Best way to visit Loire Valley in a day?

Jan 18th, 2006, 11:24 AM
  #1  
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Best way to visit Loire Valley in a day?

I am looking for information about doing a day trip from Paris to Loire Valley in particular Chateau de Chenonceau, Cambord and d’Arzay-le-Rideau.
Is it possible to view 2 out of 3 of these chateaux in one day without a car?
How does transportation work?
I heard that Tours tourist office offers minibuses to visit the châteaux. Has anyone done that?
Thanks for your help in advance!
shternm is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 11:30 AM
  #2  
 
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Yes via the mini-bus tours that visit 2-3 castles on full day tours - best to do is hop TGV to Tours station and then mini-buses from there. (ACCO-DISPO is one such company that's been around a long time) - the Tours tourist office i think books tours for private companies like above but doesn't run their own tours. Mini-buses take several folks on a circuit - some include admission fees some don't. Tours tourist office should have all the details and you could check when you buy your train ticket in Paris about mini-bus tie ins with the TGV tickets.
PalQ is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 03:11 PM
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If you're not averse to driving (and the driving is easy in the Loire Valley), you could easily visit Chambord on your way in from Paris (about a two hour drive) and then take in Chenonceaux, and go on to Azay-Le_Rideau. There's a lot to see in the countryside, and if you control the transportation, you won't be rushed. Those three, however, make for a long day, since there's a lot to see in the chateaux and on the grounds of Chambord and Chenonceaux. Azay-Le-Rideau is beautiful and fun to walk around, but it takes less time for a visit. You might (with or without a car) consider Chenonceaux-Amboise (lots of places in the town for lunch) and Azay-Le-Rideau as a more manageable threesome, especially if your start point is Tours.
Midnightsun is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 06:35 PM
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My mom and I took a one day guided tour on a small van. 7 tourists and a guide/drive. I can't remember now if we booked with Cityrama or Parisvision, but my recollection is they were basically the same. We saw Chambord in the early morning, then Cheverny, a lunch stop, then Chenonceau. It was great. I really liked having someone else do the driving, and I don't know if I would have seen 3 if I had done it independently. Our guide was excellent. And I felt like we had enough time in each place, some time guided and a bit of time to wander on our own. The only time I was sorry not to have more time was when we were leaving Chambord. They were just setting up a market with lots of local food stuffs and wine, and we didn't have much time to stay and check it out.

I highly recommend the tours.
china_cat is offline  
Jan 21st, 2006, 09:54 AM
  #5  
 
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We also did the http://www.accodispo-tours.com tour, contracting the whole van for 7 of us. We had flexibility because of that, going where we wanted. We took the TGV there (Tours?)and a slower one back. They are essentially drivers who will help you buy the tickets at each castle and you tour on your own. It beat renting 2 cars and the logistics of driving around.
Amart is offline  
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