Please review my Loire Valley itinerary

Sep 18th, 2007, 09:43 AM
  #1  
yk
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Please review my Loire Valley itinerary

Four of us (me, DH, my parents who are in excellent health) will spend about 3 days in Loire Valley next month. DH & I are attending a wedding there, afterwards we'll meet up with my parents. We will have a car and we're staying in Amboise for 3 nights.

My parents will be visiting Tours on their own the day before we meet up, so we won't revisit Tours during the 3 days we're together. My parents & I have visited the Blois castle before, so we're skipping it.

Some of you may find us squeezing too many chateaux on this trip, but since my parents are in their 60s/70s, chances are they won't be revisiting the Loire again (there're too many other places they want to visit).

Sunday
Meet up with my parents at hotel in Amboise.
Spend the rest of the day in Amboise, visiting Chateau d’Amboise & Château du Clos Lucé.

Monday
Chateau de Villandry
Lunch at L'Etape Gourmande "La Giraudière"
Château d'Azay-le-Rideau
Spend the est of the day at either Chinon or Saumur?

Tuesday
Chambord
Cheverny (probably will just visit the grounds only)
Chenonceau

Wednesday
Leave for Chartres, then to Paris in late afternoon

Questions:
#1) Restaurants recommendation - we would like to keep our meals to €20-25pp (we don't drink much alcohol).

For Amboise, I have planned on eating at La Blason, but we need 1-2 more places for dinner.

Also, where to eat for lunch on Tuesday? I've read about 2 places near Chenonceaux:
Le Bon Laboureur and La Roseraie. Any comments or other suggestions?

#2) Should we go to Chinon or Saumur? I've never been to either town. We probably will just stroll around town.

#3) On our last day, is it worthwhile to stop in the town Vendome on the way to Chartres? Any good place for lunch in Chartres?

#4) Opinions on places we should skip, or that we definitely should not miss?
yk is online now  
Sep 18th, 2007, 10:46 AM
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How about Orleans on the way from to Chartres? It'd be a revisit from the 1982 trip.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 10:55 AM
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You have an awful lot of chateaux packed into only a few days. You don;t say when you;re going - but have you checked out the closing times for the dates you'll be there. (We only succeeded doing 3 chateaux one day - and that was because the third was a son et lumiere at night.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 11:11 AM
  #4  
yk
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It's really just 2 chateaux per day. And yes, I've checked all the opening times on every chateau.

Not sure about Orleans - it's a little out of the way, and from what I've read, it's not the most scenic town.
yk is online now  
Sep 18th, 2007, 11:16 AM
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Orleans is on your way from Amboise to Chartres using A10.

Not the most interesting. Just get in, take a look, and move on.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 12:44 PM
  #6  
yk
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Looking at the map, yes, Orleans is one the way if we take A10. But N10 looks more direct which takes us thru Vendome.
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Sep 18th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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MAP
 
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yk,
We visited the Loire and stayed in Amboise. Absolutely a must-not-miss is a lovely lunch or dinner at La Roseraie in Chenonceaux. It really was our best meal in France, so charming and deliciously rich. A real bargain. I would stay there next time and eat several meals at the hotel.
MAP is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 01:15 PM
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Having spent a week in the Loire Valley, I'd offer our favorites...
- Chinon and its castle
- The Abbey at Fontevraud
- Azay-le-Rideau
- Chenonceaux
If editing is needed, I'd skip Chambord and Cheverny. For Villandry - see the gardens only.
TuckH is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 04:04 PM
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Hmmm, the issue of the highway option N10 or the freeway. Any replies here.
hopingtotravel is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 05:46 PM
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I have a trip report on our time in Amboise here:
http://www.slowtrav.com/tr/tripreport.asp?tripid=653
including some restaurant recommendations here:
http://www.slowtrav.com/tr/triprepor...d=653&index=11
There is also a link to our photo album from the trip report.

I agree with TuckH about Fontevraud Abbey -- a fascinating place, and a nice change of pace from the chateaux.

Also, if you're in Amboise on Sunday morning, definitely visit the market.
nonnafelice is offline  
Sep 19th, 2007, 08:45 AM
  #11  
yk
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Thanks for all the repsonses!

MAP - do you recall what was the price of the meal at La Roseraie? I checked their website and there are only photos of food but no menu.

Tuck & nonnafelice - thanks for your input. I guess the vote at this point is for Chinon, and I should add in Fontevraud.

nonnafelice - thanks for the link to your trip report! We are staying at Le Clos d'Amboise also, and we're very excited. Is the Sunday morning market easy to find? I don't think DH & I will make it, but that's something fun for my parents to do. Also, is the J. Morel pâtisserie easy to find from the hotel? I think we'll lean towards that rather than eating breakfast at the hotel. I did a quick google map search, it looks like it's located at 18, Rue Nationale. Does that sound right?
yk is online now  
Sep 19th, 2007, 09:10 AM
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Saumur is far prettier
bilboburgler is offline  
Sep 19th, 2007, 02:36 PM
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yk, you can't miss the Sunday market; it is HUGE. Just head toward the river; it runs for what seemed like 3 football fields worth.

J Morel is on a little pedestrian street. I don't remember the name now, but it's an easy walk from the hotel, just a few blocks.

If you have to leave out something, I would go to Fontevraud Abbey over Chinon. It is a very steep climb up to the Chinon castle, which is a ruin, and we didn't have the energy for it. We didn't go to Saumur so I can't comment on that.
nonnafelice is offline  
Sep 19th, 2007, 02:47 PM
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If you go to Chinon without going up to the chateau (as nonnafelice did), then don't bother - go to Saumur instead.

Yes, it's a 'ruin' but not a complete one. There's more than enough still there to be able to exercise your imagination (with all the historical connotations). It's a very beautiful site, overlooking the town and the river.
TuckH is offline  
Sep 19th, 2007, 03:33 PM
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MAP
 
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YK,I don't remember the price of our lunch for two, but it was a set amount for appetizer, main course, dessert, and a bread basket, plus some lovely chocolates at the end. It wasn't any more than a nice lunch in Paris, say at La Fontaine du Mars, or Chez Maitre Paul, or Bofinger. I would say for my fabulous duck and my husbands boeuf bourguinon it was a very fair price. It is a place I would not miss if I were in Chenonceaux again!
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Sep 19th, 2007, 03:53 PM
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As to the thought of skipping Chambord for Chinon, as has been suggested, I'm stunned -- there's simply no comparison. Also, I found the interior of Villandry to be worth a quick walk through--it's been modernized and therefore is different from the others. If you can, drive by Usse for a photo of the chateau. Saumur is prettier than Chinon, although both are somewhat faded. I found the town of Angers to be nicer and it has an impressive chateau. Interesting that you mentioned Vendome -- I too have read about it and would like to visit sometime.
gabriele is offline  
Sep 19th, 2007, 05:33 PM
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I have not visited most of the castles, but I will never suggest skipping Chambord. There's little to see inside, but just seeing the outside and going up to the roof is worth the visit and more.

But because there's little to see inside, you don't really need that much time.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 19th, 2007, 05:58 PM
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Chambord is just a big pile.
TuckH is offline  
Sep 19th, 2007, 06:42 PM
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Have you checked to make sure everything you want to see is open on Sunday and Monday? Just a thought, as in October some things might be closed.
StCirq is online now  
Sep 19th, 2007, 07:32 PM
  #20  
yk
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StCirq- Yes, I have checked the websites of all the places I've listed and they're open. I haven't checked the Abbey at Fontevraud yet.

Anyone have been to the town Vendome???
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