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doloresmercado Apr 12th, 2016 06:12 AM

LOIRE CASTLES - how to visit in 1 day trip
Hello Fodorists... I have one week in Paris starting Monday 16 May..a draft of whereabouts are

MON 16 after check-in..
Afternoon walk rive gauche, champ de mars, Quay d'orsai, st germain, les Invalides, Luxembuourg gardens., Forever21 at around 1900hs at Rue Rivoli as by 2200 hours have to be on the rive droit for the Paris by Night-

TUE 17 0930 guided tour at Versailles...with musical gardens...will get passport for all the attractions taking the Metro

WED 18 free until 5pm that will go to Louvre for audio guide and a trail.. closes 2145
4 DAYS TO WANDER AROUND - I will walk everywhere - will do the Vedettes the paris boat that starts at twilight . probably on tuesday if time allows

MON 23 Train at 0900 to London

Would someone recommend best way to visit LOIRE Valley and castles ?????
Or if time allows one day trip to Bruges ??????

thank you for the help

Sarastro Apr 12th, 2016 06:56 AM

Ideally, you would rent a car on Thursday, drive to the Loire Valley stay two nights, and return to Paris on Saturday.

I would spend one day west of Tours - at Azay le Rideau and Villandry; and one day east of Tours - at Chenonceau, Cheverny, and Chambord. Leaving on Saturday, you would have time to driver past Château Amboise - best seen from the Right Bank, north side, of the Loire River.

It could be attempted in one very long day taking the early morning TGV from Montparnasse to Tours Centre (not St Pierre des Corps), walking across the street to the Office de Tourisme and sign up for one of the minibus tours. You would have time to walk over to Place Plumereau in Old Tours to take a look, sit at a café, or have dinner before returning, by TGV, back to Paris.

Cathinjoetown Apr 12th, 2016 07:11 AM

You can take an early TGV to St Pierre des Corps, just outside Tours, pick up a rental car there and see three chateau in that area.

For example, Chenonceaux, Amboise and Villandry. That's one noted for its gardens, Villandry, one for its setting and beauty, Chenonceaux, and one in the riverside town of Amboise where you can walk around, choose a restaurant for lunch, etc. That's what I would do in one day.

It will be a long day but there are a lot of daylight hours in May and the chateaux should all be on full tourist season schedules. The eastern part of the Loire is closer to Paris but I prefer the area around Tours.

I believe there are also one-day bus and van tours, so have a look at those as well.

MaineGG Apr 12th, 2016 08:42 AM

Paris City Vision offers a one-day tour with visits to three chateaux: Chambord, Chenonceau and Cheverny OR Amboise (Monday & Saturday tours visit Amboise). The price of €135,15 includes transportation, entrance tickets and guide. I'd be tempted to do this for a one-day trip having someone else take care of the logistics. I doubt round-trip train fare to Tours, car rental and entrance fees would cost any less, and could possibly be much more.

bvlenci Apr 12th, 2016 08:50 AM

If you don't want to rent a car, you can take a train to Blois, and get on one of the Chateaux shuttles (route 41) there. It has a hop-on hop-off tariff of €6, and stops at Blois, Chambord, Cheverny, and Beauregard. It doesn't run every day, and I think you need to reserve it in the summer.

Here is a brochure (in French) with the timetables for all the touristic shuttles from Blois, and all other information. The timetables are on page 2.

doloresmercado Apr 12th, 2016 11:08 AM

Hello guys..thank you all for the replies!

@Sarastro and Cathinjowtown..
would love to be able to rent a car..but not on my present budget time I might come with someone..and drive more than one day!

So best deals for my low budget hassle free are MaineGG..and bvlenci..will investigate possibility and rates..
I can read some french...:)

Thank you all for the has been very enlightening..

have a wonderful day..


Sarastro Apr 12th, 2016 12:13 PM

If you are limited financially and time wise, I would seriously consider the châteaux much closer to Paris which can offer you the same overall experience without the need to spend 6 to 7 hours in a bus and cost you a lot less money:

Château Chantilly

Château Vaux le Vicomte

Château de Fontainebleau

doloresmercado Apr 12th, 2016 12:32 PM

Hello again..

Which day of the week would you recommend doing Loire for the day?
Week day or Saturday?

MY Itin is like this

Mon - arrival walk rive gauche and Paris by night 10pm
Tue - Versailles? w/guided tour kings apartments
Wed - am free - Louvre as from 5pm
Thu - free - plan to do the night bike tour
Fri - free - boat at twilight
Sat - free unless I do Versailles instead of tuesday
Sun - am free until 4.30 pm Eiffel

Do u think I should go to Loire? Eu 144 w/pick up hotel by coach
instead of staying at Paris?

thank you

doloresmercado Apr 17th, 2016 09:32 AM

thank you suggest just only one of those castels you mention??
will chaeck the 3 links
thanks a lot...yes de tour costs EU 145 if I pay pick up at 7am..

