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Travel: France Outside of Paris

Camilo

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I have never been to France outside of Paris and this May I will have the opportunity to do so. I have maybe a week, so are there any specific parts of France that you have found quintessentially French, similar to how Tuscany is the quintessential region of Italy to the American mind? I am Californian myself. I was thinking of the south of France but a friend told me to go to Bordeaux instead because he found southern France to be too much like California.

So Styleforumites, men of better taste than me and my company, what has your experience been? Maybe I should mention I plan to go to Switzerland for a little bit also if that makes certain regions the clear option route-wise.
 
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cocostella

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Personally, I’d visit Burgundy en route to maybe Chamonix, then onto Switzerland.
 

Chouan

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There is no such thing as "typical" France, each region is unique, and none of, to me, is anything like California. When are you going?
 

Camilo

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Easyjet and its ilk makes it possible to move around France quickly without worrying too much about price, but yeah Burgundy on the way to Switzerland is definitely the easiest route to take.

I am going in mid-late May Chouan.
 

Chouan

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Easyjet and its ilk makes it possible to move around France quickly without worrying too much about price, but yeah Burgundy on the way to Switzerland is definitely the easiest route to take.

I am going in mid-late May Chouan.
The Mayenne might be nice, not very warm though. Nice gentle countryside and very friendly. However, I particularly like Languedoc, Perpignan/Montpellier/Narbonne area, as well as the Dordogne Limousin and Perigord. All have excellent local wines, of course! All are as "typical" of France as each other. Trains are a good means of travel and SNCF are both fast and efficient.
 

elfton

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For the last couple of summers I've been to Italy a lot, solely by train. Like you @Camilo, I have the urge to explore France outside of Paris (great biography title btw), but want to do it by train. Mostly been thinking about the riviera – does anyone have experience of going between the cities of the riviera by train?
 

Chouan

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For the last couple of summers I've been to Italy a lot, solely by train. Like you @Camilo, I have the urge to explore France outside of Paris (great biography title btw), but want to do it by train. Mostly been thinking about the riviera – does anyone have experience of going between the cities of the riviera by train?
The mainline trains are, the TGV, are excellent. They are fast, comfortable and efficient. They're not cheap, but are, to me, the best and fastest form of travel, city centre to city centre.
 

Camilo

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Just an update, I have decided to go to Burgundy just because it's the most convenient thing to do. Chouan, I have just discovered that about TGV too, I thought it would be similar prices to the Frecce in Italy but it is a bit more expensive. Paris to Beaune by train is 34 euro for me, since it's about 90 days out I assume this is the cheapest price for that time/day and it will only go up as tickets sell.

There is also TER the slower regional trains (and there are maybe 2 more types of trains?) but it looks to be about the same price as the TGV, at least when TGV first goes on sale. I'm sure as the day approaches, TGV becomes much more expensive and TER is the economical option.
 

Chouan

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Just an update, I have decided to go to Burgundy just because it's the most convenient thing to do. Chouan, I have just discovered that about TGV too, I thought it would be similar prices to the Frecce in Italy but it is a bit more expensive. Paris to Beaune by train is 34 euro for me, since it's about 90 days out I assume this is the cheapest price for that time/day and it will only go up as tickets sell.

There is also TER the slower regional trains (and there are maybe 2 more types of trains?) but it looks to be about the same price as the TGV, at least when TGV first goes on sale. I'm sure as the day approaches, TGV becomes much more expensive and TER is the economical option.
34 Euro really isn't bad. The tolls on the Peage would probably cost close to that!
 

megabiscoito

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Not been in a lot of places in France, but I liked very much Colmar in Alsace. Nice is also nice except a lot of confusion when I was there in the Summer. I prefer more quiet places.
 

Joffrey

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I have a trip to France as well and somehow need to get from Cannes to Paris with all the strikes. Considering renting a car now although my french is iffy
 

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