17-Day Itinerary: Burgundy-Provence

Date of Trip: October – November 2017 Rectaingular Img
Day Stops Itinerary Observations


Depart from the US



Arrive Zurich
Private transfer to Kindli Hotel via Bel Transfers

Check In: Kindli Hotel

Lunch at Zunfthaus zur Waag
Host: Sepp Wimmer, Munsterhof Square 8
Returning, 10 years after the 50th wedding anniversary celebration with Sepp and his staff.

Dinner: Kindli Restaurant

Once again staying in our favorite hotel and visiting the same restaurants for the same meals!

Due to arriving early morning, I would recommend securing your hotel room for the night before so that you can immediately check in upon arrival.



Breakfast at the Kindli Restaurant
Taxi from the Kindli to Zurich Hauptgahnhof (central train station built in 1871)

Train from Zurich to Lyon (via Raileurope)
Depart Zurich, arrive in Geneva, change trains, depart Geneva, arrive Lyon Part Dieu.

Private transfer, arranged through the hotel, to the hotel for 6 people with 8 pieces of luggage

Check Into Cour des Loges located on a pedestrian only street in “Vieux Lyon” (the old town)

Dinner reservations at Aux 24 Colonnes

Train travel can be a little stressful if you have older travelers with heavy luggage. Hindsite, we should have hired a driver and nice van to have taken us from Zurich to Lyon – it actually would have ended up cheaper than paying for train tickets for six people – not to mention that it would have been much less hassle.



Breakfast at Hotel
Check Out: Cour des Loges
Tour Lyon leaving bags at hotel

2:00PM Captain Jason of the Saroche will pick us up at Cour des Loges and we will travel to Escommes on the canal du Bourgogne where we will board the Saroche, unpack, and settle into the three guest cabins

Dinner onboard by Dawn, hosted by Jason

Our second trip on the Saroche with Jason and Dawn – it was so good to see him in Lyon.


Châteauneuf en Auxois

Cruise from Escommes to Chateauneuf

Lunch on board

Afternoon tour of the UNESCO world heritage site of the Abbey of Fontenay

The drive back to the barge takes us past Alisia, the location of where Julius Caesar defeated the Gauls in 52BC

Arrive back at the Saroche with time to freshen up before l’aperitif on the deck in the shadow of Chateauneuf en Auxios. For those who are interested, Dawn provides a souffle demonstration in the kitchen just before dinner.

Dinner on board

Lit up at night, the Chateauneuf was perched on a steep hill overlooking our barge – it was a dramatic setting and in late October we were the only barge on the canal.


Point d’Ouche

Cruise from Châteauneuf en Auxois to Point d’Ouche

Breakfast on board prior to visiting the famous landmark, the Châteauneuf en Auxois, built in 1132 by Jean de Chaudenay

Lunch on board

Cruise to Pont d’Ouche

L’aperitif and dinner on board

Lovely, small village around the Chateauneuf – we had a nice climb up and back down.


Veuvey sur Ouche

Cruise from Point ‘dOuche to Veuvey sur Ouche

Breakfast on board prior to leaving the Saroche to head to Beaune to tour the Hospice du Beaune.

Lunch in Beaune at L’Ecusson, a small fine dining establishment that puts a modern twist on classic French food. The chef is Thomas Companion.

Beaune is two towns: One above and one below ground made up of a labyrinth of cellars dating back to Roman times. Jason will take us on a comprehensive wine tasting at the house of Patriarche (located in the Visitandines Convent), the largest wine house in Burgundy founded in 1780 with 3 miles of cellars and well over 2 million bottles.

Dinner onboard will consist of simple, rustic French cuisine with homemade pates, terrines, and local cheese.

The tour of the Hospice du Beaune was amazing – we also love the village of Beaune.


La Bussière

Veuvey sur Ouche to La Bussière
Breakfast on board during the morning cruise through the famous and steep sided Ouche Valley. Moor at the village of Bussiere and enjoy lunch on deck overlooking the magnificent views.

Afternoon tour of Cote du Nuits (famous for its red wines and especially Pinot Noir) where we will visit the Clos du Vougeot.

After Clos du Vougeot, we set off for a vineyard wine tasting, hosted by Jason, where he explained the idiosyncrasies of French wine making and what makes Burgundy so special.

