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Need help with Normandy & Loire Valley itinerary + extra days

Need help with Normandy & Loire Valley itinerary + extra days

Apr 27th, 2015, 12:54 PM
  #1  
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Need help with Normandy & Loire Valley itinerary + extra days

Our main goal in going to France is to Normandy and see the WWII sites. I also want to see Mont St. Michel and several of the chateaus in the Loire Valley.

Will arrive in Paris on 9/19/15 around 9:30am.and train to Caen for rental car the on to Bayeux for 4 nights. 9/19 - 9/22/15.

9/23/15: Overnight in Mont St. Michel

9/24 - 26/2015: 3 nights in Loire Valley. & maybe Fontainbleau.

9/27 - 10/01/2015: 4 nights ?

10/02/2015: Last night in Paris to fly out on Sat. 10/3

Any ideas of the other 4 days? We have been to Paris before so we don't want to spend them there. We are thinking of going to Brussels for 2 nights or we could do a day trip if we stayed in Paris. If I am reading schedule right, it is 1.5 hr. to Brussels from Paris. We are interested in anything WWII and history. We have been to Versailles also.

Any help or ideas would be appreciated.
Sue878 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2015, 01:08 PM
  #2  
 
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How about adding Brittany to your tour - the Breton peninsula has some really sweet places and a unique identity from the Celtic background. Carnac is a fascinating site for pre-historic monoliths.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 27th, 2015, 01:25 PM
  #3  
 
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I second Brittany. We prefer it over Normandy, actually. Brussels didn't do much for us - but Antwerp & Ghent did.

We've spent 6 weeks vacationing in Brittany & 4 weeks in Normandy. I developed an itinerary that describes our favorite villages, scenic drives, chateaux (yep - plenty in Brittany & Normandy), restaurants, and other sites. If you would like a copy, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach one to the reply e-mail. I've sent my various itineraries (I have others for France) to over 5,000 people on Fodors.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Apr 27th, 2015, 01:26 PM
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Go for both wars - the WWI lines are north and east of Paris.
BigRuss is offline  
Apr 27th, 2015, 01:37 PM
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Yes Bigruss makes a good suggestion if into war stuff - from the Loire go via Fontainebleu perhaps over to the Marne Valley area and onto Verdun - come back to Paris along the Marne - hitting Reims and epernay if into Champagne and Reims a sweet regional town with famous cathedral as well and the WW 2 Room in a former girls school that was requestered by the Allied military and made into a war room to plot the final assault on Hitler and Berlin - war maps still on the wall and name plates still on the tables.

Come back to Paris via Marne - Chateau Thierry has a large military cemetery/memorial high on a hill overlooking the Marne.

Hit Compeigne on way to Paris and see the place in the forest on a rail siding where the WW 1 armistice was signed and later the train car it was signed in blown up by Hitler's orders after his troops overtook the area. Have not been to this one but may be poignant and of interest if into military histories.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 27th, 2015, 02:36 PM
  #6  
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Thanks Stu I will check out your itinerary regarding Brittany. As long as their is stuff to see, my SO doesn't like sitting around. LOL

BigRuss & PalenQ: He is interested in all WW stuff (I only know about WWII) so will look into those areas also.
Sue878 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2015, 06:57 PM
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I posted a thread for advice on our France trip and mentioned that we would be renting a car in Caen. Another poster mentioned that it's very easy to get the car at CDG and not have to deal with the trains.

So today I did a little research and that's what we're going to do. It's a little over 2 hours from CDG to Caen. If you take the train, it takes about 5 hours total travel time (changing trains and layover). Plus the cost of the ticket from CDG to Caen.

So, just thought I'd throw that out there.

