Continuing the last section, in this section: Bourgogne-Franche-Compté (Burgundy), Aquitaine (now Nouvelle-Aquitaine), Auvergne-Rhône Alpes, Hauts-de-France (north and Picardie) and Ile de France.
25.06.1996 - 08.07.2017
Burgundy - Bourgogne
Just because it's a favorite, I'm going to start this section with Burgundy and it is a great first choice for a trip outside Paris. There is the Loire Valley, but if you are a true wine lover, Burgundy will call you. If you want to see châteaux, there are plenty to visit in Burgundy. They may not be the famous ones in the Loire Valley, but they are real and very impressive châteaux. You can do wine tasting and take river cruises here. You can rent a canal boat or rent a cabin on a commercial boat hotel. There are national parks, historic churches and abbeys and several of the Plus Beaux Villages of France. We like to base in or near Beaune and visit the surrounding countryside from there but you can stay nearly anyplace. Burgundy is one of the easiest places to drive in France, nice rolling hills instead of tortuous mountains.
If you stay in Beaune, don’t miss the Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune, also referred to as the Hospices of Beaune. It was founded in 1443 as a hospital for the poor. We actually missed it on our first trip to Beaune. The outside looks quite plain, almost like a museum or church, gothic but not exciting. On our second trip, we walked down an alley for some reason I can't remember and found ourselves in the back of the Hôtel-Dieu and looking at the amazing colored tile roof flaming in the sunset. Needless to say, the next day we found the entrance and explored the impressive building. One of the most interesting things to us besides the beautiful tiled roof was the Great Hall of the Poor, a full 50 meters long with curtained beds lining each wall and a beautiful chapel at the far end. Be sure to look up at the ceiling beams. There are dragons with the beams coming out of their mouths, all brightly painted. Add the red bed hangings and the room is quite dramatic. At the end of your visit you will see the XV century polyptych (the Beaune Altarpiece) with 9 panels that is attributed to the Flemish artist Rogier van der Weyden. It depicts the Last Judgement and was hung above the altar in the chapel although now in its own room behind the Great Hall. [Address: rue de l'Hôtel-Dieu, Place de la Halle, Beaune; hhone: +33 (0)3 8024-4500; website: Hospices of Beaune web site]
Of course you’ll want to visit the Wine Market in Beaune and do some tasting and this is convenient because you don’t have to worry about driving. However, many people go to Burgundy for the wine tasting (and buying). To do this, you really need to get out into the countryside and visit the vineyards. There are lots of tours and they are recommended unless you have a designated driver. While touring, look around and see what you want to visit.
The next day rent a car and zip off into the countryside. Burgundy is an amazingly beautiful area with rolling hills, vineyards, small mountains, the Morvan National Park, dairy farms and lots of châteaux, most of which are open to visitors. You can get a map from the Beaune Tourist Information folks or get one of the marvelous Michelin maps. We use the France Tourist and Motoring Atlas because it covers the entire country very well, but if you are just in Burgundy, you only need a local map.
My painting here is a typical roadside route marker. They have normal directional signs, but look along the shoulder of the roads and you'll see these small yellow-painted markers tucked into the grass or flowers. If you want to try something different, take a day off from wine tasting, rent a car and search out the chateaux of Burgundy. Most are open to the public and often on weekends there will be festivals with fun and food. There will not be many foreign tourists, only French tourists, so you can meet the French having an outing . . . always great fun. Once we spent a day searching out châteaux near Beaune and found:
Château de Rully, open by appt. all year except Mondays; call (0)3 8587-2089 or check the web site at Château de Rully web site
Château de Germolles, open varying hours except Mondays; call +33 (0)3 8598-0124 or check the web site for hours and shows at Château de Germolles web site
Château de Couches, (0)3 8545-5799 with more info at Château de Couches web site
Château de Sully, (0)3 8582-0986, varying open hours and interesting activities, check the web site at Château de Sully web site
For a truly amazing experience, visit a new-old château. They are building a château using only 13th century methods and materials at Guédelon. You can visit over and over because it's an ongoing project and is different each time you visit. It's fun to watch the castle growing. The given address is route D955, Treigny but that's a tiny town and hard to find. We drove to St. Sauveur-en-Puisaye and continued south on the D955 and there were plenty of signs to Chantier Médiéval de Guédelon to guide us. There is parking but it can be crowded. It's very popular with school groups and they often do their trips on Wednesdays so avoid Wednesdays unless you enjoy the kids. We do. It's fun to watch them interact with the docents and the animals on the adjacent 13th century village and on the building site.
