loire valley itinerary

Old Jun 16th, 2007, 10:19 AM
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loire valley itinerary

traveling to the loire valley with my husband and parents for 4 days. planning on taking the eurostar from london to paris and renting a car from there to explore.

any suggestions for an itinerary and places to stay?
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Old Jun 16th, 2007, 10:36 AM
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1000km of advice?

For me Sancerre (try the hotel Belleview) and taste in the valley bottom the wineries in the top get pricey and the wine quality goes down.

Saumur lovely town and i have stayed at the Abbey Fontevraud where King John etc are burried (but eat at the Unicorn) other than that get a book and find the pretty chateau
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Old Jun 16th, 2007, 10:57 AM
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Have you done a search here on Fodors for "loire valley itinerary"?? I did and found 190 threads which should give you lots of material to study.

You'll get lots more useful answers if you do some homework, arrange a tentative itinerary and then ask for specific advice regarding your itinerary.
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Old Jun 16th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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As long as you have a car I would take the opportunity to stay in one of the private chateaux, rather than a hotel. It can be a fascinating experience- the one we stayed in near Chinon was 15th centurty with a moat - and one night we had dinner with the hosts made from products of the estate.

Or - if you prefer to stay in a town Amboise is adorable, has a lot to see and everal cute hotel and restaurants.

Either place gives easy road access to ll the major chateaux as well as other major sights. Just realize it's very difficult to do more than 2 chateaux per day - and really see anything - unless you do one as a son et lumiere in the evening.
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 02:52 PM
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I spent 4 days in the Loire Valley on my honeymoon. We spent one night in Saumur and three near Amboise. Here's the trip reivew I wrote afterward, which details our itinerary:

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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 03:22 PM
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hi allan,

in 4 days you will be hard dressed to see it all, so it's best to pick an area.

saumur is as you see very popular - nice buzzy town, good central position in the western Loire, nice chateau of its own. based there, you could see Angers, Chinon, Tours, Azay le rideau and Amboise quite easily. Also if you are interested in Gardens, Villandry is close by, and a joy to visit.

if you want a bit of fun and french culture combined, you could go to the "puy de fou" near Cholet [south-west of angers] for a day. It is a large french theme park loosely telling the story of the region, with jousting knights on horseback, travelling troubadors, a roman amphitheatre complete with chariot racing and christians being fed to lions [!] etc. etc.

at night they have the most enourmous "son et lumiere" type production with a cast of over 1000 people and animals, and an audience of 5000, mostly french, though english tapes are available. if you can get tickets, it is as michelin says, worth the trip. we were blown away by it, when we went 5 years or so ago.

the best guide to the loire is IMO michelin's chateaux of the loire; amongst other things it has some suggested routes you might like to look at.

happy planning,

regards, ann
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 03:25 PM
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Follow the Michelin Green Guide, they give routes and stops along the way. I rented a car in Paris and drove Loire for 10 days. In your case (and mine at the time), start at east end (~Orleans) and drive west.
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 04:48 PM
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Emily and I really enjoyed our visit to this area of France. We stationed our home base in Tours, Best Western Cetntral. I have our agenda listed on my web site, emilyandjim.info. You can search it on yahoo... also search ... taveling with Emily..
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 05:08 PM
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Visit Villandry even if you aren't gardening enthusiasts. An absolute delight. We visited last year for the Nuits des Mille Feux - a candlelit, fireworks and medieval gala - and were very (unexpectedly) impressed. If I remember correctly, the night entrance fee is only €2 if you also visited during the day.
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