Paris-loire-MSM

Old Dec 6th, 2019, 05:09 AM
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Paris-loire-MSM

Hi, we're flying into CDG on the 14th evening at 7.30pm and flying out on 24th at 9.30 pm. We want to visit paris, loire chateaux and mont st Micheal, preferable staying a night there. What would be the best route to accomplish this?

Currently im thinking stay at airport hotel on 14th, take a train to loire on 15th morning, base in amboise and drive around on a rental car, drive up to mont st michael on 19th, stay there overnight, drop off car somewhere on 20th and travel to paris the same day, and spend the time till 24th there. Is this sounding reasonable or can i optimize it better?

I wanted to see how paris is during christmas than loire, though im not sure if we should do it in reverse, doing paris first and then loire and MSM so that we end up travelling from MSM to CDG on the 24th and spend that day travelling. Help would be appreciated . Thank you!
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Old Dec 6th, 2019, 07:10 AM
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Have you looked at weather reports/predictions for France, in particular the northern half of the country, lately? To be honest, a mid-December trip to the Loire Valley would never be enticing to me, but this year it's looking as though it's quite probably going to be particularly miserable weather. Even here in the SW it's been frigid, really foggy, and raining for days and expected to continue for many more to come. The Loire is at its best when the gardens are in bloom and you can stroll around the grounds. Touring inside vast old stone castles, even though they will have the obligatory fires burning and some semblance of heat, would get really old for me after about a day.

Then, of course, there is the issue of unrest in Paris (and other cities), and no one can say right now how long that will last.
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Old Dec 6th, 2019, 08:10 AM
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I think your plan sounds possible, if that's what you mean. I realy don't understand why you are doing this at the depth of winter around the shortest days of the year in a geographic area like that. But I guess maybe you like that kind of weather.

Notez bien what St Cirq was referring to. There are current rail strikes that are suppressing the vast majority of trains (and metro in Paris) and on top of that, there are many incidents of "protests" and some violence in some of the large cities of France. Now that wouldn't be Amboise, but it certainly is Paris. And lots of things are closed because of that, even the Eiffel Tower closed down which surprised me. I know the strikers currently said they are striking through at least early next week, if I recall, but it changes daily.

In short, teh 14th of December is a little too soon that I would want to make predictions that all the trains are going to be running smoothly by then.
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Old Dec 6th, 2019, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by frodocorleone View Post
Hi, we're flying into CDG on the 14th evening at 7.30pm and flying out on 24th at 9.30 pm. We want to visit paris, loire chateaux and mont st Micheal, preferable staying a night there. What would be the best route to accomplish this?

Currently im thinking stay at airport hotel on 14th, take a train to loire on 15th morning, base in amboise and drive around on a rental car, drive up to mont st michael on 19th, stay there overnight, drop off car somewhere on 20th and travel to paris the same day, and spend the time till 24th there. Is this sounding reasonable or can i optimize it better?

I wanted to see how paris is during christmas than loire, though im not sure if we should do it in reverse, doing paris first and then loire and MSM so that we end up travelling from MSM to CDG on the 24th and spend that day travelling. Help would be appreciated . Thank you!
Rent the car in Paris and drive to the Loire via Fontainebleau


or Vaux-le-Vicomte


from there go to the Loire valley, Blois and Angers come to mind, being in cities and Angers castle has a fabulous collection of old tapestries. Go to the Mont Saint-Michel and return the car in Paris or maybe Chartres so that you can visit the cathedral.
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Old Dec 6th, 2019, 03:31 PM
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Those places won't look anything like michael's photos at this time of year. Me personally - I'd steer clear of France altogether until the strikes and unrest have steeled down some
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Old Dec 6th, 2019, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
Those places won't look anything like michael's photos at this time of year. Me personally - I'd steer clear of France altogether until the strikes and unrest have steeled down some
So would I - and Christmas is our favorite time of year in Paris.

Stu Dudley
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Old Dec 6th, 2019, 03:58 PM
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Clearly, you already have your plans and your tickets, so don't be dissuaded by the others. I love Paris at Christmas- the decorations are wonderful, and the short days just mean that you have more time to enjoy the lights at night. Plan on hitting the hot chocolate places and cafes for coffee. Check on the opening hours of the chateaux. Da Viinci's house in Amboise is well worth a visit, and I second the idea of including Angers. It's not well known to Americans, but there's a lovely castle with a moat and the town is charming.
The rail strikes are a concern- maybe they'll be over by the time you get there, but it might be better not to have all your plans dependent on them. If it were me, I would save the visit to Mont St. Michel for another trip. It's farther from Paris than you think, and the weather is likely to be much worse than in Paris. There's plenty to do in Paris and the Loire valley.
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Old Dec 6th, 2019, 05:04 PM
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Paris is not currently the lovely 'Christmassy Scene' being described. I left London this AM and everyone was beiing dissuaded from traveling to many parts of France and especially Paris. I am not generally a timid traveler . . . But the current strikes and demonstrations are NOT business as usual.
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Old Dec 6th, 2019, 08:40 PM
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Im kinda stuck with it because i have our flight tickets booked. The strikes were the reason i was thinking about getting to Paris by around 20th.
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Old Dec 6th, 2019, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by frodocorleone View Post
Im kinda stuck with it because i have our flight tickets booked. The strikes were the reason i was thinking about getting to Paris by around 20th.
That's why I was suggesting car travel.
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Old Dec 7th, 2019, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
That's why I was suggesting car travel.
for sure. Cars seem to be an integral part of loire trips. What is a good service provider who has drop offs at lot of areas?
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Old Dec 7th, 2019, 02:38 AM
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How about this as a plan? Im thinking whether to change this slightly so i can drive to angers on the 18th thereby moving all the plans up one day and have one extra day in paris.

