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10 day itinerary Brittany and Normandy, help needed

10 day itinerary Brittany and Normandy, help needed

Old Apr 1st, 2019, 05:43 AM
  #1  
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10 day itinerary Brittany and Normandy, help needed

Hello everybody,

I am driving crazy planning our road trip for this summer, maybe you can help me sort it out?

We are a spanish family travelling early July around France in our campervan for 25 days. We have three little daughters, 9, 6 and 3 years old, good travellers, not picky, but still little kids that get bored when in the car for too long.

We love France, this is going to be our third road trip there, but our first time in Brittany and Normandy. We have the rest of the itinerary quite clear, but stuck with these two regions.

We love little towns, nature and although I studied Art History, and therefore love Art, History and Architecture, don’t want to keep my expectations too high, I am not sure how much will our little girls take.

So we have two initial itineraries but I suspect we might be wanting to see too much, so maybe you could help us see what we can drop.

OPTION 1:

Day 1: Coming from Ile of Rè, night at Rochefort en Terre.

Day 2: Vannes, Carnac and night around Carnac (Any suggestions?)

Day 3: Night at Ploumanac’h and explore the Pink Granite coast

Day 4: Beauport Abbeye (Night at Paimpol? At Erquy? Back at Ploumanac’h and not change locations so much?)

Day 5: Night at Dinan, stopping at Cape Fréhel andFort la Latte (other option would be Behrat Island..)

Day 6: Night at Dinan and sourroundings.

Day 7: Night at Dinan. Visit St. Malo, Soulac sur Mer

Day 8: Lunch at Cancale and arrive afternoon to visit Mont Saint-Michel at night. Sleep at the campsite just next to the parking lot.


Day 9: Visit the Abbey early in the morning and head to Bayeux to sleep there. See the tapestry and try to visit at least one DDay sight although leaving most of that for next trip.

Day 10: Night at Honfleur. Visit Etretat.

Day 11: Morning at Ruan, visit Monet’s garden at Giverny and arrive to Paris at night to keep on with the rest of the trip

OPTION 2: (I think this one is probably too packed)

Day 1: Coming from Ile of Rè, night at Rochefort en Terre.

Day 2: Vannes, Carnac and night around Carnac (Any suggestions?)

Day 3: Night at Concarneau, stopping by at Pont Aven. Maybe visiting Quimper?

Day 4: Night at Ploumanac’h visiting Locronan and Huelgoat forest on the way (too much?)

Day 5: Pink Granite coast and Beauport Abbeye (Night at Paimpol? At Erquy? Back at Ploumanac’h and not change locations so much?)

Day 6: Night at Dinan, stopping at Cape Fréhel and Fort la Latte (other option would be Behrat Island..)

Day 7: Night at Dinan. Visit St. Malo, Soulac sur Mer

Day 8: Visit Dinan, maybe lunch at Cancale and arrive afternoon to visit Mont Saint-Michel at night. Sleep at the campsite just next to the parking lot.

Day 9: Visit the Abbey early in the morning and head to Bayeux to sleep there. See the tapestry and try to visit at least one DDay sight although leaving most of that for next trip.

Day 10: Night at Honfleur. Visit Etretat.

Day 11: Morning at Ruan, visit Monet’s garden at Giverny and arrive to Paris at night to keep on with the rest of the trip.

So, any ideas would be very appreciated.

Thank you very much in advance,

Carlota
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Old Apr 1st, 2019, 06:33 AM
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Wow - we've spent 2 weeks on a single trip near Vannes, 2 weeks near Concarneau, 2 weeks near pink rocks, 2 weeks near Dinan, 2 weeks near Rouen, and 2 weeks near Honfleur (we've also spent 2 weeks on the Ile de Re in La Flotte). When we departed these places - there still were some sites we missed. And you are spending 1/2 of a day in each of these locations???!!!

Can I suggest that you stay longer in each location? Cities like Vannes, Dinan, & Rouen will have shops closed on Sunday - so if you hit these places on a Sunday, the cities will be a little dull.

I developed a 20 + page itinerary for Normandy & Brittany based on our travels there. I've sent my various itineraries to over 6,000 people on Fodors. If you would like a copy, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach one to the reply e-mail. Specify that you want the Normandy/Brittany itinerary - I have others.

