We want to spend about a week in Normandy and Brittany (after Paris) and are wondering what would be the best place to stay for the whole time and take day trips by car. Any suggestions?
If you wish to see Brittany other than the eastern edge of it, I recommend two home bases instead of one: one in a convenient Normandy location such as Bayeux; and then at least one home base in a Brittany location such as Quimper or Lorient. Brittany is more difficult than Normandy to see from one home base on day trips--if you look at the map you'll see why--and having only one home base in Brittany will limit what you can see in Brittany on day trips, but it's doable if that's how you want to do it. I myself would prefer, in Brittany, to have several 2 night stay locations rather than one home base, because of the east-west geographical layout of the principal sights in Brittany.Rick in his book France only covers the eastern edge of Brittany. If you want to see the rest of Brittany, suggest you get another guidebook, such as the Michelin Green Guide for Brittany. Send me a PM if you want more info on Brittany.
Margaret, I used Bayeux as a "home base", which was perfect for the sites I wanted to visit (D-Day beaches, etc.). I used local guided tours part of the time, so didn't have any transportation issues. I rented a car for one day to see a few sites that weren't included on the tours.
... the above link is VacationInParis, a USA company located in New Jersey (with representatives in Paris, etc. of course) who manage properties of individuals. You could call them, toll free, if you have questions. At the web site, if you click on ALL APARTMENTS and scroll down to the very bottom, you will find a DEAUVILLE SEASIDE apartment, very reasonably priced... You could have the key to your way cool Deauville apartment before you leave Austin!
bon voyage! P.
There's a Chateau near Mont Saint Michel Abbey:
They have cottages which you can rent, and it includes breakfast. The cottage will give you privacy and a kitchen for the days you want to cook.
I called them and the owner speaks perfect English. He was very accommodating and helpful. The chateau is still in his family, dating back to the French resistance.
I recommend staying in Bayeux, Normandy as a base. Rick gives a ton of info about it in his book. I also highly recommend the Hotel D'Argouges in Bayeux, also in Rick's book. We love this hotel and have been there many times and we'll be there again next month. Enjoy!