im feeling hopelessly overwhelmed with all the info ive been reading while trying to plan an itinerary for france. i'll be flying into paris, staying for 5 days or so and need help with which other areas of the country to visit. i've got so many ideas: loire valley, arles, avignon, dijon...etc. the north of france is out, as we'll be making our way to cinque terre from paris. we're wanting to experience france outside of the big cities.
any suggestions on which areas you've enjoyed would be much appreciated.
Hey Kylie - 2 quick questions: How long have you got (or want to spend) seeing bits of France, and are you more of a city/countryside person (or a bit of both)?
we're planning on staying for 3 days or so in one other area of france. i'd say im both a city and countryside person, but after being in paris, would like to spend some time in the french countryside. we're looking for somewhere beautiful to experience life in france outside of the city.
thanks for your help,
I enjoyed Provence (south of France) thoroughly when I was there. 3 days may be a little short but it will give you a good glimpse of the french countryside. The best way to see Provence is to rent a car and drive. Since you will be going to cinque terre, perhaps you can tour Provence first before heading to cinque terre. I think you can take a train from Nice to go to cinque terre. Something like Nice-Genoa-La Spezia. Some villages that I enjoyed visiting are Les Baux de Provence, Gordes and I'sle-sur-la-sorgue. The scenic drive routes will allow you to see the countryside a little. Arles and Avignon are culturally rich towns. Pont du Gard is simply beautiful.
Another area you can consider going is St Malo, Brittany. It's in the north. A nice small city to be in for the weekend. The sunsets there are beautiful. You can even make a daytrip to mont st michel (though it's extremely touristic). Nearby Channel Islands are also options to make daytrips.
Hope this helps.
If you've only got 3 days and are heading from Paris towards Cinque Terre anyway, Provence and The Rhone valley area makes a great deal of sense. Avignon is really cool and certainly worth a bit of time, and you could easily kill a day or so wandering around Nice & Monaco. Lyon is also a great city (and normally overlooked by tourists), although like Nice is quite big. You could also head north from Nice towards Cuneo or ???Aaaargghh - can't remember??? etc, as the scenery around there is stunning
Depending where else you are going latter on, it might be worth aiming for somewhere in the Alps for a day or two, just for the scenery and a bit of trekking.