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alainr May 17th, 2022 10:20 PM

Help with 4 week French Itinerary!
We are planning to go to France in mid-September for 4 1/2 weeks. We are looking for beautiful villages, nice easy walks, craft/street markets, some history and art (particularly contemporary art), scenery. We are not into vin and are not foodies. Haven't been to Lyon. Its over 40 years since we were in the Loire valley. We will rent a car, but take a train into or out of Paris. Prefer not to drive more than 45 minutes to see sights from home base.
We would like to go to the following places but am not sure about the order
Paris 5 nites
Lyon 4 nites
Sarlat, Dordogne 5 nites
Loire Valley 4 nites.
My questions are:
1. IF we are not Chateau crazy,(1 chateau per day is our style) is the Loire a good place for walks, charming towns? We have been debating Loire or returning to Provence.
2. In what order should we visit these places? We would be flying from California to Paris; could connect to Bordeaux or??
We'd prefer to end up in Paris, but are flexible.
3. We have about 45 extra nites and would love ideas where to spend them!
I appreciate all the expertise in this Forum!

bilboburgler May 18th, 2022 05:23 AM

Loire is great for walking (as is the Loir which is pertinent fact), Saumur and the abbey of Fontevraud (you can stay in the priory) is lovely, Chinon is equally well placed, then there are lots lots of little places down the river. If you want even smaller places just follow the Loir to the north, each is a little gem. You can do this on bikes as well, as the Loire has bike path down it and the Loir is so quiet you can ride on the road, cross country etc etc

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