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Burgundy,Languedoc/Provence itinerary assistance

Burgundy,Languedoc/Provence itinerary assistance

Feb 2nd, 2009, 12:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 31
Burgundy,Languedoc/Provence itinerary assistance

Hello all,
My wife,6 year old son and I will be taking a two week trip to France from September 18th – Oct 4th and are narrowing down our location choices. We will be staying in two locations,in gites,for one week each. We enjoy lush scenery, visiting artisan food producers.food/wine, outdoor activity,medieval villages,markets and soaking up the local flavor of an area. The gites we would choose will not be in remote locations but not “in town” either. We are not huge museum goers.

We are going to be spending the first week in Burgundy as we have not been there yet and the rolling hills and food/wine intrigue us. Since we are flying into CDG and going to either Languedoc or Southern Provence for the following week,
my inclination is to be based in southern Burgundy so the drive is not so far that following Saturday. Does anyone have any recommendations for a base location
in southern Burgundy for a couple with a six year old ? While potentially seeing a bit of the harvest and visiting a few wineries will be possible, we will want to include more outdoor site seeing/activities to stimulate our young son. We will want it to be central enough to a number of sites/activities that we don’t spend a lot of time every day in the car. We’ve read about Chateau Messey in Tournus and are considering that area.

Once possibility for the second week would be the area west of Toulouse. Albi-Corde and that area. We have spent a week in the area near Sarlat in the past and really enjoyed it and so want to try something still with that Southwest feel but a bit different. The caveat here is that while se do like hills and great scenery I don’t like driving constant hair pins turn areas. I’ve done it before and been in an accident so I’m a bit skittish about that type of driving. We’re also hoping to have a base in an area in this region that is both central and has access to the coast if we decide we would like to have some ocean time.

The other possibility is an area of Provence. We’ve been to the Vaucluse in the Mt Ventoux/Carpentras area and have loved it but are again looking to explore some place in that region a bit new to us. It seems like the Alpes Haute Provence is
ruggedly beautiful but remote and maybe not the best place to base out of for a week. The most heavily touristed of the Cote d’Azur seem over the top for us and not of interest. Maybe the Var? We have spent a day in Aix before and really enjoyed it. Same priorities as above in terms of being central for day trips and having access to the coast.

Thanks to all for bearing with this long post. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated. We will be able to fly in to one city and out of another with these award tickets which will ease the driving burden. Because they are award tickets however,we feel like we need to book flights soon.


I can be contacted at:
[email protected]

wvdthree is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2009, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,837
Driving from Burgundy to the Dordogne/Lot area will take you all day. The Provence might be a better choice in your case and the autoroute will allow you to by-pass Lyon easily.
Michael is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2009, 02:31 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,950

I'm curious, how does the drive from Burgundy to Provence (on the freeway, I presume), allow you to bypass Lyon??

wdvthree - we stayed in a very nice Gite that is equipped for children (lots of games & toys supplied). It is on a slight ridge with views overlooking vineyards and about 10 mins south of Beaune in Burgundy. Lot of vineyards on the drive to Beaune. Large kitchen. This is a VERY popular Gite in Burgundy. It is Gite #330 in St Romain.

It is in the Cote d'Or, which you need to know to find the Gite on the above site. However, I would be surprised if it is still available. The owner is a major Mersault wine producer.

As Michael stated, it is a all-day drive from Beaune to Toulouse. www.viamichelin.com says 6 1/2 hrs. Gite owners want you to check out at 10am, and in at 4pm - so that gives you no time at all to see things along the way - like Carcasonne. Not sure I would want to spend 6 solid hours in a car with a 6YO.

We've stayed in a Gite near Caussade for 2 weeks. It is less than an hour north of Toulouse, and an easy day trip to Albi. This is a very pretty area, but perhaps more enjoyable for your 20th trip to France.

Have you considered Alsace??? We stayed in a very nice gite there - actually attached to a winery.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2009, 04:49 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,883
Cordes is, I think, best seen at twilight, when torches illuminate the medieval cobblestone streets.
Baynac has a wonderful castle that would charm a 6 year old boy. Both are in your area of week 2 interest.
tomboy is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2009, 05:56 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 281
I agree that Beynac would be a great location with your son and a peaceful base for a few days. We did one of the shorter versions of the canoe trips- stopping to pull out twice along the way- I don't have my notes handy- La Roque? Castelnaud? It would be a memorable adventure to look into. Anyway, I believe at the latter there were kids everywhere brandishing play swords from the gift shop. This is assuming he is into knights. There was a demonstration of the trebuchet, etc. It was easy to see how the French had one side and the English the other, of the river.

Can you guess I am an elementary school teacher?! Then there are the caves. It would depend on how he feels about being underground, but there are some other options. We didn't go to Lascaux but maybe for him?
sglass is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2009, 07:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,837
I'm curious, how does the drive from Burgundy to Provence (on the freeway, I presume), allow you to bypass Lyon??

Take the autoroute around the east side of Lyon.
Michael is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2009, 06:42 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,950
>>Take the autoroute around the east side of Lyon<<

That's what we did - bumper to bumper traffic. We had to get off the autoroute & take surface streets to get around Lyon and then on to Perouges. We did this about 9:30 - perhaps we should have waited an hour till commute traffic thinned a bit.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2009, 06:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,883
Beynac castle is VERY high above the river; from the parapets one looks down at about a negative 80 degree angle at the river. The castle was used as a location shot in a medieval type movie about 10 years ago, apparently.
tomboy is offline  
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