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vbrasil Jun 5th, 2012 05:23 AM

Lyon and surrounding region-advice needed
I know Fodors is full of eperts on France , so hopefully I can get some advice!

My husband and I will be going to Lyon for a medical conference at the beginning of September . His conference will last 4 days (I am not sure which hotel the event planners have chosen yet).

First part of my question:

I will have lots of free time on my own. Any "must sees" or favorites in Lyon? I am thinking of taking a train to nearby villages , any recommendations?

I know Lyon is famous for its exquisite food...favorite restaurants?

Second part of my question:

After my husband finishes his conference , we plan to spend an additional 4 days to have a mini vacation. We are thinking of renting a car and staying at a romantic inn or chateaux in the region. We will be leaving from the Lyon airport , so we want to stay fairly close so not to waste or time traveling great distances.

We have been to Paris and to Villefranche , but we have not been anywhere else in France.

We have a fairly open budget...up to about 250 Euros a night for hotel.

I thought this looked nice:
it is about to hours from Lyon.


KathrynJane Jun 5th, 2012 05:53 AM

For after your conference I recommend the Chateau Vaulx which is very is north west of Lyon close to Charolles in St. julien de Civry.We have been there twice and are looking forward to going back and staying a week or so. Marty, one of the owners, is your host and he will cook for you if you ask.Look up the trip advisors reviews. They are all true.We stayed in the Suite Choisil which is just perfect. Another amazing place which is close to the Chateau Vaulx is the Colline des Columbier. This is the country place of Chef Michel Troigros....he has a fancy restaurant and hotel in Roanne. The colline des Columbier is in the countryside outside Igurande...a tiny place noted for its wonderful nut oils.This place is also amazing.....they have 3 houses called cadoles...we stayed in the cadole vert. these houses overlook the French countryside and are on the international registry of architecture.Look up Michel Troigrois on the net and you will eventually get to see them.Several years ago I was playing on the internet ...we are photographers and travel every couple of years to France... And I found this place. We were there this past November for a two night special. They filled up the refrigerator and brought us our supper and 2breakfasts.The cadoles themselves are amazing as is the view. although we could not afford more than 2 nights we will never forget our 2days.There is a restaurant on the premises and a neat stone barn where one can stay but the cadoles are special.If you go...try to stay in the green cadole. there are only 3. Also here is Marty'

greg Jun 5th, 2012 07:14 AM

Lake Annecy, of Cezanne fame, is about 2hrs east of Lyon. Auberge Du Pere Bise, at Talloires is a Michelin starred restaurant and an inn on the lake.

Texastrips Jun 5th, 2012 07:34 AM

I've spent a lot of time in Lyon and it's wonderful - you will love it.
I second Annecy for the away days - not far to drive, gorgeous, contrast to the city.
Lyon to dos - look on the Lyon forum on TripAdvisor and you will see lots of wonderful advice by a destination expert there, only-lyon, who lives in Lyon.
Short outings on your own you might do - I'd recommend of morning or afternoon in Vienne (only 30 minutes on a local train). Much smaller very interesting town with an incredible Roman museum with the ruins and artifacts on the same site, a Roman temple (think the Maison Carre in Nimes) and a fine cathedral. It makes a lovely outing from Lyon.

vbrasil Jun 5th, 2012 09:48 AM

What wonderful advice!

Katherine , the chateaux looks perfect!

I had already read about Viennes , glad to have personal feedback on it. Lake Annecy looks lovely ...will definately be on our list.

I am a little torn-we could stay in Lyon the 4 days , then rent a car and go to Provence. Or we could stay and explore the surrounding region , as mentioned above.

Provence has always been on my "list" , but at the same time , I don´t want to ignore what might be delightful in closer proximity just because one region is more famous.

Any opinions?

MaineGG Jun 5th, 2012 10:12 AM

Here are some of the sights we enjoyed during our visit to Lyon last September:

Museum of the Resistance (Centre d'Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation)-

La Maison des Canuts (Silkworkers House), Croix-Rousse -
Interesting small museum with demonstrations of silk weaving on historic looms.

Le Mur des Canuts (Silkworkers Wall) -,canuts.php
A wonderful trompe l'oeil, the largest in Europe.
Near the Maison des Canuts.

Bibliothèque de la Cité (City Library)-
Another wonderful trompe l'oeil.

