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need advise

Ireland
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need advise

Couple heading to Loire Valley with own car in July/Aug. Interested in wine and checking out some informal vineyards.Planning to find accomodation as we discover an area we like....

Any hints or gems found would be greatly appreciated.

Thanx

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: need advise

You will be very lucky to discover acceptable lodgings in July/August, peak holiday times, just by turning up in a town.

I suggest rather that you research a nice base, somewhere central, and take trips from there each day.

I have not been to the Loire for wine, mainly for the chateaux, but WizardofAus lives in the area and may be able to assist.

Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris, Loire Valley
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2. Re: need advise

July and August are not really the best times for "finding accommodations as you discover". You might discover what it's like to spend the night in your car.

Here is a list of hotel options central to the Loire Valley and vineyards and châteaux which you could use as a base:

1. The Cheval Blanc in the small village of Bléré, between Chenonceau and Tours. This hotel/restaurant changed hands in early 2008 with the long-time owners retiring. Under the new owners, (Hélène et Fabrice Tavernier) the service is reportedly much more efficient but their culinary reputation is yet to be established. During the week (Tuesday to Friday) two courses (entrée and main dish) are €22 with a €7 supplement for dessert. Despite a change of owners, I still find this location worth considering as a place to base oneself.

www.lechevalblancblere.com

2. Personally I enjoy staying in the center of Tours, it's central to all of the châteaux of the valley and there are plenty of restaurants, cafés, museums, and shopping for everyone's taste. There are a number of chambres d'hotes (B&Bs) in Tours as well as outside of town.

For a complete list of area's lodging possibilities, check here:

http://www.ligeris.com/

My favorite hotel in Tours is (with free parking):

Hotel du Manoir :

2, rue Traversière

http://site.voila.fr/hotel.manoir.tours

3. Between Blois and Tours

Auberge de Launay

in a beautiful setting and a wonderful restaurant

http://www.aubergedelaunay.com/

4. Hostel du Roy

in Chenonceaux

http://www.hostelduroy.com/

5. la Ferme des Berthiers

just south of tour in a very homey setting

http://www.lafermedesberthiers.fr/

6. Near Chenonceaux:

Le Bon Laboureur

http://www.bonlaboureur.com/

For a truly unique wine tasting experience, contact Phillipe Oudin and ask to visit his winery and cave. The cave was itself an important source of limestone used in the construction of many of the areas famous châteaux. I find particularly interesting his Cabernet Franc selections:

http://cavegrandebrosse.com/

Tours, France
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3. Re: need advise

Tours is indeed very central for chateaux and vineyards, as well as being a very interesting town in itself.

For white wine head to Vouvray, which is about 20 minutes from Tours. They make still and sparkling white wine, and the still wine comes in sec, demi-sec, and sweet versions.

For red wine, my favourite is Chinon, which is about 45 minutes from Tours. It is also a very interesting old town, with an old chateau (the fortified type) overlooking the town.

Loire Valley
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4. Re: need advise

http://jimsloire.blogspot.com/ is the place to start re the wine.

As for accomodation, hotels should be OK with a couple of days notice, which means booking your first 3 or 4 nights accomodation before you leave home, then calling in to a tourist office (theres a big one in Tours, probably your best bet) and booking on from there. It could be expensive though.

I know the attraction of finding hotels as you go - it means the driver can sample wines too (something I rarely get to do).

Simon

http://daysontheclaise.blogspot.com/

Blois, France
Destination Expert
for Blois
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5. Re: need advise

Here are a few links with information on the Loire et Cher area of the Loire (Blois, Chambord, Cheverney etc).

www.france-tourism.chambordcountry.com/

Various brochures which you can download on accommodation, things to do etc-

…chambordcountry.com/UK/…acc_cdt.htm

List of the vineyards in this area (although in French, many of the producers own websites are translated into English)-

…chambordcountry.com/UK/…acc_cdt.htm

NCG71
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6. Re: need advise

Mark and Debbie Willes live right in the middle of the St Nicolas de Bourgueil vineyards, they offer great B&B accommodation & knowledgeable, enthusiastic, relaxed accompanied wine tasting tours at their local neighbouring producers as well as Chinon, Saumur, Vouvray and others.. They offer great value for money, lovely spot - also very good location for chateaux visits and a spot of cycling.

www.loirevalleybreaks.com

Another great site for both great value, comfortable accommodation and for loads of good information for researching and planning a trip to the Loire Valley is www.experienceloire.com

Le Grand Pressigny...
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7. Re: need advise

I agree with Wizard of Aus, that the www.ligeris.fr Tours tourist office site is great for information on places to visit.

Tours is a great city to base yourself in with plenty to do & see whilst remaining pleasant to wander around on foot.

Another very good site for finding information & places to stay is

www.loches-tourainecotesud.com/accueilgb.htm

Also...don't overlook the towns, chateaux and vineyards further south of the actual Loire River itself - if you are planning to move around during your stay, the Touraine Sud/Vienne offers a refreshing change of landscape after spending a time in amongst the vineyards of the Loire Valley proper and found after a relatively short distance

Consider a short trip down towards Brenne national park, Loches, Descartes, la Roche Posay, Angles-sur-Anglin Preuilly sur Claise, Richelieu, le Grand Pressigny, St Maure de Touraine to name a few..

Where you will find more smaller often privately owned chateau, vineyards, sunflowers as far as the eye can see & great locally produced food such as goats cheese, rillons, foie gras, walnuts, oils, an abundance of fruit and veg...all of which can be sampled and washed down with some ever available fine Loire Valley wine :)

On a final note, I would be inclined to research & book at least some of your accommodation, we have three cottages to rent out in le Grand Pressigny and July and August remain the most popular months....too many nights in drab, characterless B&B's selected for their availability alone can drain enthusiasm even when imbibed with sufficient wine tasting samples!

Have a great trip!

Ireland
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8. Re: need advise

Thanx so much for the advise - I better get researching so. . . . :)

Erika

9. Re: need advise

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