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day tours - Loire Valley

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Jul 17th, 2012, 08:25 PM
  #1
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day tours - Loire Valley

Although I am sure I can travel to Tours and book a trip at the tourist office, I will save myself some running around and book a tour from Paris. I have read mixed reviews about some of the tour companies. if anyone has been on one of these tours recently, I would greatly appreciate any remarks. Also one of the companies has a Saturday tour to Amboise. Has anyone been to Amboise?
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Jul 17th, 2012, 08:33 PM
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imo, its a long way for a day trip..
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Jul 17th, 2012, 08:43 PM
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Thanks rhkkmk - I have done my research and I know it will be a long day. I am just looking for some recommendations on tour companies.
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Jul 17th, 2012, 09:29 PM
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Viator has a tour to Loire Valley. It has good reviews.
We are using it. My husband likes day tours.

He says "someone else has to drive and think for the day.
He is on vacation."
When we were in London he drove the wrong way. That did it for him. You can imagine.
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Jul 18th, 2012, 04:41 AM
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That is the tour I am thinking of doing too.
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Jul 18th, 2012, 08:54 AM
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Last time we purchased our Paris museum and metro combination passes at the train station tourist booth. [also purchased train ticket round trip to Versailles with package]

This time we are purchasing at the airport tourist office.
Keep in mind that the Paris museum passes run consecutive days.

So start your pass either before or after the Viator Loire Valley day tour or you will lose a day of museum pass.
Also the Viator tour does different place on one day I think.

You can do Versailles on your own. We did and it was easy.
Eat at McDonalds (just a suggestion) when you get off the train so you will not be hungry while touring Versailles.
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Jul 18th, 2012, 08:57 AM
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Amboise is a gem of a town IMO - but the chateau there, though fantastic, is not the best castle in the area - so go to Amboise as a nice town but for chateaux of your dreams head to Chenonceaux or Azay-le-Rideau, etc.

IMO the Loire is not too far as a day trip - heck just an hour to Tours by TGV train and then you can take a half-day or full-day mini-bus tour of some of the most famous of the castles. So easy to do.
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Jul 18th, 2012, 08:59 AM
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http://www.accodispo-tours.com/

I am familiar with ACCO-DISPO tour company - been around a long time - one of many but one you cannot go wrong with either IMO.
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Jul 18th, 2012, 09:01 AM
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I'll try to answer, don't mind my english, please.

I'd rather take the TGV by 7 AM, arriving before 9 A.M. in Tours and booking the excursion there. It's cheapper (if you book in advance) and less time consuming. That's what I did. I've also been to Amboise. You don't need a tour to go there once you reach Tours. It's a very easy train ride and very easy to walk around - city is small and flat.

Don't miss a walk on the river promenade. One of the best experiences I had in France.

Anyway, if you want to book it from Paris, Cityrama.com is a trusted company.
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Jul 18th, 2012, 10:42 AM
  #10
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Thank you for all your suggestions. I am looking forward to doing this as who knows when I will get back overseas!
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Jul 18th, 2012, 11:04 AM
  #11
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PalenQ - I think I just might take the train to Tours after all. I will check the train schedule back to Paris. If I prebooked the train tickets, I guess I could ensure I get back to Paris on time.
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Jul 18th, 2012, 12:02 PM
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I am also thinking about Loire Valley as a day trip Paris first week of Sept. This is great info
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Jul 18th, 2012, 02:47 PM
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Trains go from Tours proper much less than from the suburban St-Pierre-des-Corps station, two miles from the town center and really the main station in Tours. The Tours station is a deadend station so many TGVs from Paris to say Bordeaux or Angers, etc simply only stop at St-Pierre-des-Corps - so you have many many more trains to chose from than just from Tours. Constant free shuttle trains links Tours and Saint-Pierre-des-Corps.

Good sites for info on French trains - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com and leave yourself plenty of time before coming back - if you end up with a few hours to spare in Tours take a stroll around this lovely old town whose Old Town is like a Latin Quarter of restaurants and cafes.
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Jul 18th, 2012, 04:56 PM
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PalenQ you have been so helpful! I tried to work out the train tickets and gave up. I will give it another go and try through St.-Pierre-des-Corps. The tour ends at 6:20 pm and the trains seem to go back earlier - have to play around with the site again.
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Jul 19th, 2012, 05:04 AM
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kelsey - merci! From St-Pierre-des-Corps trains run hourly until last train to Paris-Montparnasse at 22:55 or 10:55pm most days - anyways lots of trains after 6:20pm. the tour may well be able to drop you off at St-P-des-Corps station I suspect - if not plan to take the free 'navette' shuttle train from Tours station in the town center - they run in conjunction with each TGV at St=P-d-Corps.
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Jul 19th, 2012, 07:08 AM
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Which train schedule are you looking at to reach the conclusion that the trains seem to go back earlier?

If you look at www.voyages-sncf.com, for 7/20 as an example, I find:

Saint Pierre des Corps - Paris Montparnasse
19:42-20:41 TGV8354
20:19-21:24 TGV8370 (comes from Tours Centre)
21:42-22:41 TGV8488
22:55-23:54 TGV8386

Tours Centre - Paris Montparnasse
20:11-21:24 TGV8370

There are also other slow trains connecting from Tours Centre to Paris via Saint Pierre des Corps, Le Mans, and to another Paris station Gare d'Austerlitz.
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Jul 19th, 2012, 11:13 AM
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The Inter-Loire slow route via Blois and Aubrais to Austerlitz takes about two hours, an hour longer than TGVs to Montparnasse - but the regional train route has pretty much a flat fare so you could just buy a ticket and then use it on any of several trains that day - giving you the ultimate flexibility - and if you wanted to take a train to say Blois or Amboise from Paris it is about as quick as going via TGV to S-p-d-Corps and changing to another train to Amboise.

And like greg says there should be lots of trains either way than just up to 6pm or so.
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Jul 19th, 2012, 02:13 PM
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I enjoyed Amboise and went there and to Chenonceau all in one day. I went with a company tour and don't remember the tour company, sorry! It wasn't too much in one day, but all transportation was arranged. The chapel where Leonardo da Vinci is buried in Amboise was a favorite of ours in Amboise.
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Jul 19th, 2012, 02:47 PM
  #19
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Thanks so much for all the help. I have to go back and figure this out! I really appreciate the help!
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Jul 20th, 2012, 10:05 AM
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Amboise would be my recommendation and the same tours that depart from Tours - many also depart from Amboise (like ACCO-DISPO I believe in link I gave far above- and for Amboise it is a fairly flat fare trail ticket from Austerlitz that lets you board any of the hourly or more trains back to Paris - full flexibility - a reasonable fare that you get do as a walk up - return fare.

I echo my love of Amboise as a neat Loire city.
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