Loire valley excursion

May 5th, 2007, 08:44 AM
  #1  
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Loire valley excursion

My husband and I will be in Paris in 2 weeks for 8 days. Can anyone recommend a Loire valley excursion from Paris? Should we book through a company such as Paris Vision ahead of time or wait until we get there? How about getting to the valley independnetly and then getting a guided tour? Any suggestions welcome. Thank you.
mayb is offline  
May 5th, 2007, 09:06 AM
  #2  
 
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The cheapest easiest way I found to do this is:
1. Purchase train tickets at www.sncf.com for an early train from Paris to Tours and late return. Mine were 15 euros per person each way.
2. Reserve the full day Alienor excursion through www.ligeris.com for 40 euros per person. There are other tour options available on ligeris.com and they vary based on the day that you intend to do this excursion. The one that I booked goes to Azay le Rideau, Villandry, Chenonceau, Amboise, and Clos Luce. Lunch was not included in the cost.

Our total is 140 euros for 2 people, which is significantly less than the full excursions beginning in Paris that I found.
mrkindallas is offline  
May 5th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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I should also mention that I have not actually been on the trip yet, so I can't attest to the experience, but I didn't find anything negative when I did my research.
mrkindallas is offline  
May 5th, 2007, 09:37 AM
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Some of the Chateaux are enormous - and have a LOT to see - so I would be hesitant about any tour that tried to do more than 2 major chateaux in a day - you will be rushed through and miss a lot. I think car is a much better idea - either from Paris or from Tours (from Paris via TVG) - so you can see what you want - and not be rushed through in a pack.

We spent 6 days in the Loire and found it possible to do 3 chateaux in one day only if one was a son et lumiere in the evening.

It depends so much on what you want to see most - the architecture, the history, the beautiful gardens (really more than 2 a day is only the drive by or 10 minute photo op version.)
nytraveler is offline  
May 13th, 2007, 05:56 PM
  #5  
 
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Hi,

Check out www.bluemarble.org. This company runs day trips out to the Loire Valley.
I agree with nytraveler, it can take some time to see even 2 spots in one day. If you're into gardens, Villandry is the spot for you.

Bon voyage!
goddessintl is offline  
May 13th, 2007, 06:08 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
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I agree that you cannot really "do" more than two chateaus in a day if you want to really see them. Some have gardens. I would recommend taking a couple of days, staying somewhere in the Loire (it is a big area; stay near the chateaus you want to see) and renting a car.

I have been to the Loire 4 times and still have not seen Cheverny or Saumur. Those are at either end of the Loire and I just did not get to them.

If you are in Paris for only a week, you can easily take a train to Blois for a day trip.

Have you considered Fontainebleau as well?

It is not necessary to go to the Loire to see chateaus. They are all over.

If this is your first trip to Paris, you should concentrate on Paris and Versailles. That will be plenty for a week. Then plan another trip centered on the Loire. You cannot do it all in one trip.

Remember to make it a vacation--not a forced march.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 01:57 AM
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Personally, I would only take the minivan day tours from Paris. Have done this with Paris Vision. Small group of people..no big bus loads, etc.

Our group had a total of 5..we were 2 and 3 others. We had a great tour guide. Scheduled for 3 Chateau and lunch at a lovely spot. We had time to add a 4th stop. It worked out great for us for the Loire for that visit.

A full day.

Paris Vision has many minivan tours. Take a look at their site.

Enjoy.....
gracejoan3 is offline  
May 16th, 2007, 06:19 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Hi there. We are just back from Europe...we prebooked a Loire trip with Paris Links and had a major fubu. We missed our stop on the train...there was no recourse for us. I looked into booking a car for the day (from Paris) --it was going to be around $150 just for the car. The problem with the train was that we had to board it by 6:45 a.m. (this was our first day in Paris and the metros can be quite a workout in themselves) -- we made it on the train but then we were so tired we confused what time we were to get off. It was a $300 mistake. I would save your money and stick to the smaller and closer chateaus for your sanity. Enjoy!
swigswig is offline  

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