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Day trips from Paris

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Day trips from Paris


I am planning to be in Paris or Christmas (22nd-29th of December). I am working out our itinerary. There is certainly enough to do just in Paris but we are considering a day trip to Mont St. Michel and a day trip to the Loire Valley. I am especially interested to visit to the Clos Luce in Amboise because of the connection to DaVinci and my son's interest. The question I have is whether we should sign up for an organized tour or whether we should rent a car and drive to these destinations. Any other advice on the experience of visiting these destinations at this time of the year would also be appreciated.

Val de Loire Travel
Cultural Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Wine Tours & Tastings , Day Trips
Elo Bike Tours
Multi-day Tours, Bike Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Factory Tours, Day Trips
Paris, France
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1. Re: Day trips from Paris

You are correct that there is plenty to do in Paris for only 7 days. I do not believe either Mont St. Michel or the Loire Valley are sufficiently close to Paris to make good day trips, particularly if you have not visited some on the spectacular sights much closer to Paris such as Versailles, Chantilly, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Fontainebleau, or Chartres among others. Additionally you'll be in Paris for the shortest day(s) of the year and while Paris has much to offer even in darkness, spending most of the day in a bus will not offer much scenery.

I shall assume that you have not yet check into the cost of a one day car rental. When you do, you'll probably decide it's too expensive which I believe it is. That leaves you two options for visiting Amboise either take an organized tour or take the train.

I cannot give you details about one day bus trips but others can. There are two train options: (1) the TGV departing Montparnasse for St. Pierre des Corps then bus/train/taxi back to Amboise or (2) TER train from Austerlitz directly to Amboise.

Information about schedules and tickets is available here:

www.voages-sncf.com (in French only)


While da Vinci did indeed live at Clos Lucé, there is absolutely nothing of his now there. It's basically an empty house with a few models of his inventions in the basement. Château Amboise was 80% destroyed during the revolution, all that is left are two buildings and a small chapel where da Vinci's remains reportedly were laid to rest. Few consider either of these as top-tier destinations, yet many still enjoy seeing them. It would be disappointing in my view to go to the trouble of traveling to the Loire Valley and not see Chambord, Chenonceau, or Azay le Rideau.

I am not trying to discourage your visiting any one location, rather I am just attempting to give prospective to what is involved with such a trip.

Le Grand Pressigny...
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2. Re: Day trips from Paris

I agree with Sarastro's comments that Paris provides more than enough for a 7 day stay, especially in the busy festive Xmas season of short days and I woud opt to maximise my stay here.

If you were really interested in the Clos Luce and the connected DaVinci history and wanted to make the trek, I would do it via train, much more enjoyable way to see the world go by en route....

I do think that Clos Luce provides a very interesting visit... with models of DaVincis inventions in the buildings and all around the grounds (albeit the grounds will be a bit bare at Xmas) combined by a wander around Amboise - we liked lunch in l'Epicerie very much right in the centre of town.

However I would definitely not make a trip to Mont st Michel in December or on a the same 7 day trip...love the place but can't think of a reason to go in December for a fleeting visit.

Happy planning..

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3. Re: Day trips from Paris

Chartes is a great day trip from Paris, Loire Valley and Mont St Michel will take many hours of bus travel. Fontainbleau is lovely, Chartes can be reached in aabout and hour or so, has a fantastic Catherdral, lovely little restaurants etc-, with the train from Montparnesse easy to get. It is a good idea to prepurchase tickets for the trip as it can save money and its cheaper than buying on the day.. Check out the french rail service. I am about to make my 7th trip to Paris, with most stays for about a week + , and I still havent seen it all. St Chapelle, the Louvre, De Cluny- all these can take time, and there are even music events at Notre Dame and St Chapelle, check the web sites, quite cheap as well. i spent 4 days in the Loire and need to also go back, to see all I missed. regards ws

Loire Valley
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4. Re: Day trips from Paris

The Loire Valley is an easy day trip: catch the train from Montparnasse at 7.50, arrive St Pierre des Corps at 9.00 (or near enough, and leave for Paris at 17.58, arriving 19.00. Book early anough and you can buy the tickets as Prems, making it 17€ each person each way. Which isnt bad for a 180mph train trip. It's almost 175miles from Paris to Tours, which even on the Autoroute would take you at least 3 hours (trust me on that one - the quickest I have ever done the trip was 2h45, and I was shifting somewhat...)

Speak to the right people, and you will find there are a lot more companies offering day trips around the Loire than would at first appear. Most adviertise appalling badly - impossible to find, even more difficult to contact - and at least one company won't be operating over Christmas.



5. Re: Day trips from Paris

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