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Amboise to Beaune by train - stop along the way

Just starting to fiddle with our itinerary for next year.

We will fly in to Paris. Not planning on spending time in Paris this trip. We've never been to the Loire Valley, so considering it for this trip. Amboise looks like a good base for us. Our next stop will be Beaune.

I see that it's quite a long train ride to Beaune and I'm wondering if there is a town about midway to spend a couple of days. Love wine, food, quaint villages. Or should we just " suck it up" and make the trip in one day.

Thanks for your input.

Posted by
1114 posts

Are you driving or taking the train? Unless you have a car, I would not even consider Amboise as a base. To reach Beaune from Amboise, you will most certainly return to Paris and change train stations there. I would allow 6 to 7 hours en route by train.

Tours is the transportation hub of the Loire Valley and without a car, I would only stay there. The area between the Tours Centre (the old train station) and Place Plumereau is the only part of Tours interesting to tourists and has shopping, cafés, nightlife, restaurants, and museums. It has a lot more to offer than does Amboise.

Posted by
15622 posts

You have a 1 hour change of trains in Nevers, so that could be worth a stop. Never been to Nevers, but it seems to have some interesting sights.
https://www.france-voyage.com/tourism/nevers-1830.htm

The route through Bourges and Nevers is more or less a straight line, avoiding going back to Paris if you are traveling by train. It is a direct TER from Nevers to Beaune.

Posted by
411 posts

Thanks for the help. We plan on renting a car in Amboise for the time we are there. We will return the car and take the train to Beaune, unless the experts here tell me to keep the car and drive to Beaune rather than take the train.

Posted by
2585 posts

I would keep the car and drive to Beaune. Although Beaune is served by the train, I would prefer to have a car to see more of the region around the town.

Posted by
4281 posts

Via Michelin shows about four hours' driving between Amboise and Beaune, definitely a doable day with good scenery and stopping points like Orleans and Auxerre, and Vezelay not far off. The route through Bourges and Autun looks more like six hours, but still doable if you start early.

There are several direct TGV trains daily from CDG to S-Pierre-des-Corps, just outside Tours, where you could rent your car. See the DB website for schedule, using "Aeroport Paris Charles de Gaulle TGV" as your origin. Buy your tickets well ahead for the best fare, but allow plenty of time for possible flight arrival and immigration delays, plus getting to the TGV station at the airport.

Posted by
16788 posts

If you take the train from St. Pierre des Corps (a common car drop-off), then a single connection in Nevers (5 - 5.5 hours total) is definitely preferable to going into Paris and changing stations.

But I would keep the same car for Beaune, making as many stops as you like along the way and giving you access to more vineyards around Beaune. Another recommend for www.viamichelin.com for driving guidance, in addition to the usual map suspect.

Posted by
3283 posts

We did the drive Beaune to Amboise. It is an easy drive with many places to stop. Two of my favorites were Noyers and the Burgundy wine route, Route des Grand Crus.

Posted by
11743 posts

I tried searching SCNF but everything takes you back into Paris before turning around and going to Beaune. I tried Orleans too, since it's further east, but same thing - back to Paris before going out to Beaune.

I had a similar experience wanting to stop in Chartres on the way from Amboise back to Paris. I had traded my rental car for a bicycle in the Loire so didn't have a car to keep, I would have had to rent another car. The only way was all the way into Paris then backtracking out to Chartres, so I saved Chartres as a day trip from Paris during a later trip.

I think I'd keep the car and drive. Most of Burgundy is much better served with a rental car than by train. If you are only going to Beaune and Dijon, a train is fine. If you want to see some of the smaller towns in the region (the most beautiful area of Burgundy) a car is the way to go.

Posted by
1464 posts

For covering such a long distance in one day I would take the freeways and toll roads and avoid the national roads. You can take for instance the A85 / A71 to Bourges, but the last leg to Beaune will be over 200km of national roads and to my opinion that will be at the end very annoying. My idea is A10 to Orléans, further A19 and A6 to Beaune with a stop in Auxerre. It will be a detour but not too much to my idea and more relaxing. You can also overnight in Auxerre and following a scenic route the next day, there are plenty of fantastic places there.

Posted by
411 posts

Thanks all. Keeping the car and driving to Beaune sounds like a good plan.

We've been taking annual trips to Europe since 2013 and this will be our first time renting a car. I guess we're so used to researching train schedules, that it didn't occur to me to drive from one location to the next.

Posted by
4125 posts

Sorry, you did say "for a couple of days." Vezeley is small and more of a one-nighter. But a lovely spot.

The NY Times once described Auxerre as he French version of Cleveland. I sort of agree.