Itinerary for 11 day trip to France

Jul 26th, 2014, 01:34 PM
  #1  
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Itinerary for 11 day trip to France

Planning an 11 day trip to France in mid September for my 50th. Going in and out of Paris. Want to spend 2-3 days in Paris and 2-3 days in Loire and would like to see either Normandy or Dordogne. Would love some suggestions for a great itinerary.
SandyRoberts is offline  
Jul 26th, 2014, 03:09 PM
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For 11 days, I'd choose 2--Paris & the Loire, Paris & Normandy, OR Paris and The Dordogne.

Start reading trip reports and guide books and then come back to us. We'd love to help but your question asks us to do the work for you.
TPAYT is offline  
Jul 26th, 2014, 07:02 PM
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Thanks. Been studying guide books and it's left me confused. Thinking I could do all four but another post I'd read said that would be too much so wanted some opinions on which would be better.
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Jul 27th, 2014, 03:39 AM
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On our visits to France with that similar length of time we find it easiest to begin the trip outside Paris and end up in Paris for the last days. We rent a car at CDG or take the train from there to our first area. I also recommend only two places. You are not quite clear if it is 11 days excluding day of arrival and departure.
Anyway, one trip we did Normandy. Rented at CDG and drove up the Seine to Rouen for our first night, stopping at Giverney.
Went on to Honfleur for a night. Then Bayeux for 3, and returned to Paris via Chartres, and returned the car at Orly which is not difficult.
I suggest you get the Michelin Green Guide to Normandy and a good map of France and decide where you would like to go.
If this is this year, you need to get some reservations--September is a busy month in Paris, and air fares will not be coming down.
Gretchen is offline  
Jul 27th, 2014, 04:50 AM
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Actually we do it the other way---a few days in Paris, then the train to The Loire, pick up a car at the train station and drive after we are fresh and in the French mode. Or, Paris for a few days, then The Dordogne(see my trip report for ideas.)

My suggestion would be for The Loire with the time allotted (11 days--2 days traveling, 9 on the ground.)
The chateaux are fantastic and it's quite easy driving around the countryside. 3 days Paris, train to Amboise, pick up a car, 5 days Loire, 1 back in Paris and home.

Or, The Dordogne if you mean 11 days on the ground---3 days Paris, train to Brive, pick up a car, stay in Sarlat for 1 week, then train back to Paris for 1 night, then home.

You can take the trains right back to CDG for your flight home but we find this stressful so prefer to end with 1 last night in Paris.
TPAYT is offline  
Jul 27th, 2014, 05:08 AM
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We always end our trip in Paris as well. The trip somehow seems shorter to me having to return for one night, like it is over sooner. I know that doesn't make sense but I dislike one night stays.
Judy is offline  
Jul 27th, 2014, 05:28 AM
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I like to think of it as consolidating our time, and leaving from a Paris hotel the morning of departure is so easy by taxi.
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Jul 27th, 2014, 11:50 AM
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Thanks for the replies! And yes it's 11 days on the ground (sorry that wasn't clear). Been in guide books for days and hopefully will get in narrowed down. Luckily airfare is already booked but definitely need to get on the hotels. Leaning towards starting in Amboise for 3 days then Dordogne for 3-4 days and Paris for 3. Hoping that works?? TPAYT I will look at your trip report for ideas.
SandyRoberts is offline  
Jul 27th, 2014, 11:56 AM
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If you are going for the 3 destinations I would take a day off of Loire and add it to Paris. Chateaux are beautiful, but when you get to Paris you may be a little sorry.
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Jul 27th, 2014, 01:42 PM
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Have you been to Paris before? If not, I'd suggest at least six nights min. which would include a day trip to Versailles.
Then train to Chartres, pick up a car and spend the night or not, enjoy a few days in the Loire with Amboise as a base or hop, skip, and jump your nights in the chateaux country with your last night back in Paris or thereabouts.
Janeyre is offline  
Jul 28th, 2014, 04:44 AM
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I think you're spreading it too thin. IMO, I'd only choose 2 destinations and not waste so much time traveling between locations.

After 10 trips to Paris, we still have new things to see. Also it took 2 trips to The Loire to do it justice, plus we want to return. For The Dordogne, we spent a week but definitely could have used more time. For both Loire & Dordogne, things are far apart and you spend a lot of time in the car. And for all three, each site you visit is so fantastic that you don't want to leave quickly.
TPAYT is offline  
Jul 28th, 2014, 07:24 AM
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I definitely second the suggestion of only two places.
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Jul 29th, 2014, 12:28 PM
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Taking the advice! Six nights in Loire split between Amboise and Chinon then the rest in Paris. Really appreciate all the help!!
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