Must See Places in France with a Car

Our party of 4 is traveling to France this April and we have booked Hotel Linbergh in the St-Germain-des-Pres area by the Latin Quarter for our 5 day home base in Paris. From there we will be renting a car and staying in Normandy and St. Mitchel. Does anyone have recommendations on where to visit/stay between St. Mitchel and Lourdes, France that is a Must See and Stay?
Kathy

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7978 posts

If you mean Le Mont St Michel (Manche, Basse Normandie), and Lourdes (Hautes Pyrenees, Midi-Pyrenees) that's about the length of the whole Atlantic coast. How about a couple of clues about interests? How long to you have to spend along the way?

Posted by Kathy
Atlanta, GA, USA
13 posts

Yes, that is correct. We love history, great little towns to stay. We were thinking about staying in Bordeaux but Rick Steve's says Boring!!

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7978 posts

Bordeaux isn't a little town. Not everbody shares Mr Steves' opinion of the place. There's lots of small places withing striking distance, especially if you like wine towns. La Rochelle isn't small either, but it's an excellent example of a walled port. If you want to lose yourself, Bazas is off of the track. There's lots of places like that.

Posted by Adam
Boston
2633 posts

I do not believe in Must Sees, but based on your preferences you might like the many stunning hill towns of the Dordogne and Lot valleys. It's a detour from MSM, but not a big one. Quite a drive from MSM so you might want to break up that leg of the trip.

Posted by Rosalyn
Berkeley
1009 posts

Why don't you take a look at Arcachon? It's on the coast, pretty much directly east of Bordeaux. The Dune du Pilat, largest sand dune in Europe, is close by and an awesome sight. The town itself has an amazing array of 19th century villas, built as second homes, in a riot of architectural styles. You can get a walking tour from the TI office that is inexpensive and very good.
We also liked the Basque area, especially Bayonne. It has a somewhat different history and culture from the rest of France. The Basques specialize in good food. Of course, the French do, too; but Basque food is different. We actually stayed in a small village, Sare, in the hills a bit inland.