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13 days in France

My boyfriend and I are planning a 13-day trip to France for next month. We are flying in/departing from Paris. We are interested in visiting Normandy, Provence & Loire Valley. I was wondering if anyone else has done a similar trip, and if you have, do you mind sharing your itinerary or giving us suggestions. Thanks you so much!

Posted by
10344 posts

Your ideas sound good, 13 days could go like this:4 days Paris2 days Normandy2 or 3 days Loire4 days ProvenceYou need to check out travel times from Loire to Provence, and you need to allow sufficient time to get from Provence back to Paris if you've already bought your airfare and you're flying into and out of Paris.

Posted by
8669 posts

I would spend a bit more time in Normandy. A 2-day tour with BattleBus Tours out of Bayeux would be my recommendation and that is just one town. The D-Day beaches and surrounding countryside and towns where so many battles were fought, are something I feel that every American, Canadian, and British person should visit. They are so moving and you will be glad you saw this area and learn the stories of sacrifices and heroism. Even if you are not a history buff or usually find history to be boring, I think you will enjoy Normandy. Just my 2 cents worth.

Posted by
4129 posts

Given only 13 days plus flying home from Paris, I would save Provence for another trip.

Since that's probably not what you want to hear, though, may I suggest the following:

Day 1--Arrive Paris and continue by train to Chartres. See the cathedral, walk around. Sleep Chartres.

Day 2--Drive to Amboise or other Loire Valley destination, stopping at Chambord and maybe other chateaux enroute. (This is a busy itinerary so you have to cram things in.) Sleep Loire.

Day 3--More Chateaux. Sleep Loire

Day 4--Drive to Mont St. Michel with lunch stop at the ruined chateau in Fougeres. Sleep MSM.

Day 5--Drive to Bayeux & D-Day beaches. Sleep Bayeux.

Day 6--Other things to see beside Beaches include tapestry 7 cathedral, also (especially if it rains) Peace Museum in Caen. Sleep Bayeux.

Day 7--Morning train to Paris. Sleep Paris.

Days 8&9--Sleep Paris. See as much as you can.

Day 10--Train to Arles or other Provencal town. Spend the afternoon seeing Arles. Sleep Arles.

Day 11&12--See Provence sights. A car will help.

Day 13--Drive to Marseilles airport and fly (a) to Paris or (b) home, OR take an early train to Charles DeGaulle for flight home.

To my mind spending more time in the Loire, in Normandy, and especially in Paris would be worth saving Provence for another time.

If you did follow this itinerary including the train back to Paris a the end, a 2nd-class France drive saverpass might be a good deal for you (unless you can score discounted tickets to and from Provence, which are sometimes available in advance.)

September is a great time to visit France--have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
711 posts

Hi Grace..Are you driving from Paris? Do keep in mind that you can see alot more if you drive . We love to drive in France . The roads are amazing.. the back roads are wonderful, also.When people give you driving times in France, you usually have to double them.We are photographers andfly into Paris, rent a car at Orly and from there it is easy to get on the A6. We drive through Burgundy, and then down the A6 and A7 and go to the east and west of the expressway to see the wine areas.Then we go on down to the Cotes de Rhone area and the Luberon villages. We stay in Isle sur la Sorgue which is half way between. This year we are also going down further to the Var, and then we are working our way up to Orly again.September and October are lovely months in France. Remember 13 days is not alot. Don't try to shove in too much. Burgundy is so lovely during this time of year. If you want some neat reasonable places to stay, send me a message.