You guys are wonderful,
Acraven, you are 100% correct, we are not looking to sit around at the beach all day. Ideally we have an activity / day trip in the morning/afternoon, and to end the day in the later afternoon we enjoy the beach (kids can play, we can relax) for 2-3 hours. So almost all spots (even Annecy) has a beach component.
Yes, drive times to Avignon , Aix, etc.. will be 1.5 hrs (that is about the max for me for a day trip). Ideally would like day trips to be less than 1 hrs away. The train could be a good option here to avoid driving (take our car to the train station in Cassis). Cassis is also the beach location with the shortest drive to/from Annecy. If no kids, I’d stay someone more inland to be closer. My wife and I have also been to Nice, Cannes… (French Riviera is not my favorite… I do like very nice locations/places but not ones with overly priced hotels built on top of each other) however we have not been this far west. While certainly not undiscovered it seems like Cassis is what St Tropez was 30 years ago. I am certainly open to suggestions.
I have read that Re is more froufrou than Oleron. Prices still seem 1/3rd of what one gets in the French Riviera, for something equivalent if not nicer.
Does anyone know if the bike paths are only for bikes. I do envision lots of biking with the kids around the island, biking/walking to lunch/dinner, and some beach time of course. We would also go to La Rochelle for 1 day.
Maybe a night less here?
Acraven, Since we would be starting here, I was hoping it won’t be too touristy yet. Also, I was thinking we could take a day trip to Chamonix, Geneva…
I do like places that aren’t on the main line, and I know Annecy is. However, staying overnight we get the benefit of enjoying the evening once those daytrippers depart which I do like. That was one of the aspects I liked about Dubrovnik. It wasn’t great during the day with all the cruise ships, but it was great at night, and one certainly missed out if arriving on a cruise ship for just the daytime.
What about staying a 10 minute walk from town?
Jennifer, I agree with you and Chinon and Sumar have been on my list for a bit. I know they are smaller than some of the other Loire Valley villages (like Amboise that RS likes), but are very pretty and less touristed.
I might have too much time budgeted for the LV. What I do like about it is being able to do bike rides (on bike paths, important for kids) through the countryside to some of the Chateaux’s. Myself and the kids certainly don’t need to see every Chateaux In LV and most likely won’t even get to enjoy touring the inside so this will be more of a scenic ride, picnics, etc.. It will also be fun to stay in a Castle/ Chateaux
Maybe work out just a day trip to LV?, or shorten the time here..and spend more time exploring Brittany (or somewhere else..)
Jennifer, that is disappointing to here. It is one of those places that looks mythical, but maybe the image gets too built up.
Would you recommend staying overnight instead?
Acraven, Any particular location/base in Brittany you might suggests/and or day trips. I have researched some of the towns in Brittany.
Getting Back to Heathrow:
Great question. Ideally our last hub would be close to a larger regional airport that flies directly to LHR as our flight home is in the afternoon. However, I haven’t really found any in the northern France outside of CDG. Even Orly doesn’t fly direct to LHR. Would like to avoid having to spend a day to stay close to the airport (ie CDG). I have done a bunch of searching and I am open to suggestions here! Further south has lots of airport options (Toulouse, Lyon, Nice…)
I’m also open to other locations/itinerary