Any suggestions on which tour to take. My wife and I are planning on a trip in the first 1/2 of sept.
Hi Vaughn. We are taking a day tour that we found through the tourism office in Tours. We will be doing one of the full day ones, the Royal tour that visits Chenonceau, Chambord, Cheverny, and Amboise. It starts at the tourism office in Tours, so we are just taking the fast train there from Paris in the morning. This may be too fast paced for you, but it seems like a good, quick overview of the region. I imagine the time at each place will feel too short, but we tend to like a broad overview rather than detailed tours. They have other options too that don't move as fast, as well as half day trips. I can't review it yet, but we will be going on the tour a week from Wednesday, so I would be happy to give you a review of our experience then, if you'd like. You can find the tours by searching for the Tours tourism office. Happy planning!
thank you for your respose. please let me know on the tour.
A day trip to the Loire Valley from Paris is going to be rushed, no matter what you arrange. It will be a long day but if you get the right tour to the right places, it will give you an overview.
This webpage will give you an overview of what's out there, although it doesn't cover day-trip tours:
If you are taking a day tour from Paris, be aware that your bus will arrive at the chateaux when all the other tour companies arrive. It may not be a problem at Chambord, but at Chenonceau it can ruin the experience. It might be better to take a very early train from Paris to Tours or Blois, and use a shuttle or tour company there instead.
I would love to hear a review of the all day tour. We are considering this option.
I have taken an all day tour from Paris to Loire valley. I have also been lucky enough to also spend a few days in area with a rental car ( so a more leisurely visit) !
I took the Pariscityvision Tour company. I thought it was fine, it is a long day, but I was not driving so didn't mind.
Basically you meet at office early in morning, I had my 13 yr old with me, so had purchased a juice bottle and a muffin for him the night before as a quick morning snack , no cafes are open for breakfast that early.
Bus does make a coffee / snackstopaboutan hour into drive.
We toured the night three "C's chateau. We never waited in lines as I recall. basically first 30-45 minutes were guided tour ,then we got 45 mins or so to wander on our own. It is a quick visit but you do get a good taste.
BTW although our tour had 45-50 people on it we were divided by languages for tours so we English speaking group were only about 25 people or so,,
For others: the Loire Valley really is worth 2 or 3 days.
I agree with Kent. On our last trip, we originally added the Loire Valley as basically just a stop over on our way from Paris to the Dordogne. We ended up staying 3 days and absolutely loved it!
Acco-Dispo, Quart de Tours and Loire Valley Tours all offer a full day itinerary from Amboise or Tours. they hit all the main chateauxs.
All the above we recommend. I prefer using Amboise as a day base and a good place to spend the night. Its more quaint than Tours.
I too agree its worth a few days.. we did 3 nights in Amboise.. loved it.. but , sometimes you just don't have that luxury of time.. so I think its fine to get a taste on a daytrip.
We did the full day tour through the Tours tourism office and had a great time. We did the "royal" tour that went to Chenonceau, Amboise, Chambord and Cheverny. The tour was run by Acco-Dispo. It was a small van with only about 6 people. The driver gives interesting information on the drives and you are provided with tickets for the chateaux, but there is no guiding inside the buildings. We liked that aspect, as we could just roam around and see what interested us. We took a 1 hour train at 7:30 am from Paris which put us in Tours on time for our 9 am tour. The chateaux are a bit spread out, so there is a bit of driving time between them, but we enjoyed the scenary. We had about an hour to an hour and a half at each site, which was enough time to take a quick walk through the chateaux and gardens. We focused more on the things we were interested in. You certainly could spend several hours or even an entire day at each of these if you wanted to, but we enjoyed the opportunity to see a variety in a short time. We got back at about 6pm, ate dinner and walked around Tours and returned to Paris on the 8pm train. It was a very enjoyable day to us, but we do enjoy seeing a lot and traveling at a fast pace, so those who enjoy really exploring in depth and slowly savoring things would not enjoy this. Hope you have a great trip!