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Must see's in Burgundy and (or not) Alsace

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Aug 10th, 2008, 03:37 AM
  #1
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Must see's in Burgundy and (or not) Alsace

Hello everyone,
i'm trying to help my parents organize a road trip with another couple for this October.
They will fly in/out of Stuttgart, rent a car and from there we're open to suggestions!
They will stay for one week and their main destination (if only) is Burgundy.

The plan is to visit even for one day/night Strasbourg and certainly stay 2-3 nights in or near Beaune to visit the beautiful villages.

I'm trying to find charming villages and places of interest but as it is a large region i'm not sure what to suggest.

I'm also thinking about staying 1 night in Strasburg, 2 nights in Alsace and then move to Burgundy and stay the rest of the time in Beaune and from there take day trips. Would this be a good idea?

Or should they just focus on Burgundy but on the different regions? (Cote d'or, Chablis, Beaujolais etc?) Where are the more charming villages?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

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Aug 10th, 2008, 04:43 AM
  #2
RJD
 
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What you need is a good guidebook. While I love Beaujolais and particularly the small villages like St. Amour, that may not be to your parents' taste. Michelin has a Green guide but there are many others. And get a good map too.
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Aug 10th, 2008, 04:45 AM
  #3
ira
 
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Hi C,

Is there a really good reason fro flying in/out of Stuttgart if they want to visit Burgundy?

If they flew in/out of Paris, they could be in Beaune in the same time that it takes to drive from Stuttgart.

If Strasbourg is important, they could drive there and take the TGV back to Paris.

I suggest that if they want to fly in/out of Stuttgart, they visit Alsace, which we much preferred to Burgundy.

I can recommend the www.ascothotels.de/deutsch/airport.htm

Great bkfst and close to the airport.

You might find my trip report helpful:
Ira Visits Zurich, The Bodensee, Alsace and Paris May 2008
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35136218


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Aug 10th, 2008, 04:46 AM
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You selected two of the most beautiful regions in France.

IMO, the villages in Alsace are even prettier than those in Burgundy.

In Alsace, Strasbourg and Colmar are the attractive towns, with spectacular architecture, museums, restaurants etc. Both cities are equally attractive.

The picturesque wine villages are located like a string of pearls in the foothills between Strasbourg and Colmar and south of Colmar. Many of them are very charming, e.g.

- Riquewihr (very picturesque, but also very touristy),
- Eguisheim (my personal favourite),
- Turckheim
- Ottrott
- Gueberschwihr

There are also some historic mid-sized towns like Obernai and Rouffach which are very picturesque.

What you can do in the area:

- visiting the cities with their buildings and museums
- strolling through the wine villages with a tasting here and there
- driving up into the Vosges, Col de la Schlucht, Route des Crètes, the three lakes (Lac Blanc, Lac Noir, Lac Vert)
- visiting Haut-Koenigsburg, a gorgeous medieval castle

I would spend at least three nights in Alsace. I personally would chose one of those very nice hotels in one of the small villages, but staying in town is not a bad option either.

In Bourgogne, the nicest section is between Dijon and Beaune, and south of Beaune. Dijon and Beaune are two attractive cities (comparable to Strasbourg and Colmar) and, again, there are the picturesque wine villages in between.

You HAVE to drive through the vineyards to locate those famous names: Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos de Vougeout (visit the castle), Vosne-Romanée, Aloxe-Corton...

Again, it is up to you if you prefer staying in town (I would prefer Beaune over Dijon) or in a nice hotel in the countryside (there are some converted castles on all price levels).

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Aug 10th, 2008, 04:49 AM
  #5
 
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Chapelle Ronchamp, Notre-Dame du Haut,

Bescancon fortress

Chablis town

Auxerre cathedral and monestry

Each just in passing
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Aug 10th, 2008, 05:00 AM
  #6
 
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I haven't been to any towns in Alsace, but we just returned from Burgundy and loved it. We stayed here www.hotel-moulin-des-templiers.com/ and thought the hotel and the surrounding area were wonderful. Pretty churches, lots of castles, green, rolling countryside, and quaint villages abound. The wine country we passed through to the south and west of Beaune was lovely, too.

