TravelTalkOnline

France itinerary help please!

Posted By: BEERMAN

France itinerary help please! - 07/17/2019 03:00 PM

Hello, we are visiting France for the first time next month! We have our 1st week set in the south, then renting a car out of Nice and driving to Paris. We have 2 nights set in Annecy and now we're trying to find THE place to spend another 2 nights. Moving onto the Burgundy region...we like a little off the beaten path sorta places, but choosing Dijon or Beaune as a home base seems to make sense? any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/17/2019 03:41 PM

Beerman--I don't have any suggestions, but I sure would like to be you, sometimes! smile Enjoy!
Posted By: EllenS

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/17/2019 06:15 PM

Is Colmar too far north for your plans? I have not been but it was on my short list on a previous trip and got cut. Loads of canals and cobblestones. Alsace wine though.

We leave tomorrow for time in Antibe, then Chambery (to follow the tour de France for a couple of alpine days) and then on the Paris for the finish.

Happy planning!
Ellen
Posted By: BEERMAN

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/17/2019 07:09 PM

Ellen you're leaving tomorrow!!! Have fun and post or pm a must do in Antibes because we will spend a day there, travel by train via base camp in Nice.

Our daughter is joining us for part of the time in Paris/Nice, she has been to Colmar and says it is one of the most beautiful places she's ever seen. It was tempting, but choosing to drive to Paris from Nice we think Colmar is just a hair out of range, my wife discovered Annecy in her research and it looks to have a similar vibe. Large country with too many must sees for one trip, I hope we'll say "we must return!"...at least so I can see Normandy.
Posted By: EllenS

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/17/2019 07:22 PM

I will let you know our must dos in Antibes. I hope there are many.

We did Normandy last trip, there are not words to describe it. Everyone needs to stand on those cliffs.
Posted By: jphart

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/17/2019 07:27 PM

Rick,
Yes you must return for Normandy.
Hope you have Aix in Provence on your first week itin?

JPH
Posted By: BEERMAN

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/17/2019 09:10 PM

Hey JP, it is not on the itinerary, but I'll research!! Almost feels like a sin not going to Normandy...especially this year.
Posted By: jphart

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/18/2019 08:33 PM

Oh you MUST do Provence! We did it from Marsalis as independent bus trip on a cruise stop a few years ago.
Our friends just were there a couple of weeks ago... Before they joined us in Split and Croatia for a one week sail on the Dalmatian coast. We’re in Salzburg now, after a few days in Munich after the sailing trip. Great couple of weeks so far.

Trying to figure where to sail next!

We did the Normandy experience a few years ago. Another good friend of mine was in Normandy just this May. He spent four days. Which I think is too long. You can do it in one or two days and still get a great appreciation for it. Especially now, 75 years later.

Posted By: Jeannius

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/20/2019 09:07 AM

Lucky people. We've just spent a month in France doing the Canal du Midi from the Med to Toulouse where it ends. Then along the Canal de Garonne as far as rental boats are allowed to go towards Bordeaux.

A great place not too far from where you'll be starting is Aigue Morte. Medieval walled city on the coast west of Marseilles. Sort of a small Carcassonne. Over in Burgundy your idea of Dijon or Beaune as a base is perfect. I haven't stayed there since my honeymoon many, many years ago so I don't have any hotel or restaurant recommendations but it is a wonderful area.

Basically France is a magnificent country and there are just so many places spread all over it is difficult to do it justice in just a few weeks. I like just having a car, driving and then stopping when we find somewhere we like the look of. Get the Logis de France hotel guide (or app) and Relais et Chateaux for more expensive places and just explore.
Posted By: BEERMAN

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/20/2019 12:56 PM

Talk about lucky! A month on the canals must have been so relaxing and the scenery!! Mike, renting a car does allow flexibility, we fly from Paris to Nice, then drive back from Nice to explore at our pace. Thank you all for the research ideas, keep them coming please. Even though we will be winging it a bit as we usually do, this trip is requiring much research in all areas, not just locations but food, wine, language...when to wear shorts and when not to, ha!
Posted By: Jeannius

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/21/2019 06:52 PM

France has had periods of extreme heat (over 100f) already this year and there is another coming up this week. When you are at Annecy, if it is really hot, you could head up into the Alps to cool down a bit. There are loads of ski resorts around the area but I would recommend Chamonix as it is a proper town rather than a purpose built resort. Only an hour or so from Annecy.
Posted By: BEERMAN

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/21/2019 08:42 PM

Mike, we think alike, Chamonix is on our list! If we have a clear day it would be nice to get close to Mont Blanc early in the morning. Already mapped out two routes depending on time allowed, highway 1hour 8 minutes, back country roads 2hr 04 min (country roads preferred). If time allows a cable car or train ride up in elevation would be perfect, have you done this? FYI, in Virginia we hit 100 degrees and as I write this....98 degrees at 1640 hours, ugh!
Posted By: EllenS

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/22/2019 12:11 PM

So weather report from the south of France is hot. Nice breeze on the water.

