French Holiday Prices August-September 2013

French Prices August-September 2013
(based on recent Loire Valley holiday)
Shows are often included in admission prices to chateaus.

If you’ve ever driven in France you’ll know the best place to get petrol is at the larger supermarkets. This year, we got a fill in a Leclerc for 1.55 per litre while a regular garage up the road was charging 1.70. Another advantage of the supermarket set-up is that you put in your credit card and enter your pin and that allows you to fill up; once full, just drive off, no delays.

You may spend as much or as little as you like on eating out. A three course meal in a good quality regular restaurant costs about 23 euro but you will find an evening menu du jour there (with little choice) for 15 euro. If you move up in class, expect to pay between 27 and 30 euro for an excellent meal that may well include a cheese course.

Lunch menus can also vary quite a bit. In the busy tourist town of Azay Le Rideau, at the Creperie du Roy, we paid 21.10 for an excellent meal for two that included one glass of wine. At Sunday lunch, in a small village, two main courses, two coffees and a half bottle of wine came to 27 euro. 

We got a lovely two course lunch in Cafe au Coin in Saumur for €12.50 each. One day, in Vendome, we needed a snack and got it at a sandwich takeaway (a packed sandwich, a drink eg Coke or Orangina, and a big cookie) and the cost was less than four euro each.

Admission charges, especially if you have a family in tow, can be quite expensive but are generally worth it. Even the French are complaining and in some cases you should watch out for combination tickets or other discounts if visiting more than one attraction in an area.

Here are a few examples, without discount. The most expensive we came across was at the Chateau Close Luce and Park in Amboise which is dedicated to Leonardo Da Vinci. Normal entry fee is €13.50 but an extra fee to see a special enclosed exhibition on the great man brought the total to €18.50. It is an amazing place and I thought it was worth it!

The fantastic Abbey Fontevraud is €9.50, Saumur is €9.00, Chenonceau is €11.00 (13.00 if you add in the Wax Museum), Villandry is €9.50  (6.50 for gardens only) and Azay Le Rideau charges €8.50. Young children often go free and there are various concessions for students (up to 26 years!) but no discounts for pensioners as far as I could see! We all have our priorities!