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Barb19 Feb 10th, 2009 08:16 AM

Paris & Provence, definitely - Troyes? Dijon? Nancy? Help!
On May 7th we are renting an apartment on the rue Bonaparte in Paris for a week. We have two more weeks in France and will be renting a car. Our tentative itinerary looks like this:

2 nights Troyes
2 nights in Nancy
3 nights in Dijon (actually I was thinking of the Abbaye de la Bussiere, between Dijon and Beaune, (if available)
5 nights in Provence, which could be broken into two and three. (Preferably 3 in the Luberon)
1 night on French side of Geneva airport.

We are debating whether or not to stay in Nancy (no hotel seems to get a great rating) and instead stay 3 nights in Troyes and add a night to Provence. I know 3 nights in Troyes is probably too many, but we could take some day trips (Auxerre, Tonnere etc.) We are looking at La Maison de Rhodes and Le Champ des Oiseaux in Troyes. Is anyone familiar with either of these hotels?

Please let me know what you think of this itinerary, and whether or not to go to Nancy on this trip, or any other comments or suggestions you may have.


StuDudley Feb 10th, 2009 08:44 AM

We've visited all those places - including 16 weeks in Provence & 2 weeks in Burgundy.

I would add 1 day to Provence, and 1 day to Burgundy. Troyes & Nancy are 1 nighters, IMO.

I would visit Auxerre on the way from Troyes to Dijon. I don't know if you are traveling the Nancy/Troyes to Dijon segment by car or train - but I would try to visit Provins too. We didn't visit Tonnere because it did not seem interesting enough, but spent time at Chateaux Tanlay & Ancy le Franc, plus Fontenay Abbey.

Are you planning to drive from Provence to Geneva??? I would take the TGV there instead and spend as much time in Provence as possible. We staayed at the cute town of Yvoire close to Geneva - quite touristy but nice in the evening & morning without the day trippers.

After over 32 years of traveling in Europe, I have learned never to base my itinerary on the existence of a hotel that gets good reviews from others. I choose a destination, then find the best hotel in my price range. For 1 nighters where I will spend most of my time at the hotel with my eyes shut - I get the least expensive centrally located hotel that's in the Michelin Red guuide.

Christina Feb 10th, 2009 09:36 AM

I've been to all these places also, and think one could easily spend two days in Nancy. But three nights in Troyes? I can't imagine it, I didn't want to spend more than one day there, there isn't really much to do. Now if it's just a base, that's another story and could work. I would visit Auxerre for a day, it's worth seeing. I haven't been to tonnere so can't comment on that.

Nancy is the regional capital, I think, and the center of the regional arts scene, including good orchestral and opera performances, as well as good jazz. I don't see how Troyes could be worth spending more time or that Nancy would have no decent hotels. I thought Troyes was mainly a shopping town for outlets, isn't that what it's known for?

YOu could easily take day trips from Nancy, also, such as to Strasbourg. In any case, I wouldn't spend so much time in Troyes.

StuDudley Feb 10th, 2009 10:39 AM

We loved Troyes - but I would agree with Christina that it is definately not a 3 nighter. I would only stay 1 night. We are architecture buffs - and loved the building architecture in both Troyes & Nancy. Dijon is still our favorite, however.

Be careful about where you are on a Sunday when almost all shops will be closed in large cities, and the place may seem a bit dead. Museums will be open if you are planning to spend a lot of time in them. Beaune has some activity on Sunday (actually, more than Monday morning). We usually use Sundays to tour the countryside & visit Chateaux.

In Auxerre (one of our favorites), make sure you obtain the walking tour guide from the tourist office. The path through Auxerre is painted on the street - except in cases where the street has been recently repaved. Shops close up tight for lunch in Auxerre.

Troyes had few shops that attracted my wife's attention - just interesting building architecture. We stayed overnight at an inexpensive hotel. Had a very nice dinner at Valentino in Troyes.

The best meal I've had in the last 5 years was at Stephane Derbord in Dijon (we dine out at restaurants about 30-40 times each year in France).