14th Dec - Land in CDG, stay at hotel near airport . Stay somewhere near CDG
15th Dec - Drive to Blois via Fountainbleau . stay in Blois
16th Dec- Chateaue - cheverny, Chambord . stay in Blois
17th Dec - Chaateu - Chenoncaue, Chaumont. stay in amboise
18th Dec - Amboise . stay in Amboise
19th Dec - Drive to Angers visiting villandry and usse. stay in Angers
20th Dec - Angers in morning, drive to MSM in evening. stay in MSM
21st Dec - 24th Dec - Paris

Last edited by frodocorleone; Dec 7th, 2019 at 02:44 AM.
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Old Dec 7th, 2019, 03:27 AM
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I don't think you have a realistic idea of what you're getting into.

December 15 is a Sunday, BTW, a difficult day to pick up a rental car, though if you're at the airport it shouldn't be a problem. Driving, however, could be a nightmare. The fog has been so thick here the past two days that no one is on the roads (and we're in the "sunny" south). Between the fog and the driving rains, what's the point? You can't see anything out the window of the car, you're spending every minute concentrating on the road and staying alive, and when you get somewhere it's no fun to get out of the car and tour. I wouldn't want to plan a trip like this and have it center around a place that is simply going to be utterly dreary. It's usually dreary in the Loire in mid-winter anyway, but what's happening on the ground right now makes it super-unappealing.

Look at the metéo predictions for the next couple of weeks. It's not pretty. It's bad enough here - it will be worse in the north.

If I were you, I'd check out where you can get to cheaply and easily on a plane from Paris (Spain, Sicily, Malta, Italian islands, Sardegna, Greece, Morocco....though weather in those places hasn't been ideal, either - even the French Riviera has had horrible weather for days) on EasyJet or some other low-cost intra-Europe airline. Spend the night in Paris and fly out the next day to someplace temperate. See if you can change your airline tickets to open-jaw to see if you can save money and time in backtracking.

If I were you I wouldn't change my plans "slightly," I'd change them radically.
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Old Dec 7th, 2019, 05:08 AM
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France is pretty great even when the weather isn't the best. The weather is impossible to predict and even if it’s cold and rainy, you’ll be indoors a lot of the time, at chateaux, restaurants, and hotels. I don’t know where you are from, but winter in France is a piece of cake compared to where we live.

As for the strikes, I doubt that there's widespread disruption in the areas you are heading to. In winter you have the chance to see the chateaux without crowds. Friends who’ve visited in the winter actually prefer the quieter experience.

You can check the website cestlagreve.fr for general information and each night you can check the websites of the places you plan to visit the next day and revamp your plans if necessary.

I like your plan of renting a car after a night's sleep at the airport and then heading for Fontainebleau and Blois. You'd arrange your car rental in advance, right? The benefit of arriving the day before you pick up the car is that you can call the specific rental company to confirm that they’ll have the car for you early the next day. Get to the rental agency at the airport as early as you can.

I would expect traffic to be heavier than usual, but you’re not in a rush so once you’re away from Paris, you can take smaller roads. You’ll go slower and probably enjoy driving more. We use Google directions to find less-trafficked roads.

I hope you won’t cancel your trip. To quote Maitai Tom, our Fodorite sage, “Attitude is everything.” Prepare yourselves and go.
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Old Dec 7th, 2019, 05:30 AM
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Lovely December day here in the sunny SW of France....
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Old Dec 7th, 2019, 05:34 AM
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Here's what's going on in Fontainebleau:

https://www.google.com/search?q=imag...eaFJbbn4JxzuM:
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Old Dec 7th, 2019, 07:32 AM
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The 14-day forecast for Fontainebleau doesn't look that bad to me.

https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/@3018074/ext

I looked at today's traffic between CDG and Fontainebleau and it seems to be fluid.

I like France enough that even if our arrival in France was going to be during lousy weather, I'd still go. Even if we could get our money back for the plane tickets, I'd still go. I look forward to our trips to France and I'd be disappointed to have to switch to another country, no matter how sunny.
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Old Dec 7th, 2019, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by StCirq View Post
Lovely December day here in the sunny SW of France....
For a photographer it still has appeal.
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Old Dec 7th, 2019, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by frodocorleone View Post
for sure. Cars seem to be an integral part of loire trips. What is a good service provider who has drop offs at lot of areas?
Use Autoeurope or Kemwel, you'll get all the information before you sign a rental agreement which can be cancelled without charge 48 hours before the rental begins.
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Old Dec 7th, 2019, 10:29 AM
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<<For a photographer it still has appeal.>>

Sure. For a driver on unfamiliar roads, maybe not so much.
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