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Would like to know if we can see the following areas in France in 11 days!

We will be traveling to France with our 16 year old Grandson in June of 2013. We plan on flying into CDG and taking a train to Bayeux and staying for 2 or 3 nights. We would like to tour the D-Day sites and Mont St Micheal area. We also thought the Loire Valley would be interesting with its castles. Also with a couple of nights in Paris, either at the beginning or end. My question is do you think we would be able within these 11 days to visit the French Alps area? Any ideas or thoughts would be most welcome. I'm a novice at putting this together. Also any recommendations on where to stay in these areas would be helpful! Thank-you! Sincerely, Sharon

Posted by
4162 posts

Mont Saint Michel and Chamonix are very far from each other on opposite sides of France. According to Google, the distance is 955 KM by car on major routes. According to the DB Bahn, the shortest train route is back through Paris with 4 changes and takes almost 11.5 hours. You might try using the DB Bahn website ( to check out trains and times including where you want to go in the Loire Valley. That should help with your planning, even though you can't buy tickets from them. When you get your results, be sure to click on the little red arrow for the time you want to go. It will show all the stations and stops. Go down a bit farther on the page and click on the "show map" button and it will show a picture of the route. The DB Bahn website was invaluable to me when I planned a long and multi-trained trip 3 years ago. I hope it will help you, too In answer to your question, it might be doable, especially if you can work out some kind of loop train route that doesn't waste so much time. Personally, I'd spend more time in Paris, maybe with a side trip to Versailles or Giverny.

Posted by
2916 posts

The French Alps just doesn't fit in with the rest of the trip and timing. I'd suggest adding days on to Paris and/or the Loire Valley.

Posted by
2376 posts

Agree with other posters. Are you driving at all? Is it really 11 days as you can't count the arrival day and definitely don't count departure day.

Posted by
1458 posts

Sharon, I'm going to say that it's really up to you! I have done a 3 night France trip once (side trip from London) where we did 1 night Paris, 1 night Bayeux and 1 night Mont St. Michel. We had a great time. Normandy can easily be done with 1 or 2 nights, and Mont St. Michel only needs one night. You could spend anywhere from 1 - 4 nights in the Loire Valley depending on how many Chateau you want to see, but I would expect that a 16 y/o boy will have limited interest in that. Something else you might consider would be the Dordogne region. You could see the caves, and take a canoe ride down the river. But I say - really - if the French Alps are important to you then you could most definitely fit it in! It looks to me like it's 5:36 between Paris Lyon and Chamonix. Maybe you could do Paris in the middle of your trip.

Posted by
9423 posts

In your short amount of time I would limit it to Normandy, Paris and the Loire. In Bayeux (a wonderful, charming town and a good base) I highly recommend Hotel d'Argouges. It's like a beautiful manor house in the heart of town with gardens, large rooms, parking, and wonderful owner and staff. What's your budget for Paris?

Posted by
4132 posts

To echo others: 3 regions are possible in that time if they are reasonably proximate logistically. The alps do not fit with the other destinations in that way. I don't know your grandson at all, but the Renaissance chateaux and formal gardens of the Loire estates are not slam dunks for every 16 year old. Yours might tire of them quickly. A young man is capable of participating to some extent in planning this trip. Why not ask him what he'd like?