After some time in Paris we again packed our suitcases, jumped on a train at Paris Austerlitz station and took the slow train to the Loire Valley to check ourselves in for a little French countryside R&R (though to be honest, I never tire of Paris!) We checked in to Manoir les Minimes in Amboise, the last town before reaching the more well known Saint-Pierre-des-Corps.
Being a little out of the way allowed us to truly kick back and enjoy local life in Amboise, where we spoiled ourselves with macarons and chocolate eclairs, further stuffing ourselves with crêpes in the evening and walking around town to work it off! For more on our stay in the Loire Valley, read on…
Getting There: Paris to Loire Valley
From Paris to the Loire Valley is around a 2 hour train journey from Paris Austerlitz station. This is the slow train so if you’re in a rush there is a fast TGV train running multiple times a day in each direction.
There are a number of stops in the Loire Valley as this region stretches out quite a distance. Our station was Amboise as it was the closest to our hotel; Manoir les Minimes. From the station it was a pleasant 15 minute walk in the Spring sunshine to our hotel.
Checking in: Manoir les Minimes
We chose this town as our base in Loire Valley purely because of the hotel itself. Classified as four stars, this hotel is inside a renovated French manoir and has been operating as such for the past eight years. The hotel is renowned for having impeccable hospitality and a more homely feel than you will find in more populated areas in Loire Valley, so it was perfect for our short stay in the French countryside.
Our room was located on the second floor (up two flights of stairs), so if you have mobility difficulty I would recommend requesting a room on the ground floor as in typical French fashion, there are no elevators!
The hotel has its own restaurant though as we wanted to head out and about to explore, we decided to elsewhere in town, as there are many great restaurants around the region.
The town: Amboise, France
The manoir is located in Amboise, a small town in the Loire Valley. The main attraction of the town is to visit Chateau d’Amboise, a fortress that overlooks the small town and out in to the canola fields in the distance.
A great way to see the countryside and other towns is to rent a bike at one of the local bike stores (there are a handful in town – you can’t miss them!) Otherwise a car is really necessary to see all the Loire Valley has to offer – which, as you will see, is quite a lot!
Further Reading: A Guide to the Loire Valley
With thanks to Manoir les Minimes for welcoming us to the property & Loire Valley!