2 weeks- Loire, Burgundy, & Provence?

Jan 24th, 2007, 07:57 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 675
2 weeks- Loire, Burgundy, & Provence?

My mom, aunt, and I are traveling to France for two weeks this coming June. We have all been to Paris several times before. Aunt has traveled throughout France, but this will be my mom and my first time.
We are arriving in France June 13 and plan to take the train (to maybe Chartres) into possibly the Loire valley. There are two chateaux I would like to visit; Chateau de Chenonceau & Chateau de Chambord. Cheverny would also be interesting (the hunting dogs sound awesome!) as would Villandry for the gardens.
Next, we would like to swing into Burgundy, maybe basing ourselves in either Dijon or Beaune. I really want to visit Hotel Dieu and of course enjoy the wine and fantastic food!!
Finally we woud like to end in Provence (via Rhone Valley). Pont du Gard is a must...
From Provence we would drop off our car and take the train back to Paris for two nights. We leave early June 26.
Okay... is this crazy? Is this doable? We're looking to come up with 4-6 overnights and driving no more than 4 hours total on any given day. We know that we'll be back to France, so really we would like to just get a taste of these regions. However, none of us want to feel rushed.
I'm open to any and all thoughts & itinierary suggestions! Many thanks!
TXgalinGA is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 09:08 AM
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Sounds like a great itinerary. But as you pointed out you will certainly be returning to France at some future date after this trip so why risk embarking on your own version of the "Amazing Race"?

I'd start down in Provence, in and around Avignon. I stayed with 2 friends at a lovely inn in the town of Tavel, about 8 miles NW of Avignon. Using Avignon/Tavel as a base, you can easily see the Pont du Gard, Arles, Nimes or even Aix en Provence. 4 days in the area should give you enough time to take in the flavor of Provence.

Heading north from Provence, you can stop off in Lyon which is a delighful city with fine architecture, food and sights. A day or two in Lyon is enough to see most of it, including a boat trip along the Rhone and Saone rivers.

From Lyon, Beaune is about a leisurely 2.5 hour drive via the picturesque N6, about 90 minutes via the A6, We spent 2 nights in Chagny, about 10 miles south of Beaune and pretty much ate and drank our way through Beaune (which was our intention while in Burgundy). We also drove visited Meursault, Volnay and Clos Veugeot to sample the fabulous wines. In Beaune, we spent an entire Sunday drinking superb whites and reds from the region.

From Beaune, you could head for Chambord or Chenonceaux or even use the city of Tours or Amboise as a base. Amboise which is 15 miles east of Tours is a delightful Renaissance town with vestiges of Leonardo da Vinci; he died at Amboise in 1519, a guest of King Francois I.

Obviously, you can be as flexible as you like, but I like to do as little packing and unpacking as possible once I am in France, so to sum up I'd do the following: Avignon/Provence 4 nights, Lyon/Rhone valley 2 nights and Amboise/Tours/Loire valley 3 nights.

Drop me a line if you have any comments..

Langcraft is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Your plan seems reasonable to me, except I would skip staying in Paris, if you have been there before.

Check early morning TGV departures from St Pierre des Corps (Tours), Dijon, and Avignon for CDG. All three have schedules so you can hopefully get to CDG in time to make a connection for your flight home - and therefore you won't have to return to Paris.

I would try to end the trip in Provence, so you can catch the Lavender blooming in late June.

Do you have my 20 page Provence itinerary? If not, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll send you one.

You might be underwhealmed by the Hotel Dieu. It is quite impressive from the outside, but only OK on the inside. We've visited 10 or so chateaux in that region that I enjoyed more.

We've spent 16 weeks in Provence, 4 weeks in Burgundy & Beaujolais, and about 3 weeks in the Loir. I think Provence deserves the most time. You have 13 nights, if you can catch the early TGV to Paris for your flight home. I would spend:
6 nignts in Provence
3-4 nights on the Loire
3-4 nights in Burgundy

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 05:08 AM
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Spoke with my aunt last night and our itinerary seems to be takiing shape! We decided to skip Chartres and take the train straight from CDG to Amboise. We should get there by mid afternoon and we'll pick up our car. We even have our hotel picked out; Le Blason!! We'll stay in Amboise 2 nights, then make our way to Burgundy for 3 (?) nights. Finally, we'll have 1 longer day of driving to Provence where we will spend 5 (?) nights. We will then take the train back to Paris, spending 2 nights and one full day before we fly home on the 26th. What do you think???
TXgalinGA is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 05:32 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 359
Sounds like a very good itinerary, I stayed at the Manoir St. Thomas while in Amboise, but Le Blason is fine. Spend a day or so in Beaune for the wine and a day in Dijon for some history/culture i.e see the Palais des Ducs de Bourgogne. 5 nights in Provence sounds good. Highlights are Avignon, Arles, Aix en Provence and if possible, try to get to Forcalquier to see the lavender fields, although they really don't peak until July.

Keep us posted with the finer details of your trip as they emerge...
Langcraft is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 08:27 AM
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Thanks so much for all your suggestions! Any other thoughts?
TXgalinGA is offline  

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