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tobyl May 21st, 2007 12:11 PM

Day trip from Paris to Loire Valley. Help please
We are leaving for Paris on Thursday and would like to take one day to go to the Loire Valley and some chateaux.Some say that you can pick up a tour bus in Tours. Do you need to reserve in advance or just when you get there? We would like to be able to choose the day trip while we are there and just go without reservations if that is possible.

PalenQ May 21st, 2007 12:22 PM

best to reserve. is one such company with tours from Tours and should respond immediately via e-mail. Tours are about the same price but vary on castles on different days - daylong and half day.

In Paris i'd go to a train station of SNCF boutique and ask about a ticket and mini-bus tour - used to have but haven't heard of lately.

jsmith May 21st, 2007 01:04 PM

TGV trains leave Montparnasse for Tours and take about 70 minutes. You MUST reserve.

PalenQ May 23rd, 2007 08:59 AM

You can also go to Tours by train from Austerlitz in Paris and not have to worry about reservations on many (but not all) Paris-Tours trains on this line - also likely to be cheaper but takes an hour or so longer.

GBbabe May 23rd, 2007 09:26 AM

"Some say that you can pick up a tour bus in Tours. "

You mean like a hop-on, hop-off bus tour? I don't think those exist. I think you would need to at least call the tour companies the day before to see what tours they had available and when and where you had to be in order to be on the tour.

PalenQ May 23rd, 2007 09:32 AM

Or if you want to just go to one castle, such as the most famous one, Chenonceau, then you can easily go there by train from paris and back. (Change trains at St-Pierre-des-Corps to the sideline to Chenonceaux where the station is right at the gates to this gorgeous domaine of Diane de Poitiers - Chenonceau castle)

(Chenonceau for the castle but Chenonceaux for the train station - search schedules at

PalenQ May 23rd, 2007 09:34 AM

And similarly you can take trains from Paris with one change to Azay-le-Rideau, Amboise, Blois, Saumur, Chaumont, Chinon, Villandry and a few other of the most celebrated of the castles.

Chambord, the most impressive to me, can be reach by decent bus links in summer from Blois, with lots of trains from Paris Austerliz.

Michel_Paris May 23rd, 2007 09:41 AM

Simpler to catch one from Paris..

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