france- is this possible??

Jan 8th, 2015, 01:22 AM
  #21  
 
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Nice idea, Sassafrass.
annhig is offline  
Jan 9th, 2015, 01:15 PM
  #22  
 
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On your day 8. in Vannes, maybe it's worth discovering the gulf of Morbihan too, and even a small island : île d'Arz or île aux Moines. It's possible to easily reach both with a quick and pleasant boat trip from Vannes.
shamouel is offline  
Jan 9th, 2015, 05:07 PM
  #23  
 
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I drove from CDG to Amboise after a flight from the USA. To me it is no big deal. And I do not sleep well on planes. There was rush-hour traffic driving through Paris, but then it opened up resulting in a 3+ hour drive. Others are correct in saying you are trying to do too much. Two chateaux per day is about right. Three is doable.
So the Loire portion of your vacation may look like this:

Day 1. Arrive CDG in AM. Drive to Amboise. Visit Chateau de Chaumont-Sur-Loire** and/or Le Clos-Luce* (Sleep in Amboise)

Day 2. Visit Chateau de Chenonceau*** and Chateau de Chambord***. (Sleep in Amboise) I advise against going to the Son et lumiere in Amboise. It is too long and too late (ends at midnight).

Day 3. Jardins (Gardens) et Chateau de Villandry***( skip the interior), Azay-Le-Rideau***, and Chateau d' Usse** (exterior via a drive by). You may have time for Old Chinon** and the Chateau**. (Sleep in Chinon).

Day 4. Fontevraud-L' Abbaye** (There is a bakery in town near the entrance which is to die for. Consider breakfast there) and Chateau Saumur**. More of Chinon.(Sleep in Chinon).
dugi_otok is offline  
Jan 9th, 2015, 07:53 PM
  #24  
 
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Idon't see this itinerary as suited for kids 8 and 12.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jan 9th, 2015, 11:42 PM
  #25  
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thanks all ..pls suggest if i wanna see 2 or 3 chateau plus puy du fou should i keep my base at 1 place and where before going to la rochella
rankasej is offline  
Jan 10th, 2015, 02:12 AM
  #26  
 
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if you want to see a few chateaux [eg Villandry, Chenonceaux, Chaumont, Azay le Rideau] and le Puy de Fou, I would stay in Saumur - it's no more than an hour or so from any of them.
annhig is offline  
Jan 10th, 2015, 02:43 AM
  #27  
 
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Another thing that no one mentioned though nytraveler touched on it: the kind of quick meals you are used to finding for kids at home may well not be available in the Deep Country where you will be driving.

You will see the occasional MacDo on the outside of larger towns, but you are probably going to have to go in and have a sit down meal. You can buy picnic things, but you better do it early because most small towns close up from 1 to 3 or 3:30. There are also issues with buying gas from self-service gas stations that mean you want to check your fuel well before closing hours.

It has been my experience -- others' may be different -- that the public toilet norm, certainly the free public toilet norm, in rural France may well be a Turkish toilet, that is, a hole in the floor over which you stand or squat. If this pushes your "eeew" button, you will need time to seek out modern, flushable conveniences, either in larger towns or at the attractions themselves.

I join those who think that two chateaux per day is a good number.
Ackislander is offline  
Jan 10th, 2015, 06:55 AM
  #28  
 
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Ackislander - you're right about the eating issue - when our kids were this age one of them really didn't "do" picnics and we'd find ourselves needing a sit down meal at lunchtime, which if you haven't planned well can get expensive.

as for toilets, the rule is to take every opportunity to use decent loos when available, even when you don't need them. I think that toilets of the "turkish" variety are becoming more rare, but you can't rely on the normal kind being what you'd want to use either. carrying tissues and anti-bacterial wipes/cleanser is always a good idea.
annhig is offline  
Jan 10th, 2015, 07:51 AM
  #29  
 
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And then there is the "loo" where everyone (M & F) has to walk by the urinals to get to the "sit down" ones.

We encountered a few "Turkish" ones last year.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Jan 10th, 2015, 09:16 AM
  #30  
 
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rankasej,

i found this theme park in Nantes mentioned on another thread - it might interest you and your children:

http://www.lesmachines-nantes.fr/en/...ate-and-times/
annhig is offline  
Jan 10th, 2015, 01:05 PM
  #31  
 
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<< pls suggest if i wanna see 2 or 3 chateau plus Puy du Fou should i keep my base at 1 place and where before going to la rochella >>

Puy du Fou is not near a base for visiting the main Loire chateaux. Puy du Fou is 1 hour from Angers,1 hour from Nantes, 1-1/2 hours from Saumur,2 hours from Chinon, and 2-3/4 hours from Amboise.

