Bask in the legacy of a golden age. Independent of France for centuries and still a prosperous region today, Burgundy, or “Bourgogne”, rolls out a (wine) red carpet for its many visitors each year. Explore rolling hills and fields, historical towns, fortified villages and, of course, the hundreds of chateaux that are home to to its world-famous wines.
Burgundy’s treasures are easily explored by car, bike, train or on foot. History fans can step into the past at the many UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the basilica at Vézelay, while Mont Beuvray beckons nature-lovers. Dijon is Burgundy’s capital and a city of culture; it has a wealth of shops, gardens, museums and historical buildings. Visitors can take a leisurely walk along ancient streets between medieval houses and Renaissance townhouses or let their taste buds do the walking at Michelin-starred restaurants, wine festivals and the International Food Fair.
The town of Beaune makes a fine hub from which to explore the region. With many wine tasting cellars in its historic centre, visitors can toast the Catholic Church with a fine Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The church took charge of winemaking in the Middle Ages and the Hôtel-Dieu, once a charitable hospital, is now a fascinating museum with an intricately tiled roof.
Where to stay
For wine connoisseurs, nothing beats staying in a French villa or rustic farmhouse in a region bursting with world-famous grapes. Holiday apartments and quaint bed and breakfasts are ideal for a quietly relaxing mini-break.
Heading to Burgundy
High-speed TGV trains leave from Paris’s Gare de Lyon and arrive in Burgundy in 90 minutes. Beaune is easily reached via the A6 motorway, going north from Paris or from Lyon to the south and just 40 km away from Dijon airport. Visitors can also unwind on water and rent a barge on the Burgundy Canal or “Le Canal de Bourgogne”. The waterway connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean via the Yonne and Seine rivers.
Picture courtesy of Jerome