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Must see Chateaux in the Loire?

Old Feb 5th, 2008, 11:57 PM
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Must see Chateaux in the Loire?

Any help with chateaux and other must sees in the Loire. I'd especially appreciate any helpful websites.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 12:59 AM
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My personal opion would be:

3 stars:
- Chambord castle
- Chenonceaux castle
- Azay-le-Rideau castle
- Villandry gardens (and castle)

2 stars
- Cheverny castle
- Blois castle
- Ussè castle
- Loches
- Amboise castle

Website: www.viamichelin.com

Under "maps", enter for city "Blois" and click on "Green Guide tourist location"

Repeat with entering "37000" as a city
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 02:41 AM
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I would particularly agree with Chenonceau, especially for the dramatic setting, and Villandry...a still-lived-in place with exquisite gardens; Chambord for its bulk and "curbside" appeal even if the furnishings are somewhat sparse.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 04:35 AM
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Other "must sees" would have to be the town and castle at Chinon and L'Abbey de Fontrevaud.

Chambord is just a big pile IMO.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 07:23 AM
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We very much enjoyed Chenonceaux and rather out of the way Valencay on our abbreviated visit.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 08:52 AM
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If you're going to Amboise to see the Castle (Not a chateaux but a fortified castle) also make sure to see Le Clos Luce.

Part of the suggestions depends on how many days you have, how you're traveling (assume car - really the only sensible way to cover the territory) and any special interests. Villandry would go to the top for gardens, be much further down otherwise.

Suggest you stay in one of the many chateau hotels in the area for a unique experience.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 09:08 AM
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If you like gardens, the summer garden competition in Chaumont might be of interest.

We liked Langeais as a change of pace.

http://tinyurl.com/ys4jys
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 09:49 AM
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Hi Kerry,

if you're going to be there in the summer, don't miss the son et lumiere shows at some of the bigger chateaux.

from memory, both blois and tours have them, in the height of the season in english. [yep - the blois one is in english on wednesdays]

google is your friend.

regards, ann
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 09:59 AM
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Never been to the Loire Valley. Any of these castles are day-trippable from Paris via train/bus and no car?
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 10:06 AM
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Angers is definitely doable as a day trip, and very much worth a visit, both town and castle.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 10:06 AM
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I agree with all the recommendations for Chenonceau. It's in such a spectacular setting.

www.chenonceau.com
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 10:37 AM
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Personal favourite is Fontevraud Abbey looks lived in right out of the past - last home of Eleanor of Acquitaine, reeking with history

Have a great time!

Carolee
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 10:45 AM
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If you end up in Angers be sure to see the tapestries in the chateau and then cross town to see the Jean Lurcat museum and his own modern take on the tapestries.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 11:17 AM
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I would not recommend the sound and light thing at Amboise (from experience) which dragged on and on and ON with periodic SNCF trains in the far background providing "sound effects."

Too bad you don't have time for an early morning hot air balloon ride..now THAT is memorable.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 12:02 PM
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I agree with "traveller1959", only I'd give their 3 star chateaus, 5 stars.

We were there in Sept. Stayed at Chateau Perreux.com just outside of Amboise. It was one of our favorite properties in France, in a great location to tour.

We were there 4 days, and wished it had been more. We also visited DaVinci's house in Amboise and enjoyed that.

Took the train from Paris, rented a car. Very easy to drive around, and great restaurants.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 12:06 PM
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Sorry, that's not the right sight. Will look it up tomorrow and put it in.
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Old Feb 7th, 2008, 12:54 PM
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The above site is www.Chateau-de-perreux.com----check it out!
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Old Feb 16th, 2008, 05:24 PM
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Old Feb 17th, 2008, 05:35 AM
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I'd pick a representative sampler.

One fortress style chateau: Angers (with the added benefit of being smack dab in one of the nicest and prettiest cities in France)

One famous for its gardens: Villandry

One of the beautiful pleasure palaces: Chenonceau

A small, off the beaten tracks chateau where you can basically have the castle and grounds to yourself: Montresor or Ainay-le-Vieil
http://chateau.ainaylevieil.free.fr/
http://www.37-online.net/gb/castles/montresor_gb.html

Chambord as a chateau did not interest us that much. But we loved the guided boat tour of the canal and moat system around the castle. The guide is excellent, tells you not only about the castle itself, but also the history and purpose of the canals/moats and the wildlife in the waters and in the surrounding forest. If possible, go early and catch the first boat tour of the day, before the tour groups arrived. We took the first trip and had a private tour...just DH, myself, and our cocker. The boat tours after that were packed.



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Old Jul 12th, 2009, 07:12 AM
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