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7 days Itinerary from Normandy to Carcassonne

We would like to get feedback on our below Itinerary.We prefer budget travel with our main interest in sightseeing. Departing Paris on April 18 we have 7 days in hand.

Day 1,2, 3- Normandy..Is April a gud time to visit?
Day 4,5-Loirre valley
Day 6,7- Dordogne.Carcassone

We are planning to rent a car from Bayeax and drop it in Narbonne to catch train to Barcelona

Posted by
2565 posts

The weather in Normandy will likely be chilly in April so you won't be basking on the beaches. Personally I'd shift Day 3 to the Loire Valley so as to have 3 days in the Loire instead of Normandy, but if you are more interested in WWII battle locations and other sites in Normandy, then your time allotment is probably fine.

It looks like your route will take you through the western side of the Loire region, which is great because it is less heavily touristed, being out of range for day trippers from Paris. I can recommend Hotel Biencourt in Azay-le-Rideau. The proprietors are very friendly and helpful, and it is a lovely property just down a quiet pedestrian street from the chateau. From Azay-le-Rideau it is less than an hour's drive to the Fortress of Chinon (connections with Joan of Arc, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and the Knights Templar), and in the other direction the chateau of Villandry (famed for its gardens).

Alternatively, you could stay further west (Saumur, Angers, Brissac) and see Fontevraud Abbey and the Cadre Noir performing horses in Saumur.

Posted by
4125 posts

I would not want to travel all that way for anything less than 3 full days in the Dordogne. That's 4 nights. I'd prefer more time there, personally. My recommendation is to rejigger your itinerary to allow for 4 days there, however you do it. Loire be damned.

Whatever your travel style, one night in the Dordogne is basically a sleep. Not worth it. The alternative is to take the TGV from the Loire to Provence and catch the Barcelona train there.

Posted by
4213 posts

I agree with Adam, except for the "Loire be damned" part. I think you're trying to see too much in too little time. The Dordogne especially calls for a slower pace. My suggestions would be (a) spend more time in Normandy and/or Loire, then direct to Barcelona, or (b) spend more time in Dordogne and skip Carcassonne, then to Barcelona. You could drop the car anywhere in France that has a good train connection to Barcelona.

Posted by
3304 posts

Make sure you're factoring in drive-time. It's only about 3 hours from Normandy to the Loire, depending on what you want to see there. From there to the Dordogne it's about 5 hours and additional 3 1/2 or so to Carcassonne.
I personally wouldn't want to do that much driving for a 7 day itinerary.

Posted by
309 posts

I'd skip Normandy on this trip...it was cold and blustery when we went in July back in 2013...wouldn't enjoy it in April (but that's just me).

I'd do Loire, Dordogne (stay in lovely Sarlat), and Carcassone (stay inside the walls).

Have fun!

Posted by
7 posts

I really want to visit Normandy n Dordogne ..How abt renting a car from bayeax and drop it in Loire valley n catch train to Bordeaux.Pick up another car from Bordeaux to explore Dordogne.Itinerary as below.Is it too much for 7 days?...apreciate ur comments.

Day 1,2 in Normandy
Day 3,4 in Loire valley
Day 5,6,7 in Dordogne.
Day8.,Train to barcelona

Posted by
4125 posts

You should post night, not days. I'm not sure, but i think this is really

Day 1 Get to Normandy and look around,
Day 2 in Normandy
Day 3 Get to Loire and look around,
Day 4 in Loire valley
Day 5 Drive to Dordogne
Day 6,7 in Dordogne.
Day8. Drive to Cahors or Toulouse to catch train to Barcelona (all day)

Out of 8 days you would have only 4 complete days for sightseeing, none of them nearly enough to exhaust the things to see and do at their respective destinations.

I think you will have a better time if you add some days or subtract some destinations.