Driving route between Lyon and St Remy

Jan 23rd, 2006, 06:59 AM
  #1  
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Driving route between Lyon and St Remy

Are there suggestions for a driving route between Lyon and St Remy? We plan to spend one day for this trip. Obviously the experience of following the Rhone is intriguing in its own right but is the A7 the best alternative? Are there recommended villages or stops or sights for a couple who love architecture and history almost as much as food? Thanks in advance for your input.
robjame is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 08:43 AM
  #2  
 
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We stayed in the Ardeche for 2 weeks this past June, and we've also vacationed for 16 weeks in Provence.

The A7 is not very scenic - lots of industry, nuclear power plants, etc. Many of the famous wine towns (Tain Hermitage, Tournon, etc) are not nearly as charming as those to the south in Provence (Chateauneuf-du-Papes, Gigondas).

The countryside west of the A7 near Valence is quite pretty - but not many of the historic villages you are seeking and the roads are very winding & slow and not scenic till you get about 45 mins west of the A7. To the east, you get into the Vercors - which is serious Alps country. This does not sound like what you are looking for.

I would take the A7 down to exit #16, which is south of Valence. You can visit the pottery town of Cliosclat, and then take the D104 east to the very pretty village of Crest. Visit the town & chateau. Then you can wind your way south through Saou and then to Dieulefit - another pottery town and an OK vllage. Then head south to Taulinan and on to Grignan. Visit Grignan and the beautiful chateau there. Then head north either on the D4 if you have time, or the D9 if you don't and get to La Begude Spend the night in the village of Poet Laval at Les Hospitaliers. Underhill may post about this town & hotel. We thought the town was OK (Underhill likes it more than we do - but it's worth visiting), and the hotel room was OK (I think we got the last room available). The restaurant, however, was excellent. The views from the outside terrace were supurb, and the food was very good. It's a nice & restful place to stay.

After Poet Lavel, head south towards Provence. If you're making this trip during lavender season (late June/July), there are several pretty lavender fields south of Grignan on the D71.

If you have time, head to the Gorges de l'Ardeche (see Michelin Green guide), and also visit the caves at Aven d'Orgnac. On the way there, try to visit the town of St Montant. The Michelin people can't seem to get the name of the town correct - it's really St Montont (or something like that). This is a very non-touristy, beautifully restored town. It's one of our favorites.

Stu Dudley
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 01:10 PM
  #3  
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Thank you Stu for your input. You appear to be the expert on driving routes in France. The trip will be made in early May and, although too early for the lavender, it should be a lovely time of the year.
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