Check the web site below for opening and closing times because it changes throughout the year. You can call if you prefer. There is a tavern on site where you can get a nice lunch (13th century style) and I wish we'd known that before we went because it would have been fun. Work stops on the building during lunch hour but you can still visit. We were there when it was pouring rain so it was very muddy but that didn't deter anyone. The workers were slogging through the mud and the school kids all had their little Wellies on and trudged through the mud with great good cheer. We were a mess when we got home but it was a great day out. I can't wait to return on a sunny day. Oh yes, there is a picnic area for sunny days! [phone: +33 (0)3 8645 6666; Guédelon web site]
Another fun château to visit is La Rochepot, an easy drive from Beaune. This is a pristine château (no ruins here) with guided tours. The roof is covered with the beautiful Burgundian tiles. You wait for your tour in the lovely flowered courtyard and can climb to the ramparts for wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. (On the D973 SW of Beaune) The tour guide we had was very personable. He spoke only French but we were given a paper guide in English. I discovered if I quickly read the English first, I could easily understand the guide. I even managed to answer one of his questions in French! The chateau is closed on Tuesdays. You might check the web site before going. Château info is below. [phone: (0)3 8021 7137; FAX (0)3 8021 8333; Chateau la Rochepot web site]
Another interesting, but much older, château in Burgundy is in Châteauneuf southwest of Dijon. Drive north out of Beaune on the D970 and then the D2. It's very hilly and beautiful. You quickly leave wine country and have huge vistas. We followed signs for Pont-d'Ouche and then Châteauneuf-en-Auxois. When we got to Châteauneuf, we followed signs through the tiny narrow very hilly streets to parking . . . above the town in a shaded meadow with signs to walking trails. You can hike through the wooded countryside or go down into the very picturesque village and visit the chateau that is only partly renovated but nevertheless interesting and then eat lunch at Auberge Au Marronnier Restaurant. We've eaten there a couple times and it is very reasonable and excellent quality. There is an old man with a green CV and an ancient cat and I have photos of them six years apart. They both look exactly the same. He is always working in his tiny garden by the restaurant and his feline friend is always with him.
The town sits on top of a very high hill and can be spotted miles away. The buildings are all of native stone and incredibly picturesque and during summer the flowers grow from every possible inch of ground. It is one of the Plus Beaux Villages of France and they are always worth a visit. If you are there in October, don’t miss the Feast of Saint Hubert, patron saint of hunters.
Friends of Châteauneuf web site]
To go back past medieval times, visit Bibracte, an open museum of Gaulish life set in a hillside that holds an archeological dig you may tour. Bibracte is near St. Leger however the museum is not in the town but on Mont Beuvray a few kilometers from the town. The walls are all glass on the valley side of the building so as you walk through it, you can look out at the countryside where the people being depicted lived. There is also a very nice gift shop and in summer there is a café on the site. Off season you must bring a picnic or drive into town for lunch. In the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE at the end of the Iron Age, a large Gaulish town stood on Mont Beuvray. Surrounded by ramparts, Bibracte was the capital of one of the most powerful peoples in Gaul, the Aedui. It is here that Vercingetorix was proclaimed head of the Gaulish coalition in the year 52 BC. It is also at Bibracte that Julius Caesar, the victor of Alesia, completed the writing of his Gallic wars that you probably read in Latin class. [phone: +33 (0)3 8586-5235; Bibracte web site]]
Other places well worth a visit are the Abbeys at Fontenay, Choués and Cluny and for fun, the Cassissium in Nuits-de-Saint-George above Beaune. At the Cassissium you take a tour and then settle down for a tasting of the cassis and other fruit liqueurs that make up the famous kir and kir royale of Dijon. If you have children, there is a feeding of the hounds at Choués Abbey that is great fun especially if there are new puppies.
