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.Loire Valley Castles

Old Mar 4th, 2004, 07:13 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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.Loire Valley Castles

Does anyone know if the castles are open on May 1st?
We will be stayng at the Domaine Des Hauts, on the 30th.
We will be coming from Paris, probably take the train, and then renting a car in Tours?(I guess)(unless we just drove from Paris) sounds like most people take a train and then rent a car.
Would also like to stop by Chartes on the way there or on the way back.
I just need some advice on all my questions!!
thanks again to all of you that have helped us. jobie

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Old Mar 4th, 2004, 07:31 PM
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It's probably that at least some of the Loire Valley châteaux will be closed on the May Day holiday.

Is it the Domaine des Hautes de Loire that you're staying at, in Onzain? Lovely place! But you'd need a car to get there, as I remember.
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Old Mar 4th, 2004, 07:36 PM
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Yes, we will be in Onzain, where do you think we should rent a car at?
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Old Mar 4th, 2004, 08:51 PM
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Chambord, Angers, and Azay le Rideau are closed according to the Monum website...
However, I know that Chenonceaux is open everyday, including X-mas.
It may help if you make a list of the chateaux that you plan to visit on May Day and start looking at their website.
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Old Mar 4th, 2004, 09:15 PM
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jobie: I cannot help you with your question concerning whether the chateaux are open on May 1st or not but I can advise that we did approximately the same trip a couple of years ago. We really wanted to see part of the Loire Valley but and knew that it could best be seen by car. However, we decided that we would avoid, at all costs, driving in a French city of any substantial size. As such, we took an early-morning train from Paris to Chartres where we rented a car from the Avis agency at the train station. Before leaving Chartres that day, we visited the Cathedral and stopped for a coffee and then headed to Chambord. Following our visit to Chambord, we spent the next three nights in Blois, a charming town with a castle of its own and a couple of very nice restaurants. One day we ventured out to visit Cheverny and the town of Amboise. The next day we again ventured out to visit Chenonceau and the beautiful grounds there. We purposely arranged a light schedule for ourselves as we really enjoyed, in addition to touring through the chateaux and the area in general, spending a substantial portion of the day enjoying lunch after our touring. After our last night in Blois, we returned the car to the station in Chartres and boarded the next train for Paris. For what it is worth, the traffic was nearly non-existant along each of our routes. I don't need the stress of driving in heavy traffic in a French city while on vacation. That's why we did our trip into the Loire valley the way I've just described. Whatever you decide, bon voyage! It is really spectacular.
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 01:04 AM
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It looks like Amboise, Cherverny and Villandy will also be open on May 1.

Lucky you, Domaine des Hauts de Loire is one of my favorite places..lovely rooms and excellent food. We are planning another trip to the Loire , just to stay there again.

We usually have gone out to Orly and rented our car there. It is not a hard drive at all. David's suggestion of renting in Chartes sounds good, even though we've been to chartres a few times.
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 06:34 AM
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We've driven down there from CDG, stopping in Chartres along the way. Not bad, but Paris traffic can be a big problem (depending on time of day).

I'm pretty sure you can rent a car easily enough in Tours, if you're training into there.
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 06:47 AM
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jobie: You can rent a car in just about any major town in the Loire - Tours, Amboise, Blois....if you're arriving by train, the easiest thing to do is take the TGV to Tours and pick up a car at the station there. IMO the area is far more easily seen by car than by public transportation.
You could drive to Chartres and drop off the car there on the way back.

We like to use Amboise as a base for exploring the Loire.
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 07:19 AM
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Hi jobie,

On our last trip to France, we began our trip with a four day stay in Paris, then left for several days in the Loire Valley. We rented a car in Paris, then drove south to Montlouis (outside of Amboise), where we stayed. We found it very difficult to get out of the city in our rental car because the traffic was so bad. It took at least two white-knuckled hours just to get out of Paris. We probably had trouble because we just failed to plan correctly, but I just wanted to pass that along, since you mentioned in your post that you would "probably" take the train.
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 07:31 AM
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thank you all so much for all your winderful info. Now I just need to figure out what to see. Also we probably could see a couple of the castles on our way to Loire Valley on the 30th. (maybe we should do Chartes another day,?) We don't leave Paris until 5/7. We arrive on 4/27. Our stays in Paris are free, We're using points at the Marriott on Champs Eysees, and also staying at the new Hilton, which opens up at the end of March.
So I'am working Loire Valley between the to stays. (hope this makes sense!)
We also have a guide in Paris Michael Osman.
thanks again for all your help.
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 07:43 AM
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Wow, you are going to have a fantastic trip..

Domaine des Hautes de Loire and Michael!

As I said before Lucky You!
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