My wife and I are traveling to France for 2 weeks - our first time. We are in our late 20s and enjoy nature, photography, strolling, unique experiences, castles, libraries, animals, wine, cheese, and definitely chocolate. We don't like beaches, nightlife, etc. We've been to Spain, Italy, and across Argentina - all amazing experiences.
The only thing I've booked are flights in/out of CDG. I think we want to do Loire Valley, Lyon, and of course Paris. Not sure the ideal order - but I figure since we're flying out of Paris, we'll save that for last.
Originally, I thought we'd do Loire/Bordeaux/Dordogne/Paris but I've simplified it a bit. I replaced Bordeaux/Dordongne with Lyon, which I think adds diversity and make a better base for trips to Rhone Valley, maybe Annecy?
Arrive early Monday to CDG
4 nights Loire Valley (check in Monday, check out Friday)
4 nights Lyon (check in Friday, check out Tuesday)
5 nights Paris (check in Tuesday, check out Sunday)
Depart Sunday night from CDG
Loire Valley (stay in Amboise)
- Flights lands CDG 6AM.
- TGV to Tours, arriving 11AM. Pick up car - drive to hotel
- Eat lunch, check in, walk around Amboise
- Over the next 3 days: chateaus (Chenonceau, Villandry), a winery or two, kayak or easy biking
- Any must-see/do?
- Leave Friday AM: return car @ Tours, TGV to Lyon (3 hrs)
Lyon + surrounding area (Stay on Lyon)
- Vieux Lyon, Gallo-Roman museum, other Lyon sights
- daytrip to Tain-l'Hermitage (Valhrona is a must; winery tour if walkable from train?)
- daytrip to Annecy, Avignon, the beaujolais wine route, or other city ~1-2hr away
- [do laundry during half way point]
- hopefully do a cooking class o
- would enjoy being car-free & taking trains on daytrips, but open to renting a car for a day
- leave Tuesday AM for Paris
Paris (stay in Marais)
- plenty to do here, not going to list it all :)
- with 5 days in Paris, enough time to do a day trip to Giverny and/or Versaille (if both, on different days)
- leaving Sunday night- any good "last day" things to do before catching a ~7PM flight?
Would the trip cadence be better if we went straight to Lyon, do Loire/Amboise via Tours from Lyon. Though I don't have the May TGV schedule, seems likely that there's a mid-morning train FROM Lyon TO Tours but not in reverse.
- Am I doing the right thing by giving up on the Bordeaux and/or Dordogne?
- Should do just 2 nights in Lyon, 2 nights in Avignon? (we usually like settling down for at least 3 nights at a time)
- Are the days split up nicely? (too much time in Loire & Loire? Enough time for Paris?)
- Where should we go first after landing in CDG: Loire Valley or Lyon?