|Subject: Re: France itinerary|
Based on my experience traveling in and about France, I would find your proposed itinerary a bit ambitious. If I had a couple of weeks and wanted to get a flavor for a couple of different areas in France, focusing on ones that have a lot to offer and would be manageable driving out of Paris, I think I'd pick Burgundy for about a week and the Loire Valley for the balance of my time. You certainly can't exhaust what these two areas have to offer in two weeks, and they abound in lovely, interesting small towns. I think Besancon is definitely not worth going out of the way for, and Clermont-Ferand, though I have not been there, hasn't shown up in much of the literature I've read as a top spot. If you haven't stumbled onto Michelin Green Guides yet, you can get one on the Loire and one on Burgundy and have about all the information you'll need to make well-informed choices on what to see and do there. I have used these guides extensively for quite some time, and found them to be excellent overall. You can get them on other parts of France as well.
I'd be happy to give you additional thoughts on specific places, if you would like and don't find what you need from other sources.
Whatever you route you choose, you can't, in my view, go wrong if you're in France. Hope you have a great trip.
John in Houston