Hi Everybody. I'm putting together my next trip to France (me, spouse, 11 and 9 year old girls). It will be just over 3 weeks long in June/July 2017, divided up as 2 days in the Loire, 1 week in Brittany, 1 week in Dordogne, 1 week in Collioure. Most of the planning is done and I'm hoping that the travel forum can help flush out some specific questions that I have.
We will be leaving the Amboise area around 9am and have a 4pm check in time at our gite in Dinan - what to do in-between? Villandry is looking like the top contender at this point - thoughts?
We will drive from Dinan to Mont St Michel in the AM of one of our days that we are based in Brittany. I expect to be done with MSM by 1pm. As this is our only day in Normandy, I would like to see some traditional Normandy farmland (and get some cheese, potentially tour a farm, etc) as we meander back to Dinan. Can someone recommend an efficient way to do this and/or specific places to look in to?
We will be staying 2 nights on the Golfe du Morbihan (June) - any strong feelings about which town to choose? We will be seeing Carnac stones and Gavrinis so any town towards the western portion of the golfe would be fine, geographically. I've looked at most options and I haven't developed a strong feeling about any.
We will be driving (in one day) from southern Brittany to Beynac in the Dordogne. We anticipate taking many breaks along the way. Can anyone recommend one driving route over another and things to see that are more compelling than French rest stops and worth the time needed to stop? I am not interested in seeing Oradour-sur-Glane.
Can anyone recommend an activity in the Dordogne that they loved that is NOT in the RS guide? This will be our 2nd time in the Dordogne and while we are thrilled to repeat things, it would be nice to find some new gems to try.
From the Dordonge we will head to Collioure near the Spanish border (on the Med). We have decided that a stop at Grotte de Niaux is a must. Has anyone done the drive from Grotte de Niaux (or Foix) to Collioure? Any recommendations? Google maps says the west to east route 'has restricted usage or private roads' - any idea what that means? The plan right now is to do this all in one day. If we leave Beynac by 8:30 am we should have no problem getting to Niaux with full stomachs for the 1pm english tour (it is a 3 hour drive). Then it is 2 hours and 45 minutes to Collioure. I'm considering spending the night to split the drive into two segments (but our gite rentals are 7 night minimums, so we'd be paying double lodging if we spent the night). Any strong feelings about this area?
I'm planning to spend one day in Spain (driving from Collioure) seeing Figueres and Cadaques - should it be two days? If so, what do you recommend?
We will be in Collioure during the week of July 14th/Bastille Day. Can anyone recommend a place to spend Bastille Day in the area? For example, does Perpignan have a lot of stuff going on that its worth spending the day there? Or, is everything shut down to a degree that I should spend that day in Spain or on the beach?
Is there anything in the Collioure area that you consider a 'can't miss' site? In 6 full days I'm planning one road trip to Spain, one road trip to Carcassonne and 2 days on the beach - leaving 2 days left to choose from the surrounding area. There's a lot to see, but nothing is standing out yet.
Thanks a bunch!