Let me what your likes and dislikes are and I’ll try to steer you on your day trip to Antibes. It is a lovely town.
Posted By: BEERMAN

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/22/2019 02:12 PM

Bonjour Ellen! Live weather report, merci beaucoup!!

We will take the 15 minute train ride from Nice, from there we have not a clue! My wife is talking about spending half day on the water...perhaps from there? Likes...food of course, in a beautiful setting! Hikes/walk...especially through old sections and into the countryside, if there's a café on a hillside walk that would be cool. The ladies always enjoy local shops for unique clothes etc.

Enjoy your trip!!!
Posted By: EllenS

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/22/2019 08:03 PM

Ok. Current weather is hot. I will say never have I wanted anything more than sleeveless shirts or dresses. Even at night. Antibes is super casual with half of the people in their bathing suit cover up.

So if you want half the day on the water. We just did that. Went through Antibes bateaux services. We took out the 14, semi rigid. Basically a big dinghy. Goes maybe 5 knots my husband guesses. For the 9-1 trip we went through the harbor, huge ships there, along the wall of the city and then to cap to billionaires bay. It was 45 minutes each way to the bay but the floating there is lovely. Really enjoyed that.

The old city is a wanderers dream. Alleys that wind, so many picture opportunities, cafes, shops etc. my husband says try to get a faster boat. We have have good lunch at la galerie by the market for lunch. Just did it today directly up from the harbor.

There is not much countryside here. We took a motor bike farther east past Cannes and had good fun but not around Antibes. Most of the dining is not on the water. You are behind the walls of the city

So keep the questions coming. Happy planning.

Ellen
Posted By: Jeannius

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/22/2019 09:13 PM

Haven't done the Chamonix cable car but have done similar nearby at the Les Arcs ski resort. That one goes up to around 3200 metres so a bit less than Mont Blanc but still pretty spectacular. Don't think I looked out much on the way up as I don't particularly enjoy heights but the view from the top made up for the discomfort!
Posted By: BEERMAN

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/23/2019 01:02 AM

Ellen it sounds like shorts are going to be worn, at least during the day! I have been reading so much, including cultural do's and don'ts. We like going into cathedrals, I read that it is disrespectful to wear shorts... I'll have pants. Our last 2 trips Swiss/Italy were in the Fall, so shorts were never a thought I guess. As far as dinners, have you been making reservations? In Beaune this seems very important.

Mike, we went up to Gornergrat (3100m) from Zermatt by train to view the Matterhorn and I read that you can see the Matterhorn from Mont Blanc, cool. My wife says she's up for it, but will not be packing a coat!!
Posted By: EllenS

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/23/2019 07:00 AM

Hello,
Definitely wear shorts. The sun here is a constant. Beautiful but constant. I have seen people in the cathedral here with shorts as well. But can’t speak to other church’s or towns. I remember having to cover your shoulders and head.

We have not made dinner reservations at all. But we are also not eating in any of the more foodie places. There are many small foodie restaurants around but many more small local places that you just walk into. We tend to hit the market and the more local places.

For you get out on the water adventure, if you are thinking a tour type, you will need to go to a different town. Not much leaves from here. Nice, Cannes or Juan les Pins have most of the group tours.

If you have been reading cultural stuff about France number one is always say bon jour, and let them return it. Then you can speak. Very similar to many Caribbean countries.


One of your stops is close to our next stop. We are heading to Chambery on Wednesday. Time to see some Alps.

Ellen
Posted By: BEERMAN

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/23/2019 02:19 PM

I just checked the extended weather in Paris, 107 on Thursday??? Good grief!! Our arrival date shows 84 degrees...keeping fingers crossed!

We will probably be looking for a small group boat so we can have drinks if we choose to. we'll look at those other locations for this, merci!

Just looked at Les Arcs and Chamonix summer photos, beautiful areas! Looking forward to the highland portion of this trip!

