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summer travel in France need some advice

LA
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summer travel in France need some advice

My wife, 9 yr old daughter and myself are going to France this summer for 5 wks. First time for daughter and dad--start in Paris June 27th-already have Starwood Hotel Accom. for 5 nites-get car and drive to Burgundy (love wine and food and daughter is good with all) but need some ideas for Dijon-Lyon-Beaune areas for accom., sites, etc. --thinking 3-4 days for all of this? Then on to Annecy where we have family accom. but would love to hear about some day trips to Switz and surroundings, Italy? We have 10 days in Annecy before we meet good friends that are renting a home in Montpellier for 1 month--also looking for some day trip advice, places on the way and things to do once we get there. After 5-6 days in Montpellier we will go to meet other friends that live in Toulouse but will be in Provence and area for the Tour and the final hill stage of the race around Mt. Vent? They have already chose a B&B for all of us, but if anybody has a great place to recommend, we are always open. We then will go to Toulouse and stay with them for 5 days. Then off to Bordeaux--need accom and all ideas for anything--1-maybe 2 nights here before we head to Loire Valley-maybe Dordogne-Brittany-Normandy, but certainly want to visit some castles and stay in some castle/s and/or little gites. This is most unsure part of trip - we have set 4-5 days for this. And then on to Paris to return car and take chunnel to London and stay with friends at their cottage for 4-5 days and back home to Los Angeles on August 12th- Look Forward to hearing from all as this is my first post.

uk
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1. Re: summer travel in France need some advice

Sound great, what a trip! I have stayed (8weeks) around Bordeaux and it was my least fav part of france. I would spend more time in any of the other places than in Brordeaux. Maybee 1 night here and the other further south on the spain/france border on west coast - st jon -or more time in Loire as there is so much to see there. All else looks great.

Le Grand Pressigny...
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2. Re: summer travel in France need some advice

Re: Your Loire Valley leg of trip. My daughters age 5&7 favourite chateaux are:

Chaumont sur Loire - with its annual garden festival in grounds proving most popular with a surprise around every corner, fab food - a set menu with pasta as main course...very unusual in France!! views of river Loire, giant trees, oh and of course..chateau. (the activities and trails for children here are probably more suited to your daughters age than mine).

Chenonceau - for the tiny beds, boat trips, fantastic maze, collection of butcherie tools! views up and down the river where the building straddles the river.

Your trip sounds amazing with a wealth of towns, cities and sights to experience...make sure you make time to experience a little of the real France...do a little of nothing too with the sun on your face...enjoy the quiet roads, 2 hours close down at lunchtime, beautiful views..Have a great time!

Newark-on-Trent...
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3. Re: summer travel in France need some advice

Dear ElginLA

I think Bordeaux is fun for adults who enjoy culture, eating & drinking. But as you are travelling with a 9 year old I would suggest perhaps going to the coast near La Rochelle, en route to the Loire Valley.

I live in the deux sevres which central to both the coast and just below the Loire Valley. There are lote of fantastic big and little towns to visit with chateaux and medieval buildings and it is also near to two of France's top theme parks, futuroscope and Puy du Fou.

For accommodation I would try www.visitfrance.co.uk, or www.homelidays.com. There are many others but these have a wide range of B&B, chateaux and gites.

Oregon
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4. Re: summer travel in France need some advice

If you go to Bordeaux, there is a small town of 4,000 people nearby called Creon. I spent 10 days there a few years ago so that my teenage son could play in an international chess tournament. There is a fantastic market on the main square here (I think on Wednesday) and a smaller one on Saturday. One afternoon I walked just out of town to a small business/home where you can actually make paper/stationery. They had a large garden of flowers (this was July-Aug.) and I could pick whatever I wanted to put on the paper to decorate it. It was fun and a 9-year old girl would love the entire process.

West Palm Beach...
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5. Re: summer travel in France need some advice

Elgin,

Sounds wonderful--and a bit familiar. My wife, 9-year-old daughter and I will be in Paris from June 22 until August 17 with side trips to London, Loire Valley, Normandy, and Bordeaux.

I expect of those three side trips in France, our daughter will like the Loire Valley the best. We're going to stay in Tours and rent a car. We'll visit Chambord, Chaumont, Chenonceaux, and Villandry, at least, over three days. Not sure where else yet (Azay, perhaps?).

We're going to Bordeaux because I studied at the Universite de Bordeaux 23 (yikes!) years ago. So we're going mostly for nostalgia. It was a great place to study, but I'm not sure what would be attractive for our family if not for that history.

We bought our daughter Fodor's Around Paris with Kids, and she's reading about what activities she wants to do there over the summer.

I'll look forward to hearing more about your plans. I'm guessing your family is as excited about your summer plans and my family!!

Oregon
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6. Re: summer travel in France need some advice

Jeandhlh: How about a visit to Giverny. If your daughter knows who Monet is and likes flowers at all, this place is "heaven on earth". It is so beautiful. The house is bright pink!

In the Loire Valley, how about going to Clos Luce to see where Leonardo da Vinci lived and seeing many of his inventions. Also, Castle Usse is the castle, Sleeping Beauty was patterned after. (Who knew that Sleeping Beauty was created by a Frenchman!!) Villandry is supposedly a beautiful castle and has amazing gardens too. Enjoy your trip! You will be gone long enough to really have a wonderful adventure.

West Palm Beach...
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7. Re: summer travel in France need some advice

In Love: Thanks for the tips. Giverny is on the list, and we'll look at Usse and Clos Luce (though I think we're visiting a similar site in Italy that displays da Vinci's inventions--my wife is planning that part of the adventure!).

Ottawa
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8. Re: summer travel in France need some advice

We have stayed in with friends who have a summer place just north of Montpellier, though our kids were a bit older. There is the Tarn River, swimming and you can rent canoes, up towards Ganges. The weekday markets can be fun for kids -- the days vary by location. Also some very interesting caves. Montpellier is a pleasant city, if you are staying with friends they will no doubt know the area. Oh, about Bordeaux, don't forget the sand dunes at Arcachon. Kids of all ages love that!

Oregon
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9. Re: summer travel in France need some advice

We spent 10 days in a small town near Bordeaux called Creon. On Wednesdays they turn their town plaza into a huge outdoor market that has literally every thing. It was fantastic. Just outside of town, (I walked there) was a home-based paper/stationery making business. I made the paper from scratch and then picked flowers from the voluminous garden to decorate the paper. It was really fun.

10. Re: summer travel in France need some advice

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