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travel through France

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May 15th, 2015, 07:57 AM
  #1
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travel through France

Any insights would be appreciated. We will be in France for 2 weeks: Paris for 4 days and then on day five plan to drive to Rouen, sleep there, and the next day visit Honfluer on our way to arrive after tourist bus leave Mont Saint Michel where we will stay over night, Then spend two nights in Blois (Loire Valley). Then off to Chartres, if time Vaux le Comte and then back to Paris for the last two days. Out of Paris 6 days, in Paris 6 days. Are we doing too much?
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May 15th, 2015, 08:06 AM
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Consider Amboise as a smaller nice base closer to the major chateaus than Blois, a much bigger and less romantic city IME - Amboise is the perfect base for a few days in the Loire.

Seems fine overall itinerary to me - could spend more time everywhere of course!
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May 15th, 2015, 08:13 AM
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You might consider sort of "consolidating" your time of moving in and out of hotels. From CDG drive to Rouen for your first night.
You can do your itinerary then, and return to Paris for the end of your trip, as you do now. You might find you have an extra day because of not losing time picking up your car, moving, etc.
We did this when visiting Normandy--and without MSM and the Loire, returning to Paris via Chartres, and returning the car at Orly.
If you continue to Loire, you might return the car in Tours and train to Paris.
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May 15th, 2015, 08:19 AM
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Sounds good to me.
Both advice above good ones, what I'd ask is whether you come from overseas : meaning if you had a long flight, just avoid driving -> I'd suggest, Schedules permitting to take a train from CDG to Rouen, rent a car there and give back the train either to Rouen and train to Paris or with car to Paris, but a lot of people don't like to drive in Paris.
Enjoy !!!
Ps : if you go by Vouvray, buy a few bottles...
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May 15th, 2015, 11:14 AM
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Building on what Gretchen says:I would go CDG to Rouen for 1 night.

I would also add a night to Loir. AS PQ suggests stay in Amboise instead of Blois. I have stayed in both Blois and Amboise, Amboise is better for chateau visits. 3 nights in Amboise would give you 2 full days to visit chateaus.

I am unclear on your day count. How many nights are you spending in France?
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May 15th, 2015, 12:16 PM
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Hi Dugi
1 'chateau', 2 chateaux. Bloody language, I know.
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May 15th, 2015, 02:13 PM
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Thanks paris. Senior moment or maybe too many bottles from Vouvray. "give back the train"? Ha!
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May 15th, 2015, 02:47 PM
  #8
 
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In order to take a train to Rouen you have to go all the way into Paris.
It is not a bad drive from CDG, even after a flight.
Returning a car at Orly (you are on that side of Paris from the Loire or chartres) is dead easy, and the taxi stand is just across the street from the rental return.
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May 15th, 2015, 04:58 PM
  #9
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Thanks for all your comments. Hotel in Saint Germain is booked, one that I really love, so that's not gonna change. I am concerned that we are spending too much time changing overnight accomodations and perhaps driving too much. I like the idea of basing ourselves for 3 nights somewhere around the Loire Valley.
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May 16th, 2015, 01:31 AM
  #10
 
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We stayed here in Amboise for 3 nights on one of our trips to the Loire.

http://www.le-vieux-manoir.com/

Highly recommended. Gloria was very helpful with restaurant recommendations, daily activity planning, etc. She is an American so no language problems for us who speak no French. Accommodations and Breakfast are fantastic.

You are driving a lot, but your selection of Rouen,Honfleur, Chartres, and MSM are top notch. You could do your days away from Paris all Normandy or all Loire.You are skipping Giverny,Caen, Bayeux, D-Day beaches and cemeteries,Lisieux and Pays D'Auge-luscious meadows and half timbered farmhouses, Norman Riviera,Suisse Normandy and a lot of Calvados,cream, apples, pears and camembert and other legendary cheeses. The drive from MSM to Loire is boring.
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May 16th, 2015, 03:39 AM
  #11
 
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Simple question, can you change the hotel booking?
Thought about just doing Normandy? As said, there is a LOT more than MSM--and I could skip that actually. It may be the outlier in your itinerary, if you are goint to the the Loire from Normandy.
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May 16th, 2015, 03:39 AM
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I will add, I think the general countryside of Normandy is much more charming and beautiful than the Loire.
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May 16th, 2015, 07:20 AM
  #13
 
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ditto to what Gretchen says - the Loire countryside is rather blah - the chateaus sublime but a rather boring countryside - this said after biking thru it beaucoups times - Normandy is much more varied and interesting.
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