave from central Paris, adding an hour to you commute each way.

Renting a car and discovering the region is probably your best bet. Provins is a nice medieval town nearby, Vaux le Vicomte a chateau worth visiting and Champagne makes for a worthwhile day trip.

Dijon, France
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7. Re: Day trips from Ile de France

>We love wine, architecture, light hiking, food...How do I determine what train system to use and where the closest stations are?<

Dijon is for you then! 1h40 from gare de Lyon (Paris south train station)and then here you are! (15 trains a day).

bon voyage!

Redlands, CA
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8. Re: Day trips from Ile de France

I just googled Dijon Burgundy and found their website. Looks like a lovely place to visit. Thanks for the tip!

Redlands, CA
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9. Re: Day trips from Ile de France

The tip about car rental is much appreciated. We had decided definitely not to drive in Paris but it sounds like a nice option for the surrounding areas. Is it necessary to read French to understand the traffic signs or do they also use some of those (sometimes unintelligible) universal symbols?! Perhaps there's a pamphlet available with translated French traffic signs?

the big blue marble
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10. Re: Day trips from Ile de France

The signs are universal and you should have no problems. Rental cars often come equipped with a "cheat sheet" of symbols just in case.

The one thing that helps knowing is that in France the destination is what dictates your route, as opposed to road names and numbers. So, for example, if you were driving from LA to Monterey, you'd follow the signs direction SF, instead of 101 North. This means that you have to know that Monterey is on the way to SF. Once you have mastered this thought process, it is really very easy to get around.

viamichelin.com is a very useful tool for trip planning, giving you km, time, toll and gas estimates. Happy trails!