Lyon in France, is it worth visiting?

Old Jan 19th, 2013, 03:46 PM
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I have taken on board all that has been said, thanks so much for your assistance.
I want to get the most out of the holiday, as it is probably the only time we will ever go to France.
I have done a revised plan, but this could probably also do with some tweeking.

Rouen 1 night, Honfleur 1 night, Bayeaux 2 nights, Dinan 2 nights, Loire Valley 2 nights, Sarlat 3 nights, Beaune 2 nights, Annecy 3 nights, then to Minerve.
What do you think, is this more realistic and achievable? The drive between Sarlat and Beaune is probably going to be the longest.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 04:06 PM
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Ira,
Thanks for the advice (I am a first time user).
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 06:49 PM
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<<Yes our flight into CDG is an overnight, and we figured that if we do the drive to Rouen this would not be too far to go when we are tired, hence our choice here. >>

Very risky. Also unsafe and inconsiderate to other drivers on the roads.

Even if you've managed some sleep on the overnight flight, you just never know when jet lag may kick in suddenly, very unsafe with unfamiliar roads and signs and two hour drive.

It will take an hour or so after landing to get through passport control and pick up any checked bags, then another hour or so to collect the car, adding to "tired".

Know also that the better idea is to take it easy day of arrival, but keep up somewhat of a pace until your usual bed time, local time. Then, you should be fine, after a good night's sleep, for the rest of your trip. If you take a nap, or go to bed too early, you risk having jet lag for many days to come.

The revised itinerary is still far too rushed. You'll spend more time packing/unpacking, checking into/out of hotels, and in the car, than enjoying the sights.

You really cannot enjoy the Loire Valley, for example, with only two nights, which leaves you with only one full day to explore a considerable area - which goes for all of your two-night stays. A one night stay will simply be an overnight break between one destination and the next.

Lyon, for example, is unique for its traboules, murals (amazing), and bouchons. No way you can enjoy all that "on the way" to somewhere else.

Of course, it's your trip, and up to you. But, please do not get behind the wheel of a car after an overnight flight.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 08:46 PM
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What would be the best thing to do then following the flight? We do not want to go into Paris straight away, and we need to pick up a car.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 09:48 PM
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You could head from CDG to Gare St. Lazare and take the train to Rouen and pick up your rental car there.

Or, take the Air France coach to Porte Maillot. This is not Paris tourist central, but from Place de Porte Maillot, you can see the Grand Arch in one direction and Arc de Triomphe in the other, and it's a lovely neighborhood for strolling, perhaps picking up a few essentials.

Have a nice dinner (highly recommend Le Ballon des Ternes, especially if you like seafood and/or authentic Art Nouveau interior, but there are plenty of appealing places within steps), spend the night, pick up your rental car at Porte Maillot, and hop on the "freeway" nearby.

Le Meridien Etoile and Concorde Lafayette are right there (very nice). If you prefer something more "charming", have a look at

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...de_France.html
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 04:05 AM
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Hi sq,

>Rouen 1 night, Honfleur 1 night, Bayeaux 2 nights, Dinan 2 nights, Loire Valley 2 nights, Sarlat 3 nights, Beaune 2 nights, Annecy 3 nights, then to Minerve.<

I'm less concerned about driving to Rouen than djk. On the back roads, it is under 2 hr, which is my limit for a drive after arrival. YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY.

Of more concern is when you are going to get some sleep.

Starting off jet-lagged, you then plan on two one-nighters. Other than sleeping, what will you do in Bayeux?

Since Bayeux is only 2 hr from Rouen, why are you changing hotels twice?

Bayeux --> Nantes is two hr. Do you need 2 nights in Dinan?

You are shorting the Dordogne with only 3 nights in Sarlat.

Do you need 3 nights in Annecy?

Hope this helps.

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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 06:28 AM
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I topped a trip report on Lyon by Jay_G. Great resource.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 08:56 AM
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I would dump Dinan, add a day in the Loire valley, add 2 days in Sarlat, and cut Annecy back to one night.

I think you need to stop thinking so linearly - we'll drive from here to here to here to here - and start concentrating on what you want to do and see and experience. That is, of course, unless you truly enjoy road rallies, which is fine if you do.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 03:20 PM
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Ok, I have reconsidered my itinerary again. However, I cannot make an absolute decision on it until I have spoken to my travel agent.

A few questions.

Are Beaune and Dijon really worth the visit? - neither of us are so into wine that we have to stop there, especially if we can visit wineries in the Loire Valley.
If we travel across from Sarlat to Annecy, a stop would be a good idea, so would Vienne be a better stop than Beaune?
In the Loire Valley, how many castles can you really look at before you have had enough, I was thinking of choosing 3.
Is Sarlat the best option to stay in the Dordogne, or would you choose a differnt place?
Why only have 1 night in Annecy? I wanted to take the cable car up to the alps, so that will be a day in itself, let alone looking at Annecy.
Is Dinan not worth the stop and why?

