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Paris to Beaune to Provence...make any sense?

Paris to Beaune to Provence...make any sense?

Aug 19th, 2001, 04:43 AM
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Paris to Beaune to Provence...make any sense?

As my family and i continue planning for our trip next summer we are now thinking that the following itinierary could work.
I need all those France experts to help out on this one, if you would please.
Does this itinerary make any sense:
Paris 4/5 days get car
Drive from Paris to Beaune (stopping along the way to admire YOUR suggestions and others)
Arrive Beaune: stay overnight and eat at hotel
Stay in Beaune during next day OR:
proceed on to Provence.
This is alot of driving, I know and I don't want to spend the whole vacation in a car or worse- in traffic.
Any advice would be great.
Those of you who know trains well might have a suggestion although we really would prefer driving to trains most of the time.
Merci Fodorites for all!
Aug 19th, 2001, 04:47 AM
Santa Chiara
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I would definitely stop in Beaune. Some may think it touristy, but I found it charming, and it's easy to get around. The Hotel Dieux is really fascinating and your children would like it, too.

I would imagine Beaune would be a good transition between the urban of Paris and the French countryside.
Aug 19th, 2001, 06:49 AM
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Yes, Beaune is definitely worth a day's visit... so your plan is fine.
A suggestion for a hotel is Beaune is Le Cep - right in the center of the hold town.
The only question I would ask is WHEN are you planning on doing this drive next summer ? I ask, because there are certain weekends when no one should get behind the wheel of a car and hit the highways... traffic is a nightmare you can wind up (as some did this summer) sitting in traffic jams that stretch for 250 kms. This would definitely cut down on you enjoyment.

Aug 19th, 2001, 07:00 AM
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Beaune is a good place to break your trip. According to ViaMichelin (www.viamichelin.com) it's just under three hours from Paris to Beaune and about 3 1/2 from Beaune to Avignon. If you leave Paris fairly earlier in the morning you could be in Beaune by lunch time. Or you could make a couple of stops and still be there by mid-afternoon giving you enough time to see the highlights ( do see the Hotel-Dieu with its multi-color tiled roof), spend the night and head on to Provence the next day. Although the trip from Paris to Provence can be made in one day, I think you are wise to break it up like this. If you are going to be traveling in late July or August you will run into heavy traffic on the autoroute going south and should build in some extra time for that.
Aug 19th, 2001, 08:30 AM
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Thank you so much. Would like to hear some more opinions as well.
PB- maybe the 2nd or 3rd weekend.
Is it the Bastille Day weekend which is of concern?
Please tell me which dates in July are "no' for travel.
Would greatly appreciate it.
Aug 19th, 2001, 08:32 AM
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Would love to hear from those train "experts". I see there is a way on the train to go to Lyon and then to Provence or directly to Provence.
Is this correct
Aug 19th, 2001, 12:13 PM
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The Hotel Dieu is definately worth seeing and if you can please enjoy a wonderful meal at the restaurant called the Cave. 100 to 135FF for an extrodinary meal.
Aug 19th, 2001, 12:47 PM
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THe first weekend in July, the weekends around the 14th of July and the last weekend of July are NOT weekends to be on the roads. These are all big 'departure' weekends for European vacationers. THis year seemed more horrendous than others - I saw one poor couple on the news who had left there home near Paris at 2 AM on a Saturday morning and at 5 PM in the afternoon there were just outside of Valence - this would normally be about a 5 1/2 hour drive ! And what amazes me even more, after all these years of living in Europe, is that these people all do it year after year !!!
Aug 19th, 2001, 12:50 PM
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You can take a TGV (high speed train) to Avignon from Paris - the train trip is 2.5 hours. All the rental car companies have offices in or near the train stations (there are two - one just outside the city walls and the new station - strictly TGV)

Aug 19th, 2001, 01:11 PM
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We visited these areas last November, and our itineray was:
Arrived in Paris and took the TGV from the airport to Avignon (about 4 hrs.). We stayed in Avignon for several nights and had a car to explore Provence. Took the TGV from Avignon to Dijon. Stayed in Dijon several nights and had a car and explored Burgundy and Beaune. (Loved Beaune and recommend you go.) We were unable to get reservations in Beaune, and that is why we stayed in Dijon. Took the TGV from Dijon to Paris and stayed in Paris for five nights. It was a wonderful trip, and we were happy with the train for the longer distances and the car for the short day trips. I realize we were there in November and you are going in the summer, and this may pose a different situation with regard to the traffic. We didn't have a great deal of traffic and lucked out with the weather. Have a wonderful trip!
Aug 19th, 2001, 03:37 PM
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I would take PB's advice and take the TGV to Avignon and rent there. It was dead easy for us a year ago.
Aug 19th, 2001, 06:24 PM
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Thanks to all...
As usual, you do not disappoint with your wonderful advice.
Looking into the "train" route.
Aug 19th, 2001, 07:32 PM
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The TGV is cool, but I would recommend it for the return trip. With my kids, I would drive from Paris to Dijon stopping at the Castle Chateauneuf (I know that's not spelled correctly) along the way. From their turn south and go through Nuit St. George and on to Beaune. There is a nice Best Western outside of town in Nuit St. George and it is not far from Beaune. From there drive on ending in Lyon, through Provence or wherever and end in Lyon, turn in the car and take the TGV back to Paris.

But that would be my trip...

Enjoy, I love France, I'm off to Italy at the end of September.
Aug 20th, 2001, 06:47 PM
John Bermont
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As much as I love Burgundy and Beaune I have another suggestion -- the Loire Valley. You mention that you are traveling with your family. I think that you would find the chateaus at Blois, Amboise, Chambord, etc. southwest from Orleans of interest. There is a Michelin Green Guide specifically for this area. Amboise also has a museum of Leonardo da Vinci artifacts and replicas; he dreamed up fascinating stuff 500 years ago.

I've been to Beaune, Nuits-St-Georges, Dijon, and villages all around that area many times to buy wine; we lived in Germany and I would drive over every six months and fill the trunk ("boot" to you British folks) with the ruby fluid. Aside from the Hotel-Dieu and magnificent food and wine that's about it.

Then you want to join the mosquitos in Provence for the summer? They are vicious. I've read Peter Mayle's excellent books too, and I've been there -- summer, winter, spring, and fall. The trouble is that all of Europe is also there in the summer. The best time for Provence and southern France is May and June, IMO.

I have a page on France at www.enjoy-europe.com/cds/france.htm. It might come in handy.

Bon voyage,

Aug 20th, 2001, 11:21 PM
Posts: n/a
<< Then you want to join the mosquitos in Provence for the summer?>>

There are mosquitoes in some parts of Provence... but certainly not all. We don't have them except occassionally.
I just wouldn't recommend staying in the Camargue in the summer.

Aug 21st, 2001, 06:16 AM
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Go to Beaune. Stop in Dijon. Eat at La Tipaza. I know the family, they make the most wonderful food. Beaune is great. Go to the hospital where the kep victims of the plague (I am totally blanking on the name of it right now) The interior is gorgeous. The wine is amazing and the people are sweet.
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