Abbaye de Fontenay web site
Abbaye de Choués web site
Cassissium in Nuits-de-St.-George web site in English
Aquitaine (now Nouvelle-Aquitaine)
Formerly called Aquitaine and renamed in January of 2016 as Nouvelle Aquitaine, it consists of the five departments of Dordogne, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes and Gironde. You have the coastline and the mountains in addition to several famous rivers so this is one of the most beautiful parts of France. The Dordogne has the most Plus Beaux Villages of any particular region in France and to add to the incentive to visit, this is not nearly as touristic as the Loire Valley or Provence. This means prices are more reasonable and it is not as crowded but it is beautiful and there is a lot to do.
We've rented a gite near La Roque Gageac, another of the Plus Beaux Villages, and enjoyed the immediate area. We liked it so well the first time that we invited our youngest daughter the second time and she loved it too. There are the famous cave paintings, a couple excellent prehistory museums, several gorgeous gardens and a castle on every hilltop because of the 100 years war. You can find bastide towns and castles within an easy drive of nearly anyplace you want to stay. And of course, this is France so there are marvelous markets on different days so you only need to get a schedule from your nearest tourist office. Gites de France web site in English
A day of visiting castles and a day of visiting Plus Beaux Villages are days well spent. Another day would be nice for cave paintings and prehistory and a gabarre ride on the Dordogne River is always fun. If you like drama, visit Rocamadour, a famous pilgrimage site just across the border in the Lot region. There is nothing quite like the glorious village climbing a mountain. There are elevators and an escalator if you don't like climbing steep hills. The castle at Castelnaud-la-Chapelle has a terrific exhibit of medieval instruments of war and you can easily visit that and the informative raptor show at Château des Millandes, former home of the famous singer Josephine Baker. There is also a chateau at Beynac-et-Cazenac that was used in a couple movies and is very interesting. We had no trouble spending a month right here. The bastide town of Monpazier is an easy drive as is the wonderful Abbey at Cadouin. Sarlat-la-Canéda is famous for it's market but the Old Town is spectacular and it's a good base for touring the area if you like a larger town but not a city.
You also have Bordeaux and the surrounding wine country and further south, the Basque country of France adjoining the Basque country of Spain. If you enjoy good wine, you won't want to miss Bordeaux and from there you can get tours of the surrounding vineyards, always a good idea if you don't have a designated driver. The wine village of St. Emilion is one of the most attractive and historic of these villages and if you can only visit one, it might be the one you want to visit.
Bordeaux Tourist Office web site
Saint Emilion Tourist Office web site
The Auvergne may be one of the hidden wonders of France. It has no sea coast so escapes a lot of tourists. On a map you'll find it below Centre and Bourgogne and in between Nouvelle Aquitaine and Italy. Directly south of it are the beautiful Languedoc-Roussillon, now called Occitanie, and Provence. The Dordogne has the most Plus Beaux Villages (Most Beautiful Villages) of France but the Auvergne comes in very close. It is mountainous and there are lovely little surprises hidden in the hills. We make a habit of searching them out and in Auvergne have visited Najac, Conques, Peyre, Belcastel and Brousse-le-Chateau. The Most Beautiful Villages of France web site
We spent several days in Brousse-le-Chateau once to take a boat ride under the magnificent Viaduc de Millau. Not only is the highest bridge in the world utterly beautiful; the view from the river beneath it is spectacular. You also see the Plus Beau Village of Peyre and lots of wildlife on the river ride.
The Viaduc de Millau official web site
Bateliers du Viaduc boat ride web site
A good web site for the Auvergne is listed below and the Auvergne is a great vacation combined with a visit of either Occitanie (Languedoc-Roussillon) or the Dordogne. If you have time, do all three. It may be the best vacation you've ever had.
