travel advice & savings
 
SAVE on RAIL PASSES LOWEST PRICES / FREE SHIPPING on orders over $449!
Now use the Trip Planner to:
  • Find and Buy Rail Passes
  • Find and Book Hostels
Already know which Rail Pass you need?
Click here and buy now!
Special Eurotrip Member Savings!
6 replies
Would you see more france, or pop into ....
Mesa77
Mesa77's profile picture
New Member
New Member
Eurotrip Points: 27
Member: 35723
Joined: 04/17/2011
User offline. Last seen 2 years 49 weeks ago.

This will pretty much be my 1st trip traveling in Europe, (Japan for 10 days, Dublin for a fortnight). I have about 26 days, ticket in & out of Heathrow has been bought. But I’m only 79% sure about my trip. Here’s my trip backwards

Flying back to San Francisco
London 3/4 days
Paris 6 days (close friend, louvre, Day trips , and just PARIS )
Nancy 1 night
Reims 1 >Not sure, maybe these 2 can be 1…
Zurich 4 nights (close friends, Suggestions on a day trip around here)
Dijon 2 nights
South of France 3 nights (Toulon? Nice? Menton? Just beachin’ around)

and then…
Where to fly into ( I was going to just rail travel “out”)? I’m flying into London at 9 am, I’d really like to just fly out (granted I find a flight out of heathrow) INto a destination. Is going to Bairritz or some other Pyrenees place too far away and not enouh? I do enjoy the outdoors & hiking but I’m not lugging any gear around with me. What about Bordeaux? Or am I over France-ing myself? I would be open to going to Venice, Amsterdam (where I have a pal that stays there), or Brussels.

Also I haven’t booked any hostels yet so I’m open to where those open days should be. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!
I am leaving from Midwest and traveling for 27 days
London, Nice, Dijon, Zürich, Nancy, Reims, Paris, London
augustin25
augustin25's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1696
Member: 369
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 41 weeks 6 days ago.

You’re only over France-ing if you really want to spend more time in other countries. I would narrow it to the places you’d like to go that are also cheapest and easiest to get to. There are cheap flights (about $110-125) out of Heathrow on June 3 to Brussels, Nice, Amsterdam, and Milan (then train to Venice or maybe the Italian Riviera? Heathrow to Venice is super pricey).

Mesa77
Mesa77's profile picture
New Member
New Member
Eurotrip Points: 27
Member: 35723
Joined: 04/17/2011
User offline. Last seen 2 years 49 weeks ago.

I’m interested all sorts of things. My Nancy trip is because its a town that still has a bit deal of still erect art Nouveau buildings (& its between Zurich & Reims): hence Brussels is also on my mind, and I could skip Nancy. But I don’t know if the Expense of traveling to another country = the traveling its self. I’m also into meeting random people (traveling alone), going to museums, hiking and loafing around, going to markets, just experiencing new things/places

I really would like to spend more time in another country but I’m a very mellow traveler (esp. compared to some itineraries that I see : 3 countries in 1 week, 2 days in each town? Yikes!). I envisioned a trip that’s a loop, so I’m not retracing any paths. Perhaps there’s more to discover in Switzerland from the south of France to Zurich ( but from the small amount I’ve read here people seem under whelmed)?

I’m not the most seasoned traveler so I have no concept of what, say :4 days in the south of France will hold for me. Will I be underwhelmed or overwhelmed? I think I’m having a hard time : just going with the flow, and not knowing what will happen. Help?!
I am leaving from Midwest and traveling for 27 days
London, Nice, Dijon, Zürich, Nancy, Reims, Paris, London
luv_the_beach
luv_the_beach's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 2028
Member: 193
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 25 weeks 23 hours ago.

Mesa77 wrote:
This will pretty much be my 1st trip traveling in Europe, (Japan for 10 days, Dublin for a fortnight). I have about 26 days, ticket in & out of Heathrow has been bought. But I’m only 79% sure about my trip. Here’s my trip backwards

Flying back to San Francisco
London 3/4 days
Paris 6 days (close friend, louvre, Day trips , and just PARIS )
Nancy 1 night
Reims 1 >Not sure, maybe these 2 can be 1…
Zurich 4 nights (close friends, Suggestions on a day trip around here)
Dijon 2 nights
South of France 3 nights (Toulon? Nice? Menton? Just beachin’ around)

and then…
Where to fly into ( I was going to just rail travel “out”)? I’m flying into London at 9 am, I’d really like to just fly out (granted I find a flight out of heathrow) INto a destination. Is going to Bairritz or some other Pyrenees place too far away and not enouh? I do enjoy the outdoors & hiking but I’m not lugging any gear around with me. What about Bordeaux? Or am I over France-ing myself? I would be open to going to Venice, Amsterdam (where I have a pal that stays there), or Brussels.

