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10 days in France: Paris- Burgundy-Provence

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I would appreciate your advice to a couple of beginners visitors to France . We will be there from August 20th- 29th...
We arrive in Paris and have 3 nights booked there, 3 nights in Burgundy and 3 nights in Province. It will be scratching the surface but at least we will look forward for a place to stay longer, on a next trip.
TGV from Paris to Dijon, rent a car and drive to Beaune.
Stay in Beaune and do day trips around.
I would appreciate the advice on using the time most efficiently and getting most of the French experience ( food, wine, wineries, countryside , castles).
From Beaune drive to St, Remi and stay there or in Luberon as a base for the day trips around.
Would really appreciate the advice on places to stay, places to dine taste wine, architecture and wineries tours.
From there, we will take the train to Barcelona, where we will be for 7 days, fly back home ( Toronto) from Madrid ( 2 days).
Thank you in advance

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    One smart thing you have done is book tickets into one city and out of another, saving time and money by not backtracking. Bravo!

    Advice for time.
    Hate to throw something out without knowing your reasons, so wondering about 7 days in Barcelona. If you do not have some unusual reason for that, I would cut it to 4 at most (for me, it would be 3) and add at least one day, probably 2, to Paris and 1 to Provence, possibly 1 to Madrid.

    Why?
    You are landing in Paris and often jet lag makes you too tired to enjoy much the first day. With three nights, you have only 2 good days in Paris. Paris is a big city with many, many things to do and see. I would use 1 of the extra days to visit Versailles. If this is your first trip there, it is hard to images the riches awaiting you. By comparison, you can see many of the major sights in Barcelona in 3 days.

    Again, three nights in Provence gives you only 2 full days, hardly enough to even get a taste of Provence. There is a huge variety of things to do and see there.

    I would add a day to Madrid for a day trip to Toledo or Segovia or both.

    Your trip is nicely arranged, but the France part is very, very rushed. However, some people quite enjoy the fast pace and like to see only a few things in each place.

    Some places you say days, some you say nights, so it is not perfectly clear if you have calculated correctly. It only matters so you do not over estimate how much time you actually have to do things in each place. With the distances to travel between your bases, from check out of your hotel to get to car or train, drive, check into new hotel, etc. you will eat up at least 1/2 day with each move.

    Example: 1/2 hour from hotel to train station in Paris, 1 hour train from Paris to Dijon, pick up car, etc. 1/4 to 1/2 hour, drive to Beaune 1/2 to 3/4 hour, get to hotel and check in 1/2 hour, so 3 hours at best. If you are very early risers, you can get there mid-late morning.

    From Beaune to St Remy is nearly 4 hours just driving time. Add in a stop and checking out of and Into hotels, and it will be early afternoon by time you get there.

    Try laying your trip out to include travel times.
    Aug 20, arrive Parris, check in, take a walk, rest, etc. maybe 1/2 day
    Aug 21, Paris
    Aug 22, Paris
    Aug 23, travel to Beaune via Dijon. 1/2 day for sight seeing.
    Aug 24, Beaune area
    Aug 25, Beaune area
    Aug 26, travel to Provence, max of 1/2 day for sight seeing.
    Aug 27, Provence
    Aug 28, Provence
    Aug 29, travel to Barcelona
    Etc.

    You have
    Paris, 2 days
    Beaune, 2 & 1/2 days
    Provence, 2 & 1/2 days

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    Well you didn't ask this but there is no way I would spend 7 days in Barcelona and only 2 in Paris. Much rather do the reverse unless you are taking a cruise from Barcelona or similar.

    However - since you asked about France:

    What is your nightly hotel budget in euros?

    For dining are you looking at more casuale places or fine dining - as in Michelin*?

    Definitely do not miss Vezelay as a day trip from Beaune - charming hill town with a fantastic Abbey founded in the 9th century.

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    I'll chime in with the advice to spend more time in France. Provence particularly. It's expensive to get there from Paris, it's not close, and everything you want to see and do when you get there is located in different areas. It's best by car. I absolutely love Provence and have gone 3 times in the last 2 years. Each time I wish I had more time. However, even just picking some highlights I'd say 4 days is bare minimum. But at least you have more than 1-2 days :)

    One day counts only for arrival and departure time. So that leaves 3 full days. The Luberon area will take 1 full day minimum if you want to enjoy yourself and stop in whatever village takes your fancy, pop into the Abbey de Senanque (highly recommended), take photos of the bright orange soil in Rousillon or the incoming view of the hilltop perched village of Gordes, have lunch and dinner in different towns, etc. I can't stress how spread out the Luberon villages are so you will absolutely not be able to visit all of them you really have to narrow it down and pick a few that make sense driving wise.

    There's a tiny village in the Luberon that is not really touristed like the others (not much there but it's beautiful) called Opped. Great spot for end of day sunset drinks or walk up to top of hill at cathedral.


    I'd suggest staying in Avignon as a base in Provence since you have limited time and moving hotels every night is a pain (otherwise I"d suggest a few nights in Avignon and a few nights in Uzes or the Luberon)

    Depending on what you want to see, there are a myriad of day trip and half day trip option from Avignon that are amazing.

    You can do Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, and Vacqueyras for wine tasting, lunch and drives through vineyards and small wine villages. Chateauneuf is only 30 min drive from Avignon and Gigondas/Vacqueyras are 10-20 minutes away from Chateauneuf. Gigondas is a cute tiny village maybe good for lunch stop and there's a great tasting room there with 100's of Gigondas wines to try from local producers (can't visit many of these guys).

    Could do dinner and walking around in Nimes one evening (only about 45 minutes from Avignon) and see the gorgeous coloseum there. Lovely tapas style restaurants dotted everywhere and a picturesque small city in general. I've spent 3 evenings and 4 days in Nimes and would go back.

    For another day in Provence you could do the market in Uzes (Weds or Saturday) in the morning, and then go to the Pont du Gard (spectacular and I wished I'd made plans to picnic here and hike around as there are tons of trails and paths and opportunities for walking around and being outdoors) in the afternoon.

    Uzes clears out after the morning markets and is much quieter. Beautiful town that I love to walk around-my favorite village in Provence so far.

    Then of course Avignon itself warrants a full day. It has a lot of great spots to visit, great streets to walk inside the walled center, churches to see, the papal palace, and so on.

    Great tiny lunch spot I found there called Shus Calada can't remember the street, it's just a tiny room with 4 tables and the owner serves the food it doesn't seem touristy at all and my winemaker friend who lives in Avignon had never heard of it but it was far better than anything fancier I went to in Avignon

    I've spent a month in Avignon and it really has so much to offer-

    off my Provence soapbox now. :)

    Brooke

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    Sorry meant to also specify that Luberon is not a good base for day trips around Provence. The Luberon is not near the other things. It is only a good base for the Luberon itself. Where as Avignon is near everything. 30 minutes from Chateauneuf du Pape. 30 minutes from Arles. 30 minutes from Uzes. 45 minutes from Nimes. a little over an hour from Luberon, etc.

    Uzes is also well located to visit most major stuff in Provence. It's close to everything mentioned above, similarly to Avignon

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