France: starting from Burgundy

Old Jan 27th, 2022, 06:06 PM
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France: starting from Burgundy

Hi All,
Traveling to Paris then planning to go to Burgundy: seeking an itinerary that explores regions where we can stay in villages outside the main spot. Suggestions regarding villages near the main drags in Burgundy-wish to sample the wine, food & ambiance in relative peace. Have been to Durdogne, Loire, Southern Provence (Aix, St. Remy, Crillion de Brave (25 mi ne of Avignon, Ferrand Clermont/hiking Grand Mastif area, outskirts of Bordeaux (would love to explore more in Bordeaux where the mobs don't go), Aquitaine. Don't care for big tourist areas: prefer accommodation in French B&Bs and hotels. Wandering around backroads by car. Traveling 5/18-6/17 (ending for the 5 days or so in Paris.).
All suggestions welcome!
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Old Jan 27th, 2022, 07:59 PM
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I can't recommend any B&B in particular in that area, but we nearly always stay in B&Bs and find accommodation through www.gites-de-france.com/en. They list B&Bs as well as weekly rentals (the gites) and you have to filter out the gites.

En route to Burgundy from Paris, you might enjoy a stop at Guedelon, where they're building a 15th century castle using the technology of that time and taking all the building materials from the site. This is one of the most fascinating things we've seen in France. They've produced a series of videos you can find on youtube called Feux de Guedelon showing how they quarry and carve the stone, make ropes, work with wood, mill grain, and so on. When we were there we didn't take a tour, but overheard enough to realize we'd have gotten more out of a guided tour. Next time we'll go on a day when they're giving a tour in English.

https://www.guedelon.fr/en

When we're traveling to a new area, we look up the Most Beautiful Villages and flowery cities and towns.

https://www.les-plus-beaux-villages-.../nos-villages/

https://www.villes-et-villages-fleuris.com/

We plan our drives based on Michelin's scenic roads, marked on their maps in green. We prefer paper maps for planning but use google directions when we're driving.

https://www.viamichelin.com/web/Maps

I think the garden weekend will be happening while you're in France. It's a beautiful time for gardens in France. The site to keep an eye on is rendezvousauxjardins.culture.gouv.fr/ but it doesn't have much yet. Wherever you are on that weekend, you'll be able to find open gardens.

I always think that planning is a big part of the fun of a trip, so enjoy looking at all the possibilities.
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Old Jan 28th, 2022, 03:49 AM
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I'm never sure if people want small towns, villages or hamlets when they make this sort of enquiry because often they mean different things to different people. Have a look at Auxerre (on the train system) and Chablis as what I would call a town and Cravant or Irancy as what I would call a village.

All these 4 are in Burgundy but in the north region and will be well away from the usual mass tourism.
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Old Jan 28th, 2022, 07:22 AM
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Well, already most villages wouldn't even have accommodations although there are sometimes isolated gites.

Meanwhile, I second the suggestion of Guédelon as something unusual and fascinating to see. I have been there twice and will return.

Guédelon - a medieval construction project | Any Port in a Storm (proboards.com)
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Old Jan 28th, 2022, 07:33 AM
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The northern part of Burgundy seems less over-touristed than the southern part, but the southern part is better known for its wines (Chablis excepted).

Sens has a great market right by the cathedral:


Auxerre is another town worth a visit:


Tonnerre has an hospice, not quite as spectacular as Beaune's


and Guédelon is worth a visit, although it can be crowded with school children who visit it with their class, and must have the main structure finished by now:


less touristy are towns like La Charité-sur-Loire, across the Lire from Sancerre.


If staying exclusively in Burgundy, a guide book of the area would be very useful.

Last edited by Michael; Jan 28th, 2022 at 08:16 AM.
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Old Jan 28th, 2022, 07:39 AM
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I'm not sure whether this might be too small a village for you, but we had a wonderful stay at a b&b in the tiny village of Massengis:

https://www.chambre-hote-de-charme-bourgogne.com/

The town doesn't have even a restaurant (it's really tiny), but the owners offer a truly wonderful dinner every night where you gather around the table and chat with other guests (who tend to be French, so my good but not quite fluent French got a real workout. One evening we dined with two couples from Paris there on a wine-buying spree. They were very friendly, and we talked for hours about everything under the sun.) The village is about 45 minutes from the main tourist part of Burgundy and a good hour from Beaune but is an easy drive to Vezelay, Montreal, Irancy (had a really good dinner there one night but don't remember the name of the restaurant), Chablis, Auxerre, Chateauneuf-en-Auxois, and even Dijon, if you're ambitious.

We'd visited Burgundy several times before and always based around Beaune. This was very different. We had a fantastic stay in beautiful countryside, and Carpe Diem was extraordiinary. If you want to see a different side of Burgundy, you might consider looking for something in this area.

Last edited by frenchaucoeur; Jan 28th, 2022 at 07:51 AM.
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Old Jan 28th, 2022, 10:30 AM
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A good source of lodgings in France is Logis de France, a consortium of hotel-restaurants. https://www.logishotels.com/en/
They make a small charge for their print guidebook or you can use the net for free.