Stu Dudley

ira Feb 10th, 2009 12:36 PM

Hi Barb,

What's your hotel budget for Nancy?


Underhill Feb 10th, 2009 02:12 PM

We spent one night in Tonnere, and there was really not much to see.

Nancy has quite a few hotels, of which the grandest is...well, the Grand Hôtel de la Reine. Not f away, near at Flavigny-sur-Moselle, is Le Prieuré, a one-star restaurant with rooms, one of our favorite kinds of places to stay.

Barb19 Feb 10th, 2009 04:25 PM

Thanks, everyone for great advice.

Firstly, we will rent a car in Paris for the rest of our trip (ending in Geneva for flight home, so will need to drop the car on the French side of the airport) I thought we might stay in Ferney Voltaire (sp?) for an early flight.

I was thinking about Troyes as a base for the three nights. I will eliminate Tonnere and do day trips to Ancy and Tanlay instead.

Ira, my hotel budget would be up to 250 Euro for a hotel in Nancy. I looked at the hotels on Tripadvisor and the Hotel de la Reine got some pretty harsh reviews. I usually take these reviews with a grain of salt, but it does make you wonder.

Stu, We used to stay in less expensive hotels, because indeed we were out all day and just at the hotel to sleep. However, as we are getting older,(in our sixties) we are slowing down and taking more leisurely, less frenetic trips. I've also become a higher maintenance person(not a good thing) and appreciate a nice hotel room. We have been to France many times and have used and thoroughly enjoyed many of your itineraries. (Do you have one for Burgundy?)

Underhill, I can't seem to find a website for Le Prieure (how do you do the accent over the e?) Do you happen to know what the website is?

Does anyone know of the Abbaye de la Bussiere? It is in Bussiere sur Ouche.

Thanks again for all your suggestions.

Shanti Feb 10th, 2009 05:39 PM

I spent a day in Troyes last June and had a great time. There's plenty to do - the cathedral (if you go on a Sunday you can enjoy the organ - it's fantastic), several churches, museums (I particularly liked the art museum) and a market.

I went there as a day trip from Auxerre so you could easily do the reverse. I also stopped at the abbey in Pontigny on my way back from Troyes.

Tanley and Ancy-le-France won't take a whole day. You can add Fontenay abbey if you're interested

StuDudley Feb 10th, 2009 05:56 PM

>>Do you have one for Burgundy<<

Just restaurant write-ups.

I would still only stay in Troyes for 1 night & visit the Chateaux (there are many), Fontenay, Vezelay, etc from the Dijon area. Actually, I might even stay 1 night in Troyes and 2 in Auxerre instead of 3 in Troyes.

Why are you driving from Provence all the way back to Geneva when you can take the train??? That's a not-to-scenic drive - the train is more scenic than the freeway.

Stu Dudley

farrermog Feb 21st, 2009 11:54 PM

If you haven't already, check out MlleFifi's report of her side trip to Nancy.

thill25 Mar 17th, 2011 03:51 PM

If you're still considering Nancy, this is where we are staying next week. It looks nice enough to me and not too spendy.

nancy1652 Mar 17th, 2011 06:26 PM

Nancy is one of my favorite cities in France. If you're interested in art or architecture, you can easily spend several days here. Don't stay in that expensive hotel on the square; it's not worth the money, but other people have recommended nice places to stay. Do stay close to the main square though. It's definitely a walking town.

stevelyon Mar 17th, 2011 09:36 PM

Troyes is a delight but agree with others its only worth an overnight.

KarenE Mar 17th, 2011 09:36 PM

Nice places in or around Nancy:

wilko Mar 21st, 2011 06:13 AM

Why are you driving from Provence all the way back to Geneva when you can take the train??? That's a not-to-scenic drive - the train is more scenic than the freeway.

Not if you take Route Napoleon, it's just beautiful.

bardo1 Mar 21st, 2011 06:22 AM

<b>NO</b> acceptable hotels in all of Nancy?!?

I'm skeptical.

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