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4 days in Paris--how to pull this off!

We are going to be in Paris for 4 days in mid July, before moving on to the Loire Valley. We arrive very early on day 1 and hope to be spending the night of day 4 in Amboise (though this isn't an absolute necessity). We had hoped to have 2 full days in Paris and one day each in Normandy and Versailles. It appears that a full day guided tour (non-private) in Normandy necessitates spending the night before in Bayeux. I'm having trouble deciding how we can make this work without having to travel to Bayeux for the night of day 2, then returning to Paris at the conclusion of the day in Normandy (day 3), then seeing Versailles on day 4--and then traveling via db train to Amboise that night? Is this doable? Other recommendations?

Posted by
333 posts

There are tour companies like Viator that have 12 hour day trips to Normandy leaving from Paris. You might check those out.
Lisa

Posted by
17148 posts

Have you taken an overnight flight to Europe previously? Most of us find that we're not worth much on arrival day, so I would not expect to have two full, usable days in Paris even if you solve the Normandy-logistcs issue. I'd recommend dropping one or both of the planned side-trips if this is your first trip to Paris. Otherwise, I fear that you will arrive in Amboise exhausted. Since seeing Normandy from Paris in one day is difficult and necessarily involves compromising on how much of the area you can cover, I'd set it aside for inclusion in your next trip to France.

Posted by
253 posts

We did a private tour in a day to Normandy. Left on a train around 7, got to Carentan about 915 and toured until 500 pm then 6 pm train back to Paris in time for a late dinner. Was a long day and more expensive than group tours, but the tour was great and we saw and learned a lot as we had a private guide narrating as he drove. We used Duncan with http://www.normandysightseeingservices.com/. Normandy is worth more time, but if you are weighing something that is imprortant to you it may be worth it.

Posted by
956 posts

jjperry,

Im wondering why you want to cover so much ground in such a short amount of time? Could you save some of this itinerary for another time? I agree that arrival day is a wash, and if its not, because adrenaline is helping, the next day is rough. You say arrival in the Loire on night 4 isn't a necessity, so which of these things is: Versailles, Bayeux, arrival Loire day 4, or quality time in Paris? I think this is a case of wanting to do it all but your itinerary feels to me like Navy Seals initiation ;p

What do you want to do in Bayeux? Is it very important. It sure seems like this one would be easy to drop as it is a very demanding day trip. Or, arrive in Amboise later than night 4 ... Or, just spend 4 days in Paris! Why not that?

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you for all of these! Yes, it seems we need to refine the purpose of our trip, though it gets interesting when some have been to this area before and others will have their first European experience on this trip. Thank you for the help!

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you for all of these! Yes, it seems we need to refine the purpose of our trip, though it gets interesting when some have been to this area before and others will have their first European experience on this trip. Thank you for the help!

Posted by
956 posts

For those having their first experience, it is a cliche for a reason: less is more. Or a teaching adage: Its not what you cover, its what you uncover. The temptation is always to see as much as you can fit together because OMG YOU'RE IN EUROPE! For me, having specific goals helps me refine. Also, I find that toggling between urban and rural is a nice way to balance an itinerary if possible, as far as making the pace feel less demanding.