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3 1/2 Weeks in France, May/June 2013, with 6 yo

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Jul 6th, 2012, 08:04 PM
  #1
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3 1/2 Weeks in France, May/June 2013, with 6 yo

Sorry for the long post. Believe it or not, I have tried to be brief. Also, I know this is quite early, but I like to read up on destinations before I go (history, geography, etc.) The longer I ahve, the more I can soak in.

My wife and I are late 30's and have been to Paris but nowhere else in France. We would like to take our daughter this coming year. We can get away for about 3 1/2 weeks (maybe a bit more) from mid-May to early-to-mid June. If it makes a difference, I do speak some French, but am justifiably modest about how good it is.

Our shared interests: strolling, casual biking, regional and artisanal food (esp. cheeses, breads, etc.) - heretically, neither of us are into wine

My interests: archaeological and historical sites - especially (but not exclusively) prehistorical and Classical, architecture

Wife's interests: cute towns and neighborhoods, pleasant shopping, beachcombing, chocolate

Daughter's interests: Horses, running around and playing, climbing on things, ice cream, beaches

I was trying to put together ideas for an itinerary. I was hoping for some feedback or ideas on things I am missing and also on things that should be missing.

Idea A:

Fly into Paris. Stay in Paris ~5-7 days

Train to Rennes. Rent Car. ~1 week in Brittany. Would like to base in/around St. Malo for a few days, side trip to Mont St. Michel, then over to the Atlantic Coast somewhere near Carnac - i really want to see the menhirs.

Drive down to the area around La Rochelle. Not sure if we want La Rochelle specifically, but i would like some beach time and a nice town for a few days.

From here, inland to the Dordogne and then Lot River valleys for the remaining time, probably about 1 week. (I am aware this is a fairly long drive from La Rochelle.) fly out of Toulouse, returning car at airport.

Option B: Similar to 1, but cut Dordogne and Lot, extend time in Brittany and (perhaps) Paris. Fly into Paris and immediately take train to Rennes. Drop car in La Rochelle and take train back to Paris. Finish in Paris. Fly out of Paris.

Option C: Fly in/out of Paris. 1 week in Paris and the remainder in a driving loop through Normandy, Brittany, and the Loire

Option D: Into Paris out of Barcelona. 5-7 days in Paris. Train to Avignon or Aix. Pick up car. ~1.5 - 2 weeks through Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon, including some beach time. Drop car in Perpignan and take train to Barcelona, spending a last few days there

Option E: Other ideas? Maybe London-Brittany-Paris?

Questions:

I would like this to be an enjoyable trip and not a death march. Does the pace seem appropriate? Remember, we do have a six-year-old with us! Do the regions seem to accord well with our interests? If you were in our position, would you choose one of the above, possibly with modifications? What other options should I consider? Are there other questions I should be asking?

Thanks in advance.
jrc73 is offline  
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Jul 6th, 2012, 08:42 PM
  #2
 
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First option sounds great to me, and realistic with a 6-year-old (but I did trips like that for a gazillion years the whole time my kids were growing up and they were used to a bit of a zoom around the French countryside, so maybe I'm not a good focus group member).
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Jul 7th, 2012, 12:05 PM
  #3
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St Cirq,

Thank you. It's good to hear that I am at least not being completely unreasonable.

Follow-up to anyone: Would getting the regional Michelin Green Guides be a good idea for the purposes of planning?
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Jul 7th, 2012, 03:08 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Option C sounds like the best one and less death march. Visit Chenonceau while in the Loire, we also enjoyed Amboise. I love Paris and there are so many great day trips you can take from Paris but there is so much in Paris, you don't need to leave.

I don't use the green guides, but many do. someone recently posted here that they had changed recently and were not as good.
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