France itinerary, major mistakes ?

Old Dec 1st, 2022, 11:10 AM
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France itinerary, major mistakes ?

Hi !
we (2 adults and 2 kids of 11 and 15 years old) will make a road trip in France in July-August. We have 37 nights for that trip. We know July-august is the worst time to travel but having kids in school and being a Teacher (me) and a school psychologist (my wife) kinds of dictate our travel time !

So our trip is july 4 to august 11. We will rent a car (so expensive for now !)

Paris: 6 nights get rental car at the end
Honfleur: 2 nights and day trip to Etretat ans stop to Rouen on road
Bayeux: 3 nights ddays beaches, tapestry, museum, enjoy 14th july ! Head to Brittanny with a stop in Mont St-Michel (we will get up early to try to avoid daytrippers)
Britanny : 8 nights ( 3 Dinan, 4 Quimper and 1 Vannes)
Puy du Fou : 2 nights in a airbnb in a village near (our tickets are bought so we cant leave that one out !)
Dordogne (2 km from Sarlat): 5 nights
Murat (Auverge): 1 night with a stop on Puy Mary
Puy-en-Velay: 2 nights

Thônes (French Alps): 5 nights. Daytrips to Annecy, Chamonix and other mountains around.
Lyon: 3 nights . Leave our car in our Arrival in Lyon. Fly back to Montreal on the last day ( at 1 pm)

We made reservations (refundable) only in Airbnb (beside Lyon)

What about that ?

Last edited by tostaky; Dec 1st, 2022 at 11:16 AM.
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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 11:43 AM
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Looks good. But you might want to take a night off Quimper and add it to Vannes to have more time for the pre-historic stuff or a boat ride on the Golfe de Morhiban:


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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 11:44 AM
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The only area with which am totally unfamiliar is Brittany, where you've allocated the most nights. 8 seems like alot, but you'll get numerous responses here that'll speak to that. But two stops en route to Honfleur are Giverny and Auvers sur Oise (here esp if you're VanGogh fans) where you'd lose half a day in the least. Not sure if you can swing thru them heading back south. We did see them from Paris, Giverny by car, and A sur O by train, so doable, but there is just so much to see/do in Paris. But mid-summer you may well want to get outa town for a day. 5 nights in Sarlat is a perfect amount of time. It sounds fabulous to me!
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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 11:52 AM
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8 nights is not a lot of time for Brittany. I agree maybe take a night off Quimper and add to Vannes. Maybe drop a night in Paris and add to Normandy.
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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 12:01 PM
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Looks good. But you might want to take a night off Quimper and add it to Vannes to have more time for the pre-historic stuff or a boat ride on the Golfe de Morhiban:


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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 12:04 PM
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Looks good. I would take a day off Quimper and add it to Vannes for time to see the pre-historic sites and perhaps take a boat ride in the Golfe of Morhiban.

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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 12:10 PM
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My apologies for the multiple copies, but it looked like the my reply was not taking.
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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 12:14 PM
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My preference would be for fewer short stays, fewer hours sitting in a car, which would mean fewer destinations, less geography. But you know your family, your travel style, your priorities for this trip, etc. I hope your 15 y.o. is a happy traveler.

FWIW, I think you're short-changing Bayeux, esp. if your stay includes July 14th. Since the holiday falls on a Friday in 2023, there will likely be a lot of traffic that weekend, and stopping at all of the landing beaches covers many miles. For example, Juno Beach (where Canadians landed) and Pont du Hoc are about 2 hours apart. Utah Beach is even farther east. The Canadian War Cemetery south of Juno Beach and near Reviers is worth a visit. I also recommend stopping at Arromanches to see the remnants of the Mulberry Harbor and visiting the museum there, esp. if you're not going to the Peace Memorial (museum) in Caen, which is the most comprehensive museum on the D-Day Invasion.
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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 02:30 PM
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I agree with the comments of the other people here about staying an extra night in Vannes - we loved it and it definitely warrants more than one night.

I also wanted to say how nice it is to see that you are going to the Puy de Fou and staying overnight nearby. Hopefully you have tickets for the Cinescenie which we have seen twice and it is truly amazing but ends very late so having nearby accommodation is a terrific idea. Given the ages of your kids another attraction you may enjoy is the Futuroscope at Poitiers, though you might have to borrow another night from Sarlat to fit it in. https://www.futuroscope.com/en/

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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 03:04 PM
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Different strokes for different folks, but.......13 of 36 nights in Normandy/Brittany? where's the Vaucluse? I could spend a month there without elsewhere. ncl. Vaison la Romaine? St Remy? Nimes? etc Roman ruins

The more you, and your kids, research it, the more you'll enjoy it.

Some here will find your itinerary too hectic, too much packing & unpacking.
I don't. You're young, you can handle it, and it's a once-in-a-lifetime taste of the entire country. But taste the ENTIRE country.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2022, 07:40 AM
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Thanks to all for those answers !
Of course travelling is different for everyone. What I can say about us it that we are not first time travellers, we have taken many lenghty road trip in Usa and canada with our kids since they are born and it will our fourth trip in Europe with them.

Of course we can alway take a day here and there and add it to here and there, the main thing seems to add a day to Vannes. Our Plan was to leave Quimper early and enjoy syght going to Vanne. For Vannes itself we have the whole evening and the next full day. since we will be in puy du Fou only one day we dont plan to arrive early at our lodging near the evening before. Maybe it still not enough for Vannes, but I guess we will manage it ! Quimper is not only for Quimper (but we will be there at the same time the Festival de Cornoailles) but also for the region around it.

annhig We wont be there for the Cinéscénie beacause it happens only on weekends and we will thre on a tuesday. Tehre still an evening show that is not as great but stil....

tomboy Vaucluse will be for another trip, We (my wife and me) already been in Rome 4 4 years ago, we have been in many roman ruins with the kids (Spain, Istria in Croatia) and we dont need it this time. The Normandy/Britanny could be less hot in summer than he sourthern part of France which could be a good thing in the heart of summer !

Jean Im an history teacher so of course everything about WWII is very appeling for me...but the kids wont enjoy it as much ! We will have 3 full day for that region, so I guess it will be enough for this time. We will plan it well and your post give me some ideas about how to do it !
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Old Dec 2nd, 2022, 12:29 PM
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<<The Normandy/Britanny could be less hot in summer than he sourthern part of France which could be a good thing in the heart of summer !>>

Could be, but I have been as hot as I have ever been in Europe in Brittany - twice. Once in Dinan, and once in Vannes. While we were staying in Vannes it was so hot that we had to put the hood on our convertible car back up to prevent us getting sun stroke from driving round with the hood down.

Shame you won't be at Puy de Fou for Cinescenie.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2022, 02:54 PM
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You might be interested in the Brittany part of my trip report:

The Peabody Papers 2019, Paris and Brittany, Unmapped

There is more than one day of things to do near Vannes.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2022, 08:02 AM
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With children, I would consider Futuroscope in Poitiers to be close to obligatory if you are in the area. I haven't been there in more than 15 years, but even back then it was extremely impressive. This year they beat out 200 other places for having the best new attraction in the world at an event that is held in.... Orlando; It is called "Tornado Hunter."

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Old Dec 3rd, 2022, 08:33 AM
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I would suggest stopping to see the castle at Fougères, certainly one of the finest in the area. It's not far MSM or Dinan, and worth the detour.
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