Getting from Paris to the Loire Valley
Are you interested to plan a break to France and see more than just Paris? The good news is, there are so many amazing day and longer trips available where you can see some of the highlights of France.
One place that should be top of your list of places to go in the stunning Loire Valley. This region of France is so scenic with towns, villages and over 100 castles and is a favourite with international tourists.
But how do you visit the Loire Valley from Paris? And what is the best way get there?
View our guide with information and tips for the best ways to get to the Loire Valley from Paris and start planning a dream trip today.
Top Reasons to Visit the Loire Valley
The Loire Valley really is one of the top destinations to go in France and offers an insight into the history and countryside of the country. Heading to the Loire Valley you will see somewhere totally different to the streets of Paris, here the valleys are full of fertile green fields and rivers. Dotted around the Loire Valley is possibly the main highlight, amazing chateaux including the Châteaux d'Amboise, de Villandry and Chenonceau.
Transport Options: Best Ways to Get to the Loire Valley from Paris
The good news is getting from Paris to the Loire Valley is very quick and easy. You just need to decide what transport method is best for you.
The train is generally the quickest way to reach the Loire Valley with journey times taking around 30 minutes to 1 hour.
There is a high speed train (TGV) which runs from Montparnasse station in Paris direct to Tours and takes around 35 minutes. You could also book train tickets to Amboise which is nearby.
There is also a train from Paris to Blois, another town on the at the other side of the Loire Valley. This journey takes around 1.5 hours. Blois has good transport connections and you can get to Chambord and Amboise via bus and train.
Renting a Car
Renting a car gives you the ultimate flexibility to get to the Loire Valley. The drive from Paris to Tours is approximately 240km and takes around 2-3 hours depending on what time you depart and also how much traffic you get leaving Paris.
Renting a car can be booked online in advance or on arrival. Prices vary depending on the company. You will also need to budget for around €30 in road toll fees.
Directions when driving from Paris to the Loire Valley:
- From Paris take the Périphérique (ring road), take E15/E50/l’Autoroute du Soleil. Travel along the A6B / E15 / E50.
- Take the Exit towards A10/E05 towards Orleans/Nantes/Bordeaux/Palaiseau
- Make an exit on number 21 towards Tours-Centre/Montlouis/Saint-Pierre-des-Corps
- From here the destinations are very well sign posted, be sure to use a satnav or your phone map so you don't get lost.
If you are worried about driving in Paris you could take the train from Paris to Tours or Amboise. From these destinations you can rent a car which is usually cheaper and it will also remove the hassle of having to drive in central Paris.
Several companies offer organised tours to the Loire Valley from Paris. These generally offer bus transport departing early from Paris and then travelling to see the highlights of the Loire with an experienced local guide.
Tours in Loire Valley from Paris can vary in price but this is generally more expensive than doing the trip independently, expect to pay around €100-€250.
You don't get the flexibility of organising everywhere by yourself, but benefits include not having to worry or having the hassle of driving and navigating the Loire. You will also learn a lot more about the local area and places you visit.
There are also some tours of Europe which travel overland and include multiple destinations like Paris, the Loire Valley and Cote d'Azur in the itinerary.
How to Get Around
The Loire Valley is very spread out and getting around by public transport is difficult due to times and also stops. You could travel independently and make your way around the Loire Valley using public transport. Taxis or renting bikes to see the main tourist sights is recommended. As all the main chateaus are really spread out, some miles from each other. Your best option is to rent a car, bike or book an organised tour.
How Long to Stay?
Although it is possible to do the Loire Valley day trip from Paris in one day, a day trip to the Loire Valley really isn't enough time to see the whole area. We recommend staying for at least 2/3 days just so you can maximise your experience and not rush.
To try to see all the main chateaux in one will be long and tiring, but if you have at least 2 days you can visit a couple of the first day then mix up the second day with some of the local towns too.
Best Places to See in the Loire Valley
The most famous chateaus to see include: Chenonceau. Cheverny and Chambord. You can visit all of these in 1 day, if you rush. If you have more time you can spread your days out and see more of the chateaus and locations.
Where to Stay in the Loire Valley
If you are looking where to stay in the Loire Valley, we recommend Amboise or Tours. Tours is a popular vibrant university town and one of the most popular places to stay and is very close to all the sights and castles of the Loire. You could also consider staying in Sancerre which is one of the most romantic countryside destinations in France.
Hotel prices can vary depending on the season but expect to pay around €100 per night for a standard hotel room. Use a comparison website like booking.com for the best rates and book in advance for to get the cheapest prices.
The Loire Valley is really stunning and you won't regret visiting. Hopefully our travel guide how to get from Paris to the Loire Valley has been helpful. Now what are you waiting for, start planning a trip today.