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AdrienneF Feb 10th, 2012 07:35 AM

5 Days in Loire Valley
Hi, my partner and I are going to the Loire Valley for the first time. I have booked the Hotel Diderot in Chinon (B & B) for the stay but would like recommendations for restaurants for dinner plus places to visit during the daytime. We are going in May.

Michael Feb 10th, 2012 07:47 AM

For restaurants you could try this site:

The Michelin Green Guide is very good on places to visit.

This might whet your appetite:

FrenchMystiqueTours Feb 10th, 2012 08:24 AM

You can look on the tourist office website for Chinon and find the names of all the restaurants and see what they have an offer (prices, quality, atmosphere etc.). You'll also find out what to see and do in Chinon and the area.

We ate in a restaurant called Le Gandoyau (listed on the town website) and it was very good and reasonably priced.

As for what places to visit that question has several dozens of answers, much more than you could do with 5 days. I would suggest getting a guidebook or two about the Loire to learn what you can see and do. You haven't mentioned what kinds of things interest you so if you did then you might get better answers.

Some of the better known towns to visit besides Chinon are Amboise, Loches, Blois, Saumurs, Angers and dozens of smaller towns and villages.

Nearby to Chinon is the wonderful Abbey of Fontevraud, burial place of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lionheart and Henri II of England.

Famous châteaux in the area (among dozens and dozens) are Chenonceau, Chambord, Azay-le-Rideau, Villandry, Chaumont-sur-Loire and the châteaux in the towns of Chinon, Amboise and Blois.

You really need to provide more info about your interests to get the best responses. Your question is too vague right now. I'm assuming you'll have a rental car.

Michel_Paris Feb 10th, 2012 08:55 AM

I assume you have a car?

nytraveler Feb 10th, 2012 09:29 AM

Agre that you definitely need a car. By their verynature many of the chateux are deep in the countryside and not really doable by public transit - only car or tour bus/van.

This is especially true of the son et lumieres - which you must not miss - a whole new experience.

Michelin green is your friend.

bilboburgler Feb 10th, 2012 09:34 AM

or bike, and there are bike rentals around

mr_go Feb 10th, 2012 10:23 AM

First of all, congratulations on booking a place in Chinon for your stay. We really liked the location, as well as the town itself.

I won't recommend restaurants, since it's been a good dozen years since our visit (and who knows how they've changed since then). But I will link our trip report, which includes brief descriptions of all the sites we visited in the area...

Hope that helps!

mr_go Feb 10th, 2012 10:35 AM

Edit: Just go straight to page 2 of that trip report, Adrienne. The first page isn't going to help you much.

Michel_Paris Feb 10th, 2012 10:49 AM

Couly-Dutheil is a top red wine maker, with vineyards in Chinon.

BigRuss Feb 10th, 2012 11:09 AM


Answer those questions, and you'll get many good recommendations.

AdrienneF Mar 19th, 2012 12:24 PM

Hi, sorry I have not answered for so long, busy with work!! We will be driving over from UK so will have car. The hotel we are staying in has booked us in to the restaurants I researched for the five nights in Chinon and confirmed that they are all very good - so thats dinner sorted!
I have read all your posts, thank you and although we are not really into historic buidings, I think that Chenonceau, Chambord and Villandry on a dry day will be enough and probably the best? I am going to see waht Son et Lumieres is on the web! We are basically foodies and like to go to local markets and just wander, maybe buy something nice for the home at an interior design shop or flea market and have a light lunch, return to hotel around 5-6pm and then walk to local restaurant for dinner! The go on a diet when we return!! Any other tips appreciated and we plan to drive from Calais to Chinon via Rouen NOT Paris as I don't think I can cope with the capital traffic!!

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