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Loire Valley or Provance?

Help! Visiting my daughter for study abroad the end of June in Paris. We will have three days in Paris together, then contemplating Loire Valley vs. Provance. We can spend Monday - Friday in either place, but will have to fly back out of Paris on Saturday or Sunday, so wondering if Provance is too far for that little time (will need to be back in Paris the night before for a 7am flight). We were in Rome last summer, so very familiar with the Roman Ruins - but welcome feedback. Thanks!

Posted by
4125 posts

I think you should make your decision based on what speaks to you, not logistics. Its a 3 hour train ride back to Paris versus a 1 hour one, that's about it for that.

As for "which is better," that is a matter of personal taste I think.

Posted by
172 posts

What are you most interested in? The Loire is lovely but you are talking to a girl who loves chateaux. We visited in 2018, going through 6, and I still could have done more. We loved Amboise and the French surrounding countryside.

We are doing the Dordogne, Languedoc Roussillion, and Provence in a few months.

So what draws you to either place? That would help us give better advice.0

Posted by
2564 posts

Do you plan to rent a car for this Mon-Fri excursion, or will you rely on public transportation?

The Loire chateaux by & large are not conveniently reached by public buses (let alone trains), so you'd either want to have your own car or else sign up for some van tours to various chateaux. A car gives you more flexibility but you lose the advantage of a tour guide.

I can't speak too much for Provence except that it's a region with many different towns and villages, so if you're happy to base yourself in one of them and shuttle around where the buses go, you might do fine there without a car. You can, of course, get between Paris and Provence (Avignon, for example) by TGV in less than 3 hours.

See, for example, https://www.tripsavvy.com/provence-map-and-illustrated-travel-guide-1508843

Posted by
468 posts

It’s definitely a subjective choice. I thoroughly enjoyed both areas. You’d be happy with either. They’re actually both easy enough to get to, there’s a high speed train to Avignon from Paris (and CDG) with regular service. If it’s a factor, having a car in the Loire is an absolute must, while you can still see a bit in Provence via public transport (though I would highly recommend a car here too.) Driving in these regions is fairly easy.

Provence may offer a little more variety in sightseeing, Loire is pretty much all about the fantastic chateau. If you enjoyed the Roman ruins in Rome, then Provence will likely blow you away. Provence has amazing Roman ruins. Pont du Garde, the theater in Orange, Vaison-la-Romaine are absolutely fantastic, and frankly beats what you’ll find in Italy.