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How to do fabulous full day in Loire Valley (2 chateaux, 1 winery)?

How to do fabulous full day in Loire Valley (2 chateaux, 1 winery)?

Old Jan 11th, 2018, 09:19 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,187
How to do fabulous full day in Loire Valley (2 chateaux, 1 winery)?

Seeking help from the great Loire Valley experts here .... inspired by Myer's posts and knowledgeable replies, I've been rethinking my original thoughts for one night in the Loire Valley and would very much appreciate your input.

Four of us -- two couples in our 50s -- will arrive at CDG in Paris on a Tuesday morning in April around 7:30 a.m. We would like to catch a train from the airport to the Loire Valley area, spend one night there and take a train back to Paris the next day, arriving in Paris in time to check into our hotel and have dinner. During our time in the Loire Valley, we would like to tour at least two great chateaux, one great winery and have a wonderful lunch.

At first I wasn't thinking of renting a car, and was planning to stay in Tours and doing a daytrip via private chauffer/guide, but now I'm open to the possibility of renting a car, to give us maximum flexibility. It appears a car rental place is at the train station just outside Tours, Sainte Pierre des Corps. So -- we could train to Sainte Pierre des Corps, rent a car, then drive to a nearby town (Amboise?), maybe tour the local chateau that day and have dinner, then spend the next day with our car seeing one or two more chateaux, touring a winery and hopefully having a fabulous lunch, then dropping the car at the train station to catch the train back to Paris. I'm thinking we'd tour Chenonceau and maybe Cheverny that second day, unless there's a better choice that makes more sense.

Can anyone advise me on:

(1) the BEST winery that makes geographic sense
(2) the BEST lunch experience that makes geographic sense, and
(3) the logistics of accomplishing all of this. For example, I am having trouble finding the train schedule from Paris CDG for the TGV train to Sainte Pierre des Corps/Tours that day (latter part of April), and I'm hoping to be able to catch a train that would put us in Ste Pierre des Corps BEFORE the Hertz office there closes (it closes from noon to 2 p.m.). Then, when we get our car, how long would it take us to drive to the town we select -- say, Amboise? The next day, our full day touring the area, what plan would be the best given geography and timing of winery tours, etc.? Does it make sense see both chateaux and THEN have lunch, and do the winery tour toward the end of the day? I suppose when I figure out which winery and which lunch location the geography will become apparent, but I'd appreciate any thoughts you may have.

None of the four of us has been in this area before, and we want to experience the best of it in our short time there. Some years ago we went to the Champagne region outside Paris and had a wonderful lunch and afternoon at Les Crayeres in Reims. Is there anything like that experience around Tours, Amboise, etc.?

Finally, is there a wonderful hotel in Amboise or Tours with great views? Thanks!
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Old Jan 11th, 2018, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 48,190
There are very few trains from the airport to St-Pierre-des-Corps, usually one too early in the morning for most people to catch coming off an overseas flight, and one in the evening,meaning you'd have to spend all day at the airport. Assume that you'll need to go into Paris to catch a train. At any rate, train schedules for April aren't available yet.

A one-day car rental generally costs as much as a 3-day rental.

Le Choiseul is an upscale hotel in Amboise. The Lion d' Or is nice also. It's hard to imagine any hotel, however nice, in Tours having " great views." L'Epicerie is a good restaurant in Amboise, though not on a scale with Les Crayères. Le Cheval Blanc in Bléré is also very nice. And Le Bon Laboureur in Chenonceau.
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