The Rhône-Alpes used to be a region unto itself but it is now combined with the Auvergne. However, the Rhône-Alpes has what you might expect from the name . . . it has the Alps, glorious mountains with spectacular scenery, several National Parks and winter sports. One of the major cities is Grenoble and it is beautiful with the Isère River running through it. From virtually anyplace in Grenoble you can look up and see the magnificent Alps. There is a lot to do because Grenoble is a university town, but take time to just walk through the city looking at the architecture, all the trees and up at the mountains. Walk across the Isère to enjoy the riverside cafes on the other side and watch the round cable cars going up to the Fort de la Bastille, the Citadelle. If you have time take the cable car up and visit the historic fort. Fort de la Bastille web site
We were very impressed with the Musée de Grenoble, the Beaux Arts. They have an outstanding collection in an excellent setting. The lighting was particularly notable. It is so frustrating to be in a museum of superb paintings that are poorly lit and this is not a problem in Grenoble. Their modern collection is particularly outstanding. Outside the museum, you can stand and look at the Citadelle on the mountain above. Address: 5 Place de Lavalette, Phone: +33 (0)4 7663-4444; Musée de Grenoble web site
There is a small but charming museum dedicated to the writer Henri Beyle, known to the world as Stendahl. Stendahl was born in Grenoble but was rather negative about the city. He moved to Italy and then returned to live in Paris. The Grenoble city fathers seem to have forgiven him his attitude and opened a small museum. Check the local tourist office or telephone to see if it is open or closed. It is free entry but hours vary by season. Address: 20 Grande Rue, phone: +33 (0)4 7654-4414 Stendahl Museum web site
Place Notre Dame and Place St. Andre are two very picturesque squares. Grenoble is a university town so it is lively both day and night. There are outdoor restaurants to enjoy food, views and people-watching. You can take the Grenoble-Bastille Cable Car up to the Citadelle (Bastille) for fabulous views. There is a Grenoble Pass for 19 euros that includes public transportation, a cable car ride as well as several museum entrances and discounts for other attractions. Grenoble Tourist Pass
Another favorite place is Annecy sitting by the lovely Lake Annecy, the cleanest lake in Europe according to their tourist office. Annecy is very walkable. You visit the European Gardens along the lake and walk across the Pont des Amours, a beautiful ironwork bridge. Walk through the Old Town enjoying the shops and cafes. Hike up the hill to the chateau and back down for lunch along the canal or river. Make a stop in Saint Pierre and if you're lucky, you'll hear some musicians practicing. Annecy Tourist Office web site
The first time we visited Lac Annecy and the delightful Old Town area of Annecy, we spotted our name (Beausoleil) on the river Thiou. It was a restaurant and they had fondue. How exciting! We love fondue and having our own name on the restaurant was too good to pass by so we stopped for dinner. We had a lovely seat outside watching swans on the river and all the people walking past. Our waiter was a gem. He spoke at least five languages, one of them ours, and loved to talk about the area. When we told him we stopped because the restaurant shared our name, he immediately disappeared inside and returned with the restaurant business card and gave it to us. Their specialty is Savoyard food . . . comfort food by anyone's standards. We've returned a few times and always had the fondue so I have no idea what the other foods are like. I know the fondue is very good and the service has always been excellent. We took our oldest daughter once and she got the fondue too so we have zero experience with other foods on the menu but all three of us will recommend the fondue. This is not a gourmet restaurant but the setting is sublime, the food (at least the fondue) is very good and the service excellent. We return whenever we're in Annecy and that is a good recommendation. Le Beau Soleil Café, Quai de l’Ile; phone: +33 (0)4 5051-6818; Yelp Review web site for Le Beau Soleil Café
We always walk through a town visiting the churches. There is always some amazing art hiding inside and you often get treated to music while looking. The stained glass is wonderful and if you look closely, it often shows you a history of the town. Once in St. Pierre's Cathedral in Annecy while we were resting from an unseasonably warm day, we heard a clattering behind us. We turned to see two men climbing into the organ loft. Soon we were treated our very own recital of organ and trumpet as they rehearsed for the upcoming service. We've attended weddings, heard string quartets, organs beyond counting and choral groups, both native and visiting. Churches are just plain fun. In Annecy there are at least three worth a visit: Cathedral St. Pierre at the corner of Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Passage de la Cathédrale; tel: +33 (0)4 5065-0045; Saint-François-de-Sales at 6 Rue Brémontier 75017 Annecy, France; tel: +33 (0)1 4318-1515 and Eglise Saint Maurice at 2 Rue Saint-Maurice, 74000 Annecy, France; tel: +33 (0)4 5045-0856.
