Depart from the U.S. for France. The particulars of your
arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.
Day 2 - Arrive in Lyon
Upon arrival at Lyon Airport, claim your luggage and clear
customs. If your luggage is lost, fill out a PIR form before leaving the
customs area – VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area.
Please note: Make sure that your VBT luggage tags are
attached to your bags. This helps the representative identify you.
After exiting customs, enter the arrival hall and look for
your VBT representative or driver, who will be holding a VBT sign. Your
representative will welcome you to France and arrange for your transfer via
taxi or van (approximately 40 minutes depending upon traffic) to your Lyon
hotel. Important: If you are delayed in meeting your VBT representative at the
Lyon Airport please call 04 72 77 70 00 from within France. Outside of France,
call +33 4 72 77 70 00.
VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel
Booklet that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do in
Lyon. VBT has included a one-day
transportation pass for the day you are in Lyon. The whole city is yours from
dawn to dusk to come and go as you please on the city's network of buses, trams
and subway. Your individual passes will be given out upon check-in at hotel
reception. Use the rest of the day to relax or to begin exploring the city.
Please note that hotel check in is at 2:00 pm, but the hotel will try to have
rooms available earlier if possible.
Day 3 - All guests meet in Lyon/Transfer to hotel via Cluny/Warm-up ride
VBT No-Air Package guests: Meet one of your Trip Leaders in
the lobby of the Hotel Charlemagne at 9:00 am. They will be wearing VBT staff
garments. If your arrival in Lyon is scheduled later than 9:00 am or if you are
delayed, you must take a taxi or train to the hotel in Tournus at your own
expense. Taxi cost is approximately €200/$310 USD (travel time is approximately
1 hour to the first hotel); train cost is approximately €20/$30 USD (travel
time approximately 1 hour, 10 minutes). If you have taken the train, depart the
train station and take a right; you will see the hotel on the opposite side of
the road about 300 yards away. If you
experience any travel delays or changes to your schedule, please contact the
first hotel to advise the staff, and they will inform your VBT Trip Leaders.
VBT Air Package and Pre-Trip Extension guests: Meet your VBT
Trip Leader in the hotel lobby at 9:00 am. We will transfer by bus via Cluny to
the first hotel in Tournus.
Cluny, the former abbey and home of the Pope around AD 910,
was larger than St. Peter's Basilica in Rome – before it was dynamited and the
richly carved stones sold by an unscrupulous lot that included a local priest!
We stroll along the ancient stone streets of Cluny with our local guide. We've
timed our visit to fall on a market day, so you'll have the opportunity to buy
some local specialties for lunch on your own.
Arrive at your Tournus hotel, meet your second Trip Leader,
and have free time to settle in before your Trip Leaders offer a safety and bike-fitting
session, followed by a warm-up ride on a new bike path along the River Saone.
After the ride and some time to freshen up, meet for a
welcome cocktail reception and dinner at the hotel.
Day 4 - Tournus loops
We cycle flat lands along the tranquil banks of the Saone, through quiet villages and lovely farms, fields
and ponds. We stop for a picnic in the small town of Sennecey Le Grand. Here, you may wish to
visit the SAS Museum, dedicated to people who risked
their lives by going behind enemy lines.
We continue after lunch along more scenic paths. You'll have
afternoon options for a moderate ride, a long ride, or you can opt for the
Tonight you are free to enjoy dinner on your own in one of
the local restaurants, or you may choose to stay and eat in the hotel's
Day 5 - Cycle through the Cote de Beaune
This morning, we hop on a private coach and briefly roll
through the vineyards of the Côte Chalonaise and cross into the world-famous
wine region of Côte de Beaune. We get off at Chalon Sur Saone and cycle
directly on the Voie Verte bike path along the Canal du Centre to
Santenay. Afterward, continue on small
roads through the world-famous vineyards of the Côtes de Beaune, passing
renowned villages such as Puligny Montrachet, Meursault and Pommard –
considered by many wine professionals as the mecca of Chardonnay production.
This afternoon you will have time for lunch on your own and
can return to Beaune at a time that suits you. After time to relax, we depart
the hotel and walk to a nearby restaurant for dinner.
