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Seven day itinerary. Your thoughts.

Townsville...
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Seven day itinerary. Your thoughts.

We will be in Paris for 5 days in early December for our 25th wedding anniversary. After that we plan to pick up a hire car for seven days. This is my current itinerary. Please let me know if you think it's okay or should we alter it in any way. We have spent a couple of weeks in the southern and centre of France previous to this holiday.

Day 1 Pick up hire car and drive to Villiers Bretonneux. Keen to visit the Australian Memorial etc. Stay in Amiens? Albert?

Day 2 Spend the day in this area sightseeing. Any suggestions?

Day 3 Drive to Bayeux. Anywhere we should stop to visit on the way?

Day 4 Visit the Bayeux Tapestry. Drive to Mont St Michel. Overnight in Mont St Michel. Suggestions where to stay? Mere Poulard?

Day 5 and 6. Visit the Abby. Or should we do this the previous day? Drive to Bloise. Stay 2 nights in this area and visit Chateau Chenoceau and Chaeau Chambord.

Day 7 Drive to Versaille. Visit the Palace. Stay overnight somewhere.

Day 8 Return to Paris. Overnight in city. Stay close to Opera. Catch Roissy bus the next morning for flights out of France.

I would very much like to hear your thoughts and suggestions on this rough itinerary. Also what driving in December will be like with regard to weather.

Many thanks.

Di

Cumbria
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1. Re: Seven day itinerary. Your thoughts.

Albert itself is not a remarkable town, but it is significant in the history of WW1. It was heavily bombed. There is a really good museum there about life in the trenches (it is all underground). This coupled with a vist to Beaumont Hamel really gives you an understanding of what it meant to be on the Front Line, how the war was fought, and why the loss of life was so great.

Beaumont Hamel - a Canadian Memorial Park - lies just North of Albert. Many of the trenches have been preserved here (this is unusual because when the land was returned to its owners after the war, the trenches were filled in to allow it to be cultivated again). You can do a self guided tour of the park, walk in the trenches, and see how close the enemy was to each other, with the strip of no-mans land in between.

Also close by (North of Albert) is Thiepval, which I think must be the largest WW1 memorial in France. It dominates the landscape for miles around and is the memorial for over 70,000 unknown British soldiers. It is a stunning peice of architechure, and a very moving experience.

We ran out of time and did not visit Amiens, but here is a lovely cathederal there.

We did the drive the other way round - driving from Bayeux to St Qentin where we stayed took around 4 hours. Rouen is on the way and has a gothic cathederal as well as some interesting churches and museums.

I will check in a previous post for some restaurant recommendations in Bayeux. We enjoyed Les Pommiers.

Cumbria
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2. Re: Seven day itinerary. Your thoughts.

We spent a week in Bayeux area last summer and really enjoyed the Le Pommier restaurant in Bayeux - so much we ate there twice. Lots of French people in there - the only tourists I noticed were us.

http://www.restaurantlepommier.com/

Townsville...
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3. Re: Seven day itinerary. Your thoughts.

Thanks for the reply Cumbria. Looking forward to visiting France again.

London, United...
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4. Re: Seven day itinerary. Your thoughts.

Amiens is an excellent place to stay, the cathedral is most impressive, there are many dininig options also. As Mr. Cumbria stated Albert is a dull town, I also like Arras although this maybe a little out of your way.

Day 2 - Also another vote for the Thiepval memorial, this is by far the most impressive of Lutyens' war memorials and should not be missed.

Day 4 - I would not recommend an overnight stay in Mont St. Michel, you will exhaust everything there is to see in a maximum of 3 hours and it will be a ghost town once the tour buses leave. A nice option would be to stay in Dinan or St. Malo, and the drive to Blois will be no longer

I would also try to squeeze in a visit to Chartres cathedral on Day 6/7 the scale is immense and some rare examples of stained glass

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Seven day itinerary. Your thoughts.

I have done some of these things and my only concern with your itinery is the same mistake that we made. We drove from Tours to Versailles and by the time that we got there the lines were terribly long and the area was packed. so much so that we decided just to do the gardens and see the palace another time. Maybe you should have a nice evening drive the day before and stay right in Versailles so that you can be there before it opens

Townsville...
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6. Re: Seven day itinerary. Your thoughts.

Thanks so much for your advise. I was wondering whether if we went to the Bayeux tapestry first thing in the morning and then hit the road for Mont St Michel, would we get there in enough time to have a good look around the Abby in the afternoon and then stay at either Dinan or St Malo or is that pushing it? Short days in December might be a problem?

As far as Versaille goes, do you think there will be large crowds in December? I thought perhaps as it is winter time it might be a little quieter.

Thanks once again for your suggestions.

Di

San Diego...
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7. Re: Seven day itinerary. Your thoughts.

I have to completely disagree with Fatchris. We stayed overnight on Mont St Michel and it is a wonderful, sublime experience. The whole point is to have the place to yourself after the tour buses leave. It is so crowded during the day.

Arrive late in the day, 4-5 pm. Check in. The crowds will already be thinning. This will leave you enough time to visit the Abby which closes at 7. Have dinner. Wander around in the evening and enjoy this beautiful place all by yourselves. I was out on the ramparts at 10:30 at night all alone. It was wonderful. Yes it is possible to "see" the Mont in a few hours. To "experience" it, stay overnight.

We stayed at Hotel St Pierre, took the half board option, and were very comfortable. Dinner was very good, (excellent rack of lamb, or other choices, an appetizer, a cheese course and dessert). Buffet breakfast as well.

One night is plenty. The abbey only takes a few hours, no need to spend two days there.

If possible only take what you need for the night with you, as getting luggage up and back to the hotel can be a challenge. We left most of it in the car, in the trunk (boot) out of sight.

I don't think there is much difference between the hotels on the Mont. None are exactly first class, but none are bad either. Take a look at the tripadvisor reviews.

San Diego...
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8. Re: Seven day itinerary. Your thoughts.

I just re-read your post and realize that you will be there in December. I still recommend staying overnight, but the Abbey's hours might be different in December. Better check on that before you go. Perhaps you will be able to visit the abbey first thing in the morning instead.

Townsville...
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9. Re: Seven day itinerary. Your thoughts.

Thanks Diegodreamer.

My husband is keen to stay overnight. I will check the opening/closing times as you suggest.

10. Re: Seven day itinerary. Your thoughts.

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