Loire Valley or Normandy??

Oct 14th, 2002, 06:44 PM
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Loire Valley or Normandy??

My husband and I will be in France for 9 days this November. We're planning 5 days in Paris and can't decide between the Loire Valley or Normandy for the remaining 4 days. We're in our early thirties, both love good food & wine, enjoy history, and want to settle into an area. Any suggestions? Is is realistic to decide when we get to France? (Paris is the first portion of our trip.)
Oct 14th, 2002, 07:30 PM
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Oct 14th, 2002, 08:51 PM
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I vote for the Loire Valley, and I have also a recommendation, I would go to Burgundy.
We are a couple in our early 30's and
Last year we were in France for 10 days. We were in PAris for 5 days, then 2 nights in Burgundy (Chateau de Chorey les Beaune), 2 nights in the Loire Valley (Chateau du Pray) and 1 night in Normandy.
My favorite was Burgundy, then the Loire Valley, I wish I had skipped altogether Normandy and instead stayed longer in either the Loire Valley or Burgundy. Both of these places had nice warm weather, and beautiful scenery. Normandy was cold and rainy, and the drive between the Loire and Normandy was fairly boring, as you go through very congested and developed areas. The Loire and Burgundy are very romantic. you can go wine tasting and have picnics near the Chateaus or in the wine country. You can also tour around on a bicycle.

The views of the vineyards from our room at the Chateau de Chorey Les beaune were wonderful. We will definitely be back in the Loire and Burgundy!

Oct 15th, 2002, 05:41 AM
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I don't think you can discount the weather one has when one visits a place. Alexandra had bad weather in Normandy, we had good, almost perfect weather. We liked it--as we did on previous trips when we probably also had good weather there. Actually I like all three areas in play here--Loire Valley, Normandy, and Burgundy. Each has its charms. If you are interested in seeing castles/chateaux, go to the Loire. If you like quint villages go to one of the other two. We particularly like Honfleur, unique little square harbor with 7-8 story slate buildings surrounding it, all perfectly reflected in the harbor and one of the most memorable churches in Europe--St. Catherine's made of two upside down boat hulls. On the otherhand in Vezelay, a winding uphill artists village there is another cathedral that's also one of the most memorable in Europe, a stark romanesque beuty whose name I can't remember but it houses a bone fragment from Mary Magdalene and has the advantage of being close to Pere Sous Vezelay and the restaurant of Marc Meneau where I've had some of the most memorable meals of my life. You can't lose. See my report of our recent trip to these places entitled Report--Bordeaux, Loire, Brittany and Normandy.
Oct 16th, 2002, 10:52 AM
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Personally, 5 days in Paris is 2 too many. Paris is rather dirty, smelly and a better time would be had in the Loire Valley or Normandy. If you love the country side, Normandy. If you want to see Castles, Loire Valley. My wife and I have been to all three places and we found the people of Normandy to be very, very friendly. Normandy is a must for all Americans. Seeing Omaha & Utah Beach, Where the American landings took place brought me all sorts of emotions. The American Cemetery above Omaha Beach made me cry for the first time in years. In fact, if I were to only be able to make one more trip to Europe, I would choose to return to Omaha Beach. Another place which I would have to return would also be Pointe Du Hoc, where the Army Rangers landed on a small beach and scaled 80-100' cliffs to take out the large German guns pointed towards Omaha Beach. Upon scaling the cliffs, the fighting resulted in hand to hand combat. When you go to places like this it will change your life for the better and your outlook on todays world will change. How different our lives would be if America had appeased Hitler. Thank God.
Enough history. However, we did really enjoy the Loire Valley, so they are both great places, but get out of Paris and into the country. Meet some of the good French people.

Oct 16th, 2002, 11:56 AM
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Having visited both, I would choose to go back to Normandy rather than the Loire Valley which is not to say that we did not enjoy Amboise, the chateaus, wine, food, history, etc. It's more a matter of our being more interested in the D Day sites in Normandy. Like Roger, seeing Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery is something I will never forget. It is a part of our American history which occured in the very recent past and thus made a real impression on us. We only had two full days staying in Bayeux as our base and wish we had allocated two additional days. Either area you will find to be interesting with good food and wine aplenty. You might check the weather conditions in Normandy during the period in November you would be there to see if that might be an issue. I know in early July when we were there, it was pleasantly cool so I suspect November might be quite cold.
Oct 23rd, 2002, 07:39 AM
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Having been to both Normandy (Rouen, Honfleur, Caen, Bayeux) and the Loire Valley (Angers, Saumur, Nantes, I'd give the nod to the Loire Valley. Angers is a pleasant town with an impressive 10th century chateau which also home to the Apocalypse Tapestries. Saumur is also delightful. The Chateau de Saumur, which overlooks the Loire river has marvelous view of the town and surrounding countryside.
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