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Touraine Evasion day tours - Chateau choice?

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Jul 16th, 2015, 04:48 PM
  #1
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Touraine Evasion day tours - Chateau choice?

So, we decided to do a day trip from Paris to Tours to see some of the chateaus (we don't have time to stay there). The tour company I found is called Touraine Evasion which offers minivan transportation to four chateaus in one day. Which of the following combination you like and why?

P.S. I like the Villandry gardens and we definitely want to see Chambord and Chenonceau but I also would like to see Amboise. I wish they had custom itineraries

1. Azay Le Rideau, Villandry, Lunch in Tours, Chambord, and Chenonceau
2. Clos Luce, Amboise, Lunch in Amboise, Chambord, Chenonceau
3. Amboise, Chenonceau, Lunch in Chenonceau, Cheverny, Chambord

Thanks a lot!
flieder is offline  
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Jul 16th, 2015, 05:06 PM
  #2
 
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I would check with them to see how long you have in each place. (I would guess it's an hour in most of them.) We stayed in the Loire for 6 days and found that seeing 2 chateaux per day was as much as we could do - unless they were drive bys - since many are in deep countryside on small local roads and take a while to get to.

Villandry - both house and gardens took us a full 3 hours. Chambord especially is massive.

If you spend 3 hours each in 4 chateaux that is 12 hours plus 3 hours to get between them and time for lunch - something's got to give in this itinerary.
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Jul 16th, 2015, 05:49 PM
  #3
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Each place takes about 1 to 1.5 hour. I know it wouldn't be enough for any of these places, but we only have one day and that's what they offer (reasonably priced).
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Jul 16th, 2015, 05:50 PM
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I've been to all on your list and I'd vote for #1. Especially given your interest in Villandry. Amboise is interesting, but I wouldn't exchange it for Villandry. And, Azay-le-Rideau is a wonderful little jewel. Enjoy!
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Jul 16th, 2015, 07:11 PM
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You really should choose based on which ones you would find most appealing (all have websites with plenty of photos).

Last September, we did "Amboise, Chenonceau, Lunch in Chenonceau, Cheverny, Chambord" with Touraine Evasion.

The tour departed ~9 and returned ~ 6.

It was extremely well paced. Plenty of time in each along with time in Amboise for a leisurely coffee, a leisurely lunch (as mentioned), and at Chambord for a rest and refreshments.

All was extremely well organized and we thoroughly enjoyed the entire day.

They do offer custom tours, for a price.
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Jul 16th, 2015, 07:36 PM
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Also, there is a 6:30pm direct TGV to Paris or 7:47pm via St Pierre Des Corps. I guess ideally catching the direct TGV is better, but, if the tour ends at 6:15pm , will we have time to make it back in time to catch 6:30? The tour that includes Villandry states it ends at 6:45pm. I guess if we choose that one, we'll have to get in Paris pretty late and have a late dinner...
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Jul 17th, 2015, 11:36 AM
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<>

That would be cutting it close. For the tour we booked, it was supposed to return to the Tourism office by 6:15. So, I booked a 6:31 return train. I reminded the guide about this several times during the day. However, due to dropping a couple off in Amboise on the way back and a bit of traffic, we nearly missed the train. We were able to hop on a forward car and make our way to our assigned car after the train left the station, but we didn't stop to validate our tickets in the station. Fortunately, they were never checked. But, I also learned later that we could have sought out a conductor and asked that they be validated, as if you do that before they are checked, no fine for not validating. The driver/guide did drop us off at the station rather than the Tourist office across the way. It was obvious that she did her best to get us there on time.

The connection at St Pierre des Corps is an easy one, and you only need a few minutes, so would avoid those with a 25, 45, etc., minutes time between trains if you can because it's a tiny station with nothing to do while you wait.

Once back at Gare Montparnasse, for a late dinner, there are many choices. Among our favorites are Le Paris Montparnasse and La Forge, both very close to the station.
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Jul 17th, 2015, 12:28 PM
  #8
 
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We going the same tours for 2 days in september, hardly wait
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