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France Itinerary request your suggestions or comments

France Itinerary request your suggestions or comments

Jan 11th, 2019, 02:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 8
France Itinerary request your suggestions or comments

In preparation for our first visit to France, I wonder if someone with experience could review my itinerary and lend advice or suggestions. We will arrive in CDG in the afternoon, staying in Latin Quarters for four nights. This allows moderate time to experience Paris. On the fifth morning, we return to CDG for a rental car. We will drive through Amiens for a visit and then on to Reims for two nights. While in Reims I would like to experience champagne for the first time and visit the local area. We would then drive ourselves to Loire Valley for three nights. I was thinking of staying at Chateau de Pintray. An establishment with fine reviews. Then onto Caen area for two nights. We would like to visit WWII sites and with the intention not on June 6 due to large crowds. We would then return the car and we have room reservations at CDG for return flight the following morning.
I am grateful for Fodors and the experience anyone may offer. So, merci in advance.
jawl is offline  
Jan 11th, 2019, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 971
1. It's the Latin Quarter
2. Leaving the city to pick up a car is a good idea, but you don't have to pick up a car at CDG. Airports car rental agencies sometimes impose surcharges (but since you're returning the car there, that may be to your benefit). You might consider taking the train to Reims and pick up a rental car there.
3. Beware wine/champagne tasting and driving immediately afterwards. The French gendarmes are quite strict about driving under the influence.
travelhorizons is offline  
Jan 11th, 2019, 03:22 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 8
Thank you for comments. I was considering a tour of the champagne cellars with a guided tour. As always, we will not drive under alchol influence.
jawl is offline  
Jan 11th, 2019, 04:32 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,742
That's a lot of driving - and not much time "being there".

The Latin Quarter would be one of the last places I would want to stay in Paris (that is "popular" with tourists) but it is centrally located. As long as you stay on the move, you won't encounter much of the ultra tourist/tacky stuff there.

What does the day you leave Paris look like?
-Get up, have breakfast, check out of hotel by 9:30
- Take taxi, RER, etc to CDG to get car by 10:30 and on the road to Amiens by 11:00
- Drive 1 1/2 hrs to Amiens and arrive just as all the shops start closing for a 2 hr lunch at 12:30
- See what you want to see in Amiens, and depart for Reims at 3:30
- Drive 2 hrs to Reims, check into hotel, and read to go at 6:30. Not much time to see much in Reims (cellers will be closed by 6:30 or earlier)

All you really did today is to visit Amiens around the noon hour when most shops and perhaps some museums will be closed.

Next day - visit Reims

Next day
- Get on the road at 9:30 & drive 4 hrs to the Loire. Arrive at 1:30, check into hotel, & ready to visit 1 chateau in the afternoon starting at 2:30-3:00. Only time for 1 chateau today - so that's today's "what you saw" plan.

Next day - visit 2-3 chateaux

Next day - 2 chateaux, gardens at Villandry, & perhaps the town of Chinon.

Next day, get on the road to Caen by 9:30 & drive 2 3/4 hrs to Caen, arriving at the hotel and "ready to sightsee" at 1:00 (shops will be closed). Visit the Caen Memorial (about 3 hr visit). That's all for today!

Next day - visit some WWII sites

Next day - visit more WWII sites in the AM. Around 2PM, drive 3 hrs to CDG, return the car, check into a hotel by 7PM. Dinner

IMO, you have more driving and less "seeing" than I would want to do. And your destinations are scattered. I would either just do Paris & west of Paris, or Paris & east of Paris.

I always like doing Paris last because it makes getting to CDG easier. This fall we fly into CDG, wait a few hours, then take the train to Reims from CDG. We'll visit Reims, then take the train to Strasbourg to stay for 2 weeks. Then we'll drive to Northern Burgundy for 2 weeks, and take the train from Auxerre to Paris & spend some time there. Early taxi to CDG.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Jan 11th, 2019, 06:08 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,489
People travel for such different reasons and at such different paces! Your trip would definitely involve a lot of time in transit, but I'm not sure it's TOO much if it lets you see the things that are highest priority for you and if you are aware of the amount of time your will spend in transit and are comfortable with it. Do give it some thought, though! And definitely, do NOT go all the way to CDG to pick up a rental when you leave Paris!
kja is offline  
Jan 11th, 2019, 09:09 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,606
You will probably will have to pay a fee if you pick up your car near a train station, just like the airport fee. But why pay for the RER to CDG when you can pick up a car on the west side of Paris and go to Amiens via Beauvais? Check with Autoeurope for various pick-up locations.
Michael is offline  
Jan 13th, 2019, 09:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,427
I think the itinerary looks fine.

As for the car rental, since they are returning to CDG, that's probably why they want to pickup there, as well as it is in the general direction they want to go and would avoid driving in the city and possibly less car choices. Depends what kind of car they want. The fee for the RER to CDG isn't really very much as a reason to change sites, but the other issues are, I think (choice and driving). I don't know. If it's just the driving issue, I'd look at Porte Maillot perhaps as it's on the edge of Paris and driving shouldn't be a problem to get on the autoroute from there, and I know they have car rental places out there. Of course, if that day is a Sunday, that could be another reason to go to the airport. Six is open Sunday at Porte Maillot, but Avis is not, for example.
Christina is online now  
Jan 13th, 2019, 09:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,555
Not sure what you meant by a guided tour of Champagne caves and houses - meaning you could imbibe and not have to drive? Well if spending a few days in Reims there are several awesome Champagne cave/house tours right in town - you can walk or take a bus to them - about a mile southeast of town center. And these, along with those in Epernay, are the finest anywhere - no need t drive anywhere - the Champagne houses outside of these two cities in no way compare to those in Reims or Epernay. and each House offers guided tours with the entry fee and many but not all have free tastings at the end of the tour.
PalenQ is offline  
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