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Your Opinion: 4 Nights in Amboise - too much?

Phoenix, Arizona
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Your Opinion: 4 Nights in Amboise - too much?

My husband & I (along with another couple) are planning a trip to France in late October/ early November. We planned 4 days in the Loire Valley and 5 days in Paris.

As it stands now, we are arriving to CDG Saturday AM, and plan to rent a car and drive to Amboise. We have hotel reservations at Les Minimes and were going to stay there for a total of (4) nights (Saturday - Tuesday, checking out Wednesday AM). I thought each day we could pick a new area to explore (Vouvray, Chambord, Cheverny, Chenonceau, Chinon etc...), explore the different chateaux, have a leisurely lunch, visit wineries etc...

My husband is concerned it may be too much time spent in one area, and suggested we pick another region/town to drive to first, and then spend only 2 days in the Loire Valley.

I would love any input suggestions. I am pregnant (just beginning my 2nd trimester at that point) and obviously can't drink, so spending an entire day tasting wine wouldn't be "fun" for me.

Loire Valley
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1. Re: Your Opinion: 4 Nights in Amboise - too much?

The Loire Valley is well worth 4 days, and there will be plenty to see. Not sure about chosing Amboise for that long though. Unless you are prepared to eat at your hotel most nights (or one of you is prepared to not drink with dinner) you may find evening meals a bit of a problem. Amboise is a tourist town, and outside the busy season many places close (even during the busy season we have had clients struggle to find places they want to eat).

Vouvray is worth exploring, but is worth a couple of hours at most - we usually incorporate it into a trip to Valencay and Azay le Rideau. There is wine there, but not much else. Chambord and Chevery is a logical pairing, and Chenonceau is a must see. Dunno when you get a chance to see Chinon (which is well worth seeing, a 19th century town dominated by a 21st century medieval fort), but you could combine it with Fontevraud.

Phoenix, Arizona
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2. Re: Your Opinion: 4 Nights in Amboise - too much?

Thank you WizardofAus, would you suggest maybe staying 2 nights in Amboise and then moving to another town in Loire?

Loire Valley
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3. Re: Your Opinion: 4 Nights in Amboise - too much?

possible, but you do lose most of a day shifting hotel. I think you should sign on as second driver, that way youc an drive back from dinner in other Towns

Looking at your original post, I am not too sure about driving the day you arrive. I have done it, but I am an exceptional case ;¬)

Bellflower...
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4. Re: Your Opinion: 4 Nights in Amboise - too much?

Four days is not too much time to spend in the Loire Valley. I would suggest the gardens of Villandry on the same day that you see Azay le Rideau.

I hope that you have more information on the Vouvray region than we did. We went to the town of Vouvray and found it was mostly a series of places to go wine tasting, rather than wineries to visit. We went to the Marc Bredif Winery in the next town, Rochecarbon, but were unable to have a tour because it was harvest time. (Just don't show up between 12 and 2 pm-14:00). If you go to Marc Bredif, buy an Ice Bag. It's a plastic container that you fill with ice and water and then put in your wine bottle. It will make quite a conversation piece at your next dinner party.

I can't remember if Blois is near or far from Amboise. It's a lovely city and worth visiting, aside from the chateau.

Loire Valley
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5. Re: Your Opinion: 4 Nights in Amboise - too much?

Vouvray is worth exploring, but is worth a couple of hours at most - we usually incorporate it into a trip to Valencay and Azay le Rideau.

I meant

Vouvray is worth exploring, but is worth a couple of hours at most - we usually incorporate it into a trip to Villandry and Azay le Rideau.

Must've had Valencay on my mind for some reason...

Paris, France
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for Paris, Loire Valley
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6. Re: Your Opinion: 4 Nights in Amboise - too much?

I wouldn´t necessarily spend any time in Amboise - far too many tourists. There are much better places to base yourself: Loches, Tours, or Langais come to mind as well as a large selection of chambres d´hotes scatter about the valley.

However, no matter where you stay in the Loire Valley, trying to drive that far from CDG after an all night transatlantic flight is ill advised. You will be in no condition to drive 3 plus hours to the Loire Valley over roads with heavy traffic and with which you have basically no familiarity after having virtually no sleep the previous night. It would be a far wiser decision to take the train to Tours or St Pierre des Corps and stay the night. Even if you drive from Tours, most destinations are only 30 minutes and the roads are much easier to navigate than will be the freeways around Paris.

Washington state
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7. Re: Your Opinion: 4 Nights in Amboise - too much?

I second Sarastro's comments about the drive; I've done the West Coast to CDG flight several times now, and it has worked best for me to take a short TGV train out of CDG to a spot further south and then rent a car from there.

8. Re: Your Opinion: 4 Nights in Amboise - too much?

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