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 1st, 2019, 07:36 AM
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your taking on a lot and Monet's garden can be packed (suggest you visit it very early before coaches hit it). Brehat, I think is a small ferry trip leaving the car on the mainland. Very pretty but just a day trip. camp site at MstM is ok, there are chicken and chip places there etc plus some cheap hotels.

I can't spot the difference between the two routes but I might shorten it by reducing time in eastern Normandy.
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Old Apr 1st, 2019, 07:56 AM
  #4  
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Thank you very much for your replys!

Stu, I was already planning to ask you for your itinerary since I have found your posts so helpful, I’ll write you an email right now!

Thanks Bilbo for the feedback about MSM campsite and Monet’s garden, I’ll keep that in mind.

As you both suggest, I’m trying to see too many placed in too little time, I’ll do as you suggest and stay longer in less locations. Since I only have 10/11 days in the area, do you suggest that I shoud stick to only one or at the most two places? If so, which would you pick?

Maybe one stopover at Rochefort en terre and then head to Dinan and stay there for the rest of the time?

I keep on researching to make a decision, but I find it more difficult every time since I want to see it all! Haha! I guess we have to come back soon.

thank you again for your helpful advice!
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Old Apr 1st, 2019, 08:15 AM
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A stopover in Rochefort en Terre is fine. Then split your time between the pink rocks section and Dinan. Brehat wil consume a day.

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 07:30 AM
  #6  
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Great suggestions, thank you!!

So what do you thing of this Route:

Day1: Arrive to Rochefort-en-Terre from Île de Ré

Days 2, 3 and 4: Pink Granite Coast. Planning to stay at Ploumanac’h for the three nights, but maybe it could be a good idea to stay at Paimpol or somewhere in the route towards Dinan to backtrack less?

Days 5, 6 and 7: Stay at Dinan and explore the area.

Day 8: Arrive at MSM in the evening and sleep There.

Day 9: Bayeux.

Day 10: Honfleur.

Day 11: Arrive late at Paris. On the way visit Rouen and maybe make it to Giverny before the last time of admission (17:30)

I am aware that the last to nights are too tight, but I really wanted to see the tapestry at Bayeux and Honfleur due to the Impressionism connection. Do you think it is doable or should I just forget about it and add those two days to Dinan and the Pink Granite Coast? Keep in mind that we are not planning to visit DDay sites this trip, maybe just one stop at Omaha or Colleville-Sur-Mer...

Thank you very much once more!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 07:52 AM
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I like Paimpol and Tregier. Ploumanac’h is basically just beach and family time.

I'd try for the Bayeux Tapestry and the walled city there, Honfleur is ok but maybe the kids will be bored?

I did Monet's late one afternoon in June, it was ok. But with your timings I don't know. There is icecream in the carpark normally ;-)
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Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 08:54 AM
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Treguier would be a nice place to stay. Very charming village. If you mainly want to visit the tapestry & not much of the WWII stuff - one night in Bayeux is fine. You can decide at the last moment whether to visit Monet or not.

Stu Dudlety
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Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 09:22 AM
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From saint Malo we stopped at Versailles that we visited the next day.
I am a huge fan of gonfleur.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 04:30 PM
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kja
 
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I loved Ploumanac'h, where I stayed at the lovely Hotel des Rochers:
https://www.hotel-desrochers-perros.com

IMO, your last fews days are very ambitious, particular traveling with children. Maybe you could just stop in Bayeux and / or Honfleur for an hour or two? They are both lovely, but don't take that long to see and you are trying to fit in so much that it might be worth considering.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 11:24 AM
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Wow, thank you all!

Bilboburgler and Stu, I’m considering Tréguier, it looks lovely and so conveniently located to explore the area.

Great the ice creams at Giverny, if we make it we’ll definitely give them a try! As Stu said, we will decide in the last moment.

I saw a carrousel at Honfleur somewhere, that plus the boats at the harbour should keep my girls entertained, but you never know.

Ahbonvraiment, thank you for the Versailles tip, it sounds great but already know it and sadly we will have to skip it this time.

Kja, that hotel at Ploumanac’h looks lovely! We will be sleeping in our campervan, so probably I will be dreaming of that hotel at some moment during our trip😂.

When you suggest that we could stop at Honfleur and/or Bayeux for a couple of hours, where would you rather stay for those two nights?

