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Transportation and lodging in the Loire Valley

Transportation and lodging in the Loire Valley

Old Aug 21st, 2002, 09:16 AM
  #1  
Bobby Lewis
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Transportation and lodging in the Loire Valley

Hi,<BR><BR>I'm taking a trip to Paris and then plan to spend a couple of days in the Loire valley to check out the big Chateauxes (Chambord, etc.) I'd like to find a b&b in the area. My questions are:<BR>-Does anyone have a good b&b in that area they recommend?<BR>-What transportation is recommended? Train routes? If so which ones? Car?<BR><BR>Thanks for the help.<BR><BR>Bobby Lewis
 
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 09:35 AM
  #2  
Robert
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Bobby - you will be best served if you have a car for touring Loire Valley as the chateauxes tend to be spread out and many are in the country side. Train just will not get you to them. You could rent car at Paris airport (Orly would be the most convenient) or take train to Tours and rent car there. Advantage of renting at Orly or at Tours is to avoid the Paris traffic.<BR><BR>We stayed in Amboise which is nice town and provides easy access to many of the chateauxes. We stayed at Manior Les Minimes, not really a B&B, but a nice house that has been converted into a hotel. Located right in Amboise at foot of castle walls. There are other hotels there as well that have had good reports, search here for Amboise. If you do stay in Amboise be sure to visit DaVinci's home, very interesting.<BR><BR>Another idea would be to drive back to Paris via Chartes so you can see the cathedral. This again would be a reason to rent and return from Orly. <BR><BR>Best of luck and I hope you can pull this off as the Loire Valley is just wonderful.
 
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 09:40 AM
  #3  
Ian
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Bobby<BR><BR>The easiest transport to the Loire is via train. The TGV runs from the Gare Montparnasse to Tours. The trip takes about 1 hour. The 1st stop in Tours is St. Pierre des Corps. There is a car rental kiosk (Avis I think) attached to the station.<BR><BR>The Loire Valley is rural & you will need a car to see a good assortment of chateaux.<BR><BR>I can recommend the Chateau Chissay as a hotel, but it's a bit more upscale than your typical B&B.
 
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 03:32 PM
  #4  
Kelly
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Hi, My husband and I stayed for 3 nights at the Chateaux des Ormeaux last month. It is outside of Amboise, about 30 minutes from the St. Pierre des Corps TGV station. We picked up a car from Avis at the station. We had the most expensive room there 115 Euro including breakfast (it was our anniversary). The room and bathroom were very large, the grounds beautiful and the owners charming and helpful. See www.chateaudesormeaux.com If you even like gardens a little make sure to visit Villandry.
 
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 03:39 PM
  #5  
Alexandra
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Hi,<BR>We stayed last year at the Chateau de Pray in Amboise. They have very nice accomodations and an excellent gourmet restaurant!<BR><BR>http://praycastel.online.fr/gb/index_gb.htm<BR><BR>Alexandra
 
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 03:51 PM
  #6  
Ian
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Bobby<BR><BR>For Chateau de Chissay (about 30 minute drive from St Pierre-des-Corps.<BR><BR>http://www.chateaudechissay.com/frameuk.htm<BR><BR>And since people are so INSISTENT on good spelling (see thread in Europe general)- <BR>chateau is singular - chateaux is plural<BR>(both are pronounced the same)
 
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 05:45 PM
  #7  
Paula
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A couple of years ago, my husband and I spent three days in the Loire Valley. We took the train from Paris to Tours and made Tours our homebase. Each day we took a day trip via train from Tours to a different chateau. We visited Chateau d'Amboise and Chateau de Chenonceau. Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau was on our agenda for the third day but we had to cancel due to illness - however, it too could have been accessed by train. <BR><BR>Certainly, with a car, there is better access to a greater number of chateaux. Since we really wanted to avoid renting a car, we opted for the train rather than miss out on the Loire all together. And, in the end, we were very happy with our stay in the Loire and thoroughly enjoyed visiting the chateaux available to us via train.
 
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 07:41 PM
  #8  
Gene
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Agree with above on taking a train to Tours then renting a car. You will be really close to Villandry & Azay-le- Rideau & may want to spend the night in Chenonceau. There is a hotel right on the grounds of Chambord you may want to stay at. I think the above 4 chateaux usually make most peoples' favorites list.
 
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 09:53 PM
  #9  
Tom Campbell
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Like others, I recommend a car to visit the Loire Valley castles. As far as lodging, I highly recommend staying in a castle or two. Almost all offer B & B type service, but of course, you get to tell all your friends you slept i na castle when you get home! Additionally, it's a great way to visit, up close and personal, a few smaller castles which usually have equally interesting histories. Often you eat with the owners, who know far more about the history of their castle (and sometimes surrounding castles) than you'll hear on any guided tour.<BR>For a great search tool with rooms, rates, and pictures, check out:<BR>http://www.chateaux-france.com/
 
Old Aug 22nd, 2002, 04:41 AM
  #10  
curt
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If you decide to stay in Amboise as your base you must visit the really great little bar on the island in the middle of the river, just over the bridge from the castle. It is called Le Shaker, and they serve great drinks and good good. The view back across the river to the town is superb. It is best to walk over as parking is difficult, although we did find parking both times we went. <BR><BR>The staff speaks very little English but a bit of basic French will get you by. This is a very friendly place and the majority of the customers appear to be locals. We were the only non-French on two visits, but we just loved this little place. Check it out.
 
Old Aug 22nd, 2002, 04:42 AM
  #11  
curt
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uh, that good good should read good food...oh well it is good good food
 
Old Aug 22nd, 2002, 08:25 AM
  #12  
greg
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Bobby,<BR>You'll get divergent opinions regarding the mode of transport in Loire Valley depending on point of view. Some consider nothing but car no matter what. Others visited Chateaux not served well by trains, thus logically the car, while others only visited those served well by trains, thus train was ok.<BR><BR>The logical choice, if that is what you are looking for, requires studying exactly which chateau you are planning to visit.<BR><BR>When we stayed in Amboise and had only time to visit Chenonceau. We kicked around an idea of renting a car, but realized we can get a taxi there and back for less money than renting a car (for one day.)
 
Old Aug 22nd, 2002, 09:07 AM
  #13  
carol
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Bobby,<BR><BR>Take the train to Tours and rent a car there or take a couple of the guided chateaux tours. There are a couple of good minibus tours which visit 2-3 chateaux in an afternoon, e.g. Chambord, Chenenceau, Amboise, Villandry, Azay-le-Rideau, and give you about an hour or so on your own in each place. They drive on local roads so you get a wonderful sense of the beautiful countryside as well. I stayed in a charming, inexpensive small hotel housed in an 18th century building in Tours called Hotel du Cygne. There are a couple of others I saw and liked in the same neighborhood, one was called the Hotel du Scellerie and the other, I think, was the Hotel Colbert. All are in the neighborhood of the Rue Colbert, which is a pedestrian street with a lot of small bistros on it--easy to walk to for dinner. I'm sure you can find contact info on all the hotels on the Tours website.
 
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