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23 day itinerary review/help - France/Switzerland

We will be spending 3 weeks+ in France & Switzerland. I appreciate any comments. Traveling with 2 adults, 2 children (9 & 11). Renting a car after we exit Paris. Wondering if we are doing 'too much too fast' traveling with kids?

Paris - 4 nights
Normandy - 2 nights - Utah Beach / Mont St. Michel
Staying with Friends in Cognac - 3 nights - we have to be here at this particular time so this stay is not flexible
Loire Valley - 2 nights - biking/chateaus
Grenoble - 3 nights - husband wants to ride Alp d'huez
Geneva - 1 night
Lauterbrunnen Area - 3 nights - Jungfraujoch, Murren+Schilthorn
Luzern - 3 nights - old town (we were married here), boat ride / Mt. Pilates
travel back to Paris, stay ? - 1 night
CDG airport hotel - 1 night

Posted by
11430 posts

I have never bothered staying at the airport when I am leaving from Paris.. unless flight is like 7 am , I do not see the point of spending my last evening in France at a soulless airport hotel. Just get up and take a taxi to airport in am.. unless of course you have such an early flight.. I try and book flights that leave after 9 or 10

Posted by
13958 posts

Whether the short stays will work for you depends on how quickly your family can be up, packed, and ready to move. Remember that you can only go as fast as the slowest person.

I just plotted your basic route on google maps. It's 3,000 km in 18 days, not counting day trips. That's a lot of time from kids (and adults) to be strapped into a car.

Posted by
13958 posts

Use viamichelin.com to estimate driving times. Remember that they are usually optimal times, you need to add for traffic, pit stops, etc. You can set it for the fast toll roads or the more scenic slower roads.

Posted by
1186 posts

If possible you should fly home from Zurich. Trains run from Luzern directly to the Zurich airport every 30 minutes and take less than an hour. It seems a lot more convenient than somehow going from Luzern to Paris for just one night before flying home.

Posted by
1186 posts

One more suggestion -- I find Geneva pretty dull in comparison to towns nearby on Lake Geneva. Unless you have something specific thing to do in Geneva, I'd consider staying in Vevey, Lausanne, or Montreux. The awesome Chateau Chillon is near Montreux.

Although, in defense of Geneva I'd really like to pay another visit to take a tour of the CERN facility.