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Western Loire Valley base / Saumur or Chinon or both?

Western Loire Valley base / Saumur or Chinon or both?

Old Apr 13th, 2012, 05:41 PM
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Western Loire Valley base / Saumur or Chinon or both?

Spending a week in the Loire Valley. At present am booked for 2 nights in Blois (to see Blois, Chambord, Cheverny and Beauregard) then 2 nights in Amboise (for the chateau there and at Loches and Chenonceau, as well as Chaumont if I feel up to it).

For my last 4 nights I was thinking of 2 days in Chinon (at the Hotel Diderot) and 2 in Saumur (at the Hotel Anne d'Anjou).

Does changing hotels make sense, or are Saumur and Chinon so close that it would be better to stay in just one of them -- and, if so, which do people recommend?

Will be visiting Angers, Villandry, Fontevraud Abbey and Chinon.

Thanks for your help!
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Old Apr 13th, 2012, 07:06 PM
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I don't really see any sense in 2 nights in Amboise AND 2 nights in Blois, but if you have your reasons, so be it.

And while I love Chinon, it's central Loire, not western, and Saumur is a decent town, but Angers is ever so much better (assuming you know about the château there and the tapestries and Jean Lurçat).
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Old Apr 13th, 2012, 08:54 PM
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The hotel in Amboise I want could only accommodate me for 2 nights -- hoping that changes!

That said StCirq, I understand it's about a 45 min. very nice drive from Saumur to Angers for a day trip, and Saumur & Chinon are better situated for Fontevraud, Loches, etc.

What else is there to do in Angers besides the chateau? The trip would be easier without it, but I am most interested in the medieval chateaux rather the renaissance ones. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
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Old Apr 14th, 2012, 02:33 AM
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We can highly recommend both the Hôtel Diderot in Chinon and the Anne d'Anjou in Saumur. Both cities are gorgeous and make ideal stops in the Loire Valley, although we might have a slight preference for the Hôtel Diderot.
Come for a wine tasting at our vineyard when you're in the area! We're 10 minutes from Chinon and 25 minutes from Saumur. We produce award-winning wines in Saint-Germain-sur-Vienne La Chaussée and have a typical "cave" style tasting room that is open year round to the public. We'd be very happy to welcome you!
Best,

Château du Petit Thouars
37500, Saint-Germain-sur-Vienne La Chaussée
http://chateaudupetitthouars.wordpress.com
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Old Apr 14th, 2012, 02:35 AM
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PS. Here is our own Fodor's review!

http://www.fodors.com/world/europe/f...ew-475222.html
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Old Apr 14th, 2012, 04:22 AM
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Angers is a nice town and a good base my "town vote".
Chinon is dull but much loved by Fodorites (no idea why), Saumur is better.

If you want to be aorund Saumer I'd stay at the Fontevraud old monestry though I would not eat there (go to the unicorne). Having the use of the Abbey gardens all night long is worth the trip to France alone.
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Old Apr 14th, 2012, 04:25 AM
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We spent 3 nights in Saumur a few years ago and loved it. one advantage it has over Angers is that it is much smaller so getting in and out for doing tours is much easier. Restaurants are good and there are nice shops to wander around in the evening.
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Old Apr 14th, 2012, 04:26 AM
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CPT, like your website, a unique style.
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Old Apr 14th, 2012, 04:27 AM
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But CPT take care of being triangled
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Old Apr 14th, 2012, 04:28 AM
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CPT welcome to Fodors
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Old Apr 14th, 2012, 07:59 AM
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I've stayed in both Saumur and Angers, and like them both. It's true Saumur is smaller and easier to get in and out of, but Angers is just such a great town. I love the Jean Lurçat museum (there's one near St-Céré in the Dordogne as well), and the tapestries in the château. It has a great Musée des Beaux Arts as well as a natural history museum, fabulous restaurants and shops, just a great walking-around city.
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 11:45 AM
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Loved Chinon. Check out Au Chapeau Rouge for dinner or lunch under the trees in the courtyard.

Another couple of dinner suggestions--L'Helianthe in Turquant for dinner in a cave and Manoir Restigne, one of our best meals in France. Both are a short drive from Chinon.

As far as Saumur goes, bigger town, nice shopping. If you have a rainy day, check out Le Cadre Noir horse academy just outside of Saumur. We are not horse people, but did enjoy the inside horse show on a rainy day.

We also like the Balzac house in Sache for a tour.

In Amboise, the Davinci house & gardens was quite interesting.

So many lovely places to see, your week will go by fast.
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 04:40 PM
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IMHO you are moving around way to much. We spent 6 night in a private chateau near Chinon and saw almost all of these places from there. Exploring the countryside was fun - much more than all that packing/unpacking and checking in and out would have been.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 03:13 PM
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We stayed five nights at Hotel Diderot in Chinon last month and loved both the hotel and the town. We found the town to be an excelent base for day trips to different castles and sights, including Fontevraud, Loches and Chambord. We had dinner a couple of times at Au Chapeau Rouge and it's very good. Hotel Diderot is a gem, delightful and peaceful, and Laurent, Martine and Françoise, the hotel's owners, make you feel cherished and comfortable. We highly recommend it.
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