Day 6 - Home-hosted lunch/Wine Tasting
After an elaborate breakfast (which includes wine and cheese
for those who are so inclined), we leave serious wine country and head into the
countryside on narrow, quiet roads to the small hamlet of Cussigney. We are
invited to the summer home of a local family in a historic locale. Here, enjoy
a game of pétanque before a picnic lunch prepared by your Trip Leaders,
followed by homemade dessert and coffee or tea with our generous hosts.
We find our way back to Beaune through forests, villages and
depending on the time of year, maybe sunflower or canola fields. We settle back
into our hotel, relax for a while, then walk into town to a local wine cellar
to taste some of the regional wines before continuing to enjoy dinner in one of
the fine restaurants on your own.
Day 7 - Hospices de Beaune/Routes
des Grands Crus/Dijon
This morning, we take a 5-minute walk to the Hospices de
Beaune (also known as the Hotel Dieu), the epicenter of Beaune. This perfectly
preserved historic treasure led the way for early philanthropic endeavors in Europe and today is still entirely financed by private
donations. It has never been closed a single day in more than 500 years! This
authentic masterpiece of flamboyant Gothic art and architecture is Burgundy's single
most-visited site; you will understand why after setting foot inside the
stunning courtyard. We visit the Hospice, then set out on our bike path toward
the capital of Burgundy, the beautiful city of
Our cycle route today takes us through some of the most
famous vineyards in the world. We wind our way to Nuits St George, the region where famed
Côte de Nuits red wines are produced.
Here, we stop to choose from different lunch options before we cycle
through the vineyards along narrow lanes used as access routes by the vineyard
workers. In this area, monks toiled for centuries making wine for religious
services. Historians now point out they likely kept the very best wine for
themselves. It is thought that the very first red wines in the world were made
here – and that monks macerated the grape skins so the typical rosé wine would
more closely resemble the blood of Christ.
The entire stretch of vineyards from Beaune to Dijon is currently under
consideration as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the Route des Grands Crus,
you may wish to stop and explore old and charming villages such as
Vosne-Romanée and Gevrey-Chambertin before continuing all the way to the
outskirts of Dijon.
As we enter the city – the capital of Burgundy
– we'll marvel at the astonishingly well-preserved city center. Dijon, often called “Sleeping Beauty,” is third in France for the
number of protected historic buildings, with more than 100 acres of the city
center protected. This capital of the
former ducal kingdom has attracted musicians, artists and writers for
After checking into our hotel, we set out on a walking tour
of Dijon with
our Trip Leaders. We then venture out on our own to wander the medieval cobbled
streets until we find just the right place to enjoy an apero (aperitif) and
dinner on our own.
Day 8 - Dijon/Burgundian canal/Valley de L'Ouche
This morning, we can sleep in, have breakfast in our rooms,
and just generally take it easy. Then, cycle directly from the hotel to the
Route des Jardins (Garden Route)
and the pleasant byway along the Canal de Bourgogne to Pont de Pany.
Our short option loops back to Dijon; longer options head into the Valley de
L'Ouche, along the winding River L'Ouche and the canal. The bucolic scenery
here has made this route a favorite of every barge company in France because it is lush, green, peaceful and
completely unspoiled – true France.
In Dijon, you might choose to
spend time in the many fine museums specializing in everything from fine arts,
sacred art and archeology to natural history and even a museum of daily life in
Each is free and housed in a historic building.
Tonight, we finish our week of cycling with a fun evening at La Cuisine de Madeleine cooking school. The school is ours for the evening so you
can help prepare dinner with a local chef. The group will dine on the results.
Day 9 - Transfer to Dijon
railway station/VBT No-Air Package ends
VBT No-Air Package guests: Your tour ends after breakfast.
It is a short 5-minute walk to the Dijon train station if you wish to take a
VBT Air Package guests: After breakfast, walk to the Dijon
train station (your luggage will be taken in the van) and continue on by
high-speed train to Paris. Upon arrival, you will be met by a VBT
representative and transferred to your centrally located hotel.
VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel
Booklet that includes information and recommendations for what to see and do in
Paris. Use the rest of the day to relax or to begin exploring Paris.
Day 10 - Depart for U.S.
After breakfast*, transfer to the Paris Charles De Gaulle
airport for your return flight. Please ensure you are ready in the hotel
reception area at the designated time.
*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures,
breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the Front Desk
to verify the times that breakfast is served.
Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are
finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you
extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to
the airport will be at your own expense.