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Loire Valley Chateau

Old Oct 12th, 2017, 04:18 AM
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Loire Valley Chateau

We're thinking of tacking between 4 and 6 days in Paris to the end of a nearby river cruise (never done this).

We've been to Paris several times so don't need help there.

We thinking of keeping our room in Paris and training to the Loire Valley and sleeping over (possibly in Amboise) for 1 or 2 nights.

I realize it's probably more convenient to rent a car but we never have I my wife is totally against it.

I'm not opposed to some combination of a mini van tour for part or all of a day and self travel by trains to see between 3 and 5 of the main chateau.

I'm looking for experiences others have had doing this.

Thanks.
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Old Oct 12th, 2017, 06:28 AM
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amboise would be a great base for two nights and yes mini-bus tours take you to some of the greatest chateaus or you can go to Chenonceau by train and also see Amboise' own great chateau.

Book trains via St-Pierre-des-Corps from Paris by TGV early for discounted fares - take local trains from SPC to nearby Amboise- www.voyages-sncf.com is site to book on -www.seat61.com has great insights on doing that - for general info on trains and Loire www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

for a day trip hook up with mini-bus tours in Tours train station.

http://www.accodispo-tours.com/ is one of several companies doing bus tours from Tours and Amboise.
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Old Oct 12th, 2017, 06:53 AM
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A couple of caveats, the train station in Amboise is on the opposite side of the Loire where the castle, most hotels, restaurants etc. are located. It's not a long walk maybe a mile and don't expect taxis to be waiting at the station. They may be there or not.

There are a couple of companies that do day tours using vans/ shuttles. Sorry I can't remember the names of any of them but just google day tours in the Loire. Their itineraries are specific. Trying to visit several chateaux by train can be a bit of a hassle.
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Old Oct 12th, 2017, 07:06 AM
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Why would you keep and pay for a Paris hotel room for 1-2 nights just so you could visit the Loire? Couldn't you plan your trip to see the Loire at the beginning or end of your trip to avoid that? Or split up your stay in Paris?

There are no doubt countless possibilities for mini-van trips to the châteaux from Tours, which you can easily access by train from Paris. Beyond that, I can't help as I've always driven myself in the Loire and it's dead easy.
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Old Oct 12th, 2017, 08:18 AM
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>

It is and she shouldn't be, especially if you're driving.

The easiest way to see the chateaux (note plural form) on your own is with a ... wait for it ... rental car. Few are in the center of the main cities or towns (Blois, Amboise are exceptions; Chevigny is on the edge of an oversized village), Chenonceau, Chambord, Azay, Villandry are on smaller roads, other gems like Beauregard or Abbaye Fontevreaud are off the beaten path.

If you go to Chateau D'Amboise, be sure to exit via the carriageway.
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Old Oct 12th, 2017, 08:43 AM
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We've stayed in Amboise around 8 times as we used to break up our drives from south of Toulose to the UK there. Always stayed here: http://www.leclosdamboise.com/en/

Great location and very good value breakfast if you are a big breakfast eater. Otherwise, pick up coffee and a croissant at a café. The hotel is walking distance to the chateau, restaurants and shops. The chateau Leonardo de Vinci lived in, Clos Lucé, is also in Amboise.

Amboise is quite close to Chenonceau but you would need a taxi or a tour. At which ever hotel you book, ask them what's available, they should know.

You could also stay in Tours where most of the tours for that section of the Loire leave from.
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Old Oct 12th, 2017, 10:41 AM
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I'm not opposed to some combination of a mini van tour for part or all of a day and self travel by trains to see between 3 and 5 of the main chateau.>

Possible with mini-vans but not really with trains and buses - at least major chateaus.
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Old Oct 12th, 2017, 09:32 PM
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Without a car, I would only consider staying in Tours, specifically that area between Place Plumereau and the train station. Being the transportation hub for this portion of the Loire Valley, Tours is much easier to get to, will have better restaurants and more hotel options. There are a number of minibus tours which depart from the Office de Tourisme found just opposite the train station.
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Old Oct 13th, 2017, 12:20 AM
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Clearly I didn't read BigRuss's post past the part about renting a car.

StCirq,

We will be 73 and 74 by then. As we get older we pamper ourselves a little more such as flying Business Class going and sometimes for the return as well.

When we toured Tuscany about 7 years ago we went on two overnight "day trips". Both times we kept our hotel room in Florence and traveled with a small backpack each. Because of the number of days and we were not there for a couple of breakfasts and the room didn't have to be made up we got a discount on the room for the whole trip. So the splurge didn't really cost too much.

