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Burundy, France- How to spend 2-3 days

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I am considering a stay of 2-3 nights in Burgundy and this would be my first time there.
What is/are the better towns or villages to stay at?
What are the most memorable lodgings? my budget is under $300/night.
Should I drive directly from Paris or take a train?

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    Take the TGV to Dijon and rent a car. Suggest Beaune as a base. My favorite hotel in your price range is Hostellerie Le Cèdre
    on the ring road and an easy 10 minute walk from downtown. Stayed there twice.
    Beaune is a good base for touring the central Burgundy area.

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    Take the TGV (train) from the Gare de Lyon to Dijon. Rent a car there, and then start exploring Burgundy. Stay in Beaune. 2-3 days is a very short visit. If you had more time, I would recommend taking the train from Paris to Auxerre - and starting there for a couple of days. then a couple of days in Beaune.

    Here is an itinerary I did for a friend, who was staying in a gite we've stayed in for 2 weeks just south of Beaune.

    Monday (remember, shops close in Dijon & Beaune).
    Leave the Gite & take the D17 south to La Rochepot – this is a pretty drive. The town of Orches is quite cute (noted on my map). Continue on the D17 to La Rochepot or Nolay.

    Market in Nolay. This is a very small market, but the town has several antique shops. If this interests you, go there. I think the shops are open on Monday because there is a market there on Monday

    Vist Chateau Rochepot*. Pg 279 in my Green Guide.. Note that it closes for lunch

    Visit Chateau Sully* (pg 305 in GG) or Chateau Couches .

    Tuesday
    Visit Beaune*** in the AM. This is one of our “top 5” medium sized cities in France. Spend the better part of the morning there. The “popular” Hotel Dieu*** gets a lot of attention and it is quite elegant from the outside – but only OK on the inside. But it deserves a visit on the inside.

    Afternoon – one of the chateaux you didn’t visit yesterday.

    Wednesday.
    Head out northwest on the A6. Get off the A6 at Exit # 21 and head towards Tanlay

    Get the “Route des Ducs de Bourgogne” brochure. Remember about saving the entrance tickets.

    Visit the Chateau de Tanlay**. This was our favorite chateau in the region. Tours start at 10 – so get there then . It is about a 1 ¾ drive from the gite (1 hr of freeway).

    Next, drive to Noyers & explore this cute village. Note on villages in Burgundy - compared to Provence, Dordogne, and many other places you have visited in France – there are not as many “cute little villages” in Burgundy. This is one of them, but not in the “top 50%” in France.

    Visit Chateau Ancy le Franc** Note that it closes for lunch – that’s why I have you visiting Noyers during lunch. If you can get to Ancy le Franc by 11:30 when their last tour of the morning departs – do that if you don’t mind back-to-back chateaux.

    Visit Abbaye de Fontenay*** if you like abbeys.

    Take the D980 south from the Abbey to Semur en Auxois*. See pg 296 in the GG. This village is more interesting from the outside than from the inside. As you take the R de Paris from the D980 toward Semur – there is a very nice view of the perched village. If you want to see the “scene” pictured on pg 298 of the GG. Circle clockwise around the exterior of the village to where I have marked “fantastic view” on the GG map of Semur. Next, drive toward the informatioin center (marked on map) & park your car outside the “gate” of town & explore the old section of Semur if you like.

    Thursday
    Visit Dijon*** This is our favorite city in France – after Paris. Find the “Dijon the Owl’s trail” brochure I sent you & follow this walk. The walk is fantastic. The “centerfold” has the route for the walk.. This may be market day in Dijon at Les Halles – but only in the AM. Lots of interesting sites to visit.

    Friday
    Head out north on the A6. Take the exit #22 and find your way west to Vezelay** pg 314. We did not approach Vezelay from this direction – we visited Vezelay after Auxerre. But I figured that on your last day in the gite, you might only want to do a half-day – so I “cut out” Auxerre – which is too bad because we really enjoyed Auxerre.

    After Vezelay, head south on the D958 on a pretty drive to Chateau Bazoches. I mentioned Vauban earlier – this is his chateau. There is a “self guided” tour, but note that it closes for lunch.

    Stu Dudley

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    As has been suggested by others, take the TGV to Dijon then pick up a car. There are car rental agencies at the train station. I stayed at the Chateau de Bellecroix in Chagny, 10 miles south of Beaune on my last trip to the region: http://www.chateau-bellecroix.com/. Beaune will occupy one day of your time: the Hotel Dieu and just walking the town. After seeing the sights in Beaune, you could venture west to Autun or south to Tournus.

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