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Suggestions for driving routes in France

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Jul 6th, 2012, 10:41 AM
  #1
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Suggestions for driving routes in France

Day 1. Driving from Vaison La Romaine (Provence) to Riom and Day 2 driving from Riom to Amboise. Both of these days are in the order of 4 hours of driving time,and we are driving these distances to try to maximize our time in Normandy. Day 1, I thought of driving on N 102 instead of the larger highway. On both days I am looking for suggestions of good stops for lunch and/or shortish breaks that might offer some charm not normally found during highway driving. I don't mind going off the beaten path a bit and am prepared to spend 6-8 hours getting from A to B. I have the Michelin France 721 map and will have a GPS when I am driving.
Thanks in advance for your help!
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Jul 6th, 2012, 10:54 AM
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What is your overall itinerary? Do you have a particular reason for visiting Riom, or is it just a convenient halfway point to Amboise? Because if that's all it is, I'd ditch the car in Avignon and take the TGV to Amboise and pick up another car (assuming you want to visit the Loire and that Amboise is not just a stop on the way to Normandy).

Without knowing your whole plan it's hard to say, but the drive from Provence to the Loire isn't one of my favorite ones.
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Jul 6th, 2012, 12:33 PM
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Hi StCirq...yes just a half way point with the possibility of seeing some country side. We will have come from Italy to Nice by train where we will stay for a few days. I thought I wanted a car to drive around in Provence a bit and to get to Vaison La Romaine. I could easily return to the car to Avignon. The I could rent another in Amboise ( Hotel reservations already made). We will be spending 3 nights in Normandy and then driving to Arras to see Vimy (my Grandfather served there in WW1). Then driving to CDG to ditch the car before our final week in Paris. I should mention that we like to drive, but also like trains if that is a better option..I could pick up a day somewhere else I suppose.
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Jul 6th, 2012, 12:38 PM
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StCirc... I was just thinking...I could take the fast train from Avignon to Paris and then pick up another car, do a circle route around Amboise/Normandy/Arras and then back to Paris and avoid drop off charges. Would that be a better plan?
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Jul 6th, 2012, 12:42 PM
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Soooo...how much time do you plan to spend in Amboise? I trust you know that Amboise isn't in Normandy, so how many nights do you have booked in Amboise?

BTW, the countryside between Provence and the Loire is a lot more attractive from a train window than from the autoroute. And you can actually concentrate on it, instead of the trucks. And with PREM fares, you'd probably save money on gas and tolls. You'd take the train to Tours from Avignon and pick up a car there - no TGV to Amboise.

Not sure what you mean about drop-off charges.
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Jul 6th, 2012, 01:08 PM
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My original rental was from Nice and drop off in Paris. We are only in Amboise for one night...I know I know, but it was really a stop along the way. I just can't do everything I want on this trip (I'd really like to spend a year!). I have also just discovered that it is uneconomical to rent a car for less than 3 days at the Provence end, & that will be a problem as that is the time I have. (I know, I need "A Year in Provence" too)!If I did my Avignon to Paris thing, I could have an extra day in Amboise, But I need to find a car rental in Provence that is reasonable for a couple of days
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Jul 6th, 2012, 01:42 PM
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Well, it's true that a car rental for fewer than 3 days usually isn't all that economical, but I'm pretty sure AutoEurope will count the entire number of rental days, whether in Provence or in the Loire and Normandy, so you'd get the 5-day or 6-day or whatever it is rate.

One night in Amboise is fine, and you'll presumably see some nice countryside on your way to Normandy from there.
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Jul 6th, 2012, 03:54 PM
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