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Need help - day trip from Beaune

Hello - we are a group of 5 "seniors" and are having a hard time deciding on where to go for a day trip from Beanue. We will be travelling together for a little over two weeks and for some reason this decision is giving us the most trouble. We would like to limit the trip to two hours by train in each direction. Our original thought was Lyon, but now we're not sure. None of us are big on lots of museums. We like to stroll quaint towns, eat good food and drink some wine.

Our thoughts are going towards Colmar, Lyon, and Lausanne. I'm hoping you all can give us some guidance on making our decision

Thanks so much.

Posted by
20333 posts

Contact a tour company, and do an all-day tour of the area with vineyard stops and wine tastings.
We've used Wine and Voyages,
They were very good. Driver/guide and van.

Posted by
850 posts

What else are you doing in Burgundy? Do you need to do this as a day trip? Where are you going next ?

There are so many interesting places in Burgundy. I'm not familiar with traveling by train but one possibility would be Autun -- has a great church with wonderful carvings, Roman ruins (walls, gates, theater), nice town. If you are headed to Paris, maybe Vezelay -- another great church. Can you tell I like churches? ( you would need to do a train/bus connection )

Posted by
9784 posts

How long are you staying in Beaune? (It seems curious to me you are looking so far away when if you like quaint towns, good food, and good wine, you're right there in Beaune and its environs.) But I guess if you're staying there two weeks or something, maybe you want a little different flavor.

Posted by
548 posts

We'll be in Beaune five nights. And no - we don't have to do a long day trip. We're thinking about renting bikes and touring the countryside. We'll go to Dijon one day and of course spend a leisurely day in Beanue. I guess I was thinking that since we won't have a car, we will be limited to villages near Beaune that we can visit.

Posted by
10307 posts

I think you are having a hard time deciding because you say you like smaller places but the three you mentioned are all cities, a bit of a contradiction. It's a shame with five days to limit yourselves to Beaune and the immediate countryside, with the exception of a day in Dijon. That a lot of the same. I would rent a car for a couple of days and hit Autun and Vezeley as suggested and a few other hard-to-reach-without-a-car sites.

Posted by
346 posts

We recently spent 5 nights in the area, and did a private wine tour with Max the first full day we were there. The 5 of you would easily fit in his van, and he does an excellent job. We also visited Chateau LaRochepot, which was very nice, and Fontenay Abbey, which we liked too. To book Max, contact his English speaking wife Beatrice at + 33 (0)6 14 91 02 38
or send an email to [email protected] for availability. Their website is:

Posted by
6629 posts

Is it out of the question to rent a car for a day, one big enough for all of you? If you can do that, many more possibilities open up:

Autun or Vezelay as suggested by a previous poster, both with magnificent churches.

Semour-en-Auxois, a beautiful riverbank town with stunning views and a pair of medieval gates.

Alesia, with its museum commemorating the battle where Caesar finally defeated the Gauls and brought Roman rule to northwestern Europe.

Fontenay Abbey, picturesque and evocative.

Any number of other towns and villages, with beautiful countryside in all directions. Whoever draws the short straw and drives has to limit consumption, but otherwise there are endless winery possibilities.

Without a car, and given that you're already planning to visit Dijon, my next pick would be Lyon, but you wouldn't have time to see all that's worthwhile there in just a day.

Posted by
1878 posts

I second the recommendation to visit Chateau LaRochepot and especially Fontenay Abbey. The first is a nice visit, the second is absolutely amazing. Semur-en-Auxois is a great lunch spot and it could be worth an entire afternoon. We just stopped for lunch on our 2010 trip but it was a very magical spot. You can't get to these places on the train, but would need a rental car or private tour guide. Chateau LaRochepot could be done on rental bikes, weather permitting.

Posted by
15649 posts

Burgundy is rolling hills with narrow roads without shoulders, not easy or particularly safe for cyclists, certainly not without a local guide leading your group. I urge you to consider renting a car for a couple of days so you can explore its joys - tiny, picturesque villages, beautiful chateaus, historic abbeys and more. Reserve a car now and then plan your days with the Tourist Information people in Beaune.

Posted by
9784 posts

It looks like you now have some good suggestions -- hiring Max (which saves you from the driving, and also from the planning - you put yourselves in his hands and he will show you some wonders) or renting a car yourselves for a day or two. I agree that it's a shame to miss such wonderful sites so nearby as Vezelay etc. when they're so close, and they're part of the reason for being in Burgundy. To get to Colmar -- which I love -- would be a bit difficult from there, I imagine, I'm not sure you could even find times that would allow it to be done as a day trip.

With only five nights in Beaune, I urge you to get out and around down there to enjoy that beautiful countryside to the fullest. Chani makes an excellent point about the roads down there. For easy cycling, one should head to the Loire Valley - nice and flat!!