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8 days in France. Paris & Loire or Paris & Burgundy?

We have 8 days and plan to spend 3 in Paris. We want to spend the rest of our time in either the Loire Valley or Burgundy. Besides Chateaux, how do they differ? We are looking for quaint villages, beautiful scenery, etc. Help!

Posted by
4129 posts

Burgundy is more rural. The chateaux there are less spectacular. "quaint villages, beautiful scenery" makes me think more of Burgundy than the Loire.

So for a superficial in-a-nutshell sort of decision-making rule, if the point is chateaux, especially ancient-regime-era stuff, you want the Loire. Otherwise consider Burgundy, and perhaps Vezeley, the minor (but interesting) Chateaux Larochepot, and the Fontenay Abbey.

Posted by
3313 posts

Unless you really like chateaus, the Loire doesn't offer much in the way of quaint villages and beautiful scenery to compare to Burgundy. It's very agricultural and flat. Kind of like the San Joaquin Valley with castles.

Burgundy has interesting villages, beautiful scenery and better wine. I'd enjoy driving just about any road there. In the Loire, I'd be careful to take a guidebook or resign myself to enjoying corn fields.

Posted by
1973 posts

We have not been through Burgundy, so cannot compare the two. However, if you do choose the Loire, I suggest you look into the Auberge de Launay, a small, family run hotel with a wonderful restaurant/ meal plan. We stayed there several days in May 2008 and it was terrific. The price was excellent. It is across from Amboise and with a car it was easy to travel the area. Good luck.

Posted by
6245 posts

You didn't say whether you have been to France before. Personally, I think the chateaux of the Loire are one of the top, must-see attraction in Europe. If you haven't visited there before, I'd make that a priority over Burgundy. If you've been there, done that...then I'm sure Burgundy would be charming as well. But if you haven't seen the major chateaux, I think it's worth doing.

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you everyone for the feedback. We've decided to spend our time in Burgundy. Although it would be nice to see the chateaux, we hope to stop over on a future trip to the Dordogne or Bordeaux. Our last day in Paris we will be tackling Disneyland (needed for a tax benefit). After that, we're looking to absorb the country side, the food and wine without crowds, buses etc. Sounds like Burgundy will be lovely. Thanks again!

Posted by
605 posts

Burgundy is my favorite vacation spot I've ever been to, though with 5 nights, I wonder if you can squeeze 2 places in? Depends on how much travel you want to do. I once did 3 nights Paris, 2 nights Beaune (Burgundy) and 2 nights Annecy without feeling rushed. Could also do Paris-Beaune-Colmar with that amount of time. Lyon is also easily accessible.