We have been to Normandy before and are going back to finish seeing what we missed the first time. Loved Bayeux.
melodyesch is offline  
Apr 27th, 2015, 06:59 PM
  #8  
kja
 
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You might consider adding other stops in Normandy (e.g., Rouen, Honfleur, and/or Bayeux) or add some time in Brittany....
kja is offline  
Apr 28th, 2015, 05:04 AM
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Yes I think renting a car at CDG and heading to Normandy beats taking the train ato Caen then renting - stopping by places like Giverny, Les Andyles, Honfleur, etc. - of course not all the first day.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 28th, 2015, 05:57 AM
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Definitely take the car from CDG. Otherwise you have to go into Paris to get the train to caen which makes really no sense.
Agree with more Normandy like Honfleur or even a first night in Rouen.
And have to comment-have you been to Paris so often that you couldn't go back? ;o)
Gretchen is offline  
Apr 28th, 2015, 08:50 AM
  #11  
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Gretchen: We've only been to Paris once,for a week several years ago but we are interested in seeing other places.

We were thinking of driving, because of the time, but it is a long flight from Denver, that is why we are thinking of taking the train. We would just like to get to our hotel and check in and then maybe walk around, sight see etc. My SO would be doing the driving and he doesn't like driving in big cities in Europe. We have driven several times before in Europe. The time distance by car does sound better then the train on the 1st day. Is getting to car rental at CDG and getting out of town from there easy?

I do appreciate your thoughts & ideas.
Sue878 is offline  
Apr 28th, 2015, 09:31 AM
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If you modify your time a bit you can drive to Rouen from CDg and be in your hotel faster than you would be in Caen, I would guess. CDG is already on the northerly side of Paris so you aren't driving in big cities.
Gretchen is offline  
Apr 28th, 2015, 07:17 PM
  #13  
kja
 
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"Definitely take the car from CDG"

Well, maybe. But flying can really throw off one's alertness, and can substantially increase the risk of an accident. (The risk may still be very small, but is much larger than it would otherwise be.)

"We were thinking of driving, because of the time, but it is a long flight from Denver, that is why we are thinking of taking the train. We would just like to get to our hotel and check in and then maybe walk around, sight see etc. "

I think that very wise!
kja is offline  
Apr 29th, 2015, 03:12 AM
  #14  
 
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I guess to batter this to death--we did rent at CDG and drove to Rouen for the night because of jet lag--and wanting to visit that city. Then if going to Caen, a short drive the next day.
If not, then get your luggage, find the train or a cab into Paris to the train station, get on the train to Caen, get off and rent a car and go to the hotel. There are several steps before "walking around to sightsee". LOL
I would suggest the OP get the Michelin Green Guide to Normandy and a map of Normandy and take a look at some of the possibilities.
Gretchen is offline  
Apr 29th, 2015, 04:22 AM
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I think actually staying in Paris, perhaps near Gare Saint-Lazare the first night may be best - sleep walk around Paris if that's the case and be fresh for the train ride and ready to go the next day.

If renting a car Rouen is not a bad drive but still kja makes a salient point.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 29th, 2015, 07:29 AM
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https://www.google.com/search?q=jumi...w=1455&bih=977

The fantastic Jumieges ruined abbey is smack right on course for a Rouen to Caen/Bayeux route - I did it once by bike. Nice short stop along with Les Andelys:

https://www.google.com/search?q=les+...w=1455&bih=977
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 29th, 2015, 07:57 AM
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>>The fantastic Jumieges ruined abbey<<

It is fantastic of you like ruined Abbeys. We don't.

Stu Dudley
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Apr 29th, 2015, 07:59 AM
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And yes, that route including Giveney is exactly the way we drove. The Abbey Road is wonderful--not just one, but a number of medieval abbeys along a high ridge road out of Rouen.
Gretchen is offline  
Apr 29th, 2015, 08:36 AM
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As long as you're in Caen, why not spend half a day at the WWI/WWII museum. There's a lot to see there.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Apr 29th, 2015, 12:11 PM
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It is fantastic of you like ruined Abbeys. We don't.>

Well many do and the ruins are in a lovely setting overlooking the Seine - *** Michelin green site - I thought it very evocative - actually I rather find a ruins abbey more attractive than a pristine one. anyway it is right on the route for those who may be interested.
PalenQ is offline  

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