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Tours to Loire Valley-the prices are so expensive!

Chicago, Illinois
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Tours to Loire Valley-the prices are so expensive!

Hi,

I have been researching the various tour companies:

PARISVISION

CITYRAMA

FRANCE TOURISM

I cannot believe how much tours cost!

We really wanted to stay a night or 2 in the Lolire Valley and be able to see many chateaus. One of them had an overnight at the Mercure Hotel which is only rated a 2 star by TA, on their site it says three star. It would cost each of us $319 EU per person which translates to $830 US Dollars for the both of us. I did a google search on the admission fees of the most famous chateaus and they rnage in price between 6-10 EU. I am womdering if we justdo it ourselves, rent a car and drive to the various chateaus and stay 2 nights in a decent hotel. I now we have to pay for gas, and tolls and I have not priced out a car yet.

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Garden Grove...
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1. Re: Tours to Loire Valley-the prices are so expensive!

After looking at rental car prices, fuel costs, tolls, food and the frustrations of finding our way around I decied to use Parisvision for our first trip to the Loire. We loved it and felt if was worth it. Now that I've been, I feel we will be able to take the train, get a rental car and drive around. I don't expect it will save much money though.

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Loire Valley
Loire Valley
Centre-Val de Loire, France
Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Tours to Loire Valley-the prices are so expensive!

Thanks Suzanne. Sometimes you are not sure you will save money. Also I guess the trade-off is having the independence to go at your leisure.

MDV
Walnut Creek, CA
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3. Re: Tours to Loire Valley-the prices are so expensive!

830 euros? Yikes. That does seem very high. We stayed at a B&B about 90 minutes (by motorway) north of the Loire for 60 euros/night. Three-day rental of a VW polo diesel with a standard transmission was $150 (dollars). Gas was one tank (maybe 30 liters) at around a euro/liter. Tolls to get to the Loire from our B&B were about 12-14 euros each way (but we only did it in one direction as we used the "D" roads on the way back. Entry fees were around 8 euros/person/chateau.

So, for two days, you're talking about something on the order of

Lodging: 200 euros (assuming you spend more than we did)

Car: 150 euros (assuming a bigger car)

Gas: 75-100 euros (again being generous)

Admissions: 50 euros (trois chateaux)

That's less than 500 euros. AND you'd have a car and the freedom to explore whatever suits you. Some of the best stuff in the Loire seems to be where the buses won't take you... To, it would be a slam dunk to rent a car.

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Loire Valley
Loire Valley
Centre-Val de Loire, France
paris
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4. Re: Tours to Loire Valley-the prices are so expensive!

I did something different : i took the train to Tours, then reserved from the list of tour agents they have in Tours tourist office different half-day tours to the different chateaux and the price was 15 to 20 euros for a half-day. You can combine two half-day tours . This way i didn't worry about driving, and i was on a minibus. The guide tells you about some history , and then on some chateaux she tours you inside as well. It was well worth it and eaaasyyy

Bridgewater
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5. Re: Tours to Loire Valley-the prices are so expensive!

you can also take the train to Blois which is a charming old town on the Loire and has a chateau. likely the hotel prices are not too high there--less than Paris. From there you can take trains or buses (check guidebooks, train schedules, and websites) to places like Amboise, Chenanceau and I think in the summer Chambord. Sorry I don't have the details at hand, but check out Loire valley or France guidebooks for a start. this should be cheaper than formal tour and also you can go at your own pace--take time to stroll, eat and shop in the villages

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Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Tours to Loire Valley-the prices are so expensive!

MDV.raphy and somerset. Thank you all for the excellent ideas. MDV, that was great calculations.

After reviewing your ideas, perhaps we should take the train to Tours and then option 1. take tours from there. They sound very reasonable accordinTours, please let em know.

Option 2-Take a train to Tours and then rent a car from there. Hopefully there is a good car rental agency there.

Thanks!

Toronto
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7. Re: Tours to Loire Valley-the prices are so expensive!

>> Gas: 75-100 euros (again being generous)

I used less than 25 litres (or euros) going one way from Paris to Chambord, Cheverny, Chenonceau, and dropped off the car in Tours, in a Toyota Camry sized standard car. Renting the car for 3 or more days gets you a much better daily rate. Renting an automatic could be costly, though.

The TGV station at Tours (St. Pierre des Corps to be exact) has several car rental places, including Hertz. Note that the rental places were not staffed most of the time during the week, so make sure you book ahead.

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Paris, France
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8. Re: Tours to Loire Valley-the prices are so expensive!

You can take a train to Tours and then rent a car, If you look at les Gites de France you can find reasonable accomodation.

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: Tours to Loire Valley-the prices are so expensive!

What is Les Gites de France? We will definitely need to look for accomodations? I am sure there are nice, but less expensive places to stay in the area.

Great Barrington...
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10. Re: Tours to Loire Valley-the prices are so expensive!

Caren,

Take the train to Tours. Rent a car and get a good map of the varioius chateaux. Drive wherever your heart desires.

It will be wonderful.