We REALLY love the perched village of Vezelay and its Romanesque basilica.
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Aug 10th, 2008, 05:23 AM
  #7
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Thanks everyone for the responses so far!!
Ira to answer your question they've already bought tickets for Stuttgart because they were cheaper than flying to Paris and also the timetable was much more convenient!
(I'll read your trip report also! Why have you enjoyed the Alsace region more than Burgundy?)

Their main trip destination was and still is Burgundy. By researching a bit i just think that maybe one week might be too much there and i wanted to suggest them something else too. That's why i thought of Alsace.

What is your opinion on the following -very draft- itinerary

- Stuttgart to Colmar (or surrounding villages) 1 or 2 nights.

- Colmar to Beaune 3 nights (visiting vineyards and villages)

- Beaune to Auxerre (and Chablis in general) 1 night

And finally the last night in Strasburg before taking the flight back home next morning from Stuttgart.

Should they skip the Chablis region and stay two nights in Strasbourg?

Any other charming areas in Burgundy?

(near Beaune i've found this adorable bb in saint romain which i think i'll book for them. http://www.domainecorgette.com/)

Also one final note is that few years ago they've travelled to Tuscany for a week and they really liked it there. How the two regions compare? Does Burgundy has so much to offer in order to spend 5-6 nights there?
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Aug 10th, 2008, 05:31 AM
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I would divide their time almost equally between Alsace and Bourgogne. 5 or 6 days for Bourgogne is too much. IMO, Alsace has even more to offer than Bourgogne. Alsatian villages and landscape are nicer.

The wines are different: Alsace is strong in whites (with some varieties, like Gewürztraminer, which are hardly found elsewhere), while Bourgogne is overwhelming in reds. Thus, combining both areas makes a good contrast. Cuisine is equally good in both regions.

Tuscany is different, because it is Mediterranean, warmer and arid.

However, your parents will like small villages, beautiful landscape, small towns, wine & cuisine, history & museums both in Alsace and Bourgogne. And they will enjoy "savoir vivre".
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Aug 10th, 2008, 06:01 AM
  #9
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So do you recommend
-Alsace villages & Beaune area
or
-Just burgundy (Beaune, Chablis, north of Dijon etc)?
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Aug 10th, 2008, 06:36 AM
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Alsace shelters under the Vosges mountains with the Rhine to the East. The landscape is basically rolling hills with a mixture of medievel catles and wwI and wwII defensive positions. The wine route villages are pretty pretty. Strasbourg, Mullhouse (probably excl Belfort) Besancaon etc are good to visit.

Wines like Gewurtz (available in most countries as an international grape) but also pinot blanc, gris, noir, RIesling, chardonnay, chasselas then also odd things (the mix at the end of the year etc). Major wine producer really only since WWII. Wine tasting easy along the route de vin

Burgundy, Reds and WHite. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay or Aligote (reds often have a bit of other stuff mixed in. Also Sauvignon de St Bris. For historical reasons small producers or for sale through cooperatives and negociants

Burgundy is much larger and again rolling hills. Best wineries along the main road. Distances larger but still lovely little places to visit

All in all I would visit Alsace and northern Burgendy.

For fun google map the area and pull up the free pictures to see what other people think are pretty
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Aug 10th, 2008, 08:36 AM
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There are lots of pretty villages in both, but Alsace does have the German-influenced food and culture more, so maybe think about that. I don't really care for Alsatian cuisine as well, but did enjoy the area for a few days.

I'm thinking of visiting Besancon myself this Fall, and it's not a place mentioned in any guidebook I have (except Michelin green) as I guess it's not considered a place any tourist wants to go. Easy to find out a few things online, though. It's known for clock-making, cattle, and there are wines nearby (Jura)-- but it is not in Alsace, nor is Belfort. They are in the France-Comte region, and Besancon is actually the capital of that region.
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Aug 10th, 2008, 09:07 AM
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Why did your parents choose to take a trip to Burgundy in the first place?

I don't think a week there is "too much" time if they are interested in wine and architecture. In northern Burgundy, we enjoyed touring Auxerre, Autun, Vezeley, Joigny, Dijon and Beaune and exploring the vineyards.
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Aug 10th, 2008, 10:42 AM
  #13
ira
 
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Hi C,

>Why have you enjoyed the Alsace region more than Burgundy?<

The scenery is nicer.

