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Alsace-Lorraine in September

Old Feb 23rd, 2019, 04:04 PM
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Alsace-Lorraine in September

We are planning a trip of ~10 days to "Alsace-Lorraine" in September (quotes because not a fixed itinerary yet). Looking for advice in cities/towns to stay, transportation recommendations etc. My tentative plan was fly to CDG, train to Strasbourg, visit on foot for a few days, get car, perhaps relocate someplace to avoid driving in and out of Strasbourg on day trips. Other places we are thinking of visiting include Nancy, Colmar.
We are considering splitting the trip with Burgundy but not sure best way to locate there, Dijon sounds car-unfriendly. Ideally, we only stay in two places during the trip. We could stay outside of major towns and visit Dijon on a day trip(s)? Then return to CDG for back to US.
We have spent a few weeks on separate trips in Provence and Dorgogne and really prefer not to move more than once during a 10 day trip. Thanks for any advice.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2019, 09:27 PM
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For the 'Lorraine' part of your trip, you could save on car rental by staying in Metz. The local TER commuter train ("Métrolor") would allow you to go to Nancy and/or Luxembourg in just half an hour.
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Old Feb 24th, 2019, 04:26 AM
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Nancy is well worth a visit but for me, the villages of the Alsace wine region are the big pull along with the sheltering Vosges mountains. I'd like to recommend using public transport but once in the area a car or a rented bicycle are needed to really get out and enjoy the space. I can go on an on about this area but start by scanning through this https://www.tourisme-alsace.com/en

Burgundy is a whole different kettle of fish. I prefer the Auxerre/Chablis region (just a bit quieter) than the more southerly section but each to their own.
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Old Feb 24th, 2019, 06:01 AM
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Thank you, WRT Burgundy quiet is good.
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Old Feb 24th, 2019, 06:17 AM
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With a car, when you leave Strasbourg to go to Lorraine, you should stop in Obernai first, then visit Mont Sainte Odile (fantastic panorama where you can see the Black Forest in Germany). If you have sufficient stamina; a visit to Le Struthof in the middle of the Vosges is a sobering experience. It was the only Nazi death camp on French soil and has an interesting museum and of course also the grounds to visit with a cemetery at the top of the hill. But it is depressing. Once you're on the western side of the Vosges, you are in Lorraine. On the wxay, not too far from Nancy, you might also want to stop in Baccarat and visit the fabulous crystal shops.
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Old Feb 24th, 2019, 10:15 AM
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book our trains early at www.oui.sncf to get serious discounted tickets (non-changeable from a certain train however so with flight leave lots of fudge factor time between plane and train - www.thetrainline.eu has same fares and is easier to book yourselves many say. www.seat61.com has loads on booking own tickets - general info train BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com. You could drive back to CDG via some nice places like Vezelay and Reims.

Last edited by PalenQ; Feb 24th, 2019 at 10:18 AM.
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Old Feb 25th, 2019, 03:03 AM
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We were in Eastern France few years back. After a few days in beautiful Strasbourg, we rented a car (when exiting) and drove along the Alsace wine route (https://www.tourisme-alsace.com/en/map-of-alsace/) to Colmar. After a night, we then detoured through the less-visited Jura wine region onwards to Beaune, which makes a very good base to explore Burgundy IMO.
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Old Feb 25th, 2019, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ANUJ View Post
After a night, we then detoured through the less-visited Jura wine region onwards to Beaune, which makes a very good base to explore Burgundy IMO.
I’d actually suggest staying in Beaune or somewhere north of there, IMO some of the best wine producing villages are located in this area. We spent a week in Bourgogne last June but were based south of Beaune and several of our winery visits involved a rather long drive...
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Old Feb 27th, 2019, 05:53 PM
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I don’t know where you’re traveling from, but for us in Los Angeles, Air France offers a flight+train ticket to Strasbourg. One price; after arriving at CDG, you go downstairs and catch the TGV. Just a suggestion.
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Old Mar 24th, 2019, 04:37 PM
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Thank you, I was in Paris for a conference last week and someone at CDG saw me reading a Alsace Michelin guide and made the same suggestion!
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Old Mar 24th, 2019, 04:41 PM
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Thank you, with some reading, I'm thinking of basing in Colmar for part of the trip after leaving Strasbourg. Need to do a little more reading on Bourgogne.
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Old Mar 24th, 2019, 04:45 PM
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Thanks, I am not sure we'll get to Nancy, thinking of more time in Colmar and the surrounding area after a few days in Strasbourg. Need to read more about Burgundy but have seen good things about Auxerre.
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Old Mar 25th, 2019, 07:59 AM
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Auxerre is indeed worth a visit. Be sure to stop at the tourist office and get the map of how to follow the "Cadet Roussel" path through town. Pictures of the town an be found in my Burgundy album from a few years ago: https://goo.gl/photos/VEdpsmD9fPuSWRhKA
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Old Mar 25th, 2019, 08:08 AM
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As long as you are considering Auxerre, why not Troyes? Troyes | Any Port in a Storm
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Old Mar 26th, 2019, 05:02 PM
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Thanks, now thinking for 4 days in Burgundy to base in Auxerre or somewhere in the area and visit Sens, Troyes, Chablis, Vézelay. We will have a car.

Thinking to leave the car in Burgundy then and take train(s) back to Paris. Any complexities there?
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Old Mar 26th, 2019, 05:08 PM
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Looked at your postings Kerouac. Troyes looks very interesting but perhaps not to base. I've only had andouillette once, in Paris, and it was excellent. Reminded me in seasonings of Wisconsin bratwurst.
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Old Mar 27th, 2019, 08:25 AM
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No, I don't think Troyes is good as a base, nor is Vezelay... but it is also worth visiting for a couple of hours.

Vézelay | Any Port in a Storm

It is not a bad idea to find a place to leave the car and take the train to Paris, but don't forget to consider the inconvenience of any heavy baggage, when you could drive it directly to your accommodations there rather than having to take it on the train and then take a taxi or the metro. All such things have a cost, either monetary or physical.
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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 04:52 AM
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I'd also recommend Beaune in Burgundy as a base. I was glad I chose Beaune over Dijon which I found to be too big for my taste as a base. Beaune is lovely, has excellent restaurants, is easy to negotiate in a car, and central for day trips. May I recommend a visit to Fontenay Abbey. We stopped there on the way from Auxerre to Beaune. It was one of my favorite sites.

I too will be in Alsace this year, early July. After much research and thought, I chose Colmar as my base for 7 nights. (I rented an apartment.) Then I'll be in Strasbourg for a night where I'll drop off my car before continuing to Paris the next day. I'm continuing to research what I'll be doing in Alsace but so far I'm still pleased I have chosen Colmar as a base. BTW, I'm like you in not wanting to change lodging often. The older I get the more of a slow traveler I've become.
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Old Mar 29th, 2019, 07:14 AM
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South of Auxerre is Irancy a lovely village with ancient cellars, they make a strong red from Pinot Noir but some also use César and Tressot. If wine is your thing you might like to try.
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Old Mar 30th, 2019, 07:19 PM
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Thank you for the recommendation Bilbo! We are not high functioning vinophiles but all suggestions are welcome.

Last edited by WisconsinTed; Mar 30th, 2019 at 07:27 PM.
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