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Home base for a month in France?

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Aug 30th, 2016, 09:49 AM
  #1
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Home base for a month in France?

My husband and I are planning to spend a month in France in the late spring (May) but haven't landed on the best place to stay. We have been to France a few times (Paris, Burgundy, Loire, Nice, Normandy) but haven't been to Lyon, which seems really interesting to us. We were wondering if there is a town/village near Lyon from which we could travel around the area by car or train. Or might it be better to stay right in Lyon? We mostly want to relax but we enjoy food, wine, art, museums, walking, hiking and biking. We'd love to rent an apartment or a house (versus a hotel). We would like to take day trips or the occasional overnight trip from our home base if that makes sense. Would it be better to split this into two locations of two weeks each?
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Aug 30th, 2016, 10:12 AM
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We mostly want to relax but we enjoy food, wine, art, museums, walking, hiking and biking.

The Dordogne might have the outdoor activities more accessible that staying in Lyon proper.
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Aug 30th, 2016, 10:17 AM
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If you won't have a car, you definitely should stay in Lyon itself.

If you intend to spend two weeks in the Lyon area, it sounds like a good idea to do one week or so in the city and another with a car outside for longer and rural trips.

If it were me, I'd do some time in Lyon, then rent a car and stay in the more rural Auvergne area which has some beautiful scenery. It is to the west of Lyon, there are several national parks over that way. For example, in the Puy de Dome departement.

http://www.auvergne-tourism.com/depa...ome-249-2.html

I've always wanted to visit Le Puy en Velay, also.
http://www.auvergne-tourism.com/town...lay-242-2.html
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Aug 30th, 2016, 12:00 PM
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We were wondering if there is a town/village near Lyon from which we could travel around the area by car or train.>

Yes if sans car stick to larger cities with good train/bus service (regional buses in France now cost just a few euros)- Arles or Avingon make great bases too and a surfeit of great day trips are possible from either base.

From Lyon you can make day trips to Arles and or Avignon but would be hard to go also out of those towns unless staying overnight.

For lots on French trains check www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.seat61.com. If taking several trips check out the France Railpass which on non-TGV trains usually lets you hop on and off trains without formality.
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Aug 30th, 2016, 12:09 PM
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Choose a village in the Bourgogne - on the 'route des vins'.

http://www.vins-bourgogne.fr/escapad...2363,9603.html

I would split in 2 places, last we were in Beaune, very nice but quite small.
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Aug 30th, 2016, 02:33 PM
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Some of those villages in Burgundy have good train service - like Nuits-Sts-Georges, one of the most famous. Trains to Beaune and points south and Dijon to the north. Paris is just over two hours! Switzerland even less perhaps.
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Aug 30th, 2016, 02:52 PM
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Bourgogne = Burgundy, where the OP has already been.
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Aug 30th, 2016, 03:18 PM
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We mostly want to relax but we enjoy food, wine, art, museums, walking, hiking and biking>

Lyon is great for food, museums and neat old architecture in its Old Town but not sure it is as France's second largest city I think all that relaxing - I did spend a week there once because a girl friend was living there and found something nice to do every day while she was working - lots of nice walks along the rivers and a nice big park on one of them but in general for walking or biking no that nice IME.

But there are really neat rural places not far from town so it could be a good base for that but I think maybe a smaller town would be more relaxing overall - could be any town - check on the Gites de France in the Lyon (Rhone) area perhaps:

http://www.en.lyon-france.com/Sleep/...e-France-Rhone

Google Gites de France for the comprehensive stays all over France - self-catering usually and often in small villages.
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Aug 30th, 2016, 03:20 PM
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Côtes du Rhône then.
Vaison la Romaine, Carqueiranne, etc.
Nice region too.
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Aug 31st, 2016, 10:29 AM
  #10
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Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. I'm guessing that no matter where we go, we will have a wonderful time. I appreciate your feedback. I like the idea of using gites - how does one pronounce "gite" anyway?
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Aug 31st, 2016, 12:01 PM
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'geet'. and in french it takes a '^' : gîte.

'un gîte' means a place to stay, coming probably from the verb 'gésir' that gives 'ci-gît xxx' that you can see on the tombs and translates into : here lies xxxx.

'une gîte' means the inclination that a ship takes when rolling in a gall.

Voilà, la leçon de français est dite, merci de votre attention !
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Aug 31st, 2016, 12:05 PM
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jheet. It's a soft g.
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Sep 4th, 2016, 07:37 AM
  #13
 
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We have rented 65 gites for a total of over 110 weeks. The places we have returned to most frequently are the Dordogne and Provence. We have spent 20 wks in Provence & 13 weeks in the Dordogne area so naturally I would recommend these 2 regions.
Stu Dudley
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