Paris to Loire Valley to Lucerne

Old Jul 27th, 2021, 05:21 AM
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Paris to Loire Valley to Lucerne

Iím planning my honeymoon to Europe next month. My itinerary will be Paris (6 days), Loire Valley (3 days), and finally Lucerne, Switzerland (5 days).


I will rent a car for touring Loire Valley and then Iím heading to Lucerne.



So first, can you help me with a 3-days itinerary for Loire Valley? And should I stay in one base or sleep in a different town every day?


Secondly , how do I go from Loire Valley to Lucerne? I prefer a train over a flight but is it reasonable? From where should I leave?



Thank you,

Ali.



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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 07:25 AM
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Hi Ali, I'd take the train to the Loire from Paris and rent the car at the station (I'd use Auto Europe who will broker you the best deal). Now it depends on what you want, do you want vinyards, castles, monesteries, cycling, fishing, zoos, shopping, fine dining, walking, boating or palaces? If you let us know we can advise which bit. 3 days means 2 nights I assume.

Do you want help with accomodation, if so what range of prices do you want?

To Lucerne, i'd play with rome2rio to get the best idea, often bus may be good.
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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
Hi Ali, I'd take the train to the Loire from Paris and rent the car at the station (I'd use Auto Europe who will broker you the best deal). Now it depends on what you want, do you want vinyards, castles, monesteries, cycling, fishing, zoos, shopping, fine dining, walking, boating or palaces? If you let us know we can advise which bit. 3 days means 2 nights I assume.

Do you want help with accomodation, if so what range of prices do you want?

To Lucerne, i'd play with rome2rio to get the best idea, often bus may be good.
Iíd like to experience a bit of every thing. I love to see a beautiful scenery when Iím driving, Iíd love to experience the countryside of France. Also, if you have any romantic suggestion Iíd be happy to hear from you. I donít have a specific thing in mind, Iím open to ideas.

Is a bus really the most efficient way to get to Lucerne? Isnít a train faster?
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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 07:59 AM
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First I've not looked at the route yet as we have not agreed where you are staying. The Loire is 1000 km long and the bit most travelers want to visit is about 300km so lets choose where first and then look at how later.

Ali, forgive me but do and your gracious soon to be wife drink alcohol, just asking as proposing wine trips to a tee-totaler is a bit of a waste of time.

I'd start here with this article and think which of these you would want to see. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/d...-travel-guide/

I'd also add Fauntevraud which is an amazing little place. Historically this was Europe's nunnery for sisters of kings and the like. It houses the bodies or body parts of a few Kings of England, then it is also a hotel (possibly a place to stay) and in a village with some fine dining and not far from Saumur. So certainly worth thinking about.

Let's assume others will be along to add in their pennyworth in the next few hours and see where we get to.

Out of interest Fauntevraud to Lucerne is 8 hours plus a bit by train or about the same by flight (plus the whole airport thing). Have you concidered flying to Paris and moving straight onto Loire before backtracking to Paris and then Switzerland.

Last edited by bilboburgler; Jul 27th, 2021 at 08:08 AM.
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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
First I've not looked at the route yet as we have not agreed where you are staying. The Loire is 1000 km long and the bit most travelers want to visit is about 300km so lets choose where first and then look at how later.

Ali, forgive me but do and your gracious soon to be wife drink alcohol, just asking as proposing wine trips to a tee-totaler is a bit of a waste of time.
We do not drink alcohol. Iíve heard a lot the the Loire is for the lovers of wine. But itís surely beautiful no matter the wine. I wanted to tour a countryside part of France before going to Lucerne and a lot suggested Loire to me. Should I think again? Do you have any suggestions?
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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 08:42 AM
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No the Loire is fine and really lovely. Much of France is vinyard and I would have suggested some visits, but if that is of no interest we concentrate on other things.

Have a look on line at Saumur and Chinon and see if either interests you to stay.
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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 08:48 AM
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To me, six days in Paris means 7 nights, three days in Loire Valley means 4 nights and five days in Luzern means 6 nights. Not counting the travel time between points gives a misleading impression of the time you actually have. For example, taking the train from Paris to Tours, renting a car and driving to your final destination would take just about an entire morning.

