Normandy/Loire Itinerary Help

Aug 20th, 2010, 04:19 PM
  #1  
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Normandy/Loire Itinerary Help

My husband and I along with our two adult children (26 and 21) will be spending one week in Paris at a timeshare at the end of September. After this we want to travel by car to Normandy and possibly to the Loire Valley. My tentative schedule is following. Does this seem like a reasonable plan?

Saturday - Leave Paris early morning. Travel to Rouen to see sights. Travel on to Honfleur for the evening.
Sunday - Explore Honfleur in the morning. Travel to Caen. Go to Memorial Museum. Drive to Bayeux for the night.
Monday - Visit the Bayeux Tapestry. Do a self driving tour of the D-Day sites. Spend another night in Bayeux.
Tuesday - Morning for more exploring. Afternoon drive to Mont St. Michel to see sights. Drive to Amboise for evening.
Wednesday - Visit a chateau or two and then drive to our hotel near CDG for early Thursday morning flight home.

Comments?
mazz is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 04:22 PM
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Sounds very well thought-out to me with the possible exception of Tuesday. Not sure how you're going to manage an afternoon drive to le MSM, then a drive to Amboise without being a bit rushed, but I suppose it's manageable.
StCirq is online now  
Aug 20th, 2010, 07:08 PM
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I almost agree with StCirq. The point of dissension is that I don't think the transfer to Amboise is manageable for any reasonable meaning of the word.
Padraig is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 07:20 PM
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I'm having a hard time fitting in everything that I want to see in Rouen in 2 nights.

And, I'll also be in Honfleur for 2 nights... another problem of seeing everything.

I am also planning to visit the ancient Abbeys between Rouen and Honfleur... have you checked into them?

I think you may be allowing too little time.
joannyc is offline  
Aug 21st, 2010, 08:45 AM
  #5  
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I am now trying to rework my schedule. Would it be better to leave Bayeux early Tuesday morning and travel to MSM and leave the afternoon for travel to Amboise? Or just skip Loire completely and spend more time in Normandy? Any suggestions?
mazz is offline  
Aug 21st, 2010, 09:33 AM
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I really think the extra travel to get to the Loire Valley is disproportionate to the amount of extra enjoyment you might get.

There are nice places within easy range of Mont St Michel that you might enjoy: Dinan, Fougères, Vitré spring to mind. They are in Brittany rather than Normandy, but that's a trivial detail.
Padraig is offline  
Aug 21st, 2010, 09:34 AM
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Mazz - You did not mention Giverny, which is on the way from Paris to Rouen. Have you given any thought to stopping there?

A little over a half day to visit the major D-Day sites seems a little rushed, especially if you want to visit any of the museums there, such as the ones in Bayeux and St. Mere Eglise.

I think you have to decide whether you want to see a little of a number of sights, or whether you'd prefer to see fewer of them, but in more depth. Then go from there.

At any rate, have a great trip!
tom18 is offline  
Aug 21st, 2010, 09:42 AM
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hi mazz,

I'm a great fan of the loire, but I don't see the point of driving so far out of your way just for one night in amboise [not my favourite town in the area anyway].

I'd spend a night in Rouen.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Aug 21st, 2010, 02:32 PM
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To me if it works at all it should be clockwise.I say this because your long drives are directly after your 7 night stay in Paris and this ends close to CDG. You can call it quits and only be a short drive from CDG.Also you sleep at the two major sites-Le Mont and Chenonceau.
Saturday - Leave Paris early morning. Drive to Loire-3 hrs(Overnight in Chenonceau).Time for 2 Chateaux. Choose one from Blois, Cheverny, Chambord,Chamount. After lunch tour Chenonceau(open until 6:30PM). Overnight in Chenonceau.
Sunday - Drive to Le Mont St Michel. About a 3 hr drive. Plan for a late afternoon arrival thus avoiding the mobs and seeing Le Mont at the best time. So you have time for another Chateau or a stop in Fougeres.Overnight at or near Le Mont.Walk the ramparts and causeway at night.
Monday -D Day.Leave Le Mont early for Caen-one hr drive. Tour WW2 Museum. On to D Day beaches from Ste Marie du Mont to Ouistreham ( Arromanches, Point du Hoc, American Cemetery at Omaha Beach-very moving experience)
http://battlefieldsww2.50megs.com/no...n_cemetery.htm
Overnight in Bayeux.
Tuesday -Finish yesterday if need be.See the Bayeux Tapestry. Meander to Honfleur. Stroll the old port.Overnight in Honfleur or Rouen.
Wednesday- All day to see Rouen-buy a Monet poster of the cathedral, and environs-Abbeys, villages-Etretat, etc. Late arrival at hotel near CDG.

