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Where to go from Paris and return to Paris

I got a great deal on a round trip flight to Paris from Miami. I've been to Paris before so now I'd like to go on a 6 day tour outside the city. May or may not rent a car. I would like some readers' ideas as to where, and how, to visit during the second week of September. I can't do hiking and climbing. Walking is o.k.

I will research areas myself but I really like suggestions from this forum. On previous trips and one coming up in May, the suggestions were very helpful.

Posted by
7 posts

Fun! I just posted about the same thing AND I'm leaving on Monday for 6 days AND am also from Miami.

Posted by
782 posts

I would go the Loire Valley,you can take a train from CDG to Tours which is in the Loire Valley,two hour ride.The Loire has many Chateau and gardens.There are car rental offices in the train station in Tours.
Mike

Posted by
7175 posts

A) Reims (1) > Colmar (2) > Annecy (2) > Beaune (1)
B) 3 nights each in Nice and Avignon
C) 3 night each in Loire Valley and Bordeaux
D) Rouen (1) > Bayeux (1 or 2) > Mont St Michel (1) > Loire (2 or 3)

Posted by
1996 posts

Not an unusual tour is: Normandy, Le Mont-Saint-Michel, Loire and Chartres. You can do it ofcourse in the opposite direction and see after visiting the Loire region how much time is left for the other destinations.

Posted by
90 posts

Just read a private post by "Jane" and lost it! Jane, please resend. Thanks.

Posted by
386 posts

I spent 11 days in Normandy and Brittany this past Sept and feel like there is so much more left to see! The Rick Steve book covers the highlights as on overview, the Rough Guide to the region goes into more detail and then the 2 Michelin books cover just about every town of note. Mont St Michel, Dinan, St. Malo, Bayeux, D-Day beaches, Rennes, Rouen, Etretat, Giverny, etc. RS has all his videos online to watch and he has one on this area. There is so much to see that you can easily fill a 6 day tour! A car makes this easier. I'd suggest taking the train out of Paris and picking up a car in your 1st stop (I got mine in Rennes).

Posted by
8102 posts

Whatever you plan, plan to finish in Paris so you aren't rushing back the last day before.

We have done several trips like this. We once did 5 nights in Normandy. You can see some of the stuff here:

We spent a night near Mont St. Michel, two in Bayeux (plus beaches) and two in Honfleur (plus Etretat.) We loved it and could have added a night and done St Malo or Rouen. https://janettravels.wordpress.com/category/normandy/

We once spent a week in Semur en Auxois and used that as a base for touring Burgundy. Love the beauty of this area. https://janettravels.wordpress.com/category/burgundy/ Burgundy is one of the more scenic areas of France.

WE have spent time in the Loire and that would be a nice area as well.

Alsace is easy from Paris -- we spent a couple a couple of nights in Strasbourg and there are many nice places in the area.

And if you have not thoroughly explore the Ile de France, there are literally dozens of cool towns, small cities and chateaux right in the Paris region. Here are a few: https://janettravels.wordpress.com/category/day-trips-from-paris/
We also love Reims, Rouen, Chartres, Giverny, Auvers sur Oise just to name a few easy day trips from Paris. You could easily spent 6 days going to a great new place each day while enjoying evenings in Paris.

Posted by
3696 posts

I have to second, or third the area of Normandy.... Bayeux, St. Malo, Mt. St. Michel. Instead of wasting time on a train to pick up a car just get it at CDG and head out of the city. It's well marked, just pay attention. I think if you head to Provence you will really feel that you do not have enough time to see the area. Unless you intend to come back to France for Normandy I would concentrate on that area, and do try to spend the night on MSM. You can cover lots of territory with a car. Then just drop it back at the airport on your way out... the day before if you have an early flight.

Posted by
56 posts

1) Provence: Base yourself in Avignon and daytrip to any other towns (Arles/where Van Gogh painted; Nimes/Roman amphitheater; on a Sunday, L'Isle Sur-La-Sorgue/an amazing antique flea and food market only on Sundays - it is surreal; Aix-on-Provence, etc)

2) Loire Valley: Base yourself in the city of Tours. There are mini-van excursions that you can sign up for seeing various chateaux.
I especially like Villandry, which as astonishingly beautiful gardens; and Chenonceau Chateau. You can also take a small local train to some chateaux on your own (such as in the town of Amboise).

Either of these two areas are easily accessible to Paris on the TGV.

Bon Voyage!

Posted by
90 posts

My head is spinning! I've spent hours watching Youtube and researching train schedules and tours based on all the suggestions I've received. I think I've narrowed my itinerary down to spending a couple of days in Normandy (to see the beaches and WWII museums) and then try to fit 3-4 days in Provence. I question if I can do that as the bus and train schedules are very confusing. Any advice would be appreciated.

Posted by
386 posts

Any advice would be appreciated.

My advice: pick one or the other. It's going to take about half a day when all is said and done to change locations, maybe more. And if you think of daylight hours the change will burn much of that day. You only have 6 days to start with. If it was me I'd not spend one of those days primarily shuttling between 2 locations.

Posted by
8102 posts

I would do either Provence or Normandy. Normandy easily has a week of great travel as does Provence but wasting huge time rushing from one to another, not so much. I personally don't much care for Provence; I find it arid and less interesting than say the Dordogne (one of my favorites we are making our 4th trip there this fall) or Burgundy or Normandy. Some people love it though but it deserves a week to explore. It is also on the other side of the country from Paris. There are so many areas closer in -- Loire, Burgundy, Normandy/Brittany that I wouldn't go that far.