Taking the family to France in early October for about 15 days and trying to finalize the itinerary.
A little background: Wife and I have been to France a total of 4 to 5 weeks over several trips, but that was many moons ago (before kids). The girls -- ages 9, 11, 13 -- got their first taste of Europe last year when we went to Italy. There, the girls enjoyed the Cinque Terre (and hiking between the towns), loved staying in a castle in Tuscany and exploring the medieval hill towns, and wandering around Venice enjoying the architecture and what it has to offer. We had a nice time in Rome too, but didn't do too much in terms of sightseeing besides walking the city (we lost a lot of time to logistics, a photo session and a soccer game ). Summarized a bit -- they seems to have enjoyed beautiful historic towns, staying in cool/historic places and absorbing the culture. I don't think they will have much patience for a lot of art/museums (hence, we skipped Florence).
Now, want to create similar magic is France. We are considering:
Fly to Paris, Head to Normandy -- Honfleur and Bayeux, and visit Mont St. Michel (we've never been here). Then to Loire for a few days, then to Beaune and finally, Colmar and back to Paris. The exact # of days at each stop TBD. We would rent a car and drive when we are not in Paris. I thought going to the south might be too much and better saved for another trip.
What do you think of the proposed itinerary?
Should we skip some of it and add S. France instead?
Lastly, would love any cool Chateaus or historic apartments/houses to stay in during our visit. Been looking and found some cool options, but many were expensive and I don't want to spend a fortune. (fortune = over $350 to $400/night)