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4 days in Rhone/Alps and Burgundy...suggestions???

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Jan 6th, 2005, 06:19 PM
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4 days in Rhone/Alps and Burgundy...suggestions???

I will be driving from Lake Como to Paris over four (maybe five) nights. Right now I am planning to start with one night in Annecy, then a night near Lyon (Vienne maybe?), then to Beaune for 2 nights, then to Paris. (I have been to Lyon before, like it very much, but do not need to return). Another possibility is to do Annecy for a night, then Beaune for 2 nights, then Reims.

Any thoughts or suggestions on this itinerary? I tend to do a lot in a little time, and this is a driving trip for me, so I am ok with one or two one- nighters; it is just that I have no sense of Annecy or Beaune (or Dijon)or Reims.....are these places that would be good for 2 nights, or are they more "drive-throughs"?

Thanks!
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Jan 6th, 2005, 08:33 PM
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One night in Annecy would be fine, giving you time to explore the town and drive around the lake. Fit in a visit to the Abbaye de Hautecombe if you have time; it's still a working abbey and you can attend one of the sung services if you want to hear some lovely music.

With two nights in Beaune you would have time to visit the cathedral city of Autun, with Roman ruins and an interesting medieval section around the church. A day visiting the sights of Beaune, especially the Hospice (medieval hospital), would be about right, leaving you with another day to visit Dijon. As for Reims, since much of the central town was destroyed during World War II, the main things to see are the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Basilica of St-Rémi. Of course, you can always visit several Champagne houses. If you spent part of a day in Reims you could return to Paris via Chantilly and see the splendid château there, with a really magnificent library.
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Jan 6th, 2005, 10:36 PM
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Thank you, Underhill - very helpful. Can you possibly suggest an alternative to Reims, approximately between Beaune and Paris for a night? Does it make sense to do a night in Dijon after 2 nights in Beaune? Or, in the alternative, is there somewhere (somewhat) between Annecy and Beaune for a night?

Thanks for the help.
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Jan 6th, 2005, 11:02 PM
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How about stopping somewhere in the Beaujolais area on your way from Annecy and Beaune? There are some lovely little towns and the scenery, with its rolling hills, villages of golden stone and vineyards, is gorgeous.

Beaujeu, for example, is a pretty little town and the capital of the Beaujolais region (to which it gave its name). There are some fabulous restaurants nearby, such as Les Platanes de Chenas, which has a beautiful old dining room with open fireplace and panoramic view of the hills, and in the summer time, the tables are set out under the spreading branches of plane trees set with lanterns, overlooking the Monts du Beaujolais.
The beautiful "golden" medieval village of Oingt is another gem, with a fantastic restaurant, Le Donjon, perched on the hillside, again with a fabulous view.

I don't have any experience with hotels in the Beaujolais area but if you wanted to base yourself in Beaujeu, for example, then the town's website has a few options: www.beaujeu.com
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Jan 7th, 2005, 09:13 AM
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Wouldn't the Beaujolais be south of Beaune rather than between it and Paris?

A very nice place to stop would be the village of Les Bézards, near the pottery town of Gien. The Auberge des Templiers ( a member of the Relais et Châteaux group) is a great hotel for a splurge; it consists of a numer of buildings spread out over park-like grounds. The food is fabulous!

The hotel is in upper Burgundy, south of the Fontainebleau area,
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Jan 7th, 2005, 09:18 AM
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The response above posted all on its own!

Anyway, Les Bézards would be a good stopping point on the way back to Paris. En route you could visit Vézéley and its impressive basilica and perhaps the ancient Abbaye de Fontenay. Gien is an interesting town as well.

Have you considered a night in Lyon on your way from Annecy to Burgundy?

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Jan 7th, 2005, 02:35 PM
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Thanks Underhill. Your suggestions are very helpful. I have been to Lyon twice, staying at the Cour Des Loges, one of my favorites (incredible restaurant when Nic Le Bec was there); so no Lyon this trip. But I think I have enough info to plan now; one night Annecy, 2 nights Beaune, and one night tbd on the way to Paris, perhaps Les Bezardes.
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Jan 7th, 2005, 03:55 PM
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What about spending the night between Annecy and Beaune in the medieval town of Pérouges? That would make a reasonable stopping point and is right on your route via Lyon.
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Jan 7th, 2005, 04:30 PM
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Perouges is a good idea. The Ostellerie there is very highly regarded hotel/restaurant.

Or, a little northeast, how about Bourg-en-Bresse. The church there, Brou, is wonderful and there is a terrific inexpensive restaurant, the Chalet de Brou, right across the street.

Finally, if you get up by Beaune, think of staying at Le Montrachet in Puligny (a little south of Beaune). In Chagny, a few miles farther south, Restaurant Lameloise is quite likely the best bargain Michelin 3* anywhere.
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Jan 7th, 2005, 04:36 PM
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The church at Bourg-en-Bresse (pron. BourK, BTW) is indeed magnificent.

Another possibility below Beaune is the hotel Les Maritonnes, in Romanèche-Thorins, which has a wonderful swimming pool. The restaurant produces excellent traditional Burgundian cuisine.
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Jan 7th, 2005, 05:46 PM
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I spent 2 nights in Auxerre between Beaune and Paris, and loved the town. There is much to see there of historical interest. The tourist office has a wonderful map of town "walking tour". I had only one full day, and would have liked another one.
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Jan 7th, 2005, 05:49 PM
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Another thought, if you decided to go to Auxerre. The route there through northern Burgundy is beautiful, and you could stop at Velelay (fantastic!), which isn't far from Auxerre.
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Jan 7th, 2005, 10:25 PM
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Thanks everyone. I am actually booked at Hotel le Cep. Also, I have already put in my reservation request for Lameloise. Thanks for the Auxerre suggestion - I will definitely try to stop there.
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