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Is it too much to do all Loire Valley, Paris, and Mont-Saint-Michel in 6 days?

Is it too much to do all Loire Valley, Paris, and Mont-Saint-Michel in 6 days?

Old Aug 9th, 2007, 06:35 AM
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Is it too much to do all Loire Valley, Paris, and Mont-Saint-Michel in 6 days?

My husband and I just decided to go to Paris from August 21-28. We have very little time to plan and since it is our first time there I would really appreciate any suggestion.

We are interested in food and prefer a more relaxed way of exploring the city. If possible, we also want to see Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay as well as Loire Valley. Has anybody did all of that in 6 days? Is it better to not stay in Paris throughout the whole time or do you think day trips to the above places would be just fine? (but 1 day tours to those places are not cheap either, maybe driving would be an alternative?)

I'm very confused right now and would welcome any information!

One more question, has anybody stayed at any apartment listed in this site?


It looks pretty convenient and the price is fair as well. What do you think?
travelneko is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2007, 07:18 AM
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I can't say if it is too much. All I can say is that I wouldn't dream of doing it. There is plenty in Paris to keep you interested and busy for a week. You could deal with the other destinations in a separate trip in the future.
Padraig is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2007, 07:18 AM
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I don't think you have enough time to do all three. MSM is quite a distance from Paris, you could do a tour that would leave from Paris, but I think they are expensive and it is a long day. It is not an easy place to get to using public transportation. And then you will also be there when the thousands of other day trippers will be there - which not be relaxing IMHO. MSM is best visited early in the morning or late in the day when the crowds are smaller.

What do you hope to see in the Loire Valley? If you want to visit a chateau or two, you could take a train to a town that has one (Blois, Amboise for example). Both would most likely have busses or even a cab that would take you out of town to see another chateau. This would be cheaper than an organized tour from Paris, but would require a bit of logistical planning.

You could easily find enough to do in Paris for 6 days, but if you want to explore more and see one of these 2 places, I think Loire Valley would be the most doable.

Have a fun trip!
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Old Aug 9th, 2007, 07:24 AM
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On a first trip to Paris, I would not attempt that. There is more than enough to keep you busy in Paris for six short days, especially since you say you want "a more relaxed way of exploring the city." Yes, it is too much to do the Loire Valley and le Mont-St-Michel in that time. If you must do a day trip out of the city, pick somewhere close by like Fontainebleau or Vaux-le-Vicomte or Chantilly and Senlis or Auers-sur-Oise or Versailles.
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Old Aug 9th, 2007, 09:22 AM
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Can you see all of these areas in six days? Yes, probably so. Is it too much to do? Yes, probably so if as you stated you "prefer a more relaxed way of exploring..."

A recent itinerary for our family had us arriving in Paris on a Thursday in the evening. We stayed in Paris until Tuesday am. While in Paris, we did not go all day everyday, however we did get to go up the eiffel tower, up the Arc de Triumph, visit Versailles, visit the Louvre and the Orsay, go to Notre Dame and the Archeological crypt, visit a street market, do a little shopping, and enjoy roaming through some parts of the city enjoying the sights and ice cream, etc.

We rented a car Tuesday am and drove to Caen to see the WWII memorial museum. We then checked in to our B&B near Villers-Bocage. After about an hour break there, we drove down to Mont St. Michele and enjoyed a lovely dinner and sunset there (this was in June, so it did not get dark until 9:30 or 10:00 pm) and returned to our B&B. Wednesday was spent visiting the American Cemetary and quite a few of the memorials/sights along the coast before driving to Beauvais to catch our approx 10pm flight to Dublin.

Certainly we did not get to see anything in depth (I was with 3 teenage boys who like to go, explore, and conquer ). That said, we did spend what was in our opinion a sufficient amount of time in each location. This trip was meant to be an introductory "appetite whetting" trip for my 3 teenage sons. We are unsure if/when we might get back again, so we tried to see as much as we could on people's wish lists.

We generally did not feel rushed during our trip (except on a few occasions), took the time to enjoy the people, the food, and the beautiful country.

You are going to have to decide what will feel rushed for you. Be sure to take into account the amount of daylight, what your priorities are, and how much of the day you want to be on the go. Most days we were out of the apartment by 9 or 10 am, stopped back once or twice in the afternoon for breaks, and then out again through dinner (until about 9 or 10 pm).

Whatever you decide - enjoy your trip and do look to this website for all of the wonderful advice. The posters here were a huge help in our planning.
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Old Aug 9th, 2007, 09:38 AM
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One of the things that makes this board interesting and informing is that there are posters here who may spend as much as a month every year in Paris and never get tired of it. There are also those who can take a three-week trip to France and spend every night in a different town.

