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7 nights in Paris and Loire Valley?please critique

7 nights in Paris and Loire Valley?please critique

Feb 12th, 2009, 04:33 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 69
7 nights in Paris and Loire Valley?please critique

Here is our itinerary:
Arrive Sunday May 17 for 2 nights in Paris at Le Meurice
Rent a car on Tuesday May 19th and drive to Loire Valley and stay at Domain Des Haute Loire for 3 nights exploring the chateaus(suggestions on which ones?)is this too long?
Friday May 22 drive back to Paris for 2 final nights and fly back on Sunday May 24th
skydog is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 04:42 AM
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I always like to consolidate my time so there isn't so much lost in moving in and out of hotels, renting cars, etc. I would rent a car at CDG and drive to the Loire for 3 nights (your first on the day of arrival sort of doesn't count because of jet lag, acclimation, etc).Do the Loire, turn the car in at Tours or somewhere and train to Paris for the rest of your stay. Renting a car and turning it in in the city is daunting to me--can be done, but I think it takes more time and a little angst of driving in and out of the city.
Or you can do it backwards--stay in Paris for X days, train to Tours, rent a car and then drive to CDG and turn in the car for the return flight.
Gretchen is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 05:46 AM
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Is what too long? Too long a distance to do in that amount of time? Too much time?

The distance is just fine and the amount of time is too short.

As to which chateaux you want to visit, I suggest you get a good guide to the Loire Valley and decide for yourself. Each chateau has its own charm and interest. Chambord and Chenonceaux are certainly worth a visit.

If you like gardens, then a longer journey to Villandry is certainly called for.

There are so many chateaux in the area that you need to decide for yourself. I do suggest limiting yourself to no more than three a day. And be aware that many chateaux and other sites close for a couple hours for lunch.
GBbabe is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 05:59 AM
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It's not too long. The last time I was in Onzain, I stayed a week and I'm hoping for another week in a couple of years.

If you get tired of fancy restaurants, I suggest Chez Collette, across the river in Chaumont. If it is the same as it was many years ago, it will have good food, friendly service (they stayed open for dinner for us on their quiet evening) and a meal you can eat in less than 3 hours.
bigtyke is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 07:23 AM
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Great chloce for a hotel in the Loire Valley. We spent 3 nights in Amboise. We visited the chateaux at Chenenceau, Chambord, Villandry, Amboise & Leonardo DaVinci's home in Amboise, and the ruins at Chinon. We also took a dawn hot air balloon ride over Chenenceau and the sunflower fields. I think I agree to rent the car at CDG and drive to the Loire. I would then drop off the car and take the TVG to Paris for the remainder of the trip instead of breaking it up. Three days in the Loire is not too long . You can suffer "burn-out" if you see too many chateaux so I recommend trying to break it up and deciding in advance which you really want to see. You can skip the inside of Villandry and just visit the gardens which are magnificent. Chambord can take 3 hours to visit because of its sheer size. Try to get there early enough to get an English audioguide-a necessity. The ballon ride was very special-I highly recommend it.
mkk4050 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 07:43 AM
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hi skydog,

here's another vote for heading straight to the loire and then going back to paris, [or vice versa] rather than breaking up your Paris stay.

neither 4 days in Paris nor 3 days in the loire area are too long.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 10:32 AM
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Is this trip adults only? If so, I agree with the 4 days Paris (although I never have enough days in Paris) and 3 in the Loire. If there are kids involved, I'd cut one off the Loire and add it to Paris.
sf7307 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 03:12 PM
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Hi sky,

CDG to Amboise is about 2:30 hr on the highway.

Are you comfortable with doing that when jet lagged.

If not, I think that you have a good plan.

ira is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 05:06 PM
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I third, or whatever, the Loir as first or last but not in the middle. It is all the moving! I also recommend Davinci's home, it is very interesting and a break from the regular chateaux, though they are beautiful. My favorite is Chenonceaux, but Chamboard is nice, Chaumont also has a lovely castle and grounds) Amboise castle is nice to see as well. I would leave a moment or two for serendipity! RoseiCAro
rosiecaro is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 05:19 PM
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Seeing 3 chateaux a day is gong to be very difficult. Even though many aren't that far apart they're mostly in very small towns or the countryside , with driving on very small local roads. Also, in May they may not be open max hours yet - do check to see opening, closing and possibly closed lunch hours. Also do check to se if any of the son et lumiere shows are running that early. (A great experience at several of the chateaux - and a unique opportunity to wander the grounds at night.)
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 13th, 2009, 06:46 AM
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Hi skydog; Consider, if you decide to go directly to the LOIRE, see if you can fly into ORLY from your home base. It would save you at least one and a half hours driving time from CDG to the Loire. Pick up the car at orly, return it to Orly and take the train into Paris. You could also take a taxi or shared van into Paris. ENJOY Iris
iris1745 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2009, 08:57 AM
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I agree with not putting the Loire in the middle requiring two changes of hotels, etc. If you don't feel like driving upon landing and can arrange for a late return flight, you can stay your first 4 nights in Paris, then drive to the Loire, stay 3 nights and take the TGV directly from Tours to CDG for your flight home. We did that a year ago and it worked out great.

You'll love the Domaine des Hauts de Loire. Beautiful luxury.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Feb 13th, 2009, 05:18 PM
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You cannot fly INTO Orly from the US, so that is off the table(probably)
Driving 3-4 hours your first day is not a big deal. Goals are everything.
Gretchen is offline  
Feb 13th, 2009, 05:35 PM
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Hi; Skydog; Where are you flying from? Actually you can fly Iberia from Boston to Orly, arriving at 10:30am. You can also fly Air France from JFK to Orly arriving at 10:30am. Each with one stop. There may be more, but we don't know your home base. Iris
iris1745 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2009, 04:39 AM
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Obviously I should have said "direct" to Orly from the US. ;o)
Gretchen is offline  

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