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Seeking recent trip reports for the Loire Valley/south of France tour

Hoping there are some folks who recently did this tour who can share their experience. Hoping for more positive ones than from Bob whose tour was severely impacted by COVID. 😬

What did you love? What wasn't so great? Anything you wish you had brought? What were your favorite hotels? Restaurant recommendations?

Thank you in advance! 😊

Posted by
2439 posts

I'm looking forward to reading some as well. We did it in 2019 and I'm curious for other opinions.

If it helps, this was our favourite restaurant on the entire trip. We discovered it after the tour and went twice. Best lasagna I've ever had. https://lu-francalin.fr/

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1678 posts
Posted by
211 posts

Thanks, but I'm more interested in seeing trip reports from this year so I know more of what to expect due to covid, even though things keep changing.

I'm on the September 25th through October 7th tour.

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211 posts

@allan what was your favorite hotel along the way?

Posted by
2439 posts

Jill, probably https://www.hotelmontmorency.com/en/3-star-spa-hotel-carcassonne in Carcassonne. It was a block away from the main gates, which made it easy for me to visit late evening and early morning. We took our tour in the afternoon when it was shoulder to shoulder people. The tour was enjoyable but the crowds were frustrating. One of my most memorable moments of the tour was getting up before sunrise to take photos of the main gate when the sun rose. I pretty much had the place to myself. Same for the night before.

Posted by
211 posts

Thanks @horsewoofie!

Thanks @Allan....that looks really cool!!

Posted by
5158 posts

Jill, I've put off responding to your post, thinking I was finally going to file my trip report. We were on this tour May 1 - 13 of this year. We followed it with about 3 weeks of travel on our own, and another RSE tour, so we only got home about 12 days ago. I allow myself at least a week of recovery time, 10 days if possible.

But this year has been, ... ummm, ... more challenging than usual, so I'm woefully behind in my reporting. I do think maybe this afternoon I can start my trip reports. Of course, I thought that two days ago, and then yesterday... Each day has brought more surprises and setbacks.

Nothing majorly bad, but...

However, I will say that I did enjoy this tour very much. I'm reviewing my notes, and hope to have something interesting or useful to say.

Hotels? They were all fine; there was something to like about each of them. Our favorite was probably the Diderot in Chinon, small, intimate, with great owners and lovely breakfasts.

Favorite tour meal? Probably the cassoulet in Carcassonne, at Le Patio.

Regrets? I wish I had done the canoe trip and walked across the Pont du Gard. We opted out of the bridge walk thinking the climb up and down would have been too hard for us, but in retrospect, we could have done it.

Other favorites? The cave painting tour was great, with a wonderful local guide who had many insights about the process. He raised points that we're still pondering.

Hope this helps, at least a bit. I truly will try to get my tour report filed in the next day or two.

Posted by
2439 posts

I truly will try to get my tour report filed in the next day or two.

I've been impatiently waiting...

Posted by
5158 posts

Allan, I will get there. If I went down the list of everything that has happened since we got home, you'd sit back and wait patiently. Start with a homeless relative camped on our front porch the day we got home, and wind up over the last few days with BOTH of our vehicles breaking down and having to be towed to mechanics. (Luckily, it's a small town so the people in our insurance office know us. They were curious and concerned about the coincidence, but not suspicious.)

I'm skipping all the in-between stuff...

I promise at least one installment Wednesday (tomorrow,) no matter what. I may live to regret that promise, though.