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3 or 4 days between Mont Saint Michel and Bordeaux

Greetings all, and thanks in advance for any assistance

My wife and I will be spending a couple weeks in France this September, and are struggling to finish our rough itinerary. We will start in Paris and spend 5 or 6 days there, with a couple day trips. We will end our trip in Bordeaux visiting friends. On our way out of Paris we will overnight in Mont Saint Michel, but are undecided on where to spend the 3 or 4 free days we'll have in the middle of our trip. We like the idea of taking it easy a bit, would not mind settling into village life for a few days where we could ride bikes to some sights and wineries and relax (we're active, love hiking/biking/wine). Does not seem like enough time to go to Provence or the south of France. Would like to travel primarily by train/not rent a car.
The Loire Valley seems like a possibility, and as Rick says to headquarter in Amboise or Chinon (is one vastly superior to the other?). Really wondering if anyone else has some feedback that might be in line with what we're looking for.
Thank you so much!

Posted by
10344 posts

This is a matter of personal preference, but for me, 5 total days in Paris with 2 of them being day trips, this only leaves 3 days for Paris and, for a first trip to Paris, I'd recommend 6 total days if you want to do 2 day trips, leaving 4 days for Paris.

And the 3 or 4 free days in the middle of your trip could be spent in a variety of places that are located somewhere between Mont St. Michel and Bordeaux, and your suggestion of the Loire Valley makes sense.

IMO it doesn't make sense to go to Provence, too far away for this trip.

Posted by
7175 posts

The Loire Valley makes sense for a few nights after Mont St Michel.
If you want to slow the trip down, then maybe Bayeux before Mont St Michel, and La Rochelle before Bordeaux.
Forget Provence (it's way too far) and try for 6 nights in Paris.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you very much Kent and djp; I agree with everything you've said. Staying on in Paris for another day or two would be easy to do; we could be there for weeks and not do everything we'd like. With limited time, we need to make the days count. Just wish there were more obvious places to stop between Paris and Bordeaux. I'll still be looking

Posted by
5900 posts

I agree with Kent about the time you're giving to Paris, I'd think it deserves more.

If you want to travel by train, you can use the DBahn website to find schedules. From Rennes to Bordeaux would involve several changes but take you through Tours or Angers on the Loire. You could rent a car there and spend a few days exploring. There's no way to visit chateaux by train, but several companies run van tours out of Tours (Google them) or you could perhaps rent a car for those few days.

Amboise is a good base for chateaux east of Tours, Chinon for those west of Tours, that's why RS recommends those towns. If you'll be training to Tours, I'd suggest that as a base, even though it's a fair-sized city. It has its own worthwhile sights, insufficiently acknowledged by RS. Angers would also work as a base if you're willing to drive from there.

Then get back on the train to Bordeaux.