Meeting Your Trip in BLOIS 2015
On this page, you will find information about meeting your trip. Topics include...
We suggest that you print this out, and bring a copy with you to your trip.
When and Where:
In Blois, a pretty city in the Loire Valley, in time for dinner on Saturday night. Blois is a stop on the “historic” (not the new, high-speed TGV) line from Paris to Tours.
Included in Your Access Package, if you subscribed to it:
Train tickets from Paris to Blois. Unless you specifically asked (and paid extra for) an “open” ticket, your ticket is associated with a specific train, and can only be used on that train. The schedule of the train is marked on the ticket.
Your Ticket(s) will be available to you in our Paris office (see here for opening hours), unless you requested that they be sent to you in advance. Rental items, such as paniers and handlebar bags, can also be picked up in the office (should you not be stopping there, be sure to request that anything you need be brought to you in Blois).
Seat reservations are not available on this line: if you have elected to travel in 2nd class, it is wise to be at the station at least 20 minutes in advance of departure, as Saturday trains to the Loire can be quite crowded, and they often depart with standees.
Travelling to Blois from Paris
Trains to Blois depart from the Austerlitz station. To get to Austerlitz, one of the following sets of instructions may be of help to you.
1. Paris airports to our office.
2. Paris airports to Austerlitz station.
3. Our office, or our usual neighborhood hotels, to Austerlitz station.
If you are spending a night in Paris before setting out, and booked it through us, you should also have received instructions on reaching that hotel.
Travel time to Blois is just over 90 minutes on a direct train. Blois is not the final stop for these trains, which are typically travelling on to Tours. The following hints will help you to detrain without angst.
- Have your train’s arrival time in mind. Railroading 101: trains can never depart early (though they can, of course, run late, and even arrive early). So, if your train is due into Blois at 10:52, and it comes to a stop at 10:36, the stop cannot be Blois. Unless, of course, the train just sits there until 10:52. But in that case, you have time to look out the window for a station sign during the intervening 16 minutes, and get off.
- Blois is the biggest station on the line, and typically nearly half the train’s riders will detrain there. So, while they trip over each other and clock you with their suitcases, you have time to figure out where you are and join the stampede.
- Announcements are made, but they often have the audibility of those heard by fish outside a submarine, and the foreign language doesn't help.
- The previous stop will vary depending on your train, but all trains stop in Les Aubrais - Orléans, about 30 minutes before Blois.
- The stop after Blois is one of Onzain or Amboise, 10 or 15 minutes later, respectively. If you find yourself pulling into Onzain or Amboise, you have missed your stop. Get off and catch the next (frequent) train back. You do not need a new ticket for this: show your old one to any ticket inspector, and s/he will let you ride.
Travelling to Blois from Tours
We have never been to the Tours airport, which allegedly has a flight from London Stansted. But there must be some way to get into town, if only a taxi. It’s a small airport: maybe you could walk.
Tours has two railway stations: one downtown, the other in the suburb of St.-Pierre-des-Corps. The St.-Pierre-des-Corps station is actually the bigger of the two, so if a friend is driving you to the train, get yourself dropped off there. But the downtown station is more convenient for most foreign travellers. Frequent trains (gaps of more than an hour are rare) run to Blois from either one. Journey time ranges from 30 to 50 minutes, depending on the stops made. For all but the slowest locals, the previous stop will be either Amboise or Onzain, and the train’s final destination will be either Orléans or Paris.
Travelling to Blois from Madrid
If this is the trip you are making, you will be riding the Hotel Train Francisco de Goya, which departs from Madrid’s Chamartin station. It arrives in Blois at around 7a. Your car attendant will wake you a half an hour prior, unless you tell him to do otherwise.
If you would like breakfast, it is served in the train’s restaurant (which also serves an excellent dinner). Breakfast is included in the cabin price if you have either a single or a double cabin.
Finding Your Hotel from the Blois Station
It is a 5-to-10-minute walk, depending on the hotel. You would have trouble getting a taxi to take you (especially to the Anne de Bretagne), since it is such a short distance.
If your hotel is the Anne de Bretagne on the Avenue du Docteur J. Laigret, walk out of the front door of the station and out to the street. A broad avenue leads away straight in front of you, slightly downhill. A short block away, continuing straight (and downhill) puts you in a parking lot. The hotel is on a little square off to the left of this parking lot. If you come to the tourist office, also on your left, you have gone too far; go back a block.
If you are at the France et de Guise, it is on down the hill, past the tourist office (on the left), at the bottom of the park that you come to below the tourist office.
If it is the Savoie, it is in a little street opposite the station, leading away diagonally to the right.
If you are at the Monarque, things are a bit more complex. Essentially, you walk out of the front door of the station and out to the street. A broad avenue leads away straight in front of you, slightly downhill. A short block away, veer left, against traffic. Follow this street to the bottom of the hill, 3 blocks, curving to the right. At the triangular junction near the bottom of the hill, fork up and left. Now make the first left turn, 100 m / 1 city block away. The Monarque is just ahead, on the right. If you want to do a Google map of this, enter “Place de la Gare, Blois, France” as the start, and “61 Rue Porte Chartraine, 41000 Blois, France,” as the arrival point.