COTXDFW777AA
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Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 11:06 am

I am planning a backpacking trip for early fall and am wondering what are the best cities to visit on a tour of country. I want to get away from the major tourist hot spots and see the country side. I want to see Arles, of course, i have heard good things about Chamonix and Lyon sounds nice. I hope to get down to Toulouse and see the airbus factory. Those are about all I have in mind so far. Any good suggestions and comments are welcome. I am going to try to stay on a budget and will be staying in Hostels and hotels. Thanks for your help.

-CoTXDFW777AA

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jutes85
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 11:09 am

I'd go to Toulouse, see if Airbus is offering tours.
nothing
 
COTXDFW777AA
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 11:11 am

I checked the website and they do offer tours.
Texas- it's like a whole different country!
 
N766UA
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 11:14 am

Southern France is the friendliest, prettiest part of the country. Plus you can hit Italy too.  Big thumbs up
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UTA_flyinghigh
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 4:14 pm

Comme to sunny CMF  Big thumbs up
Aircraft, mountains, lakes and Italy/Switzerland close by

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UTA
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trident3
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 4:48 pm

If you are heading for Toulouse the short trip to Carcassonne is well worth it. Have you seen Robin Hood Prince of Thieves? That was filmed in the castle in Carcassonne.

[Edited 2004-07-19 09:56:52]
"We are the warrior race-Tough men in the toughest sport." Brian Noble, Head Coach, Great Britain Rugby League.
 
CPH-R
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 5:01 pm

Don't forget the general area of Cote d'Azur - not to mention going out for a nice dinner in St. Tropez (though the queues getting to/from there are HORRIBLE!), visiting the mini-Venice in Port Grimaud and generally finding a nice strip of sand along the coastal road.

Me & my family have been staying in the area every summer since the early 90's.
 
gkirk
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 5:04 pm

Avoid CMF at all costs  Big grin
Nice, Marseilles, Bordeaux
and the wine making area's  Big grin
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 6:23 pm

Cote d'Azur, definitely - the coast is beautiful, lovely beaches and little towns, inland you have mediaeval fortified villages, and the lovely countryside of Provence. There's Monaco as well - have fun driving round the GP circuit, and Italy is just beyond that.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
gkirk
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 7:03 pm

Stay away from JGPH1A though, he's a dodgy French bugger  Big grin  Laugh out loud
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
ryanb741
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 7:07 pm

I really like the Loire Valley. Awesome Chateaux and Saumur is a nice town to start the vacation in. The Loire Valley is a lovely part of the world indeed
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
 
Rickster
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 7:14 pm

I go for Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence-Alpes-Coted`Azur, lots of great cities such as there are Montpellier, Sete, Carcassone, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Marseilles, the Camargue, etc...superb food, friendly people and lots of nice little towns. Make sure to rent a car or a scooter to be flexible.
bon voyage
 
trident3
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 7:20 pm

Rickster, that is my favourite part of France too. I would also add Albi as a picturesque little town to visit and Gaillac for the wine!
"We are the warrior race-Tough men in the toughest sport." Brian Noble, Head Coach, Great Britain Rugby League.
 
ZKSUJ
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 7:23 pm

take a trip to Italy or Switzerland, also Vineyard hopping in the south of France.
 
TriStar500
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 8:10 pm

I really suggest you go and visit the Charente-Maritime and Aquitaine regions. Wonderful, wide beaches with great surf, lush green pine forests with their unmistakeable smell, good food and very good vine and (usually at this time of the year) lots and lots of sunshine.

The baches are crowed, but most beach resorts are not as packed with concrete hotel towers and souvenir shops like Cancun or Florida.
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ly7e7
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 8:16 pm

Normandy. Lots of reasons, Calvados being my favorite one  Smile
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eg777er
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 8:32 pm

Had an enjoyable weekend in Marseilles recently; very industrial, 'gritty' city but fascinating the mix of cultures and particularly the African influence. Also lots of wicked warehouse parties  Big grin .

