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10 day trip starting in Paris

We have planned some of our trip but would like ideas for the remainder.
We are 2 days and 1 night in Paris before heading to Bayeux and Normand for 2 nights. From there we are headed to St. Antonin, probably driving. Where we will spend 3 nights. We will spend our last day headed back to Paris for the last night. I have two days and nights in between. Where should we go and what should we do?

Posted by
4873 posts

St. Antonin is some distance down in the south. On your way back to Paris, check out the Chateaux for a couple of days in the Loire Valley. We stayed in Blois.

Posted by
4697 posts

There are at least seven towns in France with "St-Antonin" in the name. You need to specify which one.

Given how rushed this itinerary looks, I'd recommend spending your "free" two days and a night in Paris. Your current plan allows very little time for this amazing city.

Posted by
338 posts

I'm not sure how flexible you are on your timing, but if you haven't been to Paris and Normandy before, I'd just add the nights to those locations, especially Paris. We spent 8 nights in Paris and 4 in Normandy and didn't run out of things to do, but it depends how thoroughly you like to visit an area, including how many museums and other sites you want to visit.

Posted by
7921 posts

One night in Paris gives you barely one day there, not two. Add any extra time you have to Paris. And rather than running around to see the tourist sites, walk and explore, sit at cafés, and spend time in the Luxembourg Gardens. Then you’ll get a taste of the real Paris.

Posted by
6041 posts

It may be two late to adjust the schedule but you really should end in Paris; take a train to bayeux after arrival and arrange to pick up a car the next morning for the rest (or stay in Caen that night and pick up the car the next morning. That way you don't waste a good travel day on logistics of getting back to Paris. At that point you are over jet lag and it is a shame to waste it rushing back to Paris.

Start with Normandy, then head for St. Antonin and drive and finish with 3 nights in Paris which gives you two leisurely days in Paris.

Posted by
7921 posts

janet’s suggestion is a much better use of your very limited time.

Posted by
518 posts

I have to disagree with spending a night in Caen. That city has the absolute least to offer in Normandy IMHO. The time and night is better spent in Bayeux, or other colorful village in Normandy.

Posted by
6041 posts

The only reason to train to Caen would be that it is much easier to pick up a car there than Bayeux. They could do the museum, and get a good night's sleep on jet lag day and then pick up the car the next morning and head for Bayeux.

Posted by
18892 posts

Caen is logistically convenient, but I cannot imagine tackling the huge (and costly) Caen Memorial museum when jetlagged. It's an all-day effort if you try to see it all.

Posted by
7921 posts

I agree with PharmerPhil and a craven, Caen is ghastly and i really dislike the Caen museum, I would not waste precious time and money there. I do agree with janet to go directly to Caen by train, pick up a car right outside the station, then drive the 30 min to Bayeux and stay there. Bayeux is a lovely, charming town and a great base.

Posted by
821 posts

Hello from Wisconsin,
I heartily agree with more time in Paris. I find it a very good practice that after you land overseas a couple full days should be used to settle-in. Then leave the city flown into. Only to return near the end of the trip for a few more days in the city. While away from the city your brain will digest what you saw there and what you missed. Making the return highly productive. Depending on flight departure time, staying in a motel at the airport makes for a smooth departure.

For most people, the reason to go to Normandy is the invasion and the Bayeux tapestry. Keep in mind that much of what you see in Normandy for buildings are reconstructions. The place really got hammered from the air and with tank battles. Caen really doesn't have much authentic old buildings. There are the two religious structures one dedicated to William and the other to his wife, Matilda. However, in Caen you can rent a car near the train station and head to Bayeux. Bayeux was captured so quickly WWII damage was minimal. US invasion forces built a ring road around the city so as it turned out heavy military traffic didn't even shake the city center. The ring road, resembling the shape of an eye, is still in use.

I would do Paris, train to Caen, car rental in Normandy, and train back to Paris. As little time traveling as possible.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
7921 posts

Except Bayeux and many more towns were not bombed and are authentic.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all for your comments/suggestions. I will process these and any more that come in.