Burgundy in May

Oct 14th, 2014, 05:58 AM
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Burgundy in May

I am planning a trip to Burgundy in May and need some advise from the Blog.

I had planned to make Beaune my base. I like B&B's just outside of town, but would a hotel in town be better? I anticipate renting a car and would not like driving back to a B&B after consuming a bottle of good wine with dinner in town. Any suggestions as to lodging?

As to a rental car, I have not checked out rather I can pick up a car in Beaune, or if I must go to Dijon or Paris to pick it up. Has anyone driven from Paris airport to Beaune (or back)? How far is it and how long does it take?

Any suggestions as to visits outside of Beaune? Good food and good wine is my primary reason for this visit, but am open to other attractions.
OldGuyTraveler is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 06:36 AM
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I might look at a smaller town say Nuit St Georges with 2 or 3 restaurants plus a hotel The police are pretty serious
bilboburgler is online now  
Oct 14th, 2014, 08:32 AM
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Since CDG is north of Paris and Beaune south, it is pretty nasty to round Paris. I would say, 4 hours driving time is the minimum, it can easily be 5 hours if the traffic is thick (as always, except on Sundays).

You can take the TGV to Dijon and rent a car there. Or you change trains in Dijon and rent a car directly in Beaune. Europcar has a station in Beaune, maybe other companies too.
traveller1959 is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 08:37 AM
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Please do note that the police are VERY serious about drinking and driving - and that legal blood levels are lower than in the US. More than 1 glass of wine will put you over the limit. So if you are planning on sampling substantial wine - even for lunch - you should either stay in the same town as the restaurant - or take a tour - or cab back and forth.

We have done MANY road trips in europe - and we make sure that whoever is going to drive after lunch has at most one glass of wine (or only part of one) at lunch - and typically don;t get back in the car for a couple of hours.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 15th, 2014, 04:09 AM
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We've done the drive from CDG to Burgundy several times. I prefer it to having to get into Paris for the TGV after a long flight, as you can pick up the car right at the terminal at CDG. It is about 3.5 hrs driving time to the Beaune area, but more like 4 with stops. Yes, there can be heavy traffic--you want to take the northern A5 route and avoid the Peripherique.

I agree with Bilboburgler--check out Nuit St. Georges!
kimharp is offline  
Oct 15th, 2014, 05:08 AM
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My suggestion is train to Dijon and pick up a car at the train station. We stayed in Puligny Montrachet at Domaine Des Anges in the annex.
Lunched and wine tasting at Olivier Leflaive which is in the village. I highly recommend Puligny Montrachet but you may want to stay in the larger Beaune.
Huggy is offline  
Oct 15th, 2014, 05:31 AM
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We took the train from Paris to Dijon, and picked up a car at the train station. Drove to a La Saura B&B in a village near Beaune,which was our favorite stay in France. Joseline, the owner, is a wonderful hostess and the coach house on the property has exquisitely decorated and spacious rooms. Highly recommended.
enewell is offline  
Oct 15th, 2014, 06:17 AM
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Here is the link for La Saura:
enewell is offline  
Oct 15th, 2014, 11:15 AM
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It is a question of travel philosphy whether to stay in Beaune or in a small wine village.

Beaune is a very attractive town. There is a good choice of restaurants in Beaune, there are several tasting options in Beaune (my favourite is: www.marcheauxvins.com) and Beaune itsself has a lot of attractions for sightseeing. It makes a lot of sense to stay in the centre of Beaune and to walk back from wine tastings and dinners.

On the other hand, there are those wine villages (Nuits St. George is just one of more than a dozen similar villages). In these villages, you often find charming hotels with good restaurants. We ourselves often stay at Chateau de Saulon (www.chateau-saulon.com) which has a good restaurant. Then, your choice of restaurants and wine tastings in somewhat limited to the village where you stay (or you take a taxi).

If you want to do some research, www.viamichelin.com is a good website. Especially if you click on the "restaurants" button, it will display the restaurants and their rankings of the famous Guide Michelin. IMO, the "Bib Gourmand" is always a good bet - excellent food at reasonable prices.
traveller1959 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2014, 05:26 AM
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Thanks all for your very good suggestions. I will be bouncing them all in my head as I try to work out my schedule. I am leaning toward a car from CDG. Trains from there to Beaune are iffy; the last time I checked on EuroRail they were routed through Nice and took 4 hrs.
OldGuyTraveler is offline  
Oct 16th, 2014, 05:55 AM
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Try to Dijon - an hour and a half from central paris
jamikins is offline  
Oct 16th, 2014, 06:20 AM
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We took a TGV direct to Dijon from CDG, and then a local train to Beaune. Very easy connection. We stayed in Beaune at Le Cep. We really enjoyed the town especially the Saturday market. We did not have a car. We took a day trip to Dijon by train and booked two other tours. One was to tour some wine makers and vineyards and the other was to tour historic sites in the Burgundy area. We then took the train back to Paris for an additional week in France.
waterdog is offline  
Oct 16th, 2014, 11:27 AM
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The tourist information office in Beaune has some very good small group tours of the area at reasonable prices, including vineyard visits and tastings. I visited their office and booked one for the same afternoon, just 4 of us and the guide in his jeep, off road/in vineyard.

