I have been reading through the forum posts for a couple months now, working on arrangements for our May/June 2022 trip. I am now stuck, and really need help. My husband and I are late 60-70. We have never been to France, and have only traveled in Portugal, Spain, and Italy. We are from a small town in Oregon, USA, and are most comfortable in small (10-30,000) towns and have chosen not to stay in larger areas when it seems possible. We know we are limiting ourselves by not renting a car, but we are firm on that with the exception of day rentals possibly. We are relying on train and taxi travel. We like to walk a lot, but leisurely. I know many people will disagree, but we do not want to go to Paris! Lyon is even bigger than we prefer but I am sure we will love it. I have been planning for months, but now time is flying and lots of properties are booking up. We were originally dividing our time between France and Scotland, and had tickets to fly from Bordeaux to Edinboro then back to Lyon. I canceled the Scotland portion a couple weeks ago as it seemed too chaotic. That ended up leaving more days in some areas than I want. I don't want to redo all our reservations since some are already booked up, so I need help making use of those extra days. I want to rework the Loire area. We most of all enjoy exploring the town we are in, with limited day trips. We enjoy good food, but not necessarily gourmet. We love wine! We won't be crushed if we don't see all the sights. We are more interested in architecture than museum art. We want to see the chateaux of the Loir, but only 4 or 5.
Here are some of our details: - Arriving Lyon mid May, departing June 14. Cremieu- 2 nights, taxi to and back from LYS. Arles- 4 nights, train. 1 or 2 day trips by train. Collioure- 3 nights, train. Carcassonne- 2 nights, train. Saint- Emilion- 2 nights, train. Tours- 4 nights, train. 1-2 day trips ( Saumur, Azay-le- Rideau). Maybe a chateau tour. Amboise- 6 nights, train. More chateaux. Maybe rent car for 2 days? Beaune- 5 nights, train, maybe rent car for 1 day and hope to do wine tours 2 days. Annecy 4 nights, train. Lyon-2 nights, train. Fly out early ( what was I thinking?)! While I am very excited about seeing chateaux, I think we are spending too much time in this 1 area. Because train travel can be time consuming and tiring, we don't want too may 2 night stays. We also are finding lodging prices shoot up very high on the weekends in some areas, and train schedules require more attention. I have gone over this so many times I think I have stopped thinking fresh! Any help?