Thank you all for your suggestions and help!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 05:13 PM
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kja
 
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Originally Posted by txana View Post
Kja, that hotel at Ploumanac’h looks lovely! We will be sleeping in our campervan, so probably I will be dreaming of that hotel at some moment during our trip😂.

When you suggest that we could stop at Honfleur and/or Bayeux for a couple of hours, where would you rather stay for those two nights?

Sorry -- you did mention the camper van! I missed that.

I think it's up to you to decide where to spend any time you free up by not spending a night in Honfleur or in Bayeux -- I was just noting that your plan for that part of the trip seemed very rushed to me (e.g., Rouen can easily take a day and a half; Giverny the better part of a day, etc.) and throwing some options out for your consideration.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 09:19 PM
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I think the kids would get really bored with Monet!! I was bored with his house/stuff. Same - maybe with the tapestry in Bayeux. Pink rocks were really interesting. Great region to just wander around in.

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 3rd, 2019, 10:13 PM
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Interesting! I am planning my trip for later this year and the Cote de Granit Rose is not calling my name. I plan on skipping it. Different strokes for different folks.
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Old Apr 4th, 2019, 12:19 AM
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As a kid I liked Honfleur but really for the beach and running around the old docks, but.....

Bayeux has a lot more to see but even this is really a 4 or 6 hour visit. I might stay for the night so I could do a walk around at night as well as during the day. I know travelling in a camper is more laid back than that.

I actually enjoyed the Seine more than Monet when a kid, the river is very wiggly and has high cliffs on either side with odd castle along it. I would find that area more fun but agree the actual gardens are really for calm adults to enjoy when there are few people there.
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Old Apr 4th, 2019, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
Sorry -- you did mention the camper van! I missed that.

I think it's up to you to decide where to spend any time you free up by not spending a night in Honfleur or in Bayeux -- I was just noting that your plan for that part of the trip seemed very rushed to me (e.g., Rouen can easily take a day and a half; Giverny the better part of a day, etc.) and throwing some options out for your consideration.
No, no, I always love a good hotel recommendation, for future trips or in case we need one night on a proper bedroom, thank you!

Originally Posted by StuDudley View Post
I think the kids would get really bored with Monet!! I was bored with his house/stuff. Same - maybe with the tapestry in Bayeux. Pink rocks were really interesting. Great region to just wander around in.

Stu Dudley
Ha, ha, ha, ok, you all convinced me, probably that is not the best stop with my girls, I think we will visit Rouen at a calmer pace that day.

Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
As a kid I liked Honfleur but really for the beach and running around the old docks, but.....

Bayeux has a lot more to see but even this is really a 4 or 6 hour visit. I might stay for the night so I could do a walk around at night as well as during the day. I know travelling in a camper is more laid back than that.

I actually enjoyed the Seine more than Monet when a kid, the river is very wiggly and has high cliffs on either side with odd castle along it. I would find that area more fun but agree the actual gardens are really for calm adults to enjoy when there are few people there.
That night stroll around Bayeux sounds, great! We will do so. Also, about the Seine seems something my girls would enjoy. Are you talking about some specific town or area around the river?

Thank very much, you are a great help!

Can’t wait for the trip, I’ll be back with some feedback!
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Old Apr 4th, 2019, 07:27 AM
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Right along the Seine not far from Giverny is the one-boulangerie village of La Roche-Guyon where kids could run, watch a little river traffic along the Seine, and walk every street if they'd want to in less than an hour, It has a chateau built into steep white cliffs (which we've never visited). Across from the chateau is its big fruit and veg garden, free to visit. Sometimes the garden has been well maintained, other times not; I guess financial support fluctuates.

La Roche-Guyon is on the list of France's 150-odd Most Beautiful Villages. It's situated at a bend of the Seine and there's a built-up viewing platform at the river's edge.

I don't know how your kids do with crowds, but Honfleur and Bayeux were packed when we visited and were hard for us to enjoy.

Kids seem to like the free ferries along the Seine. There are 8, all downstream of Rouen. Not sure about your camper van, but you could go across and back as foot passengers just for the fun of it.

"The bacs fluviaux can transport up to 12 cars or vans under 3 metres high" from https://sites.google.com/site/shippingseine/the-bacs

The ferry at Jumieges is scenic both ways, abbey ruins on one side and white cliffs on the other. La Bouille is pretty going toward La Bouille, but not as scenic heading away from it.

