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One day in Loire Valley- what is the best thing to do/see?

Nashville, TN
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One day in Loire Valley- what is the best thing to do/see?

Traveling with husband & two teenagers next May. Just starting the planning. Starting with Paris, Normandy, Tours, Barcelona, Monte Carlo, and then Switzerland. We will have a rental car and are experienced travelers. Given our limited time, what is the best thing to see/do to experience Loire Valley?

Thanks!

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1. Re: One day in Loire Valley- what is the best thing to do/see?

Chenonceau is probably the most attractive castle. Chambord is another one you should visit. If you've only got one day, visit Chenonceau in the morning, lunch in Amboise, perhaps a visit to le clos Luce where Leonardo da Vinci's models are on display in the grounds and then Chambord Late afternoon where you can cycle/picnic/send one teenager up Leonardo's famous double helix staircase, while the other one comes down...great fun.

Nashville, TN
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2. Re: One day in Loire Valley- what is the best thing to do/see?

Those sound like excellent suggestions! Thank you so much.

Paris, France
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for Paris, Loire Valley
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3. Re: One day in Loire Valley- what is the best thing to do/see?

I might suggest Chambord, Cheverny, and Chenonceau. Lunch at the Trois Marchands in Cheverny.

…pagesjaunes.fr/hoteldes3marchands/restaurant

This would be an easy itinerary for 2 days.

Orlando, Florida
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4. Re: One day in Loire Valley- what is the best thing to do/see?

You can go out on tours right from the train station at tours. Google Tours, France tourist info. You'll see mini bus excursions to all the castles.

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5. Re: One day in Loire Valley- what is the best thing to do/see?

I don't agree with this restaurant for families. it would be better to buy baguettes, cheese, or ham and do a picnic in the grounds of Chambord castle.

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6. Re: One day in Loire Valley- what is the best thing to do/see?

If you have rented a car, getting a mini bus from Tours with children seems a waste of time. However, Tours might be somewhere to visit with young adults, particularly Place Plumereau in the centre. There are many restaurants at fairly reasonable prices or you can people watch. I would not recommend this for parents with children under 14 because it's crowded with young drunks during the summer.

Loire Valley
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7. Re: One day in Loire Valley- what is the best thing to do/see?

If you intend visiting the Loire Valley en route between Normandy and Barcelona it will add at least two hours to your journey just to get to Tours. Chambord is too far our of your way (it will add another two hours driving - at least - to your trip). Cheverny is also to far out of your way.

Get a map, and find two chateaux along the way. Unless you're spending 3 days on the road between Normandy and Barcelona you would be best off finding somewhere in Nantes, and somewhere in Bordeaux to visit.

If you want your driving to be interesting rather than just looking at the embankments either side of the Autoroute you are talking 18 hours of driving on crowded roads to get from Normandy to Barcelona without any stops for fuel, food or traffic problems.

Essex
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8. Re: One day in Loire Valley- what is the best thing to do/see?

I see from your posts on the US forums, particularly Oregon, that you are prone to 'ambitious' trips.

You don't say how long you have for this one, but you say you have "limited time".

As usual, I think you should spend more time in less places. I am aware, however that people travel differently.

Are you planning on doing a 'one way drop-off' with your hire car?? If so, be aware that if you pick up in one country and drop off in another, there will be a hefty 'penalty' fee to pay. Also if you are intending to use autoroutes in Switzerland you will need to purchase a Motorway Vignette.

This webiste gives excellent advice for all the necessary equipment, documents, 'passes', taxes etc, you should expect in different countries in Europe:

http://www.drive-alive.co.uk/

It also has on-line mapping, although I find the mapping and route planning facility of viamichelin slightly better:

http://www.viamichelin.com/

9. Re: One day in Loire Valley- what is the best thing to do/see?

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