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Mâcon is a lively, prosperous town on the banks of the River Saône, 58km south of Chalon and 68km north of Lyon, with excellent transport connections between the two. A centre for the wine trade, with a surprisingly relaxed, seaside atmosphere, thanks to its long café-lined riverbank and free outdoor concerts in late June, July and August, it also boasts the best nightlife between Dijon and Lyon. It is, however, a nightmare to drive around and parking is problematic, so it’s not recommended as a base for a regional wine-tasting tour for anyone renting a car.

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