Lyon or Aix-en-provence

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Nov 4th, 2011, 09:05 AM
  #1
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Lyon or Aix-en-provence

Hoping to get some feedback from those who traveled to either Lyon, Aix-en-provence, or both.

Will be traveling through France next July (2012), and have a 4 night window in the middle of the trip between Paris (6 nts) and Nice (4nts). *Should point out, this is my first trip to Europe; traveling w/ my wife.

I know both Lyon and Aix-en-Provence are both deserving of 4-5 nights each; however since both are en route from Paris to Nice I was wondering if anyone would support an itenary that includes both cities? Currently, I am leaning towards all 4 nights in Lyon, as we both love energy of most medium-sized cities. I do want to see Provence (especially to see something other than just cities - Paris,Lyon,Nice), even if I have to wait for another trip to actually give the region the time it deserves of 4+ days.

What option would you recommend as a better complement to 6-nights in Paris & 4-nights in Nice:

A) 4 Nights Lyon
B) 3 Nights Lyon, 1 Night Aix-en-Provence
C) 2 Nights Lyon, 2 Nights Aix-en-Provence

Thanks everyone for the feedback!

*Also please let me know if anyone recommends a day trip to Chambery from Lyon.
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Nov 4th, 2011, 09:58 AM
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Personally, I like both but don't think either one demands 4-5 days. I'd go with plan (C).

If you planned lots of day trips from one of those, fine, that changes things but I think a couple days in Lyon is enough.
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Nov 4th, 2011, 09:59 AM
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>>we both love energy of most medium-sized cities<<

Lyon is the second largest city in France (tied with Marseille) so I would not call it medium-sized.

It should take about a day to visit Aix - many people do it in less time than that.

I would vote for 2 nights in Lyon & 2 nights in Aix - leaving from Lyon to go to Aix late in the day. Three nights in Lyon & 1 in Aix would work also. You may be able to see all you want in Lyon in 1 1/2 days.

We've been to both cities & loved them.

Stu Dudley
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Nov 4th, 2011, 10:01 AM
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BTW, I have been to both (in fact was just in Lyon a few weeks ago for two days) and do like both. And Lyon isn't a medium sized city, it is the second largest in France (after Paris), the city alone has a population of about 500K. So I'd say it is a large city, but it doesn't feel as big as Paris, of course. Aix is a small city but is no village, if that worries you.
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Nov 4th, 2011, 10:12 AM
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*So maybe I incorrectly used the term "medium sized city", I was just referring to my personal background of living in Seattle and Minneapolis - both which are above 2 million metro area. To me, these classify as medium cities, but regardless... I do appreciate the feedback.

Christina & Stu - have either one of you had the opportunity to experience any day trips from Lyon? Either the Beaujolais region or Chambery?

So far it sounds like either B or C would be appropriate options.
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Nov 4th, 2011, 10:31 AM
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Yep - We've been to Chambery several times. Great city. We've also spent 2 weeks vacationing in Beaujolais in a Gite near Julienas. You'll need a car to exlore Beaujolais, however. Lots of Chateaux.

Stu Dudley
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Nov 4th, 2011, 10:43 AM
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I'd also say that 2 full days in Lyon would cover a lot of what it has to offer, 3 would be near enough. Bellecour, Terreaux, Old Town, Fourvieres and maybe Croix Rousse areas. Plus you can eat quite well.

Yes, I have been to Chambery, but in my case it was not to visit. I had to pick up a parcel and met the person at the Chambery train station, then had lunch nearby. But...the train ride from Lyon to Chambery was enjoyable, views of Alps, small villages, railway tunnels, in some cases you were 10' away from backyards of houses. It was a fun ride. I picked up breakfast at Part-Dieu station and ate on-board
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