Tonight’s l’aperitif was enjoyed at the Abbey de la Bussiere, set in an immaculate parkland. This 11th century Cistercian abbey is now home to a magnificent Relais and Chateau hotel with 20 bedrooms.

Return to the Saroche where we will have dinner onboard

The Relais and Chateau hotel, Abbey de la Bussiere, was a jewel and we wished that we had time on our trip to stay there for a couple of nights.



Cruise from La Bussiere to Gissey

Set sail for Gissey, the destination for the week. Gissey is a beautiful village nestled in the heart of the Ouche valley.

Tour Gissey before lunch onboard.

Before aperitifs, join Dawn in the galley for the final time as she demonstrates the art of canapes. Jason will join us for l’aperitif on deck and recount tales of barging folklore.

Captain’s dinner to celebrate my husband’s 70th and cousin’s 59th birthdays and the 60th wedding anniversary of Mom and Dad.

This was an amazing way to celebrate two birthdays and an anniversary.




Breakfast on board prior to departing the Saroche

Transfer to Dijon
Départ Dijon Ville for Lyon
Arrivée Lyon Part Dieu (26 minute transfer)
Départ Lyon Part Dieu
Arrive Avignon TGV
Email Emily (Your Private Provence) meets us at the Avignon Train Station

Walking Tour of Avignon with Guide Emily

Drive to the village of Gigondas and check Into L’Oustalet

Dinner at L’Oustalet

The high speed train from Dijon to Avignon was quick and comfortable. Our guide was waiting for us at the train station. We immediately loaded our luggage into her luxury van and headed out to


Vaison-la-Romaine Nyons Grignan

Scenic drive in and around Mont Ventoux – including stops in the village of Grignan.

Lunch at Michelin starred Le Clair de la Plume

Dinner close to L’Oustalet

Beautiful countryside with quaint villages and vineyards. I found some quaint hand thrown and painted dishes in Grignan that I dearly wish I had purchased as many as possible – Unfortunately, the shop owner did not ship and we didn’t want to spend vacation time dealing with the shipping arrangements – BIG MISTAKE!



Tour Uzes, a quaint medieval town that lots of foreigners have seemed to flock to and stay.

Cheese and wine pairing class
Cook’n With Class
On the way back to L’Oustalet, wine tasting in the appellation Tavel known for its dark colored rose wine.

Dinner L’Oustalet bistro


Isle sue la Sorgue

Depart L’Oustalet for the next 4 nights in Isle sur la Sorgue, considered the Venice of Provence and located on the Sorgue River and an arrondissement of Avignon.

Check into Domaine de Palerme bed and breakfast located outside of Isle sur Sorgue.

When I woke up I had a severe case of Vertigo. L’Oustalet allowed me to move to a room where I could rest while my husband and our guide completed their tour and returned to get me in the late afternoon for the drive to Palerme.



Explore the village of Isla sur la Sorgue that morning followed by a visit to the Luberon treasure, Roussillon.

Return and dinner in Domaine de Palerme

Due to the lingering impact of vertigo we started the day later than planned and reduced the number of villages that we visited.



Les Baux de Provence

Start the day visiting the Pont du Gard, Roman aqueduct before traveling to Saint-Remy at the market and have lunch in Les Baux de Provence before visiting the Monastery Saint Paul de Mausole.

Next stop in Les Baux de Provence and the Cathedral of Images before touring the village of Eygalieres.

Evening and dinner in Domaine de Palerme

Finally beginning to feel well, the morning at Pont du Gard was memorable – it was a bucket list item for me.



Visit the morning Provencal market in Lourmarin, home to Peter Mayle who authored A Year in Provence (and other books set in Provence) – a quaint village labeled as “most beautiful” in France.

Lunch in Cucuron (10 minutes from Lourmarin) at La Petite Maison.

Drive towards Aix, stopping in Ansouis for a walk up to the castle and the quaint Provencal stone streets.

4PM Arrive in Aix-en-Provence for a 2-hour walking tour and then dinner in the city.
Check In: La Maison d’Aix

The market was charming – I could have purchased a number of items but ended up purchasing antique monogrammed tea towels which I use as dinner napkins.



Check Out: La Maison d’ Aix
Transfer to the Marseille Airport with Rideways
Return flight to the US

Mary Beth I have a passion for creating and experiencing unforgettable moments and sharing those with others. I hope that this story has helped you experience one of those moments.

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