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How to make a Loire Valley trip frm Paris when you are alone and no car?

How to make a Loire Valley trip frm Paris when you are alone and no car?

Old Oct 17th, 2000, 07:58 AM
  #1  
art
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How to make a Loire Valley trip frm Paris when you are alone and no car?

Hi there. I'm in the early stages of the preparation to a second trip to Paris. This time, i would love to visit the castles in the Loire Valley. But i have some questions: i will have to book the trip months before or may i just go to Paris and then look for a travel agency? In this case, which agency, and how long this trip will last (knowing that i want to know all the famous chateaux - Chambord, Chennonceux...). Thanks a lot for your comments and/or experiences!
 
Old Oct 17th, 2000, 08:00 AM
  #2  
Lori
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Check the websites for ParisVision and Cityrama - both have tours to the Loire Valley, they give departure and return times, etc.
 
Old Oct 17th, 2000, 09:17 AM
  #3  
elaine
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I can't help but compliment you on the specific title you used, no vagueness about what info you're looking for
 
Old Oct 17th, 2000, 10:04 AM
  #4  
art
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Lori - i can't thank you enough! I am printing like crazy!!!
And thanks to your compliment Elaine!
 
Old Oct 17th, 2000, 10:16 AM
  #5  
Lori
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Art,
I hope you can fit the Loire Valley into your schedule - the chateaux are fantastic. I'm not an expert on tours (we do our own thing and we had relatives take us to visit all the major chateaux in the past) but they are very beautiful so try not and pass up the chance to see them. If you have time take a trip to Fountainbleau and Versailles too, equally fantastic! Enjoy youself and if you have any other questions this Forum is the best place to ask them. I also will agree with Elaine on the specificness of your question - I wish everyone posted like that.
 
Old Oct 17th, 2000, 12:20 PM
  #6  
Christina
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Well, I've taken a trip to the Loire valley with no car (and alone, but why is that an issue?). It's easy to see a few chateaux that way, but many of them are not that easily accessible from public transport. You don't need to plan ahead a lot, just find out through guidebooks, etc, which ones are accessible by bus/train to plan a preliminary itinerary. Then, I'd take a train to either Tours or Blois to stay and use as a base for your trip for a couple days. Both of these towns are centers for touring the Loire Valley so you will find tons of info on local bus tours, etc, of the chateaux at the train station or tourist info center when you get there. From Tours, you can easily visit Amboise, Blois and Chenonceaux by train (the first two) or public bus (Chenonceaux, also Amboise, I think--I took the bus there and the train home). Blois has local bus tours of the ones around there, as well as bicycle rentals; I think Chambord is closer to Blois. That ought to be enough chateaux for a beginner, probably, as they can get old after a while (ha, ha). Thre are many web sites to describe them and give traveling and access information, such as www.loirevalley.org and www.loirevalley-tours.com
 
Old Oct 17th, 2000, 12:56 PM
  #7  
Carol
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Hi Art,

As others have said, you can do a bus daytrip, e.g. cityrama, which you can book through your Paris hotel concierge--do a search for Cityrama, I know they have a website, so you can get an idea of their Loire valley itineraries. I think they may even have an overnight tour. It's more complicated to do it yourself in one day--TGV to Tours, Tours tourist office books mini-van tours of the chateaux--maybe if you book one in advance of your visit, you can save time. I think the tour company name is Touraine Evasion. Your other issue may be timing. I don't know what the tour situation is from November to May (low season).
 
Old Oct 17th, 2000, 01:22 PM
  #8  
Bob Brown
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Hi Art. I have done a few day trips to various attractions as well as doing them alone. The big advantage of a tour group is transportation and the services of a guide. If the tour is well conceived, and the guide is well informed, there are many benefits. If the tour is fundamentally a rip off and the guide is a blithering narcissist, both of which I recently experience in Salzburg on a Sound of Music, er ah Money, Tour, then you are wasting your resources. (I am still fuming over that tour in Salzburg -- what a sorry experience!!)
On the other hand, even well conceived and well guided tours have a downside: They often cover quite a bit in a day in order to offer something for everybody. As a result, they try to do too much and if you find a place where you want to linger, as I did on a recent tour that included Vaux-le-Vicomte, there is not enough time, unless you abandon the tour! (I did that once at Stonehenge, but I knew how to get back to Salsbury from the "Stones" for the train to London.)So I think you should study the details and find out how accessible the attractions are and make your own decisions. Sometimes with a tour group there is the added plus of meeting some nice fellow wanderers, but that is not always the case.
 
Old Oct 31st, 2000, 03:46 AM
  #9  
Luis E. Vernon
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Art:

An easy excursion out of Paris would be to take the TGV to the western Loire valley city of Angers, to see it's massive chateau, the Chateau D' Angers dating from the 9th century, modified from the 13-16 centuries. It has a wonderful modern gallery integrated ito it, where on display is one the finest extant works of art (tapestry) to be seen: The Apocalypse Tapestry, circa 1375. Angers itself is a great town to meander through. If you choose to spend the night in Angers, you can get up the next morning and take a day trip to either Nantes or Saumur, both about 35 mins away by regular SNCF train. An easy commute. If you elect to see Saumur, you will see it's marvelous Chateau, high over the banks of the Loire River. If you choose to see Nantes, you will enjoy seeing the Palais des Ducs de Bretagne, where the Edict of Nantes was signed in 1598. Either way, both of these cities as day trips from Angers are rewarding.

Regards..

Luis
 
Old Oct 31st, 2000, 12:06 PM
  #10  
lisa
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I did it by taking the TGV to the city of Tours (very short train ride). At the tourist office there I was able to find out about guided daytours by motorcoach to nearby chateaux. We visited 3 if I recall and also visited Balzac's house. It was definitely worth it -- gorgeous.
 
Old Oct 31st, 2000, 02:42 PM
  #11  
wendy
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Like the previous posters indicated, you can take the train from Paris to Blois and from there, buses leave to some châteaux. If you get an early enough start on the day, you can see Chambord in the morning and then from there catch a bus to Chenonceaux and then back to Blois. The friendly tourist office in Blois has the schedules. I think it would probably be easiest if you spent a night or two in Blois - it's quite a nice town and has a pretty châuteau of it's own.
 
Old Nov 1st, 2000, 01:42 PM
  #12  
Mike
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Did the famous Demoiselles Tatin not run a railway hotel in the Loire?
 

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