Enjoy Chambery, looks beautiful!!!!

edited to ask....are you driving to Chambery? I am looking at 3 routes from Nice to Annecy on Michelin.

Posted By: EllenS

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/24/2019 06:55 PM

Hey
We did not drive. Took the trains.
Ellen
Posted By: Jeannius

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/25/2019 06:08 AM

Toll autoroutes in France are basically empty most of the time and therefore very easy driving. Of course if you are there around the end of August as everyone in France returns from their month - 6 week summer holidays then all bets are off regarding traffic. The rest of the time the only hold-ups occur around the big cities where the autoroutes become free. This is a great planning site for travel in France https://www.bison-fute.gouv.fr/index,langen.html Go to the calendar and it shows expected traffic conditions as Green, Amber, Red and Black which is pretty self explanatory!

Of the 3 suggested routes from Nice to Annecy I'd take the longest one that heads west towards Marseille and then up past Avignon. The east going one that takes you through Italy can be very busy along the coast to the border and up towards Turin. I don't know the route that heads straight inland from Nice.
Posted By: BEERMAN

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/25/2019 12:52 PM

Thanks Mike, The center route straight up is the route we are considering, but still need to wrap my head around this choice. We may just want to take the longer yet quicker route, depends on how adventurous we are that day I guess. I'll try the link you provided, thanks.
Posted By: BEERMAN

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/27/2019 12:41 PM

Ellen, looks like you're getting a cool spell, how did you cope with the heat? records all over Europe Thursday (109 in Paris).. Watched some Tour de France coverage this morning, unfortunate mudslides near Tignes. Did you get to see some of the race?
Posted By: EllenS

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/28/2019 07:05 AM

Yes the heat has broken thankfully. We just kept drinking, sweating and looking for shade., not much else to do.

We are in Paris now for the final day of the tour. And yes we got to see several days. We were in the finish at Valloire, the start in Albertville and along the course the day of the landslides. The race and everything surrounding it, have certainly been something to see.

Enjoy your time in France!
Posted By: BEERMAN

Re: France itinerary help please! - 07/29/2019 11:54 AM

Sounds like a great time, even with the warmth! Thanks for tips!! Safe travels.
Posted By: TomB

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/20/2019 11:12 PM

Just booked a 8 day trip to Nice in early October. Day trips to Menton and hopefully to Bandol.

Bandol hands down is my favorite Rose wine (of course IMHO)

I have always wanted to go Menton. A past TTOL member who I spared with many times on the old Current Events page went by Menton. He was enamored by this place and truly looks beautiful and reminds me of the Cinque.

Looking forward to Beerman's pics and stories.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/21/2019 02:19 PM

Oh, menton! Sorry, Tom, you are the only one I think that had fond memories of him/her?? I never knew which, but they were a pain in my tuckus!!!
Posted By: TomB

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/21/2019 02:55 PM

Not sure I would use Fond and Memories side by side when speaking of Menton. wink
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/21/2019 06:48 PM

OK, guess I misunderstood your comment...
Posted By: BEERMAN

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/22/2019 11:23 AM

Been back a couple of days, Nice was awesome! will start writing soon.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/22/2019 12:54 PM

Great! Looking forward to hearing about it!
Posted By: TomB

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/22/2019 08:14 PM

Originally Posted by BEERMAN
Been back a couple of days, Nice was awesome! will start writing soon.


Well you can tease us with one photo while you warm up your typing fingers... typing

Excited you liked Nice! joy

Welcome Home! clapping
Posted By: BEERMAN

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/23/2019 07:39 PM

Let's see if I remember how...…


[Linked Image]
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/23/2019 09:17 PM

Success!
Posted By: TomB

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/23/2019 09:32 PM

Thank you! Love the colors
Posted By: BEERMAN

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/23/2019 10:15 PM

Tom, the traditional fishing "sharp" boats or Barquettes were amazing. The pride they take in keeping them ship shape is obvious. I wish we had researched an outing on one of these!
Posted By: TomB

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/23/2019 10:29 PM

I have 100s of questions but 99 of them will probably be answered in your upcoming report. So I will be waiting patiently impatient smile

But just one... what part of the city did you stay? grin
Posted By: BEERMAN

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/23/2019 11:15 PM

I'll have to find the exact air bnb we chose "cozy 2 bedroom so or so"...fairly last minute booking (2 weeks out) we were maybe a block off of the official Old Nice boundary, 2 blocks from the beach. We also considered an air bnb near the Port of Nice as well, but we were VERY happy to be in Old Nice. Old Nice is outstanding!
Posted By: TomB