So, did you realize you'd lose an entire day getting from the Loire Valley to Luzern when you developed this itinerary? There's no simple way to travel between these points.

There are airports in Tours and Angers, but there are no direct flights from either city to Zurich or Geneva, flight times range from 7-9 hours and then you have to train to Luzern. You could return the car in Tours, board a train there, and the journey to Luzern would take at least 7 hours and involve at least 3 changes. Or you could drive to Geneva (perhaps 8 hours), return the car on the French side, and take a train to Luzern (3+ hours).

Are you committed to the Loire Valley or would you consider another destination? Are you flying home from Switzerland?
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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Jean View Post
To me, six days in Paris means 7 nights, three days in Loire Valley means 4 nights and five days in Luzern means 6 nights. Not counting the travel time between points gives a misleading impression of the time you actually have. For example, taking the train from Paris to Tours, renting a car and driving to your final destination would take just about an entire morning.

So, did you realize you'd lose an entire day getting from the Loire Valley to Luzern when you developed this itinerary? There's no simple way to travel between these points.

There are airports in Tours and Angers, but there are no direct flights from either city to Zurich or Geneva, flight times range from 7-9 hours and then you have to train to Luzern. You could return the car in Tours, board a train there, and the journey to Luzern would take at least 7 hours and involve at least 3 changes. Or you could drive to Geneva (perhaps 8 hours), return the car on the French side, and take a train to Luzern (3+ hours).

Are you committed to the Loire Valley or would you consider another destination? Are you flying home from Switzerland?
Iím not committed to Loire Valley, but Iíd love a similar road trip. Yes Iím flying home after Switzerland
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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 10:25 AM
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For planning in the Loire area, I recommend the Michelin Green Guide. You can decide on what you like and make an itinerary of the region, I have an old English version that I especially like, as it is arranged geographically with suggested tours for various day lengths rather than alphabetically. I doubt it is available easily, as it was printed in 1967 in Great Britain by the Dickens Press. The practical information may be out of date, but the Chateaux don't move around. Might be worth an internet search.

Edit: I found a copy on EBay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/16484051384...UaAkqpEALw_wcB
I hope the link works!

Last edited by AJPeabody; Jul 27th, 2021 at 10:48 AM. Reason: found a copy
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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 09:37 PM
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Hi Ali91

The train from Paris to Switzerland can be around 4h, depending on your departure and destination points. For instance, Paris to Basel is 3h, no changes, while Paris to Luzern is 4h45 with a change in Basel.

To get schedule information, you can use the German rail site at

www.bahn.com

To buy tickets, you can use the Swiss rail site www.sbb.ch, or one of the French rail sites, www.sncf.com or www.thetrainline.com.

When looking at train schedules, take the number of changes into account, too. It's pretty nice to sit and enjoy the scenery, so a journey of 4h versus 3h is not all that horrible. But changing trains while hauling luggage can be stressful, so having 1 change versus 3 changes can make a big difference in your day.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 10:12 PM
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If you're not committed to the Loire Valley on this trip, consider the Colmar/Strasbourg area. Paris-Strasbourg by train takes about 2 hours, and Strasbourg-Luzern by train takes about 3 hours with one connection. The drive between Strasbourg and Colmar takes less than 90 minutes (there's also train service), and you wouldn't run out of charming towns and things to see/do in the area. This might give you some ideas:

https://www.cityorcity.com/colmar-or-strasbourg/
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Old Jul 28th, 2021, 02:01 AM
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As Jean suggests the Strasbourg/Alsace region is nice too. The area has a small hill range to the west and the Alps to the south. The hills are dotted with walking and cycling trails with lots of cycling trails down on the flat. Lower slopes are also covered with vines and you can walk amongst them a fair bit.

Strasbourg centre is a tight little medievel city worth a day wandering around but you don't want a car in the city centre.
https://www.visit.alsace/en/ is very helpful
Destinations include three or four great castles, a concentration camp, some fortified towns, and some very specialist museums. I love the area and you can even drop into Germany easily.

