We will be arriving at CDG at 2 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon in July. My original plan is to spend 4 nights in Paris, train to Amboise for two nights, train to Arles for two nights with rental car while there, and then train to Barcelona for three nights. We are flying out of Barcelona. Now that I am doing more research and looking at train schedules, should I switch the order of Paris and Amboise? I like the idea of starting out in Paris, having the weekend there and then going to the Loire valley. On the way to Arles, I realize we will essentially be taking a train back to Paris. Anyone have suggestions or thoughts on this? I already booked hotels in all the cities, but have plenty of time to cancel without penalty, but of course I'm not sure if the same hotels will be available for the different itinerary. I would like to reserve all my train fares in advance so I'm also concerned about a delayed flight and missing our train to Amboise from CDG.
Most of the trips from the Loire Valley to Provence will call for a trip into Paris but there is usually an afternoon train from Saint Pierre des Corps to Avignon where you would change for the train to Arles if the backtracking to Paris is a deal breaker. I love weekends in Paris so I would probably stick to your initial itinerary.