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Paris to Loire Valley by car

iow
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Paris to Loire Valley by car

We intend to fly into Paris the beginning of May 2013 (arriving at 11:30a.m.) rent a car and drive to the Loire Valley. We will be staying near Chenonceau. Given jet lag, does it make sense to stop at one chateau (either Blois or Chambord) on our way to our B & B? We plan to see Chenonceau first thing next morning and then fill in our day with other places. What other places would make sense? Amboise?

Chateau de Cheverny/ Go back to Blois or Chambord (if we didn't see it the day before?)

The next day, we will go to places on the other side of Tours. Suggestions?

Val de Loire Travel
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Paris, France
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1. Re: Paris to Loire Valley by car

<<We intend to fly into Paris the beginning of May 2013 (arriving at 11:30a.m.) rent a car and drive to the Loire Valley.>>

If your flight is transatlantic, attempting to drive that distance upon arrival is ill advised. This is the time to take a train. I know the route like the back of my hand and I would not attempt what you are purposing, it´s far too dangerous.

iow
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2. Re: Paris to Loire Valley by car

What do you mean by dangerous? What train do you recommend? We plan to drive throughout the area and need to rent a car. Where would we rent a car?

Yes, our flight is transatlantic - an overnight flight.

Thank you so much for your help.

Montreal
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3. Re: Paris to Loire Valley by car

The road itself is not dangerous but the fact that you will be tired from the flight ans most likely to have "missed" a night of sleep. So more chances to be less concentrated on the road.

When I have to drive, arriving in France, I always choose my first night hotel less than an hour drive from the airport. Stop at the hotel. Stroll a little bit around, Have an early dinner and try to go to sleep around 21h30 - 22h00.

Forget about visiting and driving that much before arriving to your first hotel.

Bellflower...
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4. Re: Paris to Loire Valley by car

If you spend the first night in Paris, it will give you a chance to get over jet lag and not endanger the lives of other drivers, as well as your own. The next day you could rent your car.

You could also take the train to Orleans after your arrival in Paris, spend the night and rent the car there. A Loire Valley map shows the chateaux that you mentioned above are between Orleans and Chenonceaux (the city name ends with an X). In fact, you could stop at one on your way to your B&B. I would recommend Chambord.

The Loire is beautiful. Enjoy!

MrsJAS

Paris, France
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5. Re: Paris to Loire Valley by car

The absolute fastest you could drive from CDG to Chenonceaux would be 3 hours assuming no traffic whatsoever; 3½ - 4 hours would be a realistic estimate. Anyone arriving on a transatlantic flight, driving an unfamiliar car on equally unfamiliar roads, in a foreign country would be seriously compromising road safety.

As flights are not always on time, I would simply take the AF bus to Gare de Lyon, walk across the Seine to Gare Austerlitz, take the next train to Blois and hire a car there for Chenonceaux. It´s only about 30 minutes on country roads from Blois to Chenonceaux. Better yet would be to spend a night in Blois and visit its château, probably the most underrated château in the Loire Valley. Pickup a car the next day and continue to Chenonceau. This option might allow you to avoid the 35€ to 40€ airport/train station pickup surcharge and save one days car rental.

Most car rental companies will not charge you extra for an in France pickup and drop off so you could leave the car in Paris or anywhere else you might find convenient. Hertz and Avis typically will charge a drop off fee, Citer, National, Sixt, or Europcar generally will not.

6. Re: Paris to Loire Valley by car

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