Best of Loire

We'll be in the Loire Valley,staying near Amboise, for three days this July. Does anyone have any suggestions, including restaurants ? My original plan was to see Chambord on the trip down from Paris. Then Chenonceaux and two of the following three, Villandry, Azay-le-Rideau, or Cheverny. We'll have a car and we'll be moving on to Dinan, Mt Saint Michel, & Bayeux next. Thanks

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9131 posts

Good for you, I could easily spend a month in the Loire. Regarding restaurants- if you are there in July, you may have to choose based on which ones have empty tables. This being France, unlike the US, restaurants let people linger for hours at their tables, so the turnover is VERY slow. But at least in and around Amboise, you really can't go wrong.

After visiting Chenonceau, you may want to take a little bit of time to walk through the nearby picture-perfect village of nearly the same name (Chenonceaux). I'm amazed how well the French manage to keep the schlock away from their tourist sites.

And if you are in the area on a Sunday, check out the Amboise out-door market, held on the embankment by the river. I'm not exaggerated when I say this market has EVERYTHING for sale.

Oh, and about Mont St. Michel- best appreciated at night, after most of the tourists have left.

Enjoy your trip!

Posted by Ken
Jacksonville, FL, USA
1 posts

That's a good trip, we did nearly the same thing (going in the opposite direction) 2 years ago. One tip, between Mt Saint Michel and Angeres is Fougeres which has a great medieval castle. Well worth a couple hour stop and see.

Posted by Rick
Chicago, IL, USA
468 posts

Don't miss Clos Luce in Amboise. It's the home of Leonardo da Vinci during the last few years of his life. As a bonus, there's a display of machines from some of Leonardo's drawings.

Posted by Cary
Hayden, ID
196 posts

in LV May/June 04-- great B&B in Poce sur Cisse, abt 5 km on n side of river from Amboise (still in business, VERY welcoming)-- owner Thierry made dinner reservations for us at a unique restaurant in the village that was in a former wine cave but cannot remember the name--if you telephoned Thierry, he would have info

We decided to not "over chateaux" and chose Chambord (sheer size blows one away); Villandry (bought ticket for large gardens only--gorgeous and impressive); ALR is smaller and we had picnic lunch on the lovely grounds; Cheverny beautiful (family still in residence so nice to see furniture and personal items) and the Soupe des Chiens feeding of the dogs is amazing--Rick describes it in his book

in Amboise--do go to Clos du Luce, Leonardo's home; scale models inside and abt 10-12 large working models out in the garden area-fun for kids;missed getting to chateau

haven't stayed on the island at MSM but want to do this; light show in July (I think) sounds spectacular

Posted by Margaret
Sydney, NSW, Australia
17 posts

If you go on to www.ligeris.com you will find several tours that see different castles. Be careful to choose the ones that say "Visit" rather than "view". "View" means you just drive past it. Agree about Clos Luce. Fascinating stuff. The designs of Leonardo da Vinci have been reproduced by IBM and were hundreds of years before their time. Fascinating.

Posted by Jon
Portland, Oregon, USA
320 posts

In Chenonceaux is my favorite restaurant in all of France - La Rosarie. The food is so well prepared in such a comfortable atmosphere. I cannot wait to return to that great little village.

The larger neighboring village Montrichard has a great old town with many little shops to assemble a picnic lunch to eat at the parks along the Cher river.