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Advices on trip itinerary to Alsace and Burgundy regions

I'd like first to thank you for looking at my itinerary and providing your advices.

I'm planning a trip to the Eastern part of France (with a little diversion to Germany) and need your guidance in itinerary. I have been to Paris, Bordeaux and the Medoc a few times, and now want to focus this trip on Alsace and Burgundy. My goal is to get immersed in the culture and the language, and eating local foods and wines. I like small towns and will do both trains and cars (rental and BlaBlaCar). I'm thinking of making the round: Paris > Dijon > Lyon > Strasbourg > Paris. Timeframe is arriving CDG Wed, April 20 at 10:35am. Leaving CDG-SFO May 10 at 11:25am.
Here's my draft, with the extra days that I don't have a plan for. Should I visit more places (Reims) or spend more time in any places?

Day1 (Wed): land in CDG at 10:35a. Train to Dijon.

Day2, 3 (Thurs, Fri): stay in Dijon. Visit surroundings - Beaune? Need a suggestion for reasonable rate hotel or Airbnb.

Day4 (Sat): train or BlaBlaCar to Lyon

Day5, 6 (Sun, Mon): Lyon and surroundings

Day7 (Tues) : Train or Bus to Annecy. Stay overnight.

Day8 (Wed) : Train to Strasbourg. Stay 3 days in Strasbourg.

Day9 (Thurs): Strasbourg

Day10 (Fri): Rent a bike to visit closed-by wineries on Route Du Vin

Day 11 (Sat): Rent car in Strasbourg, and drive down to Colmar. Stay in Eguisheim (as suggested in several posts).

Day 12, 13 (Sun, Mon): Visit Riqueher and other villages.

Day 14 (Tues): Day trip to Freiburg

Day 15 (Wed): Return to Strasbourg and return rental car

Day 16 (Thurs): Train to Baden-Baden for the day, and train back to Strasbourg.



Day 19 (Mon): Train to Paris-CDG

Day 20 (Tues): Leaving for SFO at 11:25a

Posted by
2837 posts

I think Lyon and Annecy are worth more time. The problem is, what to eliminate if you do so. Maybe the day you've planned to bike to wineries from Strasbourg. Given that Strasbourg is a pretty large city, I'm not sure how practical that is. Then again, when I've gone to and from Strasbourg, I've driven, so I don't know what the bike route would be like.

Posted by
6067 posts

I'm not sure I'd even put Annecy in your itinerary for just one night because the train from Annecy to Strasbourg the next day will be long, almost 7 hours. I would add another night to Lyon and do a day trip to Annecy rather than packing up and moving for that one night. Lyon to Annecy is about 2 hrs on train or bus so doable as a day trip, otherwise try to scrounge 2 nights there to make the long ride to Strasbourg from there worth it.

Posted by
703 posts

annecy has a lot to offer if you have time to get around the lake and its attractions.(we loved it, but we had a car and used it as a base) but as mentioned , it 'may' be better to use the time elsewhere? colmar and riqueher were definitely worth visiting. we also enjoyed visiting a restored castle north or riqueher. look out for the storks on the house tops.

hope this helps.

Posted by
120 posts

My goal is to get immersed in the culture and the language, and eating local foods and wines.<< You'll have a great time in Dijon, the food market (designed by Eiffel) takes place on Friday, Saturdays, Tuesdays and a smaller version on Thursdays. Perfect place to meet locals and taste regional products.
As for the culture, grab the Owl's Trail brochure at the TO and follow the trail to see the main sites. There is one TO outside the train station and one at the back of the ducal palace on rue des Forges. Musée des Beaux Arts is a must see and if you have time, also Magnin museum and the Burgundian life museum. The TO video will make you want to stay even longer, so much to see! Have fun!

Posted by
2 posts

Robert- In Strasbourg, I plan to explore the city by foot/bus. Biking is only when going outside to visit the wineries. I don't know how far the wineries are from Strasbourg.

Nancy- Great advice. I will change the itin to make Annecy a day trip, back to Lyon for an extra night, then take train from Lyon to Strasbourg.

Glenn- Yes, I read that Riquewihr is a lovely town.

Coco- I will look out for the open markets, and do the Owl walk.

It looks like a need to spend extra time at Lyon. Thanks for all your precious advices!

Posted by
14004 posts

I started in Chamonix with a car, spent 1 night in Cluny, 4 nights in Avallon (Burgundy), 3 in Eguisheim, then returned the car in Strasbourg, stayed 3 nights. I loved exploring the villages and small towns of Burgundy and Alsace, also half-day each in Beaune and Colmar.

If you want to visit the villages, you need a car and it's easier to stay in one of them rather than a big city than will take you a long time to drive in and out of, even without traffic congestion.

Many of the "back" roads in Burgundy are not well-maintained and not well-signed. GPS is almost a necessity. Roads are narrow and there are no shoulders. In Alsace, roads are in much better condition and a little wider, but without shoulders. I would not want to ride a bike on any of them except in a group with a local guide.

Les Cars Air France has shuttle buses from CDG to Gare de Lyon (bus line 4).

Since Annecy is your "outlier" have you considered starting there? Take the TGV from Paris, then either rent a car and begin your exploration or take the train to Lyon.