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A Month in France

My husband and I are spending about five weeks in France and are seeking ideas for our itinerary. We will be spending the preceding month in Spain. So far my rough idea is:
1. Base one week in Bordeaux (since we will be coming from Basque country in Spain)
2. Base one week in Beaune
3. Base one week in Rouen
4. Base one week somewhere in Normandy/Brittany
5. Spend final week in Paris.
We've spent a fair amount of time in the Languedoc region, and in Paris, as well as Avignon and Provence, so are not including them this time out. We prefer a more leisurely pace, basing in one place and venturing out either by bus, train, or rented car.

Would love any suggestions you may have. Very many thanks.

Posted by
1277 posts

Lynne - Please see Norma's response to the Four Days in Bordeaux thread. I highly recommend heading to the coast and to Arcachon as well. We took the train and also took the ferry to Cap Ferret which has a Cape Cod look to it. The Sunday market along the river in Bordeaux is wonderful. You might also do a walking tour from the TI.

Posted by
4776 posts

What a great two-month trip you're gonna have! I think your plan for week-long base stays makes a lot of sense. Without knowing your interests, I'd still have a few suggestions:

Instead of a week in Bordeaux, consider going up the Dordogne to Bergerac or Sarlat. There's a lot to see in that valley, castles and caves, too far from Bordeaux for multiple day trips. Bordeaux could be a day trip, or maybe a one-night stop (violating your principle).

A week in Rouen and another week "somewhere" in Normandy or Brittany might be more than you need. Consider Bayeux as a base, with day trips to Rouen and places like the beaches, Honfleur, Mont St-Michel (warranting an overnight perhaps). If you want to explore Brittany you'll need more time, but otherwise you could free up some time by combining items 3 and 4 above.

Between Bordeaux (or Dordogne) and Normandy lies the Loire. Unless you left it out on purpose, consider it for history, architecture, scenery, food and wine. Tours or Amboise would be a good base.

Consider renting gites for some of your weeks, or an apartment in a bigger city. Room to spread out, eat in, do laundry, park free, etc.