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I have no idea where to go... HELP!!

West Yorkshire...
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I have no idea where to go... HELP!!

I am really struggling here. Am hoping someone can offer me some good tips.

I am trying to book a week - or a little longer - for us in the Loire Valley region. Two adults and three kids (boys, aged 10, 12 and 13). We must have warm weather - I have had two rained out trips already this year. We would like to be able to visit towns of interest, lots of chateaux, we like lots of stuf really. We also plan to spend a lot of time loafing around by the pool (another must have) and drinking wine!

We are taking the car - my plan so far, is Dover to Calais, One night in Paris (hotel on ourskirts so we can park up) and then drive on to somewhere in the Loire region. We want to stay in a cottage/gite but am baffled by the choice as i have absolutely no idea on the districts. I have been reading up a little but still stumped.

any pointers would be great!

Thanks in advance

Anne x

Paris, France
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1. Re: I have no idea where to go... HELP!!

My personal preference for a place to stay would be in the area among the points of Blois, Chenonceaux, and Tours but this is just a personal preference. As a reference, Tours itself is the center of this region so moving any direction one way makes other destinations farther, some closer.

Gites rent by the month, sometimes by the week. Here are the sources I use:

http://www.fleursdesoleil.fr/

http://www.cheznous.com/

http://www.gites-de-france.fr/

http://gitelink.com/

These are general or French usage links. Someone once posted some links oriented towards UK users but the above will leave you with no shortage of ideas.

Another good source of information is the Michelin Green Guide of Châteaux of the Loire. It contains driving itineraries, site backgrounds, and some restaurant and hotel suggestions.

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: I have no idea where to go... HELP!!

Hard to go wrong following the advice Sarastro has given you above.

A couple of things I'd point out to you:

Perhaps change your plan of sleeping somewhere on the outskirts of Paris. If you have no plans to see the city you might as well avoid it entirely and spend a night in transit somewhere nicer than a suburban hotel.

Play with Google maps and find a route... going Calais-Rouen-Lemans-Tours will miss Paris and take no more time. Well, it might, as you may find more places to stop. ;^)

Another thing to think about is taking a ferry to either Le Havre or Caen ... have a look at the map... a slightly longer drive in the UK can save many miles once in France. Worthwhile if you prefer to get to the Loire right away...

Rob

Edited: 21 April 2010, 18:52
Poulsbo, Washington
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3. Re: I have no idea where to go... HELP!!

My last visit to Loire I stayed in a gite owned by a friend outside of Angers because we knew her. If you do not get some reccomendations I would suggest you pick one centrally located with what you require and within your budget. In the past I have lookedup Beaux Villages of France and picked and area central to the region in a village that looked apealing. By the way I am surprised more people do not suggest seeing the Incredible Apoch. tapestries in Anger's castle. They are masterpieces of medeval art.

West Yorkshire...
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4. Re: I have no idea where to go... HELP!!

Thank you for those speedy replies - I knew I could rely on Tripadvisor peeps!!!

I think I have found a good one. We just need to pick a house and work it from there. We do plan on visiting Paris en route - so will prob stay on the outskirts as chances of being able to park the car will be better/safer ?

I love holidays - and can't wait for some sun. The winter has been too long thisyear - brr......

uk
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5. Re: I have no idea where to go... HELP!!

With children that age it may be worth considering a caravan, check out the siblu site of domaine de dugny - they have pools and other stuff for kids to do, its also a nice small relaxed site, which is ideally situated 7 miles from Amboise, and boise, and withins a few mins of a chateax on the river (walk takes 30mins).

Amboise has a little more for kids to do than some of the other towns in the area. It has a model chateaux village which my girls loved and they were able to use that to choose the castles they wanted to see and I am sure it added to their interest when we did visit. Also has an aquarium (but I have not been yet). Another thing in this area is an outdoor adventure park, with high ropes (4 diff levels for diff age/ exp) climbing and all sorts of unusal outdoor activities. Once you get sorted come back on here and let us know were you are based and I will post back with a list of things to do esp related to kids (we have been going here for several years with ours)

Birmingham
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6. Re: I have no idea where to go... HELP!!

We did this in 2008, and it worked so well we are repeating it (almost exactly) but for longer this summer too. Two adults, two kids now aged 12 and 9.

Last time we went by train from Birmingham to Euston, Eurostar St Pancras to Paris; stayed in a flat in the Mouffetard area for 2 nights and saw the best of Paris by metro and foot. Then took a TGV to Tours, hired a car and drove to a vilage outside Chinon, stayed in a gite on the Vienne for a week. Easy.

This year via Portsmouth-Le Havre in our own car, via Le Mans and down to Chinon, same place for 2 weeks. Might do a daytrip to Paris by TGV (only an hour).

Hope you have fun.

R

7. Re: I have no idea where to go... HELP!!

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