Sarastro Apr 17th, 2016 10:25 AM

For me, one of the most underrated and overlooked château visits in France is Château Vaux le Vicomte. The more you know about it before you go, the more interesting the visit will be. It was the inspiration for Versailles.

doloresmercado Apr 17th, 2016 07:18 PM

thanks again Sarastro...

doloresmercado Jun 12th, 2016 03:39 PM

Thanks to you all..being my first time in France and Europe I followed Maingg and did 1 day tour and visited 3 castles.. Chenonceau, Cheverny and Chambord...for EU 115.... wonderful trip..I couldn't do it by myself..and I like staying at 1 hotel and avoid changing hotels.

Next year I will follow Cathinjoetown and bvlenci and sarastro and take the train.. I got the brochure of the shuttle from Blois and I was also recommended Amboise also got the brochure to Vaux le Vicomte..probably will do Amboise and Villandry if they are close!!
will keep all these suggestions for next year as I will definitely go back..thank you all!!!

doloresmercado Jun 12th, 2016 04:52 PM

Hi Sarastro.. I looked at the site of your 3 suggested castles and found them there a way you can do the 3 in one day? with 3 hours on each I am ok!..
I am starting a draft for June 2017!

nytraveler Jun 12th, 2016 05:45 PM

There are dozens of chateaux in the Loire. Very few are castles - most are palaces built more recently as playgrounds for the ultra rich aristos of a later day.

Realistically you can see 2 in one day - or a 3rd if you go to a son et lumiere performance at night. We stayed for 6 days at a chateaux near Chinon and saw many of them, as well as some charming towns, a couple of wineries and Fontrevauld Abby (burial place of the early Plantaganets including Richard Coeur d'Lion).

To see them you really need a car or a van tours since most of them are in the deep countryside and it takes a while to get from one to another. If you don;t want to rent a car I would do a little research and pick out which two you really want to see based on your interests (architecture, gardens, history, etc) and then find a van tour that covers those in one day from Tours - which you can easily reach by train.

Sarastro Jun 12th, 2016 10:18 PM

<i>There are dozens of chateaux in the Loire. Very few are castles </i>

For those of us who do not know nytraveler, could you explain the difference between a <i>château</i> and a <i>castle</i>? And specifically, which of the Loire Valley châteaux are now castles?

Scootoir Jun 14th, 2016 07:21 AM

I have been to all 3 of the chateaux suggested by Sarastro and would not attempt to visit all in one day. Fontainbleu and Vaux le Vicomte are perhaps 30 minutes apart by car but Chantilly is north of Paris. Vaux le Vicomte is absolutely stunning and we easily spent a day there.

doloresmercado Jun 14th, 2016 12:10 PM

Scootoir castle or chateaux ..can someone tell me which of these you recommend..I can do 3 in one day..I heard about AMBOISE, BLOIS, and what scootoir recommends.. VAUX LE VICOMTE.. apparenyl CHANTILLY that I went into the website is also stunning but is north and not southwest Paris..thank you..!

Christina Jun 14th, 2016 12:56 PM

Chantilly and Fontainebleau can be visited in a day trip from Paris by train. Vaux le Vicomte is a bit trickier to get to, but also can be a day trip.

In the Loire, I think I've done two in a day, but never 3. Amboise and Blois aren't that far apart, both are interesting. You've seen some of the most well-known ones.

How do you plan to get around, will you have a car? Because then maybe you could do 3. If not, I don't think so without a special tour that handles transportation for you.

Cheverny would have been close to them, but you've seen it, as well as Chenonceau and Chambord, so you've done the ones that would fit best. I guess Villandry and Azay-le-Rideau are the most wellknown next list but they are to the west a bit.
Azay-le-Rideau is pretty but not close to Amboise.

Sarastro Jun 14th, 2016 02:07 PM

I have mentioned a lot of châteaux so it´s not clear to which 3 Scootoir refers.

Of those close to Paris, there is no reason to do more than one, but you could visit Vaux le Vicomte and Fontainebleau in a single day with a car. However, there is just too much to see and appreciate at each location, no need to rush about.

doloresmercado Jul 2nd, 2016 08:46 PM

thank you Christina and sarastro..if Blois and Amboise are near i could do those two..but I also loved Vicomte and Chantilly so probably will spend 2 days and stay in the aerea...

I was thinking of spending the night at Blois for the Blois and Amboise.. will have to look at a map..ans study the logistics..

thank you!

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