There is so much to see. The first time we started at the lake because it was irresistible. The canal runs through the gardens and the river is on the other side. All of this is bordered by the lake and the mountains. Lac Annecy is supposed to be the cleanest lake in Europe and it is easy to believe this. It is clear and blue and beautiful. Walk through the gardens, across the Pont des Amours and up the river Thiou into Old Town. Then just wander streets finding interesting things. There are shops and galleries, restaurants, ice cream shops and even a violin shop. Look up because there are statues in niches above doors and windows. Rest at a cafe and have a glass of wine or a coffee while you watch the people walk past. Finally, wind your way up the hill to the chateau and enjoy the museum and the views from the top. Château d'Annecy web site
Hauts de France
The region now called “Hauts de France” is a combination of the former Nord Pas de Calais and Picardie and is the north central part of France. Amiens, Arras, Lille, Calais and Dunkirk are the major cities and it is a good starting point for a visit to Belgium, it’s northeastern neighbor. It is much flatter than the rest of France so the driving is easier.
World War I was bitterly fought through here and there are many WWI sites that are interesting to visit. Just across the border into the eastern end of the region Grand Est (formerly Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine and Alsace) is the WWI sit of Verdun. There is a heart-rending sculpture by Rodin on the river Meuse. Then you can go on to tour the battlefields , monuments and cemeteries and at least two villages that were completely destroyed and left as memorials to the dead.
If you venture to Verdun, you might as well drive an hour west to the very edge of Grand Est where Reims sits on the border and enjoy this marvelous city. It holds one of our favorite cathedrals and there is always wonderful wine tasting, including several famous champagne houses. They have an excellent Beaux Arts Museum and the Palace of Tau, the former Archbishops Residence next to the Cathedral. I will never forget the first time I saw the beautiful Chagall stained glass windows in the Cathedral Notre Dame in Reims. They pull me back each time we return to the city. They almost seem alive as you watch them. Then there are covered shopping galleries, fountains and squares full of people and lots of very good food. We stay at the Hotel Bristol at Place Drouet d'Erlon because there is a huge parking structure beneath the square. It's a pleasant hotel with a good restaurant and the square is always busy and full of fun. You can also walk to all the tourist sights from there. Don't miss the Cathedral, the Palais du Tau, Le Vergeur Museum with a Durer engraving collection, the Roman Forum and the Beaux Arts Museum.
Reims Tourist Office web site
Le Vergeur Museum web site
Another hour will take you to Amiens on the Somme River, another spectacular city. Don't miss the famous cathedral, and if you're a science fiction fan, you may want to visit Maison de Jules Verne, a museum where the science fiction author once lived. In addition to the Somme, there are canals with floating gardens and cafés line the river banks. If you happen to cross the Somme on the bridge on rue de la Dodane, look over the side and you will see a man standing in the river. One very dark rainy day I thought this was a real man and took photos of him. Upon looking more closely, I realized he was a statue standing in the river . . . forever and in the rain. You can see the Cathedral from here and there are cafés encircling the area. If you head directly toward the Cathedral to the end of the street, turn left and there is a stairway up to a park beside the Cathedral where you can get wonderful photos. If you check the tourist office web site, you'll see the man standing in the Somme on their heading photo stream.
Amiens Tourist Office web site
You don't have to stay in cities, however, there is a lot to do elsewhere. If we're spending a week or more, we try to stay out in the country so we can easily get in and out to explore the area. The Gites de France is a great place to look for country lodging. We rely on it.
While in the area, enjoy the coast from Le Tréport to Dunkirk including a ride on the steam railway from Le Crotoy to Cayeux-sur-Mer. Little Train of the Somme web site There is a bird sanctuary for bird watchers, hikers and nature lovers. You can visit the medieval city of St. Valery with its lovely church holding a tapestry that is a copy of a section of the Bayeux Tapestry. Saint-Valery-sur-Somme web site There is Valloires Abbey with wonderful gardens at Argoules. Bay of the Somme Tourist Office web site
My grandfather who was sent to France in World War I always used to recite,
"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below."
Written by John McCrae, 1872 - 1918.
Every time I see the poppies in France, I think of him and especially in the Somme where he was sent, fortunately just as the war ended.
The Ile de France - The center of it all
The Ile de France is the center and heart of France and where the Capital, Paris, is located. Most people visit Paris and think they’ve seen France. It’s a great city, my favorite, but there is a lot more to France than Paris. However, it is probably a good idea to start there if only because most flights land in Paris so why not spend a few days? I can’t think of a better place to walk off jet lag. If you need specific information about Paris, please visit my Paris blog at: A Month in Paris with Beausoleil At the end you will find specific entries on how to use public transportation; Paris with children; must-see sights in Paris. Check the Table of contents at the top right of that blog for only these entries.
