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Day Trip to Alps?

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posts: 49
Day Trip to Alps?

I did a search, but I didn't really find what I was looking for.

Our month-long stay in Paris is all at an end. We're a large-ish group of girls. We really want to go somewhere else for a day or two, and we have limited means.

There was talk of going to the south of France, or to the Alps. Especially the Alps. Both of those are 3 day trips, I would assume. We have class Monday - Wednesday, and we usually have a lot of homework. So, I guess there's no hope for that....? I wouldn't even know where to go, or what to do. I don't know how far away the Alps are.

Honestly, we really want to go somewhere else, we're just stuck as to where. I could use some suggestions. I know there are little towns right outside of Paris, but we've been to some of those. We want to see something a little different.

Maybe it's too late to plan this?

posts: 1,949
1. Re: Day Trip to Alps?

If I were you, I would take this 3 day trip to the ALps, if only to escape the current heat in Paris, even if it needs you bring some homework along. At least you'll be able to breathe!

"The Alps" is a generic term, but you should count on a 4-5 hour TGV journey + maybe 30 mn by bus to get to your final destination. DON'T go to Chamonix, a tourist trap invaded by Anglo-Saxons and Japanese tourists, polluted by 3,000 trucks a day going through the Mont Blanc tunnel. You could try Les Arcs, easily accessible by cable car from Bourg Saint Maurice. Or if you don't want to go all the way to an 1,800m resort, you could stop at Annecy.

Paris, France
posts: 1,291
reviews: 11
2. Re: Day Trip to Alps?

I would definitely do it too!

If you want a place without much other tourists (except French on vacation), and which is also beautiful, take the night train to Briancon (as a party of girls, it can be funny, and it's _not_ unsafe).

The Jura is also easy to access. Why not go to Besancon, which is a lovely little town ?

Santa Barbara
posts: 105
reviews: 2
3. Re: Day Trip to Alps?

I would suggest Annecy, which is only 3 hours via TGV. It is gorgeous right now - I just returned. You can swim in the beautiful clear lake and there is also a fun (albeit touristy town) which has lots of cute restaurants and even a little nightlife. You can rent kayaks and bikes by the lake. I took the train to Chamonix one day and was stunned by Mont Blanc and the beauty of the higher elevations. I didn't think the crowded-ness was much of a factor either. If you like hiking and ski towns you will love it. Have fun.

posts: 49
4. Re: Day Trip to Alps?

Would two days be realistic? I might even go alone.... my friends don't have much money. Then again, I have no proper hiking shoes, or even tennis shoes. Would I get to see the countryside through the window on the train? How would I get a train ticket? Sorry for all the questions..... I am not very travel-savvy.

Thanks so much for your advice. We only have 11 days left in Paris.... suddenly, it's not enough time! I feel like I haven't seen enough of Paris, and I haven't seen any of France.

Destination Expert
for San Jose
posts: 5,838
reviews: 101
5. Re: Day Trip to Alps?

I studied in the Alps most of the year many years ago.

It gets hot up there in the summer as well.

Perhaps the best way to see the Alps for a quick trip from Paris is to hop on a budget airline to Switzerland, Austria or Slovenia. Switzerland really isn't a budget destination though!

Don't forget, Monaco is part of the Alps too, where it drops into the Sea.

Boca Raton, Florida
posts: 710
reviews: 64
6. Re: Day Trip to Alps?

Since your means and time are limited, how about going to someplace closer like Champagne. (especially good if you have a fondness for the bubbly) We spent 2 nights there after our 8 night stay in Paris in May. Pretty countryside. The village of Hautviller where Dom Perignon is from is adorable. See my trip reports: Trip Report - Day 9, May 24 and Trip Report - Day 10, May 25 which I posted back in June. I think the Alps and the south of France are awfully far to go for a couple of days.

the big blue marble
posts: 13,670
reviews: 35
7. Re: Day Trip to Alps?

I was in the Alps yesterday afternoon... the temps were sweltering!

I also vote for an easier option, how about a train trip to Deauville.Trouville on the shore. The beaches are great and it makes for a very easy over night. The temp may be high, but the breeze off teh water should make it a bit more bearable.