First of all, you’re gonna have to decide which countries you’re interested in visiting. I agree with augustin that there’s too much clutter right now in your proposed itinerary. You can do 2, even 3 countries in this trip if you limit the amount of places you visit in each coutry to one or two worthwhile destinations per country.

I’m curious why you picked Zurich, of all wonderfual places in Switzerland.

For outdoors, hiking, etc, I’ve hiked in the Pays Cathares region near Caracassonne. the Massif Central mountain range is also quite popular hiking/camping area. These can be placed into a broader Southern France itinerary, but not if you’re only allocating 3 days to the South. More specifically, Pays Cathares, Carcassonne, and Biarritz-Bayonne, as well as Bordeaux can all be part of a Southwest France itinerary, but I’d give it longer than 3 days…maybe a week. As for Southeast France…..I’d skip Toulon in favor of Menton, Antibes, Cannes, Eze, Grasse, and/or Roquebrune…base yourself in one of these, and the others can be daytrips. Arles and Nîmes (just north of Marseille, and about 3 hours west of Antibes), are also worth a look, or a day or two.

Reims and Brussels can both be daytrips from Paris, and so can Liège (a more popular Belgian destination among eurotrippers). Brussels isn’t too popular with the Eurotrip crowd, but I think that the city’s old quarter is worth a look.

If you’re interested in leaving Paris for a few days while you’re based there for almost a week…Saint Malo and Mont-Saint-Michel would be a great 3-day trip (leave Paris on the 1st day, return to Paris on the 3rd).

Dijon is lovely…it can be a stopover on your way south towards Carcassonne or the Côte d’Azur. Please play around with this website: http://www.voyages-s… and study a rail map of France.

Smile


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

augustin25
augustin25's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1696
Member: 369
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 41 weeks 6 days ago.

I just meant that if all she wants to do is see France for her whole trip it would be fine. At the same time, I couldn’t care less about national boundaries when I choose places to visit. If you can go from point A to point B in a reasonable amount of time who cares if they’re in two different countries? Just don’t do a 13 hour train ride every two days.

Mesa77
Mesa77's profile picture
New Member
New Member
Eurotrip Points: 27
Member: 35723
Joined: 04/17/2011
User offline. Last seen 2 years 49 weeks ago.

@ luv_the_beach . I have some old dear friends (and their daughters) that moved to Zurich a few months ago. I am very open to hear of more…inspiring places in Switzerland that are near Zurich, if you know of some. They of course have to stay put where as I would be open for a trip or two outside of the city (we are going to go check out hot springs in Vals)

Southwest France was not really on my list, Montpellier being the furthest south-west I had in mind, (though a friend said good things of Biarritz). Thank you for the ‘Voyages’ link, I will play around with it. I was under the impression that Brussels was a bit of a trek from Paris (and costly), thanks for setting me straight. It looks like I’ll be increasing my time in the south (all those places you said luv are on the list) & Paris (with more day trips!)

I’ve also heard that Marseille is a bit more…grittier. Which I don’t mind, but I wonder; would my safety really be at harm as a single female traveler? Thanks.

I am leaving from Midwest and traveling for 27 days
London, Nice, Dijon, Zürich, Nancy, Reims, Paris, London
luv_the_beach
luv_the_beach's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 2028
Member: 193
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 25 weeks 23 hours ago.
augustin25 wrote:
I just meant that if all she wants to do is see France for her whole trip it would be fine. At the same time, I couldn’t care less about national boundaries when I choose places to visit. If you can go from point A to point B in a reasonable amount of time who cares if they’re in two different countries? Just don’t do a 13 hour train ride every two days.

Yep, I second your advice.

Mesa77 wrote:
I’ve also heard that Marseille is a bit more…grittier. Which I don’t mind, but I wonder; would my safety really be at harm as a single female traveler? Thanks.

You’ll be perfectly fine as a single female traveler in Marseille.

Marseille is great city. It’s an industrial port city, but the city centre (which you’ll be visiting) and the old port are very charming, with beautiful architecture like any other French city centre. When you step out of the train station, you’ll be welcomed to Marseille with a spectacular view of the city. Marseille has undergone a significant restoration and revitalization, so it’s not as gritty as it once was.

If you have some time in Southern France, you can maybe spend a day exploring Marseille, its old quarter, old port, and churches. If you only have a few days in Southern France, then I usually tell people to just spend those few days in other places instead of Marseille (Arles, Nîmes, Avignon, Côte d’Azur, etc). But with a bit more time, a think a day exploring Marseille can be rewarding.

Bordeaux, btw, is also in southwest France, if you choose to go there, much further west than Montpelier.


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat