Hello, I will be in Nantes on a Friday for work, and was thinking of renting a car Saturday morning and driving to the Normandy area - taking in the beaches, history, countryside, etc. I would need to be back to Paris by Sunday late afternoon/evening to catch a train to Brussels. I haven't driven manual transmissions more than once or twice, and not in years. What do you recommend for car rental agencies (with automatics), hotel/hostels, and connections back to Paris (train or drive)? Thanks!
Unless you like driving in Paris, consider returning your car to a smaller city in France (no drop-off charges). Rouen is charming, or you could drive to Amiens or directly to the TGV station outside of Amiens, TGV Haute Picardie.
Once you know what you want to do, shop for a rental company (AutoEurope, Avis, etc.) that will let you pick up and drop off an automatic-transmission car in the places you choose.