Chateaux east of Tours- Chambord***, Blois***, Cheverny***, Chenonceau***, Ambois**, Chaumont**, base in Amboise.

Chateaux west of Tours- Villandry(Gardens)***, Azay-Le- Rideau***, Chinon**, Usse**, Langeais**, Montreuil-Belly**, Saumur**, Fontevraud Abbey**, base in Chinon.
dugi_otok is offline  
Jan 10th, 2015, 01:38 PM
  #32  
 
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dugi - i think that you have misunderstood the OP. I think that he is asking for abase from which he can see a number of chateaux and le Puy de Fou, not if he can stay near the Puy de Fou and see some chateaux from there.

I agree that it's difficult, but IMO Saumur most nearly fits the bill for a base from which he can reach some chateaux and le Puy de Fou.
annhig is offline  
Jan 10th, 2015, 02:28 PM
  #33  
 
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Hi Ann
I didn't misunderstand the OP. Perhaps I was not clear. Puy du Fou is too far for a day trip from Amboise or Chinon which I consider the two best bases for visiting the most important chateaux of the Loire. Saumur, though closer to Puy du Fou, is still 1-1/2 hours drive each way. I would not want to drive that long to/from an all day activity like Puy du Fou. In addition Saumur is not a good base for visiting the Chateaux***, especially those east of Tours. So in my opinion the OP cannot base in one place to visit both a good selection of chateaux and Puy du Fou.
dugi_otok is offline  
Jan 11th, 2015, 01:50 AM
  #34  
 
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dugi - ideally you are right, but if this is what he wants to do, that's up to him. As for the best chateaux being out of reach of Saumur, we'll have to agree to disagree. on our first visit to the Loire, we based ourselves there for a few days and enjoyed what we saw a lot - Villandry, Chenonceaux, Azay-le Rideau, Fontavraud, the church at Candes, Samur itself - along with Le Puy de Fou should be enough to fill their time more than adequately.

where i would agree with you is that if they did manage to get tickets for the Cinescenie, they should stay somewhere as local as possible as it ends very late.

They could of course visit the Puy de Fou en route to La Rochelle and just spend one night nearby, in which case staying at Amboise or Chinon would be a better option for the rest of the visit.
annhig is offline  
Jan 12th, 2015, 07:00 AM
  #35  
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hi …
what if i stay at amboise for 4 nights do all chateau drive to puy du you since not planning to b on dates of Cinescenie, and park closes at 7 that day drive to larochella chk in hotel there for 3 nights before going to paris
or option 2
drive to saumur visit Villandry, Chenonceaux, Azay-le Rideau, Fontavraud, the church at Candes, Samur Zooparc de Beauval drive to puy du you since not planning to b on dates of Cinescenie, and park closes at 7 that day drive to larochella chk in hotel there for 3 nights before going to paris
which option sounds better ..also i would prefer to stay in town with some life not a quiet and lonely place..as for food since we are vegetarians that part ill plan it well..

how about staying at tours ?? my girls would like a fun place with ppl and cafes around
rankasej is offline  
Jan 12th, 2015, 07:33 AM
  #36  
 
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ranasej

it really does depend what you all decide you most want to see.

Amboise or Tours will make better base for seeing most of the top chateaux and the Zooparc at Beauval, but they are a long way from the Puy de fou - about a 2 hour drive. Driving there in the morning, touring le Puy de Fou, then driving to La Rochelle [about 90 mins] would make for an awfully long day.

Saumur would still be good for some of the top chateaux [enough to fill the time you've got] Fontavraud, and the Zoo at Doue-la-Fontaine, but no good for the Zooparc at Beauval. it's closer to the Puy de Fou [an hour's drive or so] but you'd still have a 1 ½ hour's drive to La Rochelle the other side.

as for fun places, I'd say that all of these are roughly the same with lots of cafes, bars, shops and restaurants - not quiet and lonely places at all. Tours is obviously bigger but it will take you longer to drive out of town every day. you will need to research vegetarian restaurants [try google] but they are likely to be more available in larger places.
annhig is offline  
Jan 12th, 2015, 07:43 AM
  #37  
 
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happycow.net should give you some ideas
bilboburgler is online now  
Jan 12th, 2015, 08:58 AM
  #38  
 
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Based on your interests, I propose a compromise:

3 nights Amboise- very kid friendly town.The proximity to the finest chateaux-Chenonceau, Chambord, Cheverny, Blois, Chaumont, etc. Other atractions-Aquarium, parks, pagoda to climb, Clos-Luce,Mini-Chaeaux park, etc.

1 night Saumur at a splurge hotel such as Manior Plessis or Chateau Bouvet. Both have nice family rooms.

Next day to Puy de Fou after an early start, then on to La Rochelle makes for a long but fun day.
dugi_otok is offline  

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