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car trip in April for 2 weeks

Hi there:

My wife and I are flying into CDG on April 6, leaving there on 19th. We visited Paris many times, also saw Chamonix, Nice, Nimes, and Cassis--great places. This time we'll pick up a rental car at the airport and first go to Loire valley for 5 days--already booked Castle Fiori. Then we'd like to explore another area. We love architecture, art museums, and lots of hiking--either in city or natural areas. It would be great if we could go on an arc of sorts--coming back to CDG on a different route. Prefer to limit driving to ~ 2-3 hours on most days. Should we do Breon-Normandy-Paris, Dordone-Lyon-Paris, or may be Provance-Burgundy-Paris? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Posted by
27435 posts

April seems fairly early for an outdoor-oriented trip to France. I'd expect Brittany and Normandy to be coolish and wettish, though I haven't researched April weather north of the Alps. You can take a look at actual, day-by-day, historical weather statistics on the website timeanddate.com. The data goes back at least ten years. That should give you much more useful information than monthly averages. I've linked to the stats for Rennes.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you guys for the input. We are set on picking up a rental in CDG as we want to stop in Chartres on the way to Tours on day one. I lived and drove in NYC and Chicago and drove in Rome so hopefully we'll manage, but of course any tips on driving in France are welcome. We can arrange to drop the car in say Lyon--there seem to be a direct fast train from there to CDG. After Loire Valley we'll have eight days to go around. If we were to go Tours-Bergerac-Avignon-Lyon--is this advisable? Or should we do Tours-Carcassone-Avignon-Lyon? Since we'll have a car we would like a scenic drive in between and some hidden gems. Please advise.

Posted by
1194 posts

Hi from Wisconsin,
I agree with the fellow who suggested picking up a car away from the airport. Chartres is a quick train ride from Paris. There are car hire firms there. I don't believe the French allow dead head charges on car rentals. So Charters to Paris shouldn't be a problem financially. And it is much easier to return a car to the airport at the end of the rental (where to go is sign posted early and often) than to get away from the airport to start the rental.

Western Breton to eastern Normandy is 600km and 5 to 6 hours. And that is taking a four lane highway and no stops. Off hte big roads is slow. And I mean it, slow. Those two counties are big. Be prepared. Again, Provence to Paris is a haul.

Please be careful about driving immediately after your flight while the road systems are very similar to ours it is not exactly the same. (I sound like my mom...)
wayne iNWI