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/25/2019 12:17 AM

We took a place in the Carré d'Or west of old town. We will have a 10 to 15 walk to old town. My wife is going to knee surgery this week (orthoscopic) so I opted to get a place with a elevator. On the 4th floor. A balcony was my prime requirement. We are one block off the water and looking forward to the food wine and sights.
Posted By: BEERMAN

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/25/2019 11:38 AM

Good luck with the knee surgery, been there done that!! We were on Rue Massena just a block from Massena Square and the large Promenade du Paillon. Also 4th floor, elevator and a great little balcony with electric awning, perfect! Great restaurants/cafes and shops all around us. The large promenade is the border to Old Nice. It's a great location because it's just a couple minutes walk to the beach and same to Old Town. Take water shoes to the rocky beaches, it was fun to watch people hobble in and out of the water and I know I made people laugh when I struggled walking in and out! Car rentals were only a block away as well.
Posted By: BEERMAN

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/25/2019 11:55 AM

Tom, I marked our apartment with an X and put a C for car rentals on this map.


[Linked Image]
Posted By: TomB

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/26/2019 01:31 PM

Thanks - Our place is 7 blocks west from Jardin Albert 1er down the Promenade and one block off the sea.
We will have a 15 minute walk to the Fontaine du Soleil
As our plans stand now I think we are going to rely on feet and public transportation.
Unless I decide I NEED to go to Bandol to enjoy the wine.
Posted By: EllenS

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/26/2019 02:06 PM

Tom,
I am not sure if the knee replacement would limit you, but we rented electric bikes in Antibes and you can cover quite a distance with them, with little effort. We had never done them before (always chose to pedal the old fashioned way), but the e bikes let you explore as far as you wanted.

We easily drove from Antibes to Cannes along the water.
Posted By: TomB

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/26/2019 05:53 PM

Lucky my wife is not having a full knee replacement. I am not sure we would be able to travel a month later after that. It is orthoscopic to flush out stuff in her knee. The Dr told her eventually (or now) she is going to require a full knee replacement or just learn to live with the pain. However, he recommended starting with this procedure with a much quicker recovery time and a chance (albeit small) that she would bring the pain to a tolerable state.

She is the family gym rat, distance swimmer, got to be outside doing something in our household. She discovered the E-Bikes online already and was looking for adventures on our drive home from visiting our daughter yesterday. 4 hours trapped in a car provided her all sorts of time to plan! We shall see if the knee will support her desires.

Thanks for the input and other adventures welcomed. I really want to get out on the water for a day sail.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/26/2019 06:00 PM

Tom--having had two knee replacements myself, I guarantee your wife would not be able to travel anywhere that requires any walking one month out from surgery. I wish her best, and hope that she won't have to have the replacement. Mine were both bone on bone, so no other resolution for me.

Enjoy your trip!
Posted By: EllenS

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/26/2019 06:33 PM

Tom,
From what we were told, the biking from Antibes to Nice was not so great, hence we went west to Cannes. I would concentrate on going east from Nice or taking the train west and then getting the bikes.

We went out on the water from Antibes (basically rented a dinghy) and went around Cap d Antibes. Billionaires Bay was lovely.

If you get a bigger boat you can get to the Lerins Islands. Most day trips, we found either left from Nice or Cannes. Alot of them came to Antibes, but since we were staying there it didn't help us much. The harbor in Antibes is amazing if you like to look at yachts. Have some pictures of the 90m Dreamboat. Nothing like a row of 200+ foot yachts lined up.

Have a great time, such fun and the food and drink. Baguettes and cheese 3 times a day!
Ellen
Posted By: TomB

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/27/2019 01:18 AM

Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
Tom--having had two knee replacements myself, I guarantee your wife would not be able to travel anywhere that requires any walking one month out from surgery. I wish her best, and hope that she won't have to have the replacement. Mine were both bone on bone, so no other resolution for me.

Enjoy your trip!


Yep she has bone on bone but the garbage floating in here knee has settled in a place causing great pain. The Dr thinks flushing it out will cause a lot of the pain to go away... but a full knee replacement is in her future.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: France itinerary help please! - 08/27/2019 01:42 AM

Tom--Best wishes to her. I am a year out from my first replacement, 8 months out of the second, still kind of a work in progress. Hope the scope allows her to enjoy the trip!
© 2020 TravelTalkOnline