I don't think we will have a problem with the drive after arrival, as mentioned the north road is less than 2 hours, and we have both worked night shift previously, so are very familiar with lack of sleep, but running on adrenalin will help I am sure.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 07:39 PM
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Oh...you have a travel agent. Now I understand the problem. Exactly how much time has he/she ever spent in all these places and traveling to them?
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 07:48 PM
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Dijon was the seat of the Dukes of Burgundy when the dukedom rivaled the kingdom of France. It has important historical sites, and worth seeing is the tomb of one of the dukes of Burgundy, if it's back after the renovation of the museum.

3 chateaux are enough.

You can do Sarlat to Annecy in one day if you take the autoroute.

www.viamichelin.com will give time and cost of the itinerary you choose.

Sarlat is the biggest town in the Périgord noir and the logical place to use as a base.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 08:20 PM
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That you cannot make absolute decisions without checking with your travel agent explains a lot.

You can run on adrenalin for only so long. Experiences travelers will tell you that it catches up with you after a while and your energy and enthusiasm may diminish every day.

If your travel agent is booking accommodations, be SURE they can be cancelled without penalty and find out the policy for each one.

Once there, you may decide to scrap most of your plan.

Everyone has to figure out for themselves whether they want to breeze through as many places as possible or slow down and actually enjoy it all.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 09:08 PM
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Lyons is well worth a day visit. I went there last year from my home in southern France to see James Blunt in concert and was totally blown away with how interesting the city is. It's always fairly simple to go into the center of towns & cities in France - just follow the Centre Ville signs. Course with GPS you can just put your hotel's address in and away you go. I stayed in the heart of the historic region and walked everywhere. Don't miss the Basilica Notre Dame de Fourviere which has an amazing view of the city. Also, the Cathedral Saint Jean Baptiste is lovely. The main street down the old part of town which runs in front of the Cathedral is full of shops, restaurants, and wonderful old buildings. Fun at night when it's all lit up. On Sat. there's a great outdoor market along the water.
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 01:46 PM
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if you have a home in France, why aren't you spelling the name of the city correctly? It is Lyon, there is no s at the end of it.
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 06:44 PM
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Hoping you will rethink your trip itinerary...you are doing a "baggage drill" with the 1-2 night
stays.....a travel agent should realize that.....take the suggestions from the "pros" here on the forum. You do not want to look out your car window as France passes by....stop & stay a few days in some wonderful places !
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 09:24 PM
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It's not whether Dinan or any other place is worth a visit. The problem is that they are all worth a visit. For people who have never been to France it's hard to imagine how much there is to do and see in any part of France. For any of the cities/towns you've picked it would be easy to use them as a base to explore the area and still not run out of places to visit after four or five days.

I agree with the others that the best way to enjoy your visit to France is to see fewer places. Pick two or at the most three regions to visit outside of your Paris and Minerve time. So something like Normandy, Brittany and the Loire would be more relaxing. Or Dordogne, Annecy, Burgundy. Pick whatever regions you want but just cut down on the moving around.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 12:33 AM
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I have resisted replying until now. However French Mystique has expressed just what I was feeling. Everywhere you have mentioned is worth visiting. We have had four trips to France and have yet to visit Honfleur, Annecy or Lyon. You are moving around too much. The way I see it, you have sixteen nights before you get to Minerve. Pick four places and spend four nights in each place. This way you will get a taste of what France is about. Time to see what that area offers and time to enjoy being there. Normandy, Brittany, Loire and Dordogne for example.

We are Australian and would not be happy to get off a flight from Australia and drive for any length of time. We always feel a bit ragged, so I would look at alternatives. The whole unfamiliar car, driving on the other side of the road when tired is a recipe for disaster. We stay a week at a time in a rental and have limited experience with hotels but have used Logis de France [ cannot get the link to work ]. These are small hotels in smaller towns and may be easier to stay at than driving into larger cities

Hope you have a great trip. France is a wonderful place.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 12:51 AM
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Here is the link for logis de france.

http://www.logishotels.com/

Good luck
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 06:08 AM
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Hey sq,

> I cannot make an absolute decision on it until I have spoken to my travel agent.<

Your TA, like your lawyer, is there to arrange for you what you want done, not what he/she thinks you ought to do.

The only technician I let tell me what I should do is my physician, and only after we fight about it.

You are getting some very good advice here. Consider it carefully.

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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 01:13 PM
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Has your TRAVEL AGENT taken this trip...?? First hand experience..?? I agree with ira.. and others....good advice is right here on Fodor's.
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