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Revised itinerary

Thank you everyone for your feedback. Based on what i have learned in this forum i am changing things up a bit.
Friday Day one Arrival in Paris - 8:30 am - rent car - stay in Loire Valley 2 nights. (Friday and Sat) this appears to be a short drive just over an hour
Day 3 Drive to Chartre for 1/2 day, continue to Mont Saint Michel - one night (is this doable)? this is on a Sunday
Any suggestions on one more stop here to break up the drive?
Day 4 & 5 Drive to Bayeux - 2 nights (Mon & Tues)
Day 6 Drive to Caen visit the museum - sleep in honfleur (Wed)
Day 7 Drive to Rouen, then visit the Gardens in Giverny - drop off the car at the airport in Paris (too much for one day? (thurs)
Take the train into Paris and stay one week in Paris (leave for home the following Thurs)
I thought by reversing the trip and spending two nights in Loire would help us get some rest, but i feel like some days i may be covering too much distance. I probably only need 5 or 6 days in Paris.

Posted by
228 posts

Driving from the Loire Valley to Chartre takes 1h 45m and then you want to spend 4h in Chartre. From Chartre it takes 3h 30m to get to Mont St-Michel. I think you should spend the night in Chartre and drive to Mont St-Michel the next morning.
Day 7 is a bit busy too. I would visit Rouen and visit the Gardens in Giverny from Paris.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you. I think that will work and will give us a little extra time in Loire if we need it.

Posted by
7020 posts

Paris to Tours is a 2-2.5 hour drive. CDG to Tours is 2.5-3. The area of the Loire Valley with the Chateaux is nearly 100 miles through the Anjou.

I assume you are arriving in Paris at a train station and not driving that after an overnight flight, which research has shown is the equivalent of driving drunk.

Posted by
1142 posts

A agree with Bets, given the morning traffic, plan on 3 hours driving to the Loire Valley.

You don´t say how you are arriving. If your arrival is CDG after an all night transatlantic flight, it would not be prudent to drive the 3+ hours to the Loire Valley. This is the time to take the tran to St Pierre des Corps and either rent a car to continue. Better year would be to spend the night in Tours and rent a car the following morning.

If you are arriving at one of the Paris train stations, depending upon traffic, it can up to an hour just to rent you card and be southbound on A10.

Posted by
17 posts

We've done a similar trip the last couple of years, and will do so again in a couple months. I would suggest staying in Paris for the first couple of nights. Paris is actually a good place to relax/recover from the flight - mainly because you don't HAVE to do anything to enjoy yourself. Just sitting at a sidewalk café is entertaining! You don't go to the Loire to rest - you'll be driving from one end to the other in order to see all the chateaux. I think getting the car at Orly is easy, and gets you right on the highways. A fun stop along the way is at either Fountainebleau or Vaux-le-vicomte.

Friday - Travel / Paris
Saturday - Paris
Sunday - Loire (Amboise is nice)
Monday - Loire
Tuesday - Loire
Wednesday - Chartres
Thursday - Bayeux
Friday - Bayeux
Saturday - MSM
Sunday - Rouen
Monday - Paris
Tuesday - Paris
Wednesday - Paris
Thursday - Travel

Rouen to Giverny to Orly is very easy, and will get you back to Paris in time for dinner.

Posted by
11778 posts

To me Chartres is between Paris and the Loire Valley.

I did a similar loop in reverse. I started, after a few nights in Paris, with a train to Rouen (didn't stop at Giverny), rented a car and drove first to sights in Normandy (for me Etretat/Fecamp, Bayeux and MSM, skipped Honfleur because I planned on seeing port towns in Brittany)

I spent several days driving around Brittany, ending in Vannes, then drove to Loire Valley. I made a stop at Fontevraud Abbey and a night in Chinon before heading to Amboise.

Ideally I would have seen Chartres on the way back to Paris. At that point I'd traded my car for a bicycle (in Chinon) and there is no convenient way by train - so had to save Chartres for a day trip out of Paris on a later trip. Chartres is a really nice town, easily a half day worth of wandering.

If you're doing roughly the opposite. Consider a train to Chartres, pick up a rental there then head toward Loire, then Normandie, then back to Paris. Rouen's extensive medieval center will take up an entire morning. I like the idea of dropping the car in Giverny. It's much easier to train into Paris and use public transportation while visiting the city.

Many of the rental agencies close for a long lunch, don't search for a car rental at noon and plan to pick up return in the normal open hours (typical is 6 or 7-11 and 1:30 or 2-6).