Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Loire Valley Castles Small Group Day Trip from Paris by Minivan. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
Sights and scenery were amazing, guide was not! There were 4 english speaking person on the tour and 2 french Candian, the guide spoke french for 95% of the tour, I feel my money could have been better spent.
Since we paid for a small semi private group tour we expected a guided tour not just a driver to the castles. Much to our disappointment when we got to each castle we were escorted in and completely left on our own. Not even an audio tour was included. Very disapointing and not worth the time or $$. The best thing about the day was a nice lunch. I am not sure it was our "guides issue" or that is what the tour operator instructions. Either way without a good guide to help enhance the castle experience I wouldn't recommend.
I was very disappointed that the driver guide just dropped us off at sites and did not give us a real tour or detailed history of each chateau.
The driver ( Juan) was great and was very courteous and helpful. He gave us some of the history of the region, politics and the castles, etc. (very interesting) while we were in transit to the Loire Valley. Lunch was very good. The negatives were: (i) we expected, at the price charged ($270 a person), that the "small group guided tour" would have provided a guide to accompany us and narrate at the various venues rather then being dropped off at the venue and having to guide ourselves through the castles, etc. and (ii) the participants (6) spoke two different languages; English (4) and Portugese (2). We would have expected on a "small group guided tour" that the tour would have been conducted only in one language, rather than two and the resulting distraction of hearing the information repeated albeit in two different languages.
Loire Valley is beautiful. I am glad I went. The bus was around forty five minutes late. It you had given me the correct pickup time I would have been able to have breakfast. Secondly, when a passenger becomes car sick the driver must slow down on the curves and move the passenger to the front seat. I requested driver to be more careful. It was miserable for my companion.
The tours of the castles were great. The tour guide/driver was very informative. The lunch provided at the castle was nice for the adults. If traveling with kids, I wish their were other options for the lunch. The only drawback was the wine tour, not too exciting and the wines were not good.
I would call this a ride to the castles- not a tour. Our guide never
spoke a word about the context or history of what we saw. Very disappointed.
Also, I had the very back middle seat of the minivan which was exceptionally
uncomfortable. Wish I had simply hired a driver.
We could not hear the driver on the microphone in the minivan- we got back 21/2 hrs late.This was not the tour I expected.Lunch was excellent