1 Day Loire Valley Trip

My husband & I will be heading down to the Loire Valley by train from Normandy (in the evening). We will be staying one night and plan to spend the following day visiting Chambord and Chenonceau before heading up to Paris that evening. We don't mind renting a car, but would like to avoid so if we can. Which part of town would be ideal to stay overnight to get the most out of our trip? If we had to choose between the two chateaux for timing, we would like to see Chambord. What is an average time to plan on each castle? We were looking at staying in either Amboise or Blois overnight. Any suggestions in hotels or transportation tips? We will be heading up to Paris by train after our long day of touring the chateaux. Thanks for the help! Laura

Posted by Dina
Fontainebleau, France
893 posts

If you want to see both of those chateaux in one day, I believe your best bet will be to rent a car. You can spend as little or as much time as you want at each chateau. We probably spent 2 hours at Chambord, and 3 at Chenonceau (because we spent a lot of time in the gardens and had a parking lot picnic) We did it by car, so I don't have any transportation tips to pass on.

Posted by Laura
San Diego, CA, USA
3 posts

Hi Dina, Thank you for your response! We have decided we're going to rent a car after further research on our trip tonight. We would love to see both Chambord and Chenonceau and didn't want to pick - so we're going with the car. Thank you for your help! Laura

Posted by Tim
Ojai, CA
591 posts

Good decision to go for the car (you'd have to travel back through Paris to get there from Normandy by train). If you want to spend the night near the chateaux, Hotel Grand Michel is directly across from Chateau Chambord. It's reasonably priced, but is also due for a makeover. In the village of Chenonceaux, Hotel Bon Laboureur is another choice if you want to be close. If you want to be where there's a little more action & restaurant choices then Amboise is a good place.

Posted by Brian
Los Angeles, California
1986 posts

Chenanceaux: I second the suggestion for Hotel Bon laboreur- may very well be the highlight of your trip. Very great ambiance; super restaurant- we got to visit their kitchen garden with its herbs , berries and fruit, when we were there. Amost walking distance to the chateau

Posted by Sandy
Palm Desert
93 posts

We loved Le Grange which is recommended in the RS book. Pay the few extra euros and get the big room in this B&B. King bed with two twins which we did not need, but the room was huge. Excellent continental breakfast. When we had out picnic dinner, she offered glasses, plates, etc. She also let me use the refrigerator for my soda. There is a very good Italian restaurant just down the road facing the river. We brought home a pizza one time made with French bread (tres fantastique), and another night we brought home some sort of pasta and ate it out of the carton. We are light eaters so we always took advantage of any place that would allow use to take-away.