So, a lot of it is personal preference. What you need to ask yourself first of all is whether you think you can afford to come back again. On our first trips to both England and France we drove all over the place on the assumption we'd never make it back. Then we loved what we saw so much that we somehow made way for repeat trips to happen.

As for getting out of Paris during your 6 days, some people take a day trip to Giverney (Monet's Garden). However, if there's any chance you'll get back to France (and you want to be leisurely), I would just say spend it all in Paris.
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Old Aug 9th, 2007, 09:59 AM
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Can it be done? Yes and there are probably plenty of people who have done it.

I assume your real question is "Should we?" rather than "Can we?"

I would ask you why you want to see the Loire Valley? For the chateaux? For the region in and of itself? because you've heard a lot about it? because everybody seems to do it?

You can do a couple of the chateaux in a long day trip either on your own or on an organzied tour from either Paris itself or a city such as Tours.

MSM...another very LONG day.

Yes, you can spend EONs in Paris and lots of other places if you want to.

The question is, how much do you want to vs. including those other things?

You can do it all and it will be rushed but you will have done it.

You can do less and concentrate on Pars (what I would probably do).

You can always take that second visit someone promoted above and use THAT one to concentrate on one particular area, too...works both ways.
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Old Aug 9th, 2007, 10:24 AM
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For a first trip to Paris you need - at an absolute minimum 4 days. To see most of the Loire you need at least 4 days. To see any of Normandy you need at least 3 days.

You don;t say if the days you've listed include arrival and departure days - or are the days you're actually on the ground for the full day. If it includes arrival or departure do just Paris -with a half day trip to Versailles or Chartes. If those are all full days on the ground - you might consider doing 2 nights in either the Loire or Normandy - definitely not both.
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Old Aug 9th, 2007, 10:27 AM
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You could spend 6 weeks in Paris & not see everything. Just enjoy Paris...
SAnParis is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2007, 01:58 PM
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Thank you so much for all of your suggestions! Guess there are just so many great places for us to explore that we can easily spend the entire 6 days just in Paris.

I think I'd better do more research on what to do inside Paris. =)
travelneko is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2007, 02:01 PM
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You could also look at other more manageable day trips from Paris, like Giverny and Versailles, two very easy, common day trips.
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Old Aug 9th, 2007, 02:06 PM
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We did a 18 day trip at the end of May. We started in Amsterdam, then Brugge, on to Paris for several days, rented a car and traveled throught the Loire Valley, Italian Lakes, couple days in the Alps and flew out of Zurich. Some people would say this was crazy but it is how we travel and we are slowing down, believe it or not. My main point is that is truly is how you want to do it. From my perspective, I loved Paris but I can only spend so long in big cities. We enjoyed a day trip to Versailles and then so appreciated the Loire Valley after walking all around Paris for 3 full days. I would advise you to stay in Paris and take a couple of day trips to the places others have mentioned. You can day trip from Paris to the Loire Valley.
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Old Aug 9th, 2007, 02:09 PM
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Mont St Michel is really too far for a day trip, and I don't think the Loire is ideal for that, but possible (a couple days might be better). I love Paris but don't really recommend that everyone spend all of their vacation there unless you just adore big cities and can't get enough of them. I really think more variety is better and more interesting on a vacation, and why spend all your time just seeing more museums, cafes, etc. in Paris? Get a little more variety and scenery in. Besides, Paris in August is kind of dull IMO (and I've been there twice in August, just got back, in fact).
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Old Aug 9th, 2007, 02:14 PM
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Maybe you shouldn't, but you certainly can.

Last September, two friends and I met up at CDG, rented a car and then:

Day 1: CDG - Giverny - Rouen - Normandy Coast

Day 2: Normandy Beaches (morning) - MSM (afternoon) - Le Mans

Day 3: Le Mans - Chennonceau - Chambord - Orleans

Day 4: Orleans - Chartres - Paris

Day 5: Paris - Fly out.

We arrive around 4pm in Paris, but still have time to have coffee at a cafe, went up Eiffel Tower and take a Seine Cruise. Next morning, time to take pictures of Arch d'Triomphe and the ladies time to shop at Louis Vuitton.

Yes, it was totally exhausting, and several times we didn't eat dinner until midnight (or later). But hey, it was a great trip afterall!

[In case you don't believe that we did all that, you can take a look at the pictures. We still look happy and refreshed!


BTW, I also spent half a day in Belgium (Day 0) too. ]
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