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2 1/2 week summer France trip

We will be visiting our son and DIL in Kandern, Germany mid-June to mid-July. While there the 4 of us would like to explore France and a bit of Belgium (no Paris this time, we've all been there and plan to go again when we have more time). What we'd like to see is:

Mont St. Michel

We'd like to travel by train, and are fine with long travel time if needed to get from one area to another.

We are also open to other city suggestions, favoring smaller, yet visit-worthy, less traveled cities. And we'd love to see a bit more of Belgium. We've only been to Bruges, Brussels and Antwerp.

Suggested routes would be awesome!!


Posted by
5618 posts

Looks like your list is primarily for northern French locations, but I'm sure you're aware that Carcassone is substantially to the south. If you venture that far south, while you're in the neighborhood, also consider Albi, about 40 miles to the north. We visited by car, not train, so I don't know how practical that might be for you, but it would be worth the trip.

Back up north in Normandy, be sure to visit Bayeux, home of the famous tapestry, which is well-worth seeing. We were there 10 years ago, but had to leave the day they were setting up for their annual Medieval Festival, so we didn't get to stay for it, and haven't been back yet. I see the 2018 Festival is July 5 thru 8 -- I bet it's more "authentic" than the Renaissance Festivals in the USA.

In western Belgium, Ieper (also know as Ypres) and its World War I historical sights, plus its essential In Flanders Fields Museum that will make anyone question war, should be visited. We also enjoyed Kortrijk (Courtrai). Flemish towns go by both a Flemish (Dutch) name and a French one.

Posted by
100 posts

Driving in France is very easy. think about a small van for four people, and you can each your varied sites are easily.

Posted by
4125 posts

Hi mom,

Maybe it is all about the journey, but if not I would say that doing all that driving just to see Carcassonne would not be worth the trip.

I like Carcassonne and it's worth seeing if you are otherwise in the Southwest. Where there are awesome things to see, which you don't really have time for if you are going to visit Alsace and Normandy. (Also you said Belgium, in which case Annecy is really not in the cards either.)

You should totally go to those places. Those are your priorities and they are great.

So, where you do want to break your trip? It's a long haul between Alsace and Normandy or Belgium,