Relatives live in Carcassone, they love it.
 
Gman94
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 8:40 pm

Montreal or Quebec City, go to Canada it's much nicer than France  Big grin

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JGPH1A
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 8:43 pm

Re: Stay away from JGPH1A though, he's a dodgy French bugger

Gkirk - at least I'm not North British (in other words, practically English ) - HAH ! Take that ! Espece de connard d'Ecossais enculé and other Gallic naughty words.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
iakobos
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 9:34 pm

JG pretty fluent, your vehicular French is really up to date... bravo
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 9:35 pm

Merci ! I drive to work every day, so I get tons of practise  Laugh out loud
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
iakobos
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 9:51 pm

CoTXetc...
How long do you expect to stay ?

A real off beaten tracks and wonderful way of visiting inner France is by renting a river boat.
Among the many choices, the canal du midi is a fantastic opportunity to cross from West (near Bordeaux) to East (just S of Lyon). It passes through Toulouse, Castelnaudary, Carcassone, Sète, the Camargue.
No licence required, you stop whenever and wherever you feel like, folding mini-bikes are provided and a bbq if requested, you shop straight from the producer (most lock keepers sell their own products) or the nearby mini-market, you will forget that cars, trains, traffic lights, and many annoying consequences of our galoping society do exist.

The more you are the less it costs, if only two it is on the expensive side, four starts being fair, six is a bargain.

Trident3 Albi is indeed wonderful, but if one ventures there, the nearby Cordes sur Ciel is a jewel straight out of the Middle Ages.
Gaillac wines (Coteaux du Tarn AC) are pretty average, the white is acceptable, the red is usually called "le gros rouge qui tache" (the big red that stains).
 
flpuck6
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 10:39 pm

South-western France!!!

Toulouse, Albi, Pau, Carcassonne ... as Iakobos has said above.

The region of the Dordogne is also incredbile during the summer.

I spent 9 months in the city of Toulouse (junior year abroad), they were the best 9 months of my life so far.
Bonjour Chef!
 
iakobos
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Mon Jul 19, 2004 10:58 pm

Haaah....la ville rose, la cité des violettes, la place du capitole, les rives de la Garonne, le cassoulet, les truffes, le pays du rugby, Nougaro, (+Airbus, Astrium, Matra, Motorola....)
Flpuck6 I guess that these 9 months will be a reference point for the rest of your life.

 
JGPH1A
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Tue Jul 20, 2004 12:50 am

re: le cassoulet - ewuwuwwu - gross !! Truffes, yes - but best truffes come from Provence.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
Greg
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Tue Jul 20, 2004 1:32 am

Try Tahiti...it's good for about four days...then you die of boredom. Best on Bora Bora, I think...if not...do Moorea.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Tue Jul 20, 2004 1:35 am

Re: Try Tahiti...it's good for about four days...then you die of boredom. Best on Bora Bora, I think...if not...do Moorea.

Nice part of the country, but the train from Paris is a BITCH - stops bloody everywhere. And the highway tolls are even worse  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
Greg
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Tue Jul 20, 2004 1:43 am

Opps....read the header...not the replies....my bad.
Yes, it 'would' be a fairly wet trip by train....
 
CHRISBA777ER
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Tue Jul 20, 2004 1:48 am

Carcassonne - its close to Toulouse so you can go have a shufty at Airbus making the A380. Carcassonne is the most beautiful place in France. Very nice and well kept secret. They film loads of movies there - the people are very nice too, which you dont find that often in France! Also its about three hours by car to Barcelona - well worth a visit!!!
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
 
zak
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Tue Jul 20, 2004 2:08 am

chamonix!
take a ride up the midi tram and enjoy the stunning nature
10=2
 
iakobos
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Tue Jul 20, 2004 2:35 am

JG
I cannot agree with you, truffes (tuber melanosporum) are without a single doubt the speciality of the wild and beautiful région called Périgord (Sarlat, Bergerac, Périgueux), part of it is also known as Dordogne.
A paradise for connaisseurs and fishermen.

