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French Countryside (west) with side trip to Puy du Fou

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Feb 26th, 2015, 12:06 PM
  #1
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French Countryside (west) with side trip to Puy du Fou

Hi. I just started this research so please bear with me. We are a couple with a 4 year old boy.

14 days in the beginning of July. First few days will be in Mykonos Greece, then the rest we would like to see the French countryside. I also thought it would be a great idea to visit Puy du Fou. Would love some itinerary recommendations, or any festivals good for kids. We plan to rent a car once we get to France, depending on where we land.

1) JFK to CDG (connection to Mykonos).
2) Mykonos 4 nights
3) Fly back to Paris or Toulouse?
4) Sarlat 3 nights (day trips to Rocamadour, Carcassone). Any recommendations on activities for 4 year old?
5) Drive up and stay 1 night at Puy du Fou
6) Drive to Paris, stay 1 night, drop off car at airport, leave for NY.

Is this too much for a child? Mykonos is definite because hotel is booked nonrefundable and thats where I would like to spend my 40th. For this trip we want to visit medieval towns/villages and go the less hectic route. We love wine, food and castles!

Thank you for any advice and recommendations. Did I mention that we need to fit in any activities for our little boy?
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Feb 26th, 2015, 12:27 PM
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Far too much, IMO, summa gold.

for starters, you've not actually included any time for seeing the Puy de Fou - it's primarily a day time attraction, and you need a day to see it, which you don't have. Also, you are planning to stay in Sarlat for 3 nights, which gives you 2 days, but you aren't actually planning on staying there or seeing any of the many things that you can see and do nearby.

As you are locked into the Mykonos trip, you need to decide what you're going to do afterwards - fly to Toulouse and see that area [not really very close to Sarlat but plenty to do there anyway] then fly back to Paris, or fly to Paris, head to the western Loire and stay somewhere there [eg Saumur] incorporating a day at the Puy de Fou [and possibly an evening trip to the Cine Scenie on a Friday or Saturday if the days of the week work out].
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Feb 26th, 2015, 12:39 PM
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Hi ann,

Thank you! I pretty must figured as much after going back and reading my post. It is way too much.

Please recommend an itinerary in Loire Valley. And any hotel recommendations. We are not stuck on any one region in France, but do think Puy de Fou would be a great experience for my son (including hubby and I). Do you know if it is open during the week or just weekends?
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Feb 26th, 2015, 01:50 PM
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Here's the website for the Puy de Fou:

http://www.puydufou.com/en

the day-time attractions [which are excellent and should appeal to all ages] are open virtually every day in the season. There is a night-time "son et lumbiere" show called the Cine-Scenie on Fridays and Sats in June, July and August which you might also like to think about, though it might end too late for your son as it goes on at least until midnight. It also books up very fast with coach parties from all over France - I've never seen so many buses altogether in a car park!

I'm glad that you have concluded that you can't see it all in one go. Our favourite place to stay in the Loire is Saumur, from where you can reach many of the "best" chateaux as well as the Puy de Fou. From there we visited Villandry, Angers, Chenonceaux, Fontevraud L'Abbaye, and the Puy de fou. You could also go to Doue la fontaine where there is a good zoo, [the Zoo de Dou!] as well as rose gardens.

happy planning and have a good trip!
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Feb 26th, 2015, 02:04 PM
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PS - we stayed in the Hotel Les Londres in Saumur which was then a typical traditional family run hotel. i see from the website that it's been done up a bit, but hopefully it has retained its traditional character. it has the advantage of a locked garage beside the hotel so you can leave your car there quite securely.

there are also a lot of nice restaurants you can walk to in the evening which we like to do as it means that we can drink some wine with our dinner without worrying.
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Mar 15th, 2015, 04:12 PM
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Thank you Ann for your kind recommendations.

I was thinking a chateau hotel with a swimming pool and lively bar/lounge. Is there such a thing?

Out budget is EUR250-350.
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Mar 15th, 2015, 04:46 PM
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something kid friendly for sure. we plan to have a leisure stay in Loire Valley. 5 nights. rent bicycles, swimming, wine tasting, visit a couple of chateaus. we do plan to hire a car.
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Mar 16th, 2015, 03:43 PM
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summagold - I'm sure that there are chateau hotels but they aren't our style - we like to stay in a town where we can walk to shops, restaurants etc.

as for chateau hotels with lively bars - your guess is as good as mine!

Why not start another thread using that as the title and see what it brings up?
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Mar 16th, 2015, 03:45 PM
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you could start here;

http://www.chateauxhotels.com
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Apr 2nd, 2015, 11:54 AM
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Hi Ann.

We have decided to spend more time in Greece, topping our 14 day trip with 4 nights in Paris. Having said that, we are saving the french countryside for another trip.

However, we still would like to go to Puy du Fou for a day. I know my son will be so thrilled. Is a day trip from Paris advisable? It will mean we will have to take a very early train to Angers, taxi to the park, then taking last train back to Paris. What are your thoughts?
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Apr 2nd, 2015, 12:15 PM
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I think that's something only you can answer. If you know how much travel time is involved to get there and back from Paris plus how much time you'll need to spend there then the only thing to consider (besides cost) is whether or not it's worth that much time to you.

The closest train station to Puy du Fou is Cholet, not Angers. If you take the 7:49 train it takes 2-1/2 hours to get to Cholet (with a transfer in Angers) and if you buy tickets in advance they'll cost about 65€ to 80€ per person for the round trip. Then it's about a 25+- minute taxi ride to Puy du Fou from there. So about 6 hours of your day will be spent in transit.

A much closer destination to Paris would be the medieval town of Provins, a UNESCO Heritage Site that is 1-1/2 hours by train direct from Paris. It will cost no more than about 16€ per person for the round trip train fare (mobilis pass for zones 1-5). They have medieval themed shows/demonstrations that kids love like falconry, jousting/horsemanship etc. Check their tourist office website:

http://www.provins.net/english-version.html
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Apr 2nd, 2015, 12:44 PM
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I don't know Provins, but it sounds like fun.

another idea, if you want something French and closer to Paris, is Parc Asterix. you can get there on a shuttle bus from central Paris and it's load of fun [and decent food too!]

http://www.parcasterix.fr/en

i wouldn't even think about Le Puy de Fou as a day trip from Paris - you'd be exhausted.
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Apr 2nd, 2015, 01:37 PM
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Thank you for your thoughts and recommendations! Will look at the other suggested options.
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