Check their website, lots of good information:
MmePerdu is online now  
Oct 16th, 2014, 01:30 PM
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Not sure what the "trains are iffy" comment means. Go to Dijon and rent there if nothing else. Faster and easier than getting a car at the expensive airport lcoation, cost of fuel, insurance, tolls, etc., not to mention traffic.
Dukey1 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2014, 03:12 PM
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I cannot give you much help re travel from CDG to Beaune, but I can recommend Ma Cuisine and le Fleury in Beaune for good meals and wine selections. We also ate and drank well at le Clos Napoléon, but that is at least 20 miles north, in Fixin.

As far as side trips, Autun is a handsome little town maybe 35 miles from Beaune, with a cathedral and Roman ruins. To the south of Beaune about 65 or 70 miles is the rock of Solutré (that area inhabited by man some 50,000 years) but the museum of prehistory may be closed for renovation; you'd have to check. Solutré is Pouilly Fuissé country.

While you're in Burgundy, don't make the mistake I did last May. I concentrated on reds, and I regret not drinking more big whites.

Have a great trip.
kvick is online now  
Oct 19th, 2014, 10:43 AM
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Three years ago we drove from central Paris to Beaune, stopping in Avallon for a unexpected fine lunch. If time is of the essence I would take the train to Dijon and rent a car from there. We loved Ma Cuisine and Le Jardin des Ramparts. The latter being one of the best in Beaune.

We rented from a Canadian couple who own the apt we stayed in, in town. We walked to all restaurants. they also own a couple of houses outside of beaune and they will provide Beaune parking stickers.

MarySteveChicago is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 09:31 AM
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There is no such website that I could find named "Eurorail", so have no idea where Oldguy is getting such train info. There is no such train company, obviously. But even if a bad website, trains going through Nice to Beaune is absurd, that can't be sure, I hope.

I don't think there are good trains from the airport to Beaune, so you would have to transfer through Lyon from CDG (but not Nice, which would have to take more than four hours total given it's on the coast). It does take four hours total though, maybe 2 hrs CDG to Lyon, some wait, then about 1.5 hours on a slow TER train to Beaune. It's a tradeoff, you can get a direct TGV from Paris to Beaune that takes about 2:15 hours (some trains that are slower take a lot longer, though). But then you have to get from CDG to Gare de Lyon, so are eating up time there. Overall, not sure you are that much better off in time, because most people planning to catch a train in the city allow a lot of extra time for an airport arrival to make sure they make it. If you take the AF bus to Gare de Lyon, I"d allow an hour for that, for example.

So really think you'll save a lot of time by renting a car and driving to Beaune, compared to four hours by train? You could spend four hours driving as the drive takes at least 3 hours or more alone, it's 350 km, and then you have to go to the trouble of renting the car. But it would give you more flexibility as you can leave right away, whereas by train, you'd have to match up to the schedule.

Someone suggested you go to Dijon to rent a car. Don't think there are any direct trains from CDG to Dijon, either, so not sure that is any better than going to Beaune, as it takes longer.
Christina is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 12:15 PM
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We just got back from a trip to France that included this area. I'm sure glad the police weren't around when we were driving after lunch!!

We stayed just north of Dijon, in Talant, which is probably too far north for you.

There are a number of good things to do. From your perspective, a drive up the "Cote d'Or" (D 974) will take you past the "Grand Cru" producers. We were struck by how much the entire area runs on wine. Our hotel sold corkscrews (and other means of opening wine bottles) as well as bottled wines. If you're a wine lover with a fat wallet, you'll think you're in heaven!

Other good trips from Beaune: Dijon to see the Palace of the Dukes and associated Art Museum is a must, and it also has a really good archaeology museum. We also saw a few ruined abbeys in the area--many of the most important abbeys are around here--Cluny, Vezelay.

We would need to know your interests to know what else to recommend, However, if your interests are food and wine, just staying in and around Beaune, Nuits-Saint Georges, and perhaps Dijon will fill be enough.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 03:55 PM
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Yes, there is a train about noon from cdg to Dijon. Going to Lyon would be ridiculous, so far south of Beaune.

As I said, the drive was fun for us but if you want to take the train, do so from cdg to Dijon, rent a car there for the short drive to Beaune
MarySteveChicago is offline  
Oct 21st, 2014, 08:10 AM
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I'm curious to know where there is a TGV leaving at noon from CDG. The only one I know is at 19.58. A few years ago the SNCF had put one around 1pm but it didn't stay long unfortunately. I'd be happy to have it back so my guests wouldn't have to go to Gare de Lyon.
cocofromdijon is offline  

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