I doubt you can find a decent cassoulet on the Côte d'Azur, but in exchange I will give you the credit for a bouillabaisse.
 
phxairfan
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Tue Jul 20, 2004 3:15 am

I would suggest you just drive over to Louisiana, but since you insist on France I would advise you to go to Strasbourg. It is a beautiful city with even better food. It was definitely my favorite place while in France.
 
Lan_Fanatic
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Tue Jul 20, 2004 1:07 pm

I visited Lyon back in 1999 and I become in love with it. I tend to love those cities that are large and powerful without being a capital city, and Lyon seemed to me as a "self made town" (perhaps I'm wrong). Lyon has great places and is a very well sized city.
 
cba
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Tue Jul 20, 2004 2:50 pm

Lyon is a very nice city with a lot to do. Nice and the Cote D'Azur are wonderful, but be prepared to shell out some money there. Montpellier is a nice city with a good beach and a generally some interesting things to do, and it will be a little cheaper to visit than Nice. Carcassone is nice to see, but it's a bit of a tourist trap with all of the little trinket shops setup inside the city. However the city itself is amazing. Airbus offers tours, but you must book 10 days in advance.
 
worldoftui
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Tue Jul 20, 2004 3:57 pm

Aquitaine. The south-west of France is just beautiful and has some of the best beaches I have ever seen.

Mark
 
teva
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Wed Jul 21, 2004 1:43 am

From Carcasonne to Toulouse, why not take a boat on the Canal du Midi.
You will discover a lot of beautifull villages, and the Sout west gastronomy.

Franche Comte (Jura) is also a beautifull area.
(And that a lot of people don't know) Great cities and villages (Arbois, Chateau Chalon, Arlay, Besancon, Arc et Senans, ...Great food and great wines.

Alsace is very nice too.
My suggestion ? Don't plan to go to too many cities. rent a car, and visit the small villages. I see non interest in driving hundreds of KM on highways, where you see nothing, and then only go to big cities because they are on a map.

Next suggestion: contact me by email if you are interested by visiting the Country differently, and have a unique experience.
(You will see that even not too far away from Paris, you have fantastic places, such as Chantilly, Vaux le Vicomte, Provins, Reims and the Champagne.)
Teva
Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
 
BOEING747-700
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Wed Jul 21, 2004 7:29 am

NICE France was amazing, I would go back there in a heart beat, just remember to speak a little French though it will come in handy. I being Canadian didn't have any problems but some people were getting confused, not knowing any French.
 
aviationfreak
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Wed Jul 21, 2004 6:52 pm

I'd definitely do the Côte d'Azur. Been their twice. Menton, Monaco, Nice, Cannes, StTropèz, St Raphael, Sanary sur Mer, Cassis, Marseille. I'll be back!
Though this are all tourist hotspots. But there are lovely little villages inland built on top of hills.

Last time I visited French I was at Biarritz. Very nice place though it's the StTropèz of the west coast. Pyrenees and Spanish boarder in close proximity so you can have a look there as well.

Sander
I love both Airbus and Boeing as much as I love aviation!
 
flpuck6
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RE: Best (non-Paris) French Destinations

Thu Jul 22, 2004 1:03 am

Flpuck6 I guess that these 9 months will be a reference point for the rest of your life.

Iakobos, indeed! Ahhhhhh, cassoulet ... miammmmmmmm. I actually got my Mom to make some this past winter, it was phenomenal. You have to love all that meat and fat in it!!! HAHA. All of the places, things you mentioned are indeed reference points. I also LOVE the Toulousain accent ... can't get enough of it.

The south-west part of France is definitely the place to visit  Big grin
Bonjour Chef!

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