I will be going to Tours to attend a conference. I will have a few days after the conference for leisure travel and would like to see the famous Loire castles. I hope you can give me some tips to make my travel as painless as possible :)
1) How far are the castles from Tours? Can you get to these castles using public transportation? I prefer not having to rent and deal with the hassle of renting (and driving) a car but will do so if public transportation is not convenient.
2) Can I buy the ticket at the castle or do I have to buy in advance? While I would like to see as many castles as possible, I only want to go inside a few. I am content to admire the other castles from their exterior. Do you have any recommendation which ones I should also see the inside?
3) While I prefer the freedom of self exploration, in certain cases it's better to use the service of a tour. Is this one of those cases? If so, which tour do you recommend? I prefer to be in a large group rather than me and a tour guide.
Thank you so much for your help.