Advice on 2 night trip to Loire Valley

Apr 4th, 2002, 04:17 PM
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Advice on 2 night trip to Loire Valley

As part of a trip to France in May I was planning on a 2 night side trip to see some of the Chateux in the Loire Valley. My plan was to stay in Tours and rent a car for a couple days. However, I'm a little worried about driving in a foreign country by myself, so I also thought about just one day in Blois with a train trip to one Chateux and then a night at Mount St. Michelle. Any advice on which would be more fun/relaxing?
Apr 4th, 2002, 04:25 PM
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I vote for staying 2 nights. Driving in the Loire Valley is a piece of cake. Take the TGV to Tours, rent your car there and stay in a Chateau. My recommendation is Jallanges in Vouvray (about 15 minutes from Tours). With the car you can see Chambord, Chenenceau (sp), and visit some of the wine caves or small vintners. Will be a fun trip!
Apr 4th, 2002, 04:31 PM
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I agree with the above post. I'm a middle-aged American woman and about 5 years ago I rented a car for a month and drove all over France with my two teen-aged daughters. We had a great time. The Loire Valley is quite beautiful and it was much easier to see by having a car to wander in. We stayed in a bed-and-breakfast in the countryside that was very nice and which we could never have gotten to without a car. Driving in France was easy. Don't worry about it. One tip I got from an internet chat site that was useful was not to reserve the smallest car--if you're driving in hilly areas, it won't have enough power so I upgraded to the next-to-smallest size and got a Rover which was great. Have fun.
Apr 4th, 2002, 06:10 PM
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Hi Neil! With encouragement from Kam & others here, I was brave & drove alone in the Loire Valley for 3 days.

Picked up car in Chartres, drove down past Bois to Chateau du Chissay, very near Chenonceau. Loved the chateau & its location. They also have a 5* restaurant there which I enjoyed one night (quite formal).

Drove to 6 diff chateux & the only mistake I made was not having a detailed enough map. Got lost in Tours - lots of traffic & too many highway options. Also got rear-ended at a red light in Tours. I don 't know what they made those Renault bumpers out of - must be pure steel. No damage at all which was amazing considering the impact!

Returned the car to TGV station in St. Paul du Corps, suburb of Tours.

bon voyage!
Apr 4th, 2002, 06:11 PM
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PS - Neil, highly recommend staying at either a chateau & in Ambroise, a really neat town complete with Francis I's castle & Leonardo's home & burial place.
Apr 5th, 2002, 07:06 AM
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We picked up a rental car at Tours-St. Pierre de Corps and it was easy to get out and on the road from there. If you rent from this location though make sure you have the rental time correct as the car rental place may not have anyone at it unless there is a reservation.

There isn't a lot of traffic in the Loire and it seemed like the roads were pretty well marked for directions to the chateaux.
Apr 5th, 2002, 01:53 PM
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Excellent! Thank you all for the advice. I already had a reservation at a hotel in Tours (Hotel du Manoir) near the train station, but I will look into the Chateux mentioned above. Thanks!
Apr 5th, 2002, 02:22 PM
Mr. Go
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You can't see it all in two days, but here are a few must-sees to pick and choose from, roughly in rank order...
Gardens at Villandy
Saumur (a little far afield perhaps)
Tapestries at Angers (even further afield)

Apr 18th, 2002, 08:24 PM
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In the summer late evening there are son et luminaires, sound and light shows at some of the castles with different time schedules and different themes. sylvie
Apr 18th, 2002, 09:46 PM
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Make sure as you get off the plane, that you hit a bookshop in the airport and get a MICHELIN road map--very detailed and can help keep you from really getting lost///

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