Saturday, 20 February 2016

The most popular destination of 2015

Of all the chateaux in the Loire Valley (there is estimated to be about 700 in the central part of the Loire Valley) the one that topped the list again in 2015 is Chenonceau.

Built on the site of a water mill in the 1500's the chateau has a long and varied history, much of it connected to women of power and influence: Diane de Poitiers, Catherine de Medici, Louise de Lorraine, Mary Queen of Scots, and Gabrielle d'Estrées.

You can see Chenonceau as part of a custom tour designed specifically to visit the places you want to see, or take our most popular tour which visits the chateaux of Chenonceau and Cheverny

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Catching the Train at Montparnasse

If coming to the Loire Valley for a short break it makes perfect sense to come to us using the French train system, more particularly the very fast train (TGV). This train travels from Paris Montparnasse to St Pierre des Corps (the main station for Tours) at 300km/h (186mph) and takes about an hour to do the trip.

We can't book your rail tickets for you, but we will give you a handy guide to make the process easy. If you book early enough, the tickets can cost less than €20 per person each way.

Once you have your tickets (and we really can recommend the print at home variety) there is just the matter of the station to negociate. Paris Montparnasse is a big station, served by 4 differnt metro lines. If you arrive by Metro ligne  6 or Line 13, you are very close to the mainline station. Metro Ligne 4 and Ligne 12 are slighly further away, but served by a moving walkway.

Whichever metro you arrive at, follow the signs to "Trains Grande Lignes" (they look like this) to Halls 1&2. Your train will be shown on the departures board, and 20 minutes before departure the platform number will be shown. Customarily the trains to Saint Pierre des Corps leave from the eastern end of the grand hall (left hand side as you look at the trains).

If you have tickets you have collected at a station or SNCF boutique or have had posted to you, they need to be "composted" - not what you think, this machine stamps the date, time and station name on the ticket.

If you have print at home tickets all you need to is find your seats - the car number is shown on a display by the side of each door, and seats - the number is shown on the top of the divider between each pair of seats. Settle down, and enjoy the ride.