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What town to stay at near Chenonceaux?

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NSW
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What town to stay at near Chenonceaux?

Would appreciate some advice about staying in Loire Valley in August. More or less at random we have chosen to visit Chenonceaux and Azay-le-Rideaux chateaux. Better alternatives?

We thought to stay at Amboise but the forum indicates that it is really touristy. Is there somewhere attractive in the vicinity of the above chateaux? We would want to stay somewhere where we can walk to a restaurant from our hotel.

Thanks in advance for helping.

18 replies to this topic
Le Bugue, France
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11. Re: What town to stay at near Chenonceaux?

I can't imagine that a tourist would find Amboise "too touristy." It's a nice town. Been there countless times and never felt assaulted by tour buses or hordes of visitors. It has plenty of commerce, an agreeable riverside ambiance, a fabulous château, the Clos Lucé, and while it may not rank high on the overall culinary scale, it has at least one good restaurant, L'Epicerie. It makes a great base for visiting the eastern end of the Loire.

Paris, France
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12. Re: What town to stay at near Chenonceaux?

A fabulous chateau? 80% of Chateau Amboise was destroyed during the Revolution. Relative to what is nearby and in contrast to Cheverny, Chambord, even Blois and perhaps even Chaumont, Amboise a secondary example at best.

The Clos Lucee has absolutely nothing belonging to da Vinci and has been pushing overpriced tours on his name alone for years. L'Epicerie is indeed a good restaurant but one restaurant does not in itself qualify the entire town as a deserving tourist mecca. What restaurants remain are rather boring venues offering very average fare aimed directly at tourists; in other words, people they know will not be returning.

30 years ago Amboise was a beautiful village if not really a bit sleepy and backward. Now it is inundated with tour buses, tourists, and trinket salesmen. It can be a base for those wanting to visit nearby but "great" better explains the number of tourist who are drawn to this location by the hype and quick recommendations found in tour books. Loches Bloise, or one of the many country chambre d'hotes would make more inspiring choices.

Le Bugue, France
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13. Re: What town to stay at near Chenonceaux?

Sorry, but what's not to like about the defenestration of the Huguenots? Regardless of how much of it was destroyed during the Revolution, it has far more historical import than the poncey hunting lodges that abound around it.

Tampa, Florida
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14. Re: What town to stay at near Chenonceaux?

Yeah, like Blois -- it's just a cardboard cutout with no history at all. And Chenonceau -- all that love-triangle stuff and war hospital and spy exchange -- pfft.

/sarcasm

Amboise is interesting if you happen to be in the town, but even I wouldn't go out of my way for it -- I was far more intrigued by the thought that Leonardo da Vinci is buried on the grounds (and even that's not for sure).

Loire Valley
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15. Re: What town to stay at near Chenonceaux?

Weren't the Heugenots defenestrated in Paris?? I don't see anything anywhere about defenestration in Amboise, although many Heogenots were hung and their bodies displayed from the battlements (which, incidentally don't exist except as a rebuild).

Clos Lucé is a very good tourist attraction if you're 9, but a bit of a leap of faith if you're an adult interested in Leonardo. It's just a bit of old house attached to a bit of new house, just like (but actually more modern than) my house...

The burial of Leonardo is interesting too - as far as I am aware permission is yet to be given for exhumation and testing of the bodies in the Chapel of the chateau of Amboise. I have a feeling that the town is worried that people may revert to the official view before the current "da Vinci" craze that his burial site isn't known.

England, United...
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16. Re: What town to stay at near Chenonceaux?

Who knows? After the recent findings of Richard III's bones under a car park in Leicester, Leonardo's could be anywhere!

NSW
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17. Re: What town to stay at near Chenonceaux?

Thank you everyone. You have been helpful; interesting, informative and entertaining :) We are really looking forward to our visit to the Loire Valley.

Chabris, France
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18. Re: What town to stay at near Chenonceaux?

I I have eaten several times at Auberge du Bon Laboureur in the village - for a Michelin starred restaurant it’s very reasonable and the hotel accommodation is of high standing.

The other hotel popular with my clients is Hotel Le Manoir les Minimes at Amboise. It gets a very high Trip Advisor ranking.

have eaten several times at Auberge du Bon Laboureur in the village - for a Micheline starred resteraunt its very reasonable and the hotel is of high standing.

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