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Feb 1, 2011 05:11 AM

Spend an extra day in Beaune (Burgundy) or Vaison la Romaine (Provence)

We are interested in hitting the wineries, eating well (not necessarily expensive) as well as just viewing the countryside (we will have a car and I am a cyclist). Due to spending one less day in Nice, we are wondering where would be the best place to add an extra day. Both places look like they have many wineries to visit.

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  1. Beaune is too far, but you could do Vaison if you intend to stay overnight. Keep in mind that most wineries close for lunch, so by the time you get there from Nice, they may be closed. A shorter trip (if you are planning to return the same day) would be to Bandol/Cassis.

    1. If you are adding a day to an already scheduled stay I would say Beaune would have more to interest you than Vaison la Romaine. If you are switching out a day in Nice for a stay elsewhere then as boredough says Beaune is too far.
      Stop at the cooperative at Gigondas for some great wines at a reasonable price.

      6 Replies
      1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

        Yes, it is an already scheduled stay. Currently its 3 nights in Beaune, Vaison & Nice. We are thinking of spending one less day in Nice and adding that to either Beaune or Vaison.

        1. re: dynastar

          What month are you planning to do this? Your original plan of 3-3-3 sounded like a good one. There are many lovely drives/bike riding possibilities in the hills around Nice, as long as your visit isn't in the mid-July to August timeframe.

          1. re: souvenir

            May 22 - June 6. The 1st few days will be in Paris. We are going to lose most of 1 day in Provence as I will tackle Mont Ventoux on the bike.

            1. re: dynastar

              I've driven MV a few times, and it is an experience just doing that. My pref for 3-3-3 is based upon the waste of time involved in transferring between locations, so 2 days in the area around Nice doesn't leave you a lot of time there.

              The Cannes Film Festival ends May 22, so there shouldn't be an unusual traffic problem along the Coast while you are there. And I would make a good case for cycling in the hills around the area. I'd probably recommend Vence as opposed to Nice for a more similar experience to to Vaison-La-Romaine and Beaune as a home base.

              To bring this back to food and wine, if you search through this board, you will find lots of recs pertaining to Nice and Beaune. For Vaison, there are many food/wine/drive options around that area, not necessarily in Vaison itself, but it can make a great base.

              1. re: dynastar

                I agree with rrems, you can't go wrong either way. May/June is beautiful in both areas and both offer ample cycling opportunities with wine tasting too. I'd base the decision on whether you want to continue your more challenging cycling in Provence or go for something a little flatter in Beaune/Burgundy.

                As for wine, I find Provence to be a bit more open to the drop in taster than Burgundy. Of, course I'm a big Burgundy fan, so for me it would be Beaune.

            2. re: dynastar

              AHA I misunderstood your original post & thought you were only staying in Nice, wanting to go somewhere for a day. Sorry for that.

          2. There are quite a few wineries closer to Nice than Vaison la Romaine. Actually, there is a really tasty wine made in the Nice area that rarely if ever gets exported (even to other areas of France)! It's called Bellet. It comes in both white and red, but the white is the traditional Bourride wine (and Bouillabaisse, as well).

            The Perrin family have an operation in the Luberon called Vieille Ferme, which would be a fun visit, and in the St. Remy area, is the wonderful Mas de Gourgonnier.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ChefJune

              Also in St Remy is Chateau Romanin ( which has built a cave in the hills nearby.

            2. You really can't go wrong either way. The area around Vaison has so much to offer, you can easily spend an extra day there. Maybe on your way to Vaison you could stop in Moustiers-Ste-Marie, which is at one end of the Gorge du Verdon in Haute Provence. This is a beautiful and unspoiled area, and Moustiers has some great restaurants. If you take the extra day in Beaune, I would suggest doing a day trip to the Franche Comte, not too far away but very different from Bourgogne. Some great wine, food, and scenery. I agree with the above post that you should consider staying in Vence rather than Nice. Take a day to visit Nice but stay in Vence. Much more charming and interesting IMO, and 2 days might be rather limited. There are a lot of interesting hill towns nearby to explore just inland from from the coast, so even 3 days is a tight schedule.

              2 Replies
              1. re: rrems

                Within 20km of Vaison you have Sablet, Seguret, Rasteau, Cairanne -- some of the greatest Cotes du Rhone out there...and lots of friendly vignerons with signs saying "degustation - vin a vendre" at the end of the driveway.

                1. re: rrems

                  You could go visit the Franche-Comte, OR you could spend at least part of that extra day in Beaune at the fabulous House of Fallot, who makes the best Dijon mustard anywhere.

                2. We have a home in Sablet which is about 6 miles from Vaison-la-Romaine and I can tell you there are many wonderful wineries and restaurants in the area around Vaison-la-Romaine. Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the furthest way at about 40 minutes, Gigondas is 15 minutes, Vacqueyras is a couple minutes more. Rasteau is about 10 minutes. These villages are all classified as AOCs for the great wines produced there. Then you have the villages of Seguret, Cairanne plus 17 more villages that have the right to append the name of their village to the wine they produce.

                  You are going at a great time and all the restaurants and shops will be open. You will certainly find the restaurants have opened their terraces for outdoor dining. For restaurants, I would suggest Les Mescluns in Seguret, Les Abeilles in Sablet, Campagne, Vigne et Gourmandise in Sainte-Cecile-les-Vignes, L'Oustalet in Gigondas, Brin d'Olivier in Vaison-la-Romaine, Le Temps de Vivre in Uchaux. These restaurants all have very good food and are moderately priced.

                  You will be shocked how many riders will be going up and down Mont Ventoux on their bikes.

                  I have pictures and information about these restaurants and more and many villages on my blog at

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Pammel

                    I'd also recommend the nearby restaurant La Beaugraviere in Mondragon. Sit outside for lunch, have the foie gras fried with apple with a glass of Condrieu to start with, and then sort your way through the finest wine list in the Rhone Valley - about 19 pages of Chateauneuf du Pape alone from all the top growers and vintages.