Paris > Burgundy > Then???

Old Jan 10th, 2014, 12:10 PM
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Paris > Burgundy > Then???

First of all- thank you for all the contributors in this forum. I have learned lots from great reviews and recommendations.
I will be traveling to France in May for 17 nights with my wife. So far my itinerary is:
Paris – 7 nights – visit Louvre, restaurants, possible day trip to Champagne
Beaune – 2 nights rent a car to visit close by towns and to drive to Dijon
Dijon – 2 nights with car

After this- can you make any suggestions? I would prefer to take the train if it’s 2+ hours. My priority is on food and wine, with interests in visiting chateaux, museums, sights. Need an area that I would be able to take a train back to Paris for flight home.

Thank you all
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 12:12 PM
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Is there a reason you are splitting your time between two hotels in burgundy? Dijon and Beaune are close together...

What about Alsace?
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 12:16 PM
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No particular reason. Could one just base out of either Beaune or Dijon with easy bus/car between the two?
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 12:19 PM
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Would take train to Dijon stay in town without car and one day is more than enough for any French city this size IME - then rent the car and drive along the Route des vins bourgogne - sp? or Burgundy Wine Road that meanders thru wine villages and by wine houses for tours and tastings to Beaune, commercial capital of the Burgundy wine trade - you really do not need a car as a train line follows the wine road and stops at many of the towns en route.

For your final three days I'd take the train from Beaune to Lyon and Avignon - a great place for a few days - one of the nicest cities in France - the Palace of the Popes being one of the most remarkable cities in France - just a neat old city with a lively atmosphere - and has TGV trains right to CDG airport or Paris in less than 3 hours (Avignon TGV station a few miles out of town vs the Avignon Centre old train station right in town mainly serving regional trains.

Well there is one place that you would find lots to see and do - easy day trips by bus to the famous Pont du Gard or take a train to nearby Arles - another lovely old city where Van gogh worked and put many now famous local scenes on canvas - Arles also has some awesome Roman relics such as a Roman Theatre that is used for plays in summer.

https://www.google.com/search?q=avig...=1600&bih=1026 - images of dreamy Avignon!
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 12:22 PM
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How about the Loire Valley to see the chateaux? Looks like you could train directly from Beaune to Tours (four hours by train). But if you're going to have a car in Burgundy, it may make economic and touristic sense to drive and then train back to Paris from Tours.

We're planning a similar trip this fall (Paris--Loire--Burgundy--Paris) but all by car
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 12:25 PM
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I'd reverse the order of this trip. You can train to Avignon from CDG and work your way back to spend your final week in Paris. That way you don't have to go back for one night before you fly home.

I also tend to shop in Paris and don't like carrying my purchases all over the country.
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 12:28 PM
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Thanks for all your suggestions. My one concern is "driving and tasting"...I am concerned about any alcohol blood level and driving to various vineyards. Would like to say minimum 2 nights in each town to not feel so rushed and be able to enjoy each town at leisure.
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 12:31 PM
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The easiest way to taste is not necessarily at the vineyards...not all are set up the same as say napa valley with tasting rooms etc. some places require apps etc.

Some of the best places to taste are the wine shops and cooperatives in the towns. Don't miss the marche aux vins in Beaune http://www.marcheauxvins.com/en/cont...it-and-tasting
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 12:32 PM
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@Judy @Palen Q

How many nights in Avignon do you suggest? 2 or 3?
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 12:36 PM
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I had the same thought. Two nights in a place only gives one full day. Beaune is a lot smaller than Dijon but gives good access to the wine regions below and into the Maconnais region. There are some lovely villages - Brancion, Chapaize, St Gengoux le National, Tournus has a beautiful cathedral with cloisters. It is a nice drive to Autun. Burgundy is one of our favourite regions in France. Dijon is a full day in itself and then there are places such as the Abbaye de Fontenay, Vezelay, Semur en Auxois, Noyer sur Serein, Flavigny [ of Chocolat fame ]. So you could easily spend your whole time in Burgundy. We have spent four weeks in different parts of burgundy and are going back for three this year.

Good food and wine is every where in France. If you want to drop the car you could train to Nice where you would not need a car before train back to Paris. Or to Lyon. You could go over to the Loire and see some chateaux. Keep in mind that if you want to explore the countryside and small towns and villages, a car is better. If you want larger cities, it can be more of a nuisance. The Alsace is lovely - beautiful scenery, pretty villages, Strasbourg.

It really depends on what you like. We like smaller places and stay in a rental for a week at a time and day trip into larger places. Others prefer to be in a large place.

Try Epoisses cheese, and jambon persillee is a favourite too.

Bon voyage
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 12:44 PM
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From Paris I would go to Auxerre and start the driving from there. Sancerre is within reach, as is the entire Chablis area. Some of the more picturesque villages are between Auxerre and Dijon. You might want to spend more time than you have allocated for Burgundy.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...th/4862387690/
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 12:48 PM
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@rhon
Thank you. If i were to visit the places you mentioned such as Tournus would one take a car or would bus be appropriate?
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 12:57 PM
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2 or 3 nights in Avignon - either is fine - day trips abound - I'd suggest if renting a car you keep it as it is a lot easier to go to awesome places near Avignon/Arles - both towns are worth a good look - like to Les Beaux-de-Provence - the Dead City - the remains of a plateau-top medieval fortress city that is a top site or to St-Remy-de-Provence, a smaller town many like to stay in - go to the asylum where Van Gogh, after slcing his ear off in a manic fit in Arles committed himself and then painted many scenes in and around the asylum in a rural area on the edge of town - copies of Van Goghs have been put up right where he painted the scenes (same in Arles too)

and to drive to the Pont du Gard, arguably the finest Roman relic outside of Italy - a huge aqueduct you can climb up on and walk over.

so many things to do in a compact area. Turn your car in at the Avignon-TGV station and blast back to Paris (Gare de Lyon or CDG Airport).
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 01:00 PM
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https://www.google.com/search?q=les+...bih=1074&dpr=1

Les Baux!

The Asylum: http://www.vangoghgallery.com/in_his...aint-remy.html
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 01:02 PM
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And you do not want to drink and drive in France - the crackdown has been going on for several years - roadside checks are common and no tolerance. A recent rule requiring every car to have a breathaylzer in it I think was delayed after passage but may also be a requirement - a few euro device from any pharmacy - think the law was postponed by not sure.
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 01:04 PM
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@PalenQ excellent thank you

what about:
3 nights in Beaune with car to travel to Dijon/area
train to Avignon
3 nights in Avignon with car
Tran to Paris
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 01:06 PM
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Edit:
what about:
3 nights in Beaune with car to travel to Dijon/area
train to Lyon
2 nights Lyon
Train to Avignon
3 nights in Avignon with car
Tran to Paris
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 01:09 PM
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Here are some of our photos from burgundy when we stayed in beaune a few years ago

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pug_gir...7607493717331/
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 01:09 PM
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Well that is one really nice scenario - others have offered nice variants too but I am sure most folks will love the Avignon area, especially with a car - even the fabled Camargue is in easy reach - to do a pony trek to see the fabled wild horses and flamingos of the Camargue - stop at a Mas (Camargue ranch) - many of which take folks on pont treks into that wild area.

https://www.google.com/search?q=cama...=1600&bih=1026
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 01:10 PM
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I agree with Judy above...you may want to consider flipping your trip and heading to Provence first and back north,mending in Paris for your flight home
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