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Help with itinerary/where to stay

Fairbanks, Alaska
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1,663 posts
128 reviews
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Help with itinerary/where to stay

I had it in mind to stay in Saumur, but now I'm reconsidering either where to stay and/or our itinerary so that we can minimize unnecessary back-and-forth driving.

Our plan was to arrive in St. Pierre de Corps at 4:24 p.m. (on the daily direct train from Avignon) and pick up a rental car. If the train is on time, I think we'd have time to see Chenonceau before it closes at 7:30, but then we wouldn't get to Saumur before 9:00 p.m.

My other "must-do" is Villandry. Other than that, our chateaux-visiting plans are not decided yet. We'd like to do some wine-tasting, preferably within walking distance of our hotel. (For that reason, the caves de Grenelle in Saumur sound appealing.)

After our visit in the Loire Valley, we were planning to drive to Normandy, so leaving Chenonceau until the end wouldn't work.

Any suggestions for how to do all this in a way that makes sense? If not, then perhaps going to Normandy first and then driving to Saumur may work out better. Then we could visit Chenonceau before we depart for Paris.

Suggestions for other chateaux, wineries, and/or other places to stay would be appreciated.

Thanks for your help!

Fairbanks, Alaska
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1,663 posts
128 reviews
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1. Re: Help with itinerary/where to stay

As a follow-up to my earlier post -- I've figured out that visiting Normandy before the Loire valley will not work because we'd arrive there too late on Saturday evening to rent a car. (We'll be leaving Avignon about noon on a Saturday.)

Avis in St. Pierre de Corps stays open until 6:00 on Saturday, so hopefully our train will be on time. Any guesses on the likelihood of the train being so late (90 minutes) that we'd be unable to rent a car?

If so, perhaps we should plan to stay somewhere where a car is not absolutely necessary for Saturday and Sunday nights. Perhaps Blois? I was hoping to stay somewhere quieter than Tours, but maybe that's the smart choice if it's possible that we can't get a car until Monday morning.

Le Grand Pressigny...
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2. Re: Help with itinerary/where to stay

On the car hire collection point:

We have found with a couple of recent guests that if you book your car hire via the SNCF (train) web site there is an arrangement in place between Avis and the Train company for cars to be available even when the collection hire car office is closed (after hours, bank hols etc.)

This has worked even when the AVIS and all the other car hire firms have been showing no car availability or closed local offices on their web site and when calling them direct.

Might be worth booking this way as your car hire agreement is related to your train arrival... having said al of this the trains in France are remarkably reliable (except when someone is on strike ;D)

www.franceholidaycottage.com

Fairbanks, Alaska
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1,663 posts
128 reviews
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3. Re: Help with itinerary/where to stay

Thanks for the information about Avis -- I will definitely reserve the car at the same time as the train tickets.

I do have my heart set on staying in Saumur, so I'll just hope the timing all works out as planned on Saturday evening. If the train is late, we'll just go directly to Saumur and do some extra driving to get back to Chenonceau.

4. Re: Help with itinerary/where to stay

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