Best base for staying in loire valley

Feb 23rd, 2013, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 809
We really liked Le Manoir Saint Thomas. The room was perfect for the three of us and the location a couple of blocks from the castle was hard to beat. Our granddaughter liked the pool a lot too.

If you think you were disappointed not getting to eat there, you should have been with us at L’Epicerie. It started out so great but ended so badly. Like I said, luckily a few glasses of some surprisingly good local red wine (which was weirdly named Felix) wiped it all out of our mind.

Even though I read your fodor's trip report, I've been patiently (well sort of patiently - LOL) waiting for you to get to the Loire and Normandy part of your trip on your blog so I can see the pics. Every 2 or 3 days I check it to see if there is a new installment posted. It brings back a lot of good memories - can't wait for more!!!
john183 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2013, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,205
I like Blois.
kerouac is offline  
Feb 24th, 2013, 07:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 13
Thanks for all the info provided...will start doing my homework. Our plans are to land in paris and then since we are very good airplane sleepers, we will either drive or take the train to bayeux stay 4 days then drive the valley have another 4 days then back to paris for 5 days. My question is...should we drive from paris to bayeux or take the train...i know if i purchase the tickets ahead of time they are cheaper but my concern is chatching the train and not missing it...any thoughts.......thx
vettegirl is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2013, 10:09 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 809
For a stay starting in Bayeux, most people recommend picking up the rental at Caen. Instead of having to do the logistics necessary to get to Caen (even though it is not difficult), my preference would be to just rent the car at CDG and drive the 2 & 1/2 or 3 hours to Bayeux. We did it this way in Italy twice (flew in to Rome, picked up a rental car at FCO and drove a couple of hours to Tuscany). We are going to do the same thing on our next trip to Italy in the spring of 2014. On both our trips to France we started in Paris and just took a taxi to our apartment so I don't have any experience of picking up a rental car at CDG but I would have to think it is not too difficult.

We are also good airplane sleepers (thanks to ambien). As long as it isn't a really long drive it seems quicker and easier for us to just get the car at the airport instead of having to get to Caen where you have to go through the rental process and drive (albeit a shorter distance) anyway. I know there are a lot of people that would prefer to take the train to Caen or Bayeux and pick up the car there. I think it comes down to personal preference and knowing how you react after an overnight flight.

If you are ending the Loire Valley part of your trip anywhere near Tours, my advice would be the opposite for getting to Paris. Drop the car in Tours at the St Pierre des Corps station and take the TGV directly to Paris. Most rental agencies are at the train station so you drop off the car, walk in to the station and use the tickets you bought in advance online and printed at home. Again, it is probably personal preference whether you drop the car off in Paris somewhere near your hotel or take the TGV from Tours but it was very easy for us to take the TGV.
john183 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2013, 07:27 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 124
You can actually take the TGV from Tours to Charles de Gaulle airport without changing trains if you're at the end of your trip.
AussieFrance is offline  

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