Mont St. Michele?

Apr 2nd, 2015, 08:33 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,108
Just a note for Chartres. When I was there a year ago, I first parked in the underground garage near the cathedral. The desk man at my hotel told me that garage was the most expensive in Chartres and that the one by the station was the most reasonable. (Don't know for sure, but the rates at the station were much better than up near the cathedral.) and of course, this would depend on location of your hotel.

FWIW, I loved, Chartres! Wander down the little streets near the cathedral and feel as if you are back in time. (Well that is my unsophisticated view.)

Going to Ste. Michel was a lifelong dream for me and it lived up to what I had built up in my mind! As I wandered up the streets I could see beyond the hordes of tourists to tourists of bygone years. The tourist tat was changed from early days, but there were still eager buyers long ago. FMT, thanks for sharing your pictures. I loved them!

Have a wonderful trip!
irishface is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2015, 08:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres (Penguin Classics) by Henry Adams is a classic and makes good background reading for visiting either religious-based originally sight.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2015, 09:04 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
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I don't know where you're flying in from but if it's an intntl. flight be sure you don't suffer from jet lag if you want to drive right out to Normandy after landing. It's a 2-1/2 hour drive from CDG to Honfleur if you don't hit traffic.

I think the average visitor probably spends 3-4 hours in Honfleur (not counting meals) though I know some people will spend a whole day there. So you might have time to visit something else on the way to Honfleur, like Giverny or Château Gaillard. Then you would still have plenty of time to explore Honfleur in the afternoon and the next morning depart right for the D-Day sites. If you want you can visit Deauville and Trouville on your way to the D-Day sites, then head to MSM. If you look at the thread below you'll find links for all the major tourist office websites in Normandy between Giverny and Bayeux:

From MSM to Saint-Malo you might want to follow the scenic coastal route and stop for an oyster lunch in Cancale.

If you want some ideas of places to visit and things to do in and around Saint-Malo and Dinan you can look at a photo report I wrote about exploring that area:

You can use my report to get ideas of what to do on the day you're going from Saint-Malo to Dinan.

It's a 3-1/2 hour non-stop drive from Dinan to Chartres. I think the average visitor spends 3-4 hours here (not including meals) though like Honfleur some people would spend a whole day exploring Chartres. I would say the same about SaintMalo and Dinan as well. All of these places have enough to keep you occupied for a whole day but that assumes you have certain sites/attractions/museums you want to visit. Neither of these towns is that large and they are easily walkable.

So if you've got time then on your way to Chartres, and right on your direct route, you might have time to stop in the beautiful medieval town of Vitré.....

....or the charming medieval village of Sainte-Suzanne (a Plus Beaux Villages):
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2015, 04:46 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 299
Yes, I absolutely love Chartres Cathedral! I became enamored with it while taking a Humanities class in college. Thanks for the reading material.

FMT, obviously you have a pretty good feel for what my interests are now . . . excellent suggestions! I'm looking into them in greater depth. Thank you!
Banff is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2015, 07:51 PM
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kovsie is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 07:33 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 173
Glad to see that you will plan one night on the Mount. Please note the strong suggestion to bring food with you. We have been fortunate to stay three times in places with beautiful views. However food is expensive and almost inedible. On our last visit we walked down to our car to scounge a few crumbs left from our lunch on the road. And that was after paying for an expensive dinner!

If you are interested, there is an excellent and very detailed tour of Chartres Cathedral in English at noon on selected days. It might work with your timing, although I'm not sure about the pricing or interest level for the three of you. Please indicate if you are interested and I will dig into my notes for the specifics.

BTW, have you considered returning the car when you arrive in Chartres? That might make things a bit easier on the Paris end as well as save a few days of rental fees.

anniemackie is offline  
Apr 6th, 2015, 06:41 AM
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Posts: 78,322
Malcolm Miller gives iconic tours of Chartres Cathedral much of the year - at noon most days and 2:30 pm - probably the excellent tours Annie above talks about - Malcolm's unique and spell-binding spiel -he's devoted his life to studying Chartres Cathedral and has been giving tours there for centuries it seems - he brings the cold stones of the cathedral to life and does things like reading the stained glass windows, making sense of them.

Well worth pinpointing for - no reservations needed, just show up.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 6th, 2015, 05:13 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 299
thank you for the tour suggestions . . . I have taken the M Miller tour many years ago and greatly enjoyed it.
Banff is offline  
Apr 7th, 2015, 09:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Where did you pull that figure from? Nearly twice as expensive as in reality: $5.80/gal now.
PalenQ is offline  
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