What is left in the Ile de France after you've seen Paris? Well, quite a bit and it can also serve as day trips out of Paris if you're looking for something a little different. Giverny is just outside the Ile de France in Normandy but you can easily take a train to Vernon and bicycle, walk or taxi to Giverny and spend a pleasant day. Monet's house and gardens are there and very popular. The gardens are not open all year so check the web site for times. At the bottom are links to both Monet's House and to the Gardens. Giverny, Monet's Village web site
An easy trip while you're in Paris is out to visit the Basilica of Saint Denis, a large medieval abbey church in the city of Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris. You can take the Paris Metro line #13 direction of St. Denis-Université. When you get off the train, there are signs to follow and it's a five-minute walk. This is the burial place of the French Kings and nearly every king from the 10th to the 18th centuries is buried there, not to mention quite a few from previous centuries. The church itself is stunning with a magnificent rose window and stained glass throughout. The church is free but you must pay to enter the Royal Necropolis. I have several ancestors buried there and still have to pay . . . Believe me, it is worth it. Basilica St. Denis web site
Another good day out of Paris is Saint-Germain-en-Laye, not to be confused with the Saint Germain district in Paris. Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a lovely suburb of Paris and you can take the RER line A1 direction Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Check your train because there are branches on this line and you want Saint-Germain-en-Laye. There is a marvelous château although the only original section is the Chapel from 1235. The more modern château now hosts the National Archeology Museum which is a treat. National Archeology Museum web site
Outside the Château are the gardens designed by Le Notre and there is a viewing platform for a distant view of Paris that is amazing. Since Saint-Germain-en-Laye is the birthplace of the composer Claude Debussy, the local Tourist Office hosts a very small but thorough Debussy Museum that is free and worth a visit. You will also want to visit the Church of Saint-Germain that is directly in front of you as you exit the RER station coming from Paris. It is notable, among other reasons, for holding the tomb of James II Stuart, King of England and Scotland (James VII), who died in exile at Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1702. It is a charming town for a walk and there are several very nice restaurants. Saint-Germain-en-Laye village web site
If you've visited Versailles and want to find another grand château without traveling as far as the Loire Valley, take a train from Paris to Fontainbleau. There is a wonderful château there with a Napoleon Museum in it and marvelous gardens. You can take a horse and carriage ride through the gardens, eat at the café or just picnic in the woods. You'll need to go to Gare de Lyon in Paris and take the Transilien train. It is about a forty-minute ride. If you get the Mobilis Pass, you can take the train to Fontainbleau, use the bus there and use it for any transportation needs in Paris for the rest of your day. Château de Fontainebleau web site
If you haven't seen it, Versailles is forty-five minutes from Paris on the RER line C5 in the direction Versailles-Château. Again, check your train because there are branches on this line. It is about a ten-minute walk from the train station to the famous château. Either plan to use one of the more distant entrances or purchase your tickets ahead of time because the lines at Versailles can be formidable. If you haven't seen it, you should make the trip at least once. I'm not a lover of glitz and Versailles was somewhat overwhelming, but I did love the little farm called the Hameau of Marie Antoinette. She tried to create a village atmosphere with country-style houses, streams and all sorts of animals including swans, donkeys and cute bunnies that wander freely. You can take a little train, a horse and carriage or do as we did and walk out to the Hameau. If you want to see the fountains working, check the web site because they are run on a strict schedule. The last time we were there, they were running them on Tuesdays as well as weekends and it was much less crowded . . . of course it was pouring rain too. Château de Versailles web site
Provins is a picturesque medieval city in the Ile de France and easily accessible by train from Paris. They have a medieval fair and Provins is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You'll leave Paris from Gare d'Est and take the Transilien train. Again, the easiest way to travel is to get the Mobilis Day Pass that you can use in the entire area for the day. Provins Official web site
This section covers Bourgogne-Franche-Compté (Burgundy), Aquitaine (now Nouvelle-Aquitaine), Auvergne-Rhône Alpes, Hauts-de-France (north and Picardie) and the Ile de France.
For information about the Loire and Loire Atlantique, Provence, Brittany, Occitanie (formerly Languedoc-Roussillon) and Alsace go to the previous entry at Visit La France Profonde, France Outside of Paris by Beausoleil