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Chartres & Loire Valley

Old Jun 6th, 2002, 07:52 AM
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Chartres & Loire Valley

We are planning on renting a car in Paris & driving to Chartres, but would also like to see a little of the Loire Valley. Can anyone recommend where to go that would include Chartres & still get us back to Paris at night?
Old Jun 6th, 2002, 08:08 AM
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I can see driving to the Loire, but
Chartres is so easy to take a train to that I can't see the point of including that in your car trip.
How about taking the train to Chartres, and doing the drive to the Loire?

Or if you want only a daytrip, you can take a train to the Loire area, although I have not done it myself.

You can take a Tgv train from Paris to Angers and explore what is supposed to be a very charming and ancient town, or you can take a train (or drive) to Blois and from there I believe buses run to some of the chateaux.
Old Jun 6th, 2002, 08:18 AM
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We just returned from Paris and did a trip to Chartres and the Loire Valley just as you described. We rented our car in Paris (at Montparnasse train station) and it was an easy drive out of the city to the peripherique and then down to Chartres.

My only concern is that you will have a VERY FULL day if you try to return to Paris that day. We picked up our car around 9 am or so, made it to Chartres in time for Malcolm Miller's noon tour, had lunch and then on to Beaugency (northern part of Loire). We stayed there for the night. I don't know if we would have had much time or energy for a chateau by the time we got there, but perhaps Chambord is far enough north for you to get in 1 chateau and then head back.

I would suggest that you spend a night in the Loire Valley. We enjoyed the drive (the countryside is beautiful), the towns, the chateaux and the wineries. In fact, we had one of the best dinners of our trip at La Tonnellerie (sp?) in Travers, right outside of Beaugency. I would recommend staying there, too.
Old Jun 6th, 2002, 08:49 AM
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Thank you for the replies. I'll look up those locations & see what we can work out. To clarify a little, there are five us (ages 19 - 74) and unfortunately, we really have to go back to Paris for the night. If we can see Chartres (a must-do for one of us) and then see some beautiful countryside from the car (or whatever vehicle), we'll be happy. We are on a semi-escorted tour & I thought renting a car would give those of us who would rather be doing everything on our own a bit of independence. Thanks again!
Old Jun 6th, 2002, 09:16 AM
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You might try Chateaudun. It's almost directly south of Chartres about 30 miles on a main road.

It's like other Loire chateaux, mostly empty inside. But it does have a tiny chapel that is pretty. The vast rooms, fireplaces and staircases are also interesting. It has a wonderful dominating presence high over the Loir Valley with some great views. (It is the "Loir" river which then feeds into the "Loire" river. I never figured out why, but it did confuse me for awhile.)

There is a cave near the base of the chateau. I didn't see it as it was closed due to flooding when I was there.

The old town part of Chateaudun is pleasant. It has a nice main square that has a pretty fountain in the middle. I had lunch at one of the brasseries that line the plaza.
Old Jun 6th, 2002, 09:21 AM
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Rambouillet is quite close to Chartres, and there is a chateau there, lived in by François I and Louis XV (who called it "the toad"). It is less spectacular than Versailles or Fontainebleau (and the Loire ones), but if your point is to see some scenery and have a couple of destinations, it would be less tiring.

My other suggestion would be to try for Chambord, which would be the closest biggie, and quite impressive.
Old Jun 6th, 2002, 09:39 AM
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I was in Chartres just last month. It is a very beautiful place. Unfortunately it was full of French people while we were there.
Old Jun 6th, 2002, 12:00 PM
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Thanks for the great descriptions. I'm looking all of these locations up on the internet & they all look really interesting! I need to get a better map & figure where things are. Sure wish we had more time in France. Thanks again!!
Old Jun 6th, 2002, 12:19 PM
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Old Jun 6th, 2002, 12:39 PM
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Not sure, but you may be able to do Paris to Chartres to Giverny in 1 day.
Old Jun 6th, 2002, 03:08 PM
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Malcom Miller is still doing tours! Wow! He is excellent. I have a friend arriving in Paris tmo and plan to take her to Chartres. Do you know Millers schedule? Every day at noon? Do you have to reserve? It has been several years since I took his tour so I have forgotten. Any info or a link pointing to info would be great!

Old Jun 6th, 2002, 03:43 PM
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I believe Miller's tours are noon and 2:30. No need to reserve; just show up.
Old Jun 6th, 2002, 05:36 PM
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Malcolm Miller tours: Do they meet at the Cathedral at those hours?
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