Am trying to work out our travel itinerary for visiting Normandy and Brittany 5/26/14 thru 6/1/14. Start out in Paris on 5/26. First question is where best to pick up a rental car outside Paris. Am thinking maybe Rouen. Then we would spend the night in Honfleur on 5/26. Then on to Bayeux where we overnight on 5/27. Then on to Mont St-Michel where we overnight on 5/28. Here is where the plans get a little murky. Thought is to go on to Dinan where we would overnight on 5/29 and 5/30. Dinan would be our base for exploring the Brittany area. After that, we would move on to Rennes where we would overnight on 5/31 and turn in the car. We would catch an early morning TGV to Paris on 6/1 so that we could be back at Orly by 11:30am to check in for AF flight to Barcelona departing at 13:45 (already booked). Comments are appreciated on this itinerary, including suggestions on where to pick up the car, good places to stay, and must-see sites. Thanks in advance for your help. Jim
Looks like a very good plan to me. Unless you really want to spend some time in Rouen, it would be easier to take the train to Deauville (Trouville-Deauville Station) where you could start out in a less populated area and be closer to Honfleur. Car rentals are right by the station. There is a new hotel in Bayeux called 'Villa Lara' which is quite nice, but a little pricey. If you're on a budget, then Hotel Churchill is good. It could be a little risky to stay the night in Rennes and assume you won't have any problems catching an early train or getting to Orly. I'd suggest that you just turn your car in at Orly the morning of 6/1.The fastest route from Dinan takes you through Chartres where you could visit the Cathedral and maybe spend the night on 5/31. It's just a 1 hour drive to Orly from there.
It is probably a mistake to visit Normandy just a week before the 70th anniversary of D-Day on June 6th. Most of the hotels may already be booked up. If not, expect to pay extremely high pricesand book now. Looks like you may be locked into these dates, so I would head directly to Bayeux from Paris on the 26th and try to do the D-Day sights there as far ahead of the anniversary as possible. Then spend time in Dinan and St. Malo. You might want to skip Rouen and Honfleur rather than doubling back and spend more time in Brittany insteadyour choice. As for rental cars, I'd take the train to Caen and rent a car at one of the agencies across the street from the train station. Then I'd drive to Bayeux. It's really convenient in Caen compared to Bayeux, where the agencies are not located near the train station.