Day Trip From Paris to Tours

Aug 20th, 2003, 06:09 AM
  #1  
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Day Trip From Paris to Tours

Well, I tried to post this earlier and I don't know where it went (couldn't find it by searching or clicking on my name) . . I apologize if it shows up more than once.

After taking the TGV from Paris to Tours, can we get to some of the nearby Chateaus (Chenonceau and Amboise for example) by bus, etc. or is it necessary to drive? I saw several group tours advertised, but they seem very rushed, I would like to visit at my own pace. Any suggestions?
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Aug 20th, 2003, 07:25 AM
  #2  
ira
 
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Hi Margie,

The Chateau website

http://www.chenonceau.com/indexENG.html

says that you can take a train from Tours to Chenonceau.

See http://www.voyages-sncf.com/
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Aug 20th, 2003, 08:12 AM
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Excellent! I would hate to subject the residents of this region to my driving. Thank you Ira.
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Aug 20th, 2003, 09:38 AM
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I spent a couple of weeks in the Loire valley in May of 2001. I had a car for a few days, but I did most of it by train.

Ira is correct, the train station for Chenonceaux (I believe the town is spelled with an "x", the castle is not) is within 200 ft of the chateau entrance. Amboise's train station is a short walk across the Loire from the train station. I easily walked it.

For informational purposes Tours has two train stations. Tours itself and about 10 minutes outside of town is St Pierre des Corps. All the TGV trains stop at St P-des-C as well as some other trains. Some of the regional trains only take off from Tours proper. There are several free shuttle trains an hour that run between the Tours station and St. P-des-C. You'll need to take that into account when you're planning train connections.

I had the luxury of more time with my train trips, for a daytrip you'll have to do more planning. For example Chenonceau is on the rail line that runs on the south side of the Loire, Amboise is on the rail line on the north side. You might be better off sticking to a single rail line to cut travel times.

To see Amboise & Chenonceau you'll have to take the TGV to St Pierre des Corps, probably shuttle train to Tours proper, then train to Chenonceaux. Train back to Tours proper, take a train to Amboise. Now you can take a slow train through Orleans to Paris or do the Tours proper, shuttle to St. Pierre des Corps and TGV back to Paris. Whew!

You might be better off picking a side of the Loire and following it. For example TGV to St Pierre des Corps, shuttle train to Tours proper, train to Amboise. Then train to Blois and slow train through Orleans to Paris.

OK, it all sounds more complicated than it really is. The Tours St. P-des-C think isn't that bad once you understand what's going on. (I didn't in the beginning and had a couple of close calls.)

Play around on the www.sncf.com site like Ira mentioned and see what works. There might be bus service from Chenonceaux to Amboise, but I don't know where to look.
indytravel is offline  
Aug 20th, 2003, 06:23 PM
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I was in the Loire for 2 weeks in May (with a car for most of the time). I did 2 of the minivan tours from Tours before I picked up the car, and yes, they are a little rushed. I enjoyed the chateaux much more on my own. But it was convenient for them to do the driving, and you can see about 3 chateaux in a day that way. Do you plan to stay in Tours for a few days, or is this just a daytrip?

If you're staying several days, I'm sure you can do several by train - Blois, Amboise, Chenonceau, Langeais (but not Chambord, Cheverny or Villandry. I thoroughly checked out the scnf site for schedules before my trip, as I was very hesitant to rent a car - especially solo! Actually, 5 minutes before I picked up the car, I considered cancelling! However, it was really fun, and easy driving in the Loire. I did get lost a couple of times, but people were wonderfully helpful. Either way you do it, you will love the Loire Valley.
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Aug 20th, 2003, 06:42 PM
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Thanks everyone for your comments and advice, it is all very helpful, and I have added it to my "Paris Day Trip Notes". I am glad that we will be able to use the trains to get to some of these fabulous chateaus, I was afraid that they would only be accessable by car, and I really didn't want to get into that. I appreciate the details you provided indytravel, now when I look at the sncf.com site it will make a little more sense. As this will be just a day trip, I definitely will stick to one side of the Loire, I think that is excellent advice. Sue4 you are braver than I; I would probably still be trying to maneuver the rental car out of the lot! Thanks for telling which sites did not have train service, you saved me some research time!
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Aug 21st, 2003, 06:23 PM
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Margie, here's another little idea for a Loire Valley daytrip, in case you decide you don't want to be bothered on your own. A couple of years ago, I did a "Paris Bus Tours" daytrip from Paris to the Loire, which was really quite nice. (They have brochures in most of the hotels). It wasn't really a "bus" tour, as we took the TGV to Tours, then were picked up in a car and driven to
the chateaux, by an absolutely delightful, interesting young man (not really a "guide" as we did the chateaux on our own. We saw Chenonceau, Chambord, the Clos Luce in Amboise(de Vinci's house), and a winetasting. Between the chateaux, we had a nice lunch in Chenonceau, which was included in the price. They limit these tours to 4 to 6 people, but were only 3 the day I went. They pick you up at hotel, get your TGV tickets, and practically deposit you on the train, then pick you up at station when you get back to Paris. Of course, this was more expensive than to do on your own, but maybe worth it. We weren't rushed at the chateaux. I liked this particular company alot better than the one I did in Tours (Acco-Dispo). Anyway,I enjoyed the Loire so much that day that I decided to go back for my 10-day "adventure" by car!
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