Having said this I spent a week in the Loire and a week in Normandy about 7 years ago.
dugi_otok is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2010, 09:52 AM
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Thank you for all your wonderful suggestions. I am now thinking of skipping the Loire Valley for this trip and spending more time in Normandy.
dugi_otok I really like your idea of going clockwise. I am trying to rework my itinerary and would love your opinions.

Saturday - Leave Paris for MSM to arrive late afternoon and evening for exploring. Is there something of interest to visit along the way? A scenic route to take? Overnight around MSM?
Sunday - Drive to Caen to see museum and then to Bayeux to see Tapestry. Overnight in Bayeux.
Monday - D-Day sights. Another night in Bayeux?
Tuesday - Drive to Honfleur and explore for morning and early afternoon. Drive to Roen.
Wednesday - Visit sights in Roen and maybe stop at Giverny on our way to hotel near airport.

How does that sound?
mazz is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2010, 11:14 PM
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Good decision to concentrate on Normandy. For your reworked itinerary Saturday:
There are two routes to MSM using the Autoroute Highway system.
1-A11/A81 which is to the south of Normandy passing Chartres, Le Mans, Laval, Fourgeres.Chartres is 5 star.
2-A13 through Caen.You could stop at the Caen Memorial Museum on Saturday allowing for your tour of D Day beaches and Bayeux to be completed Monday morning.Stay only one night in Bayeux.
As far as scenic routes for Sunday and Monday there are numerous. Around Lisieux(Pays d'Auge) are lush pastures, world famous cheeses-Camenbert, etc., orchards yielding apple and pair ciders as well as Calvados apple brandy, timbered manor houses.Near St-Lo and nearby villages are numerous memorial sites. I suggest the Michelin Green Guide for Normandy to help you on "explore" routes.
Hope this helps.
dugi_otok is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2010, 07:59 AM
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Include Saturday for scenic routes. I am having senior moments but we stopped at
http://www.chateau-breuil.com/ Calvados
http://www.graindorge.fr/ Formagerie-Cheese

attempt at translation:

http://translate.google.com/translat...n-US:-official
dugi_otok is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2010, 10:19 AM
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love that bit "visit a cow norman"

is that the name of the cow?

looks like fun!
annhig is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2010, 11:12 AM
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dugi_otok,
I love your idea of visiting a cheese factory or apple farm. We love these kinds of unique experiences. Also the idea of taking more scenic routes definitely appeals to me. I live in Los Angeles and staying away from freeways is a big plus!
So, I am thinking 1 night near MSM, 2 nights near Bayeux and 1 night in Honfleur. This should allow time to "explore".
I have an 2007 Michelin Green Guide for Normandy. Do you think a more recent one would be necessary?
Thank you so much for all your help. It is truly appreciated.
mazz is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2010, 11:21 AM
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Actually the Green Guide I have is 2001.
mazz is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2010, 02:14 PM
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Actually the Green Guide I have is 2001.>>

that's modern. Most of mine are over 20 years old.

the opening hours section at the back may be out of date [i never consulted it anyway] but the town plans and architectural details etc. are still bang up to date.

It is worth buying a red guide new every so often though - those city maps are invaluable for finding your way round strange places.
annhig is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2010, 05:09 PM
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My oldest book is Frommers Europe on $5 a Day, so 2001 seems new. If I want an update I go to my favorite Barnes and Noble in Encino and read a paragraph or two with a Starbucks.
dugi_otok is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2010, 05:18 PM
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Hello

I hope my trip report is somewhat helpful:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...y-of-d-day.cfm

With only 5 days, you would do well to concentrate on Normandy but it's possible to fit in a little more if you don't mind moving around more quickly. I agree with clockwise, also, you could consider taking the TGV to Tours and picking up a car there. It would be a quick train ride and when you get the car you won't have to exit Paris.
flygirl is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2010, 07:46 PM
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dugi_otok - Encino? We are neighbors. I live in West Hills.
flygirl - Thanks so much for your trip report. Great information and what a great trip! There is just so much to consider in planning this trip.
Now that I have my tentative route, I need to start looking for accommodations. Finding lodging for 4 should be interesting at this late date.
mazz is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2010, 07:58 PM
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If of any help, these are the hotels in Normandy that I'll be staying at:

Honfleur: Best Western Le Cheval Blanc (Best Western's are usually much, much better in Europe than those you find in the US!)

Rouen: Hotel de la Cathedral


I just booked rooms at both last week or so.
joannyc is offline  

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