Loire Valley - lovely Gite

Aug 29th, 2013, 10:52 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 646
Loire Valley - lovely Gite

We recently returned from a wonderful trip to France (and Turkey), which included 5 days in the Loire Valley and a week in Brittany. Thank you to all those kind Fodorites that shared their trip reports – I spent hours poring over them.
For the Loire Valley part of the trip we settled on staying in, or near, Chinon. It was a well recommended area and seemed centrally located for a 5 day stay. As a family of 4 (all adults) I was surprised how hard it was to find what seemed to be nice self-catering accommodation for a reasonable price. We finally settled on a 3 bedroom gite, called La Bonne Avoine, in the little village of Avoine, about 7km from Chinon. http://www.france-voyage.com/locatio...oine-46760.htm . We loved everything about the rental!! The owners were very easy to deal with over the internet. The gite is tastefully furnished, immaculately presented and very well equipped. The location is very quiet and private, yet centrally located in the little village – just a few minutes’ walk to the bakery and also the local supermarket, which was more than adequate for supplies. We highly recommend the gite and would definitely stay there again.
Whilst there, we visited the following places:
• Chambord – our first chateau and the favourite of one of our daughters. Loved all the spires and the grandeur of the castle - preferred the outside / on the roof and outside alleyways to the inside.
• Chenonceau– the favourite of the rest of the family. Beatitfully set over the water, with gorgeous gardens (abundant pink roses and lavender). Interesting interior with amazing flower arrangements. Loved the ballroom.
• Samur - don’t recommend going inside the chateau – more impressive outside. Lovely town to wander through or do some shopping.
• Chinon - didn't really explore the town. Walked up to the chateau but didn't go in (don't regret that decision though). Imagine it would be lovely to walk along the river - pathways along were very nice.
• Chateau d'Usse - beautiful castle from the outside. A little gimmicky on the inside though. (Inspiration for Sleeping Beauty)
• Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau: loved the castle from the outside. Also enjoyed the interior. Gardens simple but pleasant to walk through. Water around castle very picturesque.
• Chateau Villandry - loved the renaissance gardens! Chateau was interesting, and lovely views overlooking the gardens from inside.
• Clos Luc - really enjoyed seeing Leonardo da Vinci’s home and models of some of his inventions

Hope this is of some help to others planning their trips.
PRLCH is offline  
Aug 31st, 2013, 03:49 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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Thank you for the gîte recommendation, it looks lovely and well-priced.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Aug 31st, 2013, 11:41 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
A couple of questions about the gite. The showers look really tiny - is that the photos or are they very small. Are all of the beds twins - no queens or even doubles?

We'v looked at gites a couple of times - but thees things always seem to be problems - even in the photos.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 1st, 2013, 04:43 PM
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nytraveler,
Re the showers - we definitely did NOT find the shower small. My husband is 6'2" and gets grumpy if his shower is sub-standard. We certainly had no complaints from him. I must confess we did not actually use the downstairs shower. We told the kids their bathroom was downstairs and ours was upstairs near the bedrooms. We did not mind them using our bathroom as long as it did not interfere with our use of it - and it all worked out just fine.

Re the beds - I agree that many (but not all) rentals (and even hotels) have twin beds pushed together. Sometimes the bases are twins with a single large mattress on top. Sometimes beds pushed together and the mattresses "held together" with some sort of Velcro strip (which is not bad). Sometimes beds are just pushed together and made up as one. I cannot actually remember exactly how the beds worked here (we stayed in 8 different places in 4 weeks, so the old memory does fade a bit), but it certainly was not a problem for us. We would rather have good quality firm beds pushed together and made up as one, rather than a queen bid which is so soft you roll together (which we had, and hated, in Brittany). Certainly if this is a concern for you, I would always recommend clarifying with the owners before renting.
PRLCH is offline  
Sep 1st, 2013, 05:44 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Good to know about the showers. DH is 6'3" and finds many hotel showers impossible. (We live in a prewar building with 11" ceilings so the showerheads are more than 8' above the ground - which is ceiling height in many baths.)

I guess we'll just have to check each one.
nytraveler is offline  
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