france in late Apr-early May

Hi, We are trying to plan for our France trip for about 2 weeks from late Apr next year. Will fly to Paris, and then move to Normandy - Brittany - Loire Valley, and fly out from Paris. Anyone done a road trip in Normandy - Brittany - Loire Valley? I'm trying to figure out where we need to rent a car, and where to drop off. Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks!
Julie

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2826 posts

Have you seen this thread on the Helpline? It was started in February 2012, and just updated with an after-trip report.

Posted by Adam
Boston
2630 posts

This is a popular circuit. If your idea of Normandy is, primarily, the D-Day beaches, you can rent a car in Bayeux or Caen. Otherwise pick up your car in Paris, or in Rouen (after spending the night). You will almost certainly encounter cold and wet weather on the coast that time of year, though you can also hope for some nice days. You should plan your itinerary with this in mind (and pack accordingly). For every destination, arrive with a list of rainy-day activities, and flexibly switch your plans based on the weather. If you are flexible about lodging, that time of year you can travel iteratively, reserving rooms the morning of. This will let you change your itinerary in response to changing conditions. Amboise and Chartres make good places to return your rental car.

Posted by melissa
Austin
799 posts

Hi Julie, I think if you can drive in LA, then you can certainly drive out of Paris. I rented a car near Invalides and returned it to CDG airport- spent the last night there. I did not want to take time to ride the train and then rent a car, but it's your comfort that is important. The ingredient that made it all work was having a good d GPS and a navigator who was familiar with the GPS and could guide me to "left lane.. left lane... exit NOW".
We made a big circle of France, but it was July and the daylight allowed us to wander. We enjoyed seeing Bayeux, Honfleur,the WWII sites and cemeteries, Mt St Michel after the tourists left, then several chateaux before heading south. We stayed in Blois, which is not what RS recommends, but walked to the royal chateau from our hotel. Enjoy the research!