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2 weeks in Burgundy and Provence/Rhone: itinerary feedback/suggestions please


We are planning a roughly 2 week trip to Burgundy and Provence/Rhone sometime in later summer 2019 (August/September)

My wants are touring and tasting in the wine country, by bicycle and/or barge. I also want to visit the Roman ruins in southern France, along with eating lots of good food and just meandering through the cities and countryside. We don't plan to visit Paris.

We usually rent apartments and try to stay in one area at least 3-4 days, and minimize one-night stays.
Suggestions requested for good places to stay that are central.
Not sure where we will fly into our out of, that is flexible right now. It seems there are lots of choices besides Paris (Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Geneva, Basel, etc)

Here is a rough idea, not sure how to make it happen or if it is realistic

Beaune: 3 days, to ride bikes around wine area, go to Dijon
Lyon: 3 days, tour around, bicycle, etc
Arles/Avignon/Aix/Orange: 4 days, Roman ruins,etc, wine
Marseilles/Nice: 3 days, beach,
Monaco? 1-2 days

Where are good central places (towns) to stay?
Has anyone bicycled the bike paths along the canals in Burgundy?

Please forgive me if this seems not well thought out. We are just starting our planning and I'm trying to get a feel whether 2 weeks to do Burgundy/Provence, southern coast is reasonable in that time frame. I don't want this to be rushed.

Thanks in advance!

Posted by
3304 posts

It’s unclear what you mean by “Marseille/Nice.” They are not near each other. Furthermore, the beach at Nice is pebbly, not sandy. You might want to investigate some of the other Riviera towns for better beach time.
Monaco can easily be visited, if you must, from several of the other seaside towns. It is a hangout for the VERY rich and famous for its casinos. Not much reason to spend two days there.
I would recommend timing your trip for early September. Once schools are in session, there is a significant reduction in the size of the crowds.

Posted by
4125 posts

Hi rizell,

This has the makings of a charming itinerary, but I think you are trying to do too much.

It might clarify things if you do your planning in terms of nights, not days. 3 days in Beaune = 4 nights, etc.

That's 17 nights for your 2-week itinerary even if you see Monaco as a day trip from Nice.

If you rent bikes in Beaune (which you should, it's a great way to see the countryside), you can do without a car every place except Provence.

I spent a week biking around Burgundy. The towpaths were OK but there's more to see in the wine towns around Beaune (and the castle at la Rochepot), and besides how are you going to get to the canals?

If it were me (which it is not and you should please yourselves) I would be most excited about an itinerary like this:

Fly into Paris, train to Beaune, 4 nights Beaune
(2 days of cycling day loops and 1 day trip to Dijon)

Train to Lyon, 4 nights Lyon
(too much great stuff to do and eat to list)

Train to Provence, 7 nights Provence
(yes its 6 days but boy is there a lot to see)

Fly home from Marseilles.

Posted by
532 posts

Thanks for the great replies.

I do think it probably isn't completely doable within 14 or so days, and usually some towns end up on the cutting room floor when all is said and done.

We were definitely thinking of flying into one city and flying out of another.

For several days in Provence, what is a good central home base?

Posted by
9 posts

Hi Rizell,
We are heading to Provence the beginning of June and staying in Noves at the Moulin de la Roque, just outside of Avignon and within an hour of anywhere we want to visit. Enjoy!

Posted by
4125 posts

Bases in Provence: Make a list of the day trips you will be making and pick a town more or less in the middle.

Arles, St Remy, and Isle sur le Sorge are popular here, but there are others. (I can personally vouch for St Remy.)