Loire Valley Day Trip & Paris City

May 4th, 2007, 04:39 PM
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Loire Valley Day Trip & Paris City

I'd like some advice, please re Loire Valley Day Trips. We need transportation from Paris Hotel (2 adults). My daughter & I are travelling in late June. We have 5 days total in Paris. Versailles a must. My first dream-come-true visit. Would love a suggestive itinerary. Thanks much.

Mary Ann
Luv2Travelmac is offline  
May 4th, 2007, 04:58 PM
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Train down from Paris to Tours. Rent a car near the train station (there's a Hertz a couple of blocks away I've used a few times).

Get the Michelin Grren Guide "Chateaux of the Loire" and decide where you want to go.

Map it out on viamichelin or mappy and print out the maps. Lots of twisty small roads in the Loire, so being prepared works.

Others will suggest many different ways, but this has worked for me.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
May 4th, 2007, 05:00 PM
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You could rent a car and drive from Paris to Loire, or take the train to Tours and rent a car there. There are many chateaux within driving distance - Amboise, Chenonceau, Chambord, Bloise, etc. If a car is "out" (for example, nobody can drive) you can probably take a tour from Paris or Tours.

Versailles can be reached by RER ("Versailles-Rive-Gauche").
Jolie is offline  
May 4th, 2007, 11:40 PM
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Question: Do you have 5 days in Paris but extra time in the Loire and Versailles? If it's 5 days for your entire trip, then maybe take a tour from Paris, or take a tour from Tours as Jolie has suggested. Then again, I walked around Tours and enjoyed it.

Congratulations on your first dream-come-true visit! I thought that with my first trip to Paris...then got hooked...and have been there many times since. If you miss the Loire this time, take heart that if you are addicted, you will visit many many more times!
MelissaHI is offline  
May 4th, 2007, 11:53 PM
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please rethink your visit to the Loire. If this is your first Paris visit and you have your heart set on Versaille, I think you have less time than you think If you have 5 full days ie the 5 days do not count your arrival and depart day, you might think about it ..but again I would hope that you would do it next time. If you do have your heart set on it, take a day tour..Paris vision and city rama have them to "optimize" your time.
travelbunny is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 01:33 PM
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Thanks for the advice. Have 5 full days in Paris. Is it very expensive to rent a car? Which train do you take from Paris to Tours, was it? How much time do you need for the day?
Luv2Travelmac is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 01:49 PM
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Sorry, I can't help with the cost of a rental car for one day (we stayed in Amboise and rented for several days).

There is a train from Paris-Montparnasse to Tours-St-Pierre-des-Corps that's only about 1 to 1-1/4 hours. You have a choice of several car rental companies in Tours. We did it differently, and continued to Amboise by train (about 20 ride) and rented from there since we were staying in Amboise. (But there was only one small car company in Amobise and the choice of cars was limited to the "small" car or the "big" car; we took the "big" car).

I would probably spend the entire day there. With a car, you can get to several chateaux easily. For example, from Amboise, it was a pretty short ride to Chenonceau (I'm thinking 20 minutes, but only going by vague memory). We combined a morning trip to Chenonceau with an afternoon trip to Chambord. If we hadn't been staying in Amboise itself, it would have been very easy to add a stop in Amboise.

A tour might be easier to do, but we enjoyed having the car and deciding when and where we want to stop.
Jolie is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 02:10 PM
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Or you could take the TGV train to Tours (1 hr) from Paris and then hook up with the half- or full-day mini-bus tours that take you to a few of the most popular chateaux.

www.ACCO-DISPO.com is one such company that has been around a long time and picks up at the Tours station i believe.
PalenQ is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 02:10 PM
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hi, luv,

as this is your first trip to Paris, I would feel inclined to limit the side trips to versailles. that leaves 4 days for Paris - hardly enough, IMO to scrape the surface.

there is a new trip report being posted at the moment of a first trip to Paris- Dave and Lisa - the first installment suggestes that they wil have lots of great ideas for first timers.

good luck!

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 02:12 PM
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What exactly do you want to see in the Loire Valley? Are there specific Chateaux and other sites you want to see or does this just "sound" like a good idea?

If you get to Tours early and rent a car and then return very late to Paris, you might be able to squeeze in three chateaux as long as you only stop at a market and pick up a lunch to eat on the run. But I would only do this if there are one or two chateaux you have always wanted to see (mine was Chenoceau). Otherwise, there is plenty to see in Paris, especially on a first visit.
GBbabe is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 02:17 PM
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If you just wanted to see one castle, like Chenonceau, then you can go directly to the castle gates by train.

First take a train Paris to St.-Pierre-des-Corps (the main Tours station a few miles south of town - also the station to pick up a rental car at because it's on the way to most castles and Tours can have heavy traffic at times) and then change to a sideline train to Chenonceaux (the town has an 'x' on the end but the castle does not, i may have got that reversed). Check schedules at www.voyages-sncf.com.
PalenQ is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 02:37 PM
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Five days in Paris is hardly scratching the surface. Versailles wouldn't even be on my radar for that length of time and certainly not the Loire.
If you decide to do Versailles I think you will maximize your time by taking a tour from Paris. Certainly not renting a car in Paris to drive anywhere.
Touring the Loire Valley is sort of a trip in itself.
There is SO SO much to do in Paris--really enjoy that in a relaxed sort of way and plan a return trip.
Gretchen is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 03:00 PM
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I would not rent a car. Take a Cityrama or Parisvision tour. Driving in Paris can be hectic, and to spend a bunch of time figuring out directions, getting lost,etc...for a one day trip does not seem efficient to me. I rented a car to see Loire, from Paris, but I was doing a 10 day trip.

I would not do the above. You are going to Paris , and are excited about it...and then plan on spending 1.5 days of your precious 5 days outside of the city. How many actual days do you have. If you are landing in Paris from N.A, the first day you will be jetlagged, and by the time you get to your hotel it will be noon or later. Similarly, if you are leaving back home on the 5th day, most flights would require you to be there 2-3 hrs beforehand...so there goes a chunk of the last day.

There is so much to do in Paris. If Versailles is an absolute must, OK, but go early by train to avoid the bus crowds, and also to be able to get back to Paris to spend part of that day touring around.

If you read some of the trip reports here, a common theme would be...didn;t have time to see XXX, really enjoyed our time just walking aorund YYY...pace is important. Don't burn out by running around. I've been to Paris 9-10 times, I still have a list of to-do's and to-eat's.

It's not what you see, it's what you get to enjoy.
Michel_Paris is offline  
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