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Old Jan 28th, 2022, 10:32 AM
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I just posted a link to Logis de France but it got sent to the mods. You'll have to Google them, but it's worth it.
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Old Jan 29th, 2022, 10:36 AM
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Fantastic advice! Thank you! Is there an english site for the villages sites above?
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Old Jan 29th, 2022, 11:40 AM
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https://www.burgundytoday.com/towns/vezelay.htm

or, for the more technically literate, right click your mouse if Chrome is your browser, and when the popup appears, click "Translate to English"
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Old Jan 29th, 2022, 07:19 PM
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I also cannot help with B&Bs as we stay in self catering gites ( through Gites de France ). Our gites are usually in small villages and we do plenty of wandering around backroads by car. It is a long time since we visited the Dijon - Beaune area and we had to cancel a stay there in 2020. We visited them in 2006 from a couple of bases in Burgundy, as well as places such as Vezelay, Auxerre, Semur en Auxois, Abbaye de Fontenay. They are, of course, the places everyone goes to, but there is a lot more to visit in Burgundy.

One of our favourite parts is the area near Macon, that is, the area that makes up the Macon Villages wine appellation and around Cluny. Our favourite wine cave is the Cave de Lugny in the village of the same name. We enjoy wine but are not experts and rarely do wine tastings. Cluny is an attractive small town with the remains of an abbey, some lovely old buildings and a Haras de Pin. As well as wine villages, there are villages such as Brancion and Chapaize which has a wonderful romanesque church.

I have several trip reports posted here, but I have them elsewhere which will be shorter to scroll through. They are listed under the department where we stayed. Our Burgundy stays are at the end of our trips, so scroll through to the relevant place.

2014- Saone et Loire and the Yonne.
https://www.sloweurope.com/community...nce-2014.1804/

2016- Saone et Loire
https://www.sloweurope.com/community...y-france.1683/

2018 - Saone et Loire
https://www.sloweurope.com/community...ck-roads.4049/

As well as wine, there are some wonderful cheeses from Burgundy eg Epoisses, Soumaintrain, Abbaye de Citeaux, Delice de Bourgogne, and also from the nearby Jura region. Also, while technically not in Burgundy, the southern part is close to the Beaujolais wine region..

Bon voyage.


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Old Jan 29th, 2022, 07:54 PM
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One of my nicest times in France was spent walking along the Burgundy Canal. Mine was a walk of several days but one might also just walk for a day or even part of a day.

Here's my walk: https://www.travelgumbo.com/blog/wal...rgundy-canal-1

And this is Melinda Lusmore's Burgundy Canal walk & her website about walking all over France: https://ilovewalkinginfrance.com/burgundy-canal/


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Old Jan 30th, 2022, 09:27 AM
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So helpful! Sounds like you know Burgundy: can you suggest non-mob sources for walks/wine strolling/art/?
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Old Jan 30th, 2022, 09:30 AM
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This walk looks delicious! Did you stay in B&Bs along the way? What villages did you most enjoy?
Wondering if the bikes/e-bikes become a nuisance to walkers?
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Old Jan 30th, 2022, 09:33 AM
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Beautiful! Merci!
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Old Jan 30th, 2022, 09:36 AM
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Without poopooing Lugny its wine or the writer who has visited it, the wines are very much the base wines for average supermarkets. In the UK this would be Marks and Spencers. I've visited the winery and it is very modern but that means you get a very stable, clean dull wine.
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Old Jan 30th, 2022, 09:40 AM
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France: starting from Burgundy

So much absolutely luscious advice and love the photos! thank you ALL.
Still trying to figure out other regions to visit (been to Durdogne, Massive Central, Loire, Provence (selected towns), Fermand/Clermont): wondering about Bordeaux, non-mob spots with opportunities for wine strolls. Walking not biking.... Would love to hear about new regions to explore..! 5/18-6/15 (last 5 days in Paris).
Considered French/Spanish Basque, but crossing the big country of France-lot...even with a month. Spain deserves a separate visit I think.

What are your favorite regions in France? All suggestions welcome!
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Old Jan 30th, 2022, 09:47 AM
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Alsace is my favorite, great wine, good walking, great cycling, "interesting" food plus you can pop into Germany if you want to.
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Old Jan 30th, 2022, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by pepperment View Post
This walk looks delicious! Did you stay in B&Bs along the way? What villages did you most enjoy?
Wondering if the bikes/e-bikes become a nuisance to walkers?
Are you speaking to me? Using a quote will always make it clear. But the question seems to apply.

Yes, B&Bs along the way, booked in advance because, surprisingly, there aren't very many close to the canal in some places. I enjoyed every village for a variety of reasons. Chateauneuf-en-Auxois was irresistibly beautiful but the larger ones for socializing. The towpath was almost entirely empty of other walkers as I went and just rare bicycles (pre-ebike) until I approached Dijon.
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Old Jan 30th, 2022, 11:40 PM
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Oh no, bilbo, you've busted me!! LOL. Instead of sophisticated travellers to France with a penchant for expensive French wine, we have been exposed as a very ordinary couple with a very average budget to match which, unfortunately, does not extend to expensive wine or dining. C'est la vie.
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