Statue of St.-Exupéry and his Petit Prince - Place Bellecour

Roman ruins up the hillside from Vieux Lyon.

Although Lyon is very large city, many of the sites of interest to visitors are fairly close to each other and well-served by public transportation. A Ticket Liberté for €4.80 gives you unlimited rides for one day on the Metro, Bus, Tram and Funiculars. All are convenient and easy to use.

Lyon Public Transportation -

We were only there for two and a half days and could have found plenty to do for another few days. It's a great city.

Grassshopper Jun 5th, 2012 10:24 AM

I love Lyon! It was my first European experience when I met my daughter at the end of her study abroad year. We took a few days and went to Geneva, a "short" train ride from Lyon and just past Annecy (which looked beautiful by the way). Many here poopoo Geneva but I thought it was really lovely. If you go, take a boat ride on the lake.

StCirq Jun 5th, 2012 10:27 AM

In addition to MaineGG's excellent suggestions, I would take the bus tour that takes you by all the trompe l'oeil in the city - unique and fascinating, at least to me.

And the Musée des Beaux Arts is wonderful.

We had rainy weather the last time we were there, so didn't take a boat ride, but I'm guessing that would be fun too.

Lyon is a fabulous city.

KathrynJane Jun 5th, 2012 01:04 PM

We love Provence also....we go to Isle sur la Sorgue, but that area really deserves more than 4days. This is a trip in itself. With only 4days it would be easier to do the area around there or you could do Burgundy. Look at www.maisoncremeanglaise.

willowjane Jun 5th, 2012 01:33 PM

Great advice. saving for a later date!

ira Jun 5th, 2012 01:42 PM

Hi vb,

>...favorite restaurants?<

We liked
They've been in business since 1836.

This is from my trip report.

We stayed at the *Axotel Perache* ( ) - less than a 10-min walk from the Train/Metro/Tram station.

Using a conveniently located open space on the street, we checked in, unloaded the car, and took our things up to our Prestige room. This turned out to be a very nice place to stay. Our room was large, with a living room section with a coach easy chair, desk and chair. Beds were comfy. Facilities were new. The hotel has "parking available", but not its own garage.

Having unloaded the car, my Lady Wife and I wandered the immediate neighborhood until it was time to get ready for dinner.

*George's* ( ) is several minutes walk from the hotel. It is a very large room, dating from far back enough to have been renovated in Empire, Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. The staff is very well trained. Watching them navigate among the tables is like being at a stage show. Not one dropped dish all night.

Roberta had the "The Traditional" seafood plateau - 25E - 2 ea of 3 kinds of oysters, 3 mussels, 4 snails, 3 red shrimp, 3 grey shrimp, a bowl of periwinkles, a bowl of teeny, weeny shrimpies (sort of like popcorn), lots of bread, butter and the usual condiments. The oysters were particularly good.

I had the "Menu Lyonnais" - 25E - A salad with herring, lentils, greens, beans and calf's foot (XLNT), Choucroute of smoked fish (Yes, you can mix fish with sauerkraut), cheese, Rhum Baba for dessert. With aperitifs and a bottle of dry Muscadet fuisse -100E.

The hotel's buffet breakfast was quite pleasant. We then visited the outdoor market on rue Charlemagne and then on to the metro.

At the Perache Metro, we bought day passes - 4.5 pp - and headed up to the Old Town. We arrived at the Cathedral St. Jean le Baptiste in time to watch the clock strike 12:00. Very interesting. After that, we had a snack in the square and went on to Le Fourviere. Very impressive. We had a very nice walk down from the hilltop.

Dinner was at the hotel. At the time, the kitchen was still a work in progress. If it gets itself squared away, it will be a very nice, reasonably priced resto.

Enjoy your visit.


vbrasil Jun 5th, 2012 05:08 PM

What a wealth of information!

It sounds like it will be an amazing trip ...I can' t wait til September.

I will leave Provence for the may be awhile though , as I have 2013 and 2014 s trips planned .This trip to Lyon was a precious surprise , the best kind!

I will be studying all the comments with care...any other comments will be welcome!

Merci to all!

flygirl Jun 6th, 2012 07:09 AM

If you have not gotten your plane tickets yet, could you consider flying home from Geneva?

You could finish the conference and take the train to Annecy. I was just there in September and it is utterly stunning. It's roughly 45 minutes from the Geneva airport.

It is just a thought as you could certainly fill those four days in or near Lyon so no need to travel far afield.

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