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Feasible or not...Paris-Loire Valley-Bayeux in ten days

10.5 days total for trip. Rental flat in Paris for 4 days...thinking of train to Versailles then p.u. rental car P.M. and drop to the Loire...spend 4 days then drive to Bayeux for 2...drop off car at CDG and fly home. Thoughts? Tips?

Thanks everyone!

Posted by
3948 posts

Fly home from Lyon or a southern city (Marseille, Toulouse). Use a multi-destination search function. Rentals by day are much less common than weekly, and be sure to read the on-going reports about Paris cracking down on short-term rentals. Easier for me to spend four days at a hotel or, if you really want to cook, an apart-hotel such as the Citadines chain.

Posted by
1220 posts

I would do it all by train, except rent a car at the train station in the Loire for the Loire portion, and in Caen or Bayeux (depending on where you take the train. There are more rental car options with broader hours in Caen) for the Normandy portion. Train to Normandy, and from Normandy back to Paris. I would also map out how you plan to spend the time in each place. You may want 3 days in the Loire and 3 in Normandy, depending on what you want to see in each. And all of these "days" would be shortened by ½ day to account for travel, so 3 ½ Loire, Bayeux 1 ½? So would you stay in Bayeaux 2 nights?

Posted by
4325 posts

My only thought is that I wouldn't fly out if Paris on the same day I left Bayeux unless the flight is later in the afternoon. You'll want to leave Bayeux no later than 6 1/2 hours before your flight and pray for no road delays.

What are you going to do with your luggage while you tour Versailles? You could do Versailles as a day trip from Paris and then take the train to St Pierre Des Corps, where you could pick up your rental car to use in the Loire and Normandy.

I don't know why a PP recommended flying out if Lyon or Marseille. That doesn't make sense when Bayeux is much closer to Paris

Posted by
6706 posts

I suggest you go to the library and read our host's Versailles instructions. It's practical as a half-day from Paris, eliminating the luggage worry and car rental timing. As CJean noted, most U.S. departures are early enough from CDG to be risky by car the same day. If you are content to miss attractions along the way anyway (Le Havre, Rouen, Giverny, also a possible half-day trip; Chantilly) you could spend the last night in a hotel in downtown Paris and get a little more than three nights in that great city. RER train or cab to CDG in the morning. Three hours is barely enough for Economy Class check-in lines.

Another hint from our host, "Assume you'll return." Although car is a good way to get from the Loire to Bayeux, it's also a dreary three hours or more on the highway, with a few sights each 25 minutes (each way) off the highway. You won't have time to stop. It is true that a car is very useful for D-Day sights, although you didn't specifically mention that.

As is often pointed out here, you would benefit from starting to think of your trip as "nights" instead of "days". Since the first and last days are necessarily devalued, you don't really have enough time to do three regions of France justice. You can make the best decisions if you plot out specific interests, like certain specific Chateaux, and what you want to do in Normandy. Time of year makes a difference in full hotels and traffic.

Posted by
4129 posts

I'd give this a high score for "feasible" but a low score for comfort. Assuming I follow your itinerary, that is.
4 nights in Paris = 3 days, not a ton of time but a nice taste. 4th day is your Versailles/travel day.
4 nights in Loire = 3 days, more than enough time imho. 9th day is half travel, half Bayeux.
2 nights Bayeux is one full day. Not sure what you want to do with that day, but if it's D-Day sights consider a guided tour.
Your airport connection requires you to get up at seriously dark o'clock on Day 11, maybe as early as 3 AM depending on your departure time (maybe later if you leave later, obviously).

That assumes a total of 12 days in France, including arrival and departure day, or 10 sightseeing days. If there are fewer days than that it's less feasible and lots less comfortable.

Even if that is right I think you should see if you can possibly add a few days to your trip, spending them in Paris and Normandy. They will add to the quality of your trip.

You need to figure out what to do with your bags while at Versailles, under your plan.