We like to hit the natural regional parks when we're near one, and we (two adults) really enjoyed the HQ of the Boucles de la Seine. It's an old farm, with chicken house, bake oven, farmer's comfortable house (now the park HQ with exhibits, so not really homelike), cider press, and people displaying how to cut slate and I forget what else. Free. At Notre Dame de Blicquetuit.

At a nearby village (La Mailleraye) we ate lunch along the Seine and watched the tide roll in massively. In the forest of Brotonne we saw a troop of wild boars crossing the road. There's an old windmill up on the plateau. If thatched-roof cottages are your bag, the tiny village of Vieux-Port is a treat. Also--and now I'll stop--there's a "route des fruits" near the park and the Jumieges ferry which must be lovely when the fruit trees are in bloom but was still nice in September.
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Old Apr 5th, 2019, 12:48 PM
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Wow, Coquelicot, I’m impressed, that info is gold! So useful, we will definitely be spending some time there, it looks like plans tailormade for my girls, they are going to love the river, fruit trees, farm, ferries and the wild boars if we were lucky enough to see any. Thank you so much for all that detailed information.

I’ve been able to scratch two more nights for our trip, could you help me decide where to spend it? I’m sharing the whole route. The part I’m needing help with, as I said, is the Brittany/Normandy leg, we have already been a couple of times around the other areas we are visiting, so we have it pretty clear, but any advice is always welcome.

The whole route is as follows:

Night 1: San Juan de Luz
Nights 2, 3: Arcachon/Cap Ferret
Nights 4, 5, 6: Île de Ré (on the way visit Bourdeax, I know, very little time)
Night 7: Rochefort-en-Terre
Nights 8, 9, 10: Pink Granite Coast (on the way from Rochefort maybe stop by Josselin, Paimpont...)
Nights 11, 12, 13: Dinan
Night 14: Mont Saint-Michel
Night 15: Bayeaux, visit the city and maybe one DDay site.
Night 16: Honfleur, visit Calvados area? Or better Ruan?
Night 17: Honfleur? Visit Etretrat?
Night 18: Explore the Seine and all the lovely places Coquelicot suggested, arrive at night to Disneyland.
Night 20: Disneyland
Night 21: Disneyland
Nights 22, 23: Loire Valley (our third time there, we will be revisiting our favourites)
Night 24: Saint Émilion
Night 25: San Sebastián

Shoud I cut one night at Dinan and add it to Ruan or do you think it could work as it is?

Also, any suggestions on what to see on the Normandy days?

Thank you very much again!
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Old Apr 5th, 2019, 01:40 PM
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What is San-Juan-de-Luz? Do you mean St-Jean-de-Luz, just over the Spanish border? If so, I's certainly spend more than 1 night there.

You're not visiting Vannes in Brittany? That's too bad.

I'd do two nights in Dinan and two in Rouen (if that's what you mean by Ruan).

Bayeux deserves more than one night. You're not going to Caen to the Mémorial?

Yes, indeed, Bordeaux deserves more time, and it's not exactly a hop, skip, and a jump from Bordeaux to Ile de Ré, which by the way will be jammed with tourists in July.

St-Emilion is an overpriced zoo in July. Good luck finding parking. Why are you even bothering to go inland from Bordeaux and the Bassin d'Arcachon? Just to see St-Emilion? That is SO not worth it. Just keep going down the coast and stop at actually pleasant places like Bayonne.
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Old Apr 5th, 2019, 02:13 PM
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Maybe it was because we arrived in St-Emilion's Camping Municpale around 5pm when walking around the town it seemed surreal -literally surrounded by vineyards = with a setting sun ethereal. Now St-Cirq has seen many more Dordogne wine towns but I was thoroughly delighted with St-Emillion. Michelin Green rates St-Emilion the lauded 3-stars, calling it one o France's best medieval towns. Of course with mobs of tourists it may not have seemed no neat. Jogging thru its deserted streets in early morning also seemed great - but mobs of tourists can indeed ruin such a town - much like I found the most famous Dordogne towns were in August.

https://travelguide.michelin.com/eur.../saint-emilion

https://www.google.com/search?q=st-e...w=1280&bih=625

So, if traveling outside of high season I'd highly recommend St-Emilion.
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