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Loire vs Burgundy

My wife and I are going to be in France in July and we are trying to finalize our itinerary. We are trying to decide between the Loire Valley or the Burgundy region. Which area has the better food, wine and activities. Any help on where to go and where to eat would be very helpful. Cheers!!!!

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  1. Food and wine they are about par. Activity-wise I'd go for Burgundy.
    They are both major regions spanning a big area. It is hard to make recs without writing War&Peace length and without knowing your likes and dislikes. Help us to help you here…

    Burgundy, I like Vezelay, Dijon, Beaune and all the surrounding vineyard areas, La Charité sur Loire (is that the Loire on the Burgundy border?), Cluny…, with lots of good restos in the big towns and in the countryside.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Parigi

      Chablis, Auxerre, St. Bris, Irancy, Bailly Cave...
      Puysaye (Colette country), La Chat in Cosne :)

      1. re: Parigi

        Parigi - we're heading to Cluny in Decembre... any place in partic. you'd recommend??

      2. I like both areas, but if your decision is based on food and wine then Burgundy wins hands down. The Loire has good food and wine but only edges out Burgundy if you are interested in visiting lots of wonderful historic Chateau.

        1 Reply
        1. re: PhilD

          Even if one is interested in the famous castles, my experience has been that one reaches castle saturation rather quickly. After visiting 3 I get indigestion. All in all I find Burgundy to have more dimension as a destination, not that the Loire is chopped liver…
          Foodwise the richness makes and breaks Burgundy. The good thing about it: it's so rich. The bad thing about it: it's so rich.

        2. This is a very tough question and hinges so much on personal taste. Burgundy has some magnificent scenery, interesting towns, and superb restaurants, while the Loire has the great Chateaus, less interesting scenery, and good but not stunning food. If you choose the Loire, I would stay at La Roseraie in the center of Chenonceau, which has a good restaurant and also definitely have one dinner at Le Bon Labooreur. There are several other good places to eat in town. In your daily travels I would try to have lunch at Chateau de Rochecotte near Langeais. In Burgundy, I would stay in Vezelay and dine at L'Esperance in St. Pere sous Vezelay. Beaune is not far away and is a must for a day trip. Several excellent choices for lunch there (I have not been in some time so am not up to date on this). My personal choice would be the Loire because the chateaus are just incomparable, and having been there twice, I have seen most of them. If you are into history and architecture I don't see you getting bored. But again, this is very much a matter of personal taste and not knowing your travel habits it is difficult to say which is better.

          1. Sorry. Post deleted because the referenced hostel has closed.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mangeur

              I also agree with many that both regions are fantastic and have their charms. I'm a bit more partial to Burgundy since I really enjoy visiting some of the smaller scale producers in villages throughout the Côte d'Or (especially Pommard) as well as the bigger towns like Beaune and Dijon.

              While there are certainly fantastic wines and producers in the Loire, I think if you wanted to do any tasting or meet some wine negociants or producers, it is a bit easier in Burgundy. Beaune makes a great base for this, but a day trip from Dijon can also be done too.

              1. re: vinhotinto75

                There is no "better" when comparing these 2 regions, it's like comparing a red car to a white car. Personal taste.

                I personally love the Loire, but the less-touristed areas. A town like Loches is a good base, medium sized and a real town. Amboise, Chinon, ditto.

                L'Epicerie in Amboise is a really good bistro, and the Loire has some outstanding Whites like Vouvray, Sancerre, and Anjou.

                Also Les Tuffeaux in Montrichard, on a charming traffic-free square is excellent.

            2. I think I would base a decision like that on which wines I was in the mood to taste/drink. Both regions have their charms, and both are very different.

              As for where to go and where to eat in Burgundy, there are a whole host of threads on that subject here on the France Forum. I would hope you'd search them out.

              1. Spent 9 days in Burgundy in December and summarize here:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6836...

                Have stayed twice at Chateau du Pray in Amboise in the Loire. Both times found half-priced discounts on some Loire Tourist website, but we were definitely traveling in off season - winter. I'd say skip the resto there and try the bistro mentioned in this thread. Some creative planning could easily get you into both regions, as they are adjacent. No matter what you decide - you're in for many treats.

                1. Another vote for Le Bon Laboreur, great meal but bring your credit card.

                  1. Fireladd, clearly you are younger than I, when, in 2nd grade, we argued whether it was better to die by drowning or hanging.
                    This is an impossible choice; both are great.
                    You will not lack for food or vistas or culture in either.
                    Colette and I had a really fun time last summer in the Loire and ate three of the most wonderful stars we could hope for.
                    Pictures at http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: John Talbott

                      Une Ile in Angers is just over an hour by train from Paris and only a couple of blocks from the SNCF station. If weather doesn't thwart us, we plan to take the train out for lunch, returning late afternoon. This was a recommendation in Food and Wine's October 2009 article "Insider's Guide to French Wine Country". So far, the several recs in this article that we have tried have panned out well for us. http://www.une-ile.fr/

                      1. re: John Talbott

                        Fireladd has presumably been and gone (read the original post referring to July). Unfortunately he did not return to post his experiences.

                      2. I know this is late and that the OP has probably been to France already. But that said, having spent time in Paris (at least 12 visits since 1998, plus a six month consulting assignment to a company near Orly in 2002), I'd rather spend 4 days close to Beaune and a one day train trip to Paris. We go to France once a year for food and wine, but also bicycle riding (take your bikes). The paths of Burgundy are better than any place we have tried.

                        In September this year we eat, drank and biked the Loire (out of Chinon) after a week doing the same in Burgundy, staying in Puligny Montrachet, They are both wonderful places to visit, but the food, wine and biking in Burgundy took the "cake".

                        1. Yeh, yeh, yeh l am late to this one. My vote goes to the Loire for the wine. Am a sweet wine lover and with 10 or so sweet appellations in the Loire l am in heaven. Add a few chateaus and the view of Angers from about 5 miles, as well as Loches and all the wonderful chevre cities, as St Maure, Pouligny St Pierre, Selles sur Cher, etc and l am delighted. Open a bottle of Bonnezaux for me.