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5-7 nights itinerary suggestion in Loire Valley or Berlin in early July

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Hello, I am planning to go to Europe with one other person in first week of July for about 5-7 nights. Thinking about Loire Valley or Berlin. Need help in setting itin and arranging transportation.

Thinking of flying into Paris and visit Versailles before Loire Valley. Which is the better logical route? Touring Paris is not a necessary part of the trip.
1) Day trip from Paris to Versailles (by train) and Paris 1 night then Loire Valley
2) Train to Versailles and train to Loire Valley
3) Train to Versailles and rent & drive to Loire Valley
4) Drive to Versailles from Paris and then to Loire Valley

Any suggestions on Loire Valley intinerary, I am open to any suggestion or past experiences :)
1) Do I need to pre-book train tickets to Versailles or Loire Valley in July?

2) Any lavender to see in early July in the Valley? The lavender festival is mid-July in Provence which is much hotter.

3) Base town? or should I move around in those few days?

4) Chateau suggestion that is under 200 euro a night for 2 people, or other accommodation?

5) Would joining a local tour better than driving ourselves? Like getting into vineyards or castles/chateaux?

6) If driving is better, should I rent it at Paris, Versailles or Loire Valley? Where is more convenient traffic wise? Is a GPS necessary or the Valley area is straightforward to navigate without GPS?

7) Finally (the most important part!! :) ) Any suggestions of places to eat, vineyards to visit? Or any places that are good to visit. Like I said I am open to any suggestions.


As to the Berlin choice, we figure it is a cooler temp place to visit in July.
Just want to know if anyone knows if it is a bad choice to do in July, like rain, crowds or attraction closure, etc

Thank you so much!!

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