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Old Jul 28th, 2021, 02:10 AM
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People going to the the Loire Valley are of course interested in the famous castles.
As said above, it might be easier, to go first by train from Paris CDG airport directly to the Loire Valley
for example Paris CDG dp 8.10 - Blois-Chambord ar 11.59 or Paris CDG dp 9.46 - Blois-Chambord ar 13.02, both with 1 train change at St-Pierre des Corps.
You could then move from the Loire Valley to Paris and finally from Paris to Lucerne.
Take a early morning train or a late afternoon train, if you don't want to waste a whole day with your Paris - Lucerne journey, for example
Paris dp 7.22 - Lucerne ar 12.05 or Paris dp 16.22 - Lucerne ar 21.05
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Old Jul 28th, 2021, 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Jean View Post
If you're not committed to the Loire Valley on this trip, consider the Colmar/Strasbourg area. Paris-Strasbourg by train takes about 2 hours, and Strasbourg-Luzern by train takes about 3 hours with one connection. The drive between Strasbourg and Colmar takes less than 90 minutes (there's also train service), and you wouldn't run out of charming towns and things to see/do in the area. This might give you some ideas:
Thanks Jean , I didnít actually know about Alsace, itís way more suitable to my route. I want to do a car trip to see beautiful reefs, nice countryside roads with a nice scenery. Will Alsace satisfy me? What do you think? Also a concern is the weather, Iím going in the last three days of August, will the weather be okay or too hot?

Last edited by Ali91; Jul 28th, 2021 at 02:34 AM.
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Old Jul 28th, 2021, 03:13 AM
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reefs?

It can get hot in Alsace but that is true in the whole of France now. I've been at 35C in September in Alsace but it should be less than that. Climate Change is a real thing.
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Old Jul 28th, 2021, 03:24 AM
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After researching the area , I think I will change my mind and go to Colmar/Strasbourg. It seems nice and it really fits my route. So thanks a lot to bring this to my attention.

So I plan to take the train to from Paris to Strasbourg, rent a car and base there. Do you have any suggested itinerary? I will be spending almost three full days there. What areas are worth exploring? I like to relax, and I donít want the trip to be too hectic. So a couple or three place to go to will be nice. What do you think?
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Old Jul 28th, 2021, 03:31 AM
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Strasbourg itself is lovely, it needs a day including see the canal, the cathedral and the old centre.

You might visit the Lalique museum, a nice drive out and there is a restaurant reasonably close

There is a road along the top of the Vosges "Route de Crete", Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg is a great stop and a good view and then along to the Ballon d'Alsace witha view of the alps and a meal in one of the small restaurants up there.

Colmar is a logical second accomadation area, visits to wine villages should not be excluded just because you don't like the wine many are very pretty and visit them from Colmar. You might also like this https://www.visit.alsace/en/24600140...ortified-town/.

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Old Jul 28th, 2021, 07:04 AM
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I would probably stay in Colmar and visit Strasbourg, but Strasbourg is more lively in the evening (well, all day) if that matters to you.

In addition to things already mentioned, there is La Route Romane that links 19 sights ranging from the area's earliest Romanesque structures to the beginning of Gothic architecture. Even if ancient architecture isn't one of your priorities, the list/route might help you develop your daily sightseeing plans.

Route Romane d'Alsace et du Grand Est [scroll down on each page for English]
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Old Jul 28th, 2021, 07:22 AM
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Thank you both very much for the very helpful tips. I will make sure to visit the villages on the Alsace wine road between Strasbourg and Colmar.

Jean, I thought I will stay in Strasbourg for the same reason you mentioned, because itís said to have more lively nightlife.

Regarding the link you posted, I scrolled down but canít seem to find the English pages. Can you specify where itís or share with me the English link.
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Old Jul 28th, 2021, 08:13 AM
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The wine road leads neither to Strasbourg or Colmar. It is off to the west (really well sign posted) of Colmar running north south. The main fast road goes north south to the east of Colmar and leads to Strasbourg and with off ramps to Colmar (three I think).
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