We are traveling to France next MAY for about 5 weeks. We are starting in Lyon and circling down through Provence, Dordogne, Loire, Brittany and Normandy. We were then thinking of going up to Brugge, Belgium for a couple of days. Here is where we are stuck. Do we continue on North in to the Netherlands or do we head back down and finish the rest of France (Champagne and Burgundy regions and perhaps Colmar/Alsace). We were planning to finish the trip in Paris. We are trying to keep the pace down and stay a min. of 2 nights in any area we visit. Our 2 issues are: 1) Is heading North in May a bad idea and 2) Should we really spend our whole 5 weeks in France alone. We love it, but... Any input would be greatly appreciated!
We spent 4 weeks in Jun/Jul 2012 covering part of what you're planning (Loire, Dordogne, Provence, Burgundy, Colmar) but we'd been to Normandy before, as well as Brugges, Bruxelles, and Amsterdam on a different trip. Whether you go to Burgundy/Alsace or Belgium/Netherlands, if you must end your trip in Paris you'll be back-tracking. We loved both your options so you have a nice dilemma-which great direction to take. Send me a p.m. if you'd like more info on our itinerary. P.S., we loved our two years in Monterey at NPS.
Spring is one of the most pleasant times of the year in Belgium and the Netherlands, temperature wise. It may be a little late for the tulip season, however. If you decide to visit Brugge, Amsterdam certainly would not be difficult to add, especially if you place it at the very end of your trip and fly open-jaw out of Schiphol airport. I would say go for it if that's what you want to do. I like Amsterdam well enough, but whether or not it would be worth your time and effort to add yet another city is a question only you can answer.