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Where to stay in the Loire Valley?

We are planning a road trip to France in the spring of 2023. One of the stops will be 5 to 7 days in the Loire Valley. I am looking for suggestions for which town to stay in? We would like to be able to visit chateaus, vineyards, farmer's markets and it's important to us to stay in a town with restaurants and cafes. NIght life isn't necessary, other than having a nice dinner. We would prefer to stay in one place for the week to soak up the local culture. We are in our 60's. And we will have a car. Thank you.

Posted by
885 posts

Just returned from the Loire Valley and we stayed at Hotel Le Manior Les Minimes in Amboise…….great location for us as we too had a rental car and saw all of the chateaus during the day. We rented our car from a place in Tours…..and that gave us an opportunity top see that town….and we were not impressed……way too large and industrial…….we love the charm of Amboise and its main street that has restaurants and patios there to enjoy…..easy to map Villandry, Chambord, Cheverney, Chenonceau, Clos de Luce, Azay LeRideau from Amboise………we also took a hot air balloon flight over Chenonceau and that was delightful! We are in our late 60’s……..

Posted by
937 posts

We enjoyed Amboise. It has a nice array of shops and restaurants. It’s very close to Chenonceaux, so you can see that easily and early before it gets crowded. Amboise is also convenient to the autoroute, which makes Villandry and Azay-le-Rideau an accessible day trip. All the towns in Loire, aside from Tours, are pretty quiet especially in the evening.

Posted by
2467 posts

Onzain is a smaller town that I have stayed in twice. It is across the river from Chaumont. I could see the chateau from my room. It has been many years so I don’t know the current restaurant situation. We ate 5 nights at a small restaurant in Chaumont. They transitioned from a bar to a restaurant at 7:00 pm and on their ‘quiet night’, they saw us waiting for it to open at 7, took pity on us and invited us in !

Posted by
2644 posts

Another vote for Amboise. I agonized over our decision of where to stay last fall and ended up with Amboise. It was wonderful - easy transit to numerous chateaux, a lovely main square area packed with restaurants, the castle itself was right there and the Clos Luce - the da Vinci place - was right there too. There’s a huge market along the river, tons of bakeries, people out strolling. We loved it.

Posted by
2008 posts

One of the nice things about France are those riverside villages and towns. Amboise is well located as said before but you can be happy with other places too. Onzain lookes fabulous, thanks Stephen for letting us know, I stayed in Beaugency and nearby Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher and visited Montrichard Val de Cher two weeks back. Worth to mention too, but not along a river is Loche one of these places you can be happy with (one more than the other) staying or just a visit. Beaugency is too much out of the way but was a delight arriving there after a long day driving.

Posted by
92 posts

I stayed in Tours because I didn’t have a car. It’s nice! There’s a gorgeous cathedral and it’s by the river and has some very pretty buildings! And the people were nice! I understand staying somewhere smaller with a car, but if you don’t have a car, Tours is great!

Posted by
10339 posts

We stayed in Amboise before and liked it very much. In October we will spend 4 nights in Tours. There is a Rick Steves tour guide who lives there and has posted a number of videos around the city and the surrounding area. I can’t wait to go.

Posted by
2577 posts

Tours is a fabulous location, but only the area around Vieux Tours/Place Plumereau. Visitors can drive through Tours and never see Place Plumereau, but the area is full of charm, nightlife, a few museums, and a number of cafés and restaurants.

Other areas of Tours hold little to no interest for tourists.