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paris to loire valley

Old Apr 28th, 2004, 09:00 AM
  #1  
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paris to loire valley

In June I am going from Paris to Loire valley and spend 4 nights there. I would like to know if I should just stay in one town, say Amboise or Tours or Blois, as a base for the entire time or should I stay in different towns every night to experience a different chateau-hotel each night.(How easy is this plan)? Is Amboise the ideal base if I choose to stay in one place only? The next question is should I drive from Paris to Loire valley or should I take TGV there and rent a car from the train station. Can I actually rent a car from the train station? Which town ? Is the drive from Paris to Loire Valley a pleasant one? If not, I would rather rent a car only upon reaching Loire Valley. I would appreciate any recommendations and suggestions.
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Old Apr 28th, 2004, 09:10 AM
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I would take the train to Tours and pick up a car there - yes, at the train station - and drive to Amboise for the first two nights. Then, I'd drive to Angers or Saumur to see the western part of the Loire. With a car you can zip around the Loire area quite nicely, and splitting 4 nights up evenly between the east and west is more practicable than changing hotels each night and packing and unpacking every day.
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Old Apr 28th, 2004, 09:16 AM
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My goodness, a lot of questions! I can't answer them all, but will tell you that the drive from Paris to the Loire Valley is an easy one. We stay in Azay-le-Rideau and visit the area from there. It would give you more time to visit chateaus if you didn't have to pack, move and check out/in to a different hotel each day. My suggestions would be to decide which of the Loire chateaus you want to visit, locate them on a map and then choose a central location and find a really nice hotel as a base.

I'm sure many other posters here will suggest lovely hotels. We stay in the Logis de France and love them, but they are not usually luxurious.

My personal "don't miss" list would include Azay-le-Rideau, Ussé, Chenonceau, Amboise, Langeais, Chinon (which is a ruin) and the wonderful gardens at Villandry. For a surreal experience, find the ruined chateau at Cinq Mars de la Pile. It's even better on a rainy day.

Have a wonderful trip.
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Old Apr 28th, 2004, 09:20 AM
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I would add Blois and Chambord to the list of chateaux to be seen.
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Old Apr 28th, 2004, 08:04 PM
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Might I add Saumur to the list? It looks familiar because it's one of the ones painted for the Book of Hours of the Duc de Berry and is perched high atop a hill overlooking the Loire. You don't really need to go inside to appreciate its beauty, however.
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Old Apr 29th, 2004, 03:53 AM
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We spent six nights in the Loire Valley a few years ago and were never lacking for things to do. We stayed near Chinon, which is fairly central, but there still was a bit of driving involved to get to either end.

Our personal favorites also included Chenonceau, Chambord, Amboise, Chinon, Azay-le-Rideau, Saumur and Villandry. And if you do spend a couple of nights in proximity to the western end of the Loire, I would recommend seeing Angers (and the Apocalypse Tapestries) and the ruins of Fontevraud Abbey (between Chinon and Saumur).

I'm not a big fan of changing hotels frequently, but StCirq's suggestion of two locations will probably enable you to see more with less driving.

We drove down from Paris (but from the airport, not the city center). It was not a bad drive -- all highway until you get to Tours -- but not terribly scenic. We did spend some time sitting in traffic on the Peripherique during morning rush hour. Taking the train sounds like a good idea.
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Old Apr 29th, 2004, 07:12 PM
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kdm
 
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I have driven from Paris to the Loire which was nice, however last month I took my first TGV trip which I really enjoyed. If you take the TGV get off at St Pierre Corps (the last TVG stop otherwise I believe you have to take a regular train....someone correct this statement if I am wrong) and get your rental car there. I used Avis which was perfect because they were right outside this small train station just before Tours. We stayed in Amboise which is about a 25 minute drive from the train station. The Paris - train - car - hotel was a very smooth, easy and enjoyable transition.

Have fun...I wish I could find as many suggestions for Rio de Janeiro as I do for France Denise
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Old May 1st, 2004, 04:08 AM
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Thanks. Can anyone recommend a nice hotel in saumer or angers? which is a smaller and quaint town?
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Old May 1st, 2004, 04:50 AM
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I'm surprised to see that the Abbey of Fontevraud has so far been omitted from the list of must-sees!
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Old May 1st, 2004, 05:15 AM
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We did what St. Cirq suggests on our last trip to the Loire and it worked beautifully. I recommend the Rochecotte in St. Patrice near Saumur. Talleyrand gave it to his "niece" Carpets of pink violets in the adjoining woods. Lovely modern/stylish interior rooms with an air of old fashioned charm and luxury. Lovely.
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Old May 1st, 2004, 09:25 AM
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message: stcirq
Hi. May I know where would you suggest I stay after spending 2 nights in Amboise's le manoir les minimes? The next 2 nights in Blois or Saumer better? Thanks
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