Sarasto, Cathinjoetown,
Staying in Tours is starting to sound like a good idea. Thanks. More tour choices probably. I figured Amboise would be a scenic town while Tours would be an industrial wasteland. But both may not be the case. I'll look at that option a little more.
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Old Oct 13th, 2017, 04:35 AM
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I figured Amboise would be a scenic town while Tours would be an industrial wasteland>

Tours is nice but a large city - Amboise is much smaller and lovelier setting on Loire and much more 'scenic' than Tours - easy to manage. But both are fine for you.
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Old Oct 13th, 2017, 04:57 AM
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We did stay in Amboise once without a car. I noted the difficulties in my post. I don't think it is easy to tour the Loire from Amboise via train. There is a company that will pick you up ( in Amboise ) and give you a day tour of the chateaux. It is expensive but, if pampering yourselves, it may be fine. As I said, I don't remember rhe name but you can easily use google to find them. Most day tour companies leave from Tours. Personally, I'd rather stay in Amboise than Tours but, unless you're willing to pay for a private chauffeur or tour, Tours would be the better option.
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Old Oct 13th, 2017, 05:53 AM
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>

Clearly you missed information that would have been useful. Too bad.
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Old Oct 13th, 2017, 06:05 AM
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I don't think it is easy to tour the Loire from Amboise via train>

Not easy from Tours either. Car or mini-bus tours some of which are not prohibitively expensive. www.acco-dispo.com is one of many.
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Old Oct 13th, 2017, 06:06 AM
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http://www.accodispo-tours.com/
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Old Oct 13th, 2017, 01:13 PM
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Amboise is quite close to Chenonceau but you would need a taxi or a tour

Hi Myer

While you CAN take a taxi or a tour to Chenonceau, there are public transit options. You can take an outbound train from Amboise via St. Pierre des Corps to Chenonceaux (the village itself is spelt with an 'x') and the same on the reverse. Have a look at trainline.eu for schedules. Careful though, the trains don't necessarily run every day.

Cost of the train is about € 30 to 35 for two roundtrip (you would be eligible for senior discount on those train times that offer it.)

You thus could spend half a day at Chenonceau and the other 1/3 to 1/5 or so at either le clos Luce or the Amboise chateau in Amboise.

I seem to recall you are a keen photographer. That being the case, plan your time or choose your tour carefully - some tours have an emphasis on quick looks at three chateaux, possibly not enough time for a shutterbug.
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Old Oct 13th, 2017, 01:36 PM
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https://www.airbnb.com/s/Amboise--France?type=cave

In Amboise you can stay in a troglydyte house! Some are right next to the chateau.
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Old Oct 13th, 2017, 07:37 PM
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From Paris, it's an easy day trip to Angers, which has a fascinating chateau near the train station. The city's historic center is also worth exploring (Big Russ missed Angers on his list of exceptions).
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Old Oct 13th, 2017, 07:42 PM
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You are probably not going to do this but I would also recommend taking the TGV from Paris and renting a car. Driving in rural France is not difficult with a GPS, especially if you only drive during the day. The roads are somewhat more narrow than in the US and you may have to learn a few signs but if you have no problems driving at home you probably won't have any problems in France. It will also open up a whole new way of exploring. I do not think your age is an impediment as long as your health and vision is good. On the other hand if your wife is nervous about you driving at home.....
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Old Jan 4th, 2018, 08:44 AM
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As we get closer to the trip, more and more details are falling into place.

The Loire portion.

Just to rehash. So far we have never rented a car while in Europe and don't expect to do it this time.

The plan.

Day 1
We will take the train from Paris to Tours. Drop some things off at our hotel which is very close to the train station (Oceania L'Univers on Boul Heurteloup - anybody stayed there?)

Train to Chenonceau and after visiting the chateau eventually train back to Tours.

Day 2
Two choices.
1)Train to Blois and visit Chambord and Cheverny using the Navette shuttle. Train back to Tours.

or 2) Take a tour from Tours. Possibly Accodispo. Afternoon tour of Chambord and Cheverny.

The reason I'm considering the minivan tour is the Navette shuttle schedule the I have seen doesn't coordinate well with the train and doesn't have enough time.

Have anybody used a minivan tour to these chateaux or that company specifically.

Day 3
Train to Amboise and visit Amboise and Clos Luce. Then train to Paris from Amboise or Tours depending upon the train schedules.

Any comments that will make this work better or changes except for having a car?

Thanks.
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Old Jan 4th, 2018, 08:49 AM
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Then train to Paris from Amboise or Tours depending upon the train schedules.>

What will you do with your luggage in Amboise? Plus booking trains in advance can yield much cheaper tickets.
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