The mountains are steeper.

The towns are just as beautiful, and closer together.

They have flammekueche and spätzle.

The wines are very good.

You can have dinner at http://www.le-maximilien.com/ in Zellenberg.

>What is your opinion on the following -very draft- itinerary

- Stuttgart to Colmar (or surrounding villages) 1 or 2 nights.

- Colmar to Beaune 3 nights (visiting vineyards and villages)<

I would not stay in Colmar. We have stayed twice at http://pagesperso-orange.fr/schwendi/index.htm

They can take the bus from Kientzheim to Colmar.

>- Beaune to Auxerre (and Chablis in general) 1 night<

I would skip the night in Auxerre. They can visit it as a daytrip from Paris, when they visit there.

>And finally the last night in Strasburg before taking the flight back home next morning< from Stuttgart.<

Highly contraindicated.

You don't know what might happen to the train.

Pick up the car at Stuttgart airport.

Stay overnight at the Ascot Hotel near the airport.

Drop the car at the airport.

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Aug 12th, 2008, 02:12 AM
  #14
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Thanks for the replies!!
The itinerary that finally they have decided is the following:

-2 nights in a village in Alsace (not sure which one though)
-3 nights in Beaune
-1 night in Strasbourg
leave from STrasbourg in the evening and stay in the hotel near the aiport in Stuttgart the last night.

In Alsace i found this charming b&b but it's not in the most known villages. (Diebolsheim / Le Grand Ried) Does anyone know anything about that? http://www.ambiance-jardin.com/chambres_fr.html
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Aug 14th, 2008, 12:34 AM
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The pictures of the Jardins look very nice.

Diebolsheim is, however, not a wine village, but is located down in the plains, in the Grand Ried (= great swamp).

The wine villages are a little different. They are in the foothills, surrounded by vineyards and forests. The villages are very picturesque and inviting for strolls and walks. They have lots of restaurants and wineries. You may do several wine-tastings (and schnapps tastings) in the afternoon and walk back to your hotel.

Here are the hotels where we have already stayed:

A 2-star hotel in a quieter, but very charming wine village near Colmar:
http://tinyurl.com/6z6cdf
(We know a winemaker in that village.)

A 3-star hotel with indoor pool and excellent cuisine, also in a quieter wine village near Strasbourg:
www.leclosdesdelices.com

A guide source for 2/3-star hotels in France is Logis de France:
www.logis-de-france.fr
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Aug 14th, 2008, 12:55 AM
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Sorry to jump in here, any suggestion for a hotel (3*) in Beaune?

s
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Aug 14th, 2008, 01:04 AM
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The reason I mentioned a few site between Alsace and Burgundy is that this is a road trip and so they might want to stop off. The Chapel is stunning and either a spiritual experience or just a building
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Aug 14th, 2008, 06:08 AM
  #18
ira
 
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Hi C,

Very good plan.

The Jardins looks very nice, and the price is good.

However, as noted, it is rather far East - about 0:40 hr from Ribeauvill, for example.

I suggest that you consider http://www.frankenbourg.com/en/tarifs/

Up in the mountains, great food. We will be staying there our next visit.

I can highly recommend
http://pagesperso-orange.fr/schwendi/index.htm

We have stayed twice at the Schwendi. Very good kitchen.

It's on the wine route. You can walk to Kaysersberg. Also to Riquewihr (if you like walking).

There is bus service to Colmar.

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Aug 14th, 2008, 12:06 PM
  #19
 
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For swagman, we stayed at Hotel de la Paix in Beaune and enjoyed it. http://www.hotelpaix.com

Its just a few blocks from the ring road and close to many good restaurants. We had the "comfort room" - if you smoke ask for a balcony if you don't ask for the larger comfort room without a balcony. The balcony overlooks the car park so you are better off with the bigger room unless you want a place to smoke. Our room had recently been renovated and was very nice, much nicer than the pictures they have on their website.
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Aug 15th, 2008, 05:35 AM
  #20
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Thanks so much for your replies!
After much consideration we've just booked 3 nights in Alsace in Riquewihr and 3 nights in a charming bed and breakfast between Dijon and Beaune.
(now after all this research for my parents i want to do this trip as well All these villages look really lovely!)
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