Ideally placed between Paris and Lyon, the Burgundy region is easy to reach. It has long been known as a place of artistic and historical interest, exceptional wines and respected gastronomy. Its famous monuments which recount its thousand-year-old history as well as its relaxing natural sites will conquer you. If you are looking for a place where towns are in perfect harmony with a preserved countryside, Burgundy is the place to be! Dijon, the gateway of Burgundy, is just 1h40 away by TGV from Paris and 1h25 from Basel (Switzerland).
Dijon is best explored by foot. Start your day in the historical town centre and follow the Parcours de la Chouette (Owl Itinerary), which is very clearly marked on the ground, to discover its exceptional architectural heritage which includes churches, the Ducal Palace, numerous 17th century houses and museums.
Make sure to savour a gourmet meal in a Michelin starred restaurant when you are in Dijon. Try out some of the local specialities such as Charolais beef, snails, Bresse chicken or the famous Dijon mustard.
Our tip: From Dijon, visit the Château du Clos de Vougeot, one of the very best table d’hôte of France, which stands in the very heart of Burgundy’s vineyards. (Ask about it at the Dijon Tourist Office)
Dijon > Beaune
The next day, take the TER to Beaune (20 min trip), the unavoidable destination for a gastronomic or cultural escapade. After your visit to the famous Hôtel-Dieu, a masterpiece of Flemish architecture whose varnished-tile roofs have become the most recognisable symbol of Burgundy abroad, visit the cellars of one of the greatest Burgundy wine houses.
Beaune > Chalon-sur-Saône
On the 3rd day, take the TER (21 min trip) to Chalon-sur-Saône, a major river port on the Saône. Go for a walk in the picturesque historical centre and around the Place St-Vincent which is transformed into a very attractive market on Friday and Sunday mornings. Continue your visit to the archaeological Denon Museum or the Nicéphore-Niépce photography Museum which is located on the Quai Gambetta. End you day with a short cruise on the Saône on board the "Le Delta" river boat.
Chalon-sur-Saône > Cluny > Mâcon
On your last day, travel to Cluny with the SNCF coach from Chalon-sur-Saône (1h20 trip) to visit one of the largest Christian Abbeys, once “the light” of the Western World. After nine centuries of monastic life, the site now offers a prestigious heritage, including a Museum of Art, mediaeval houses and a superb panorama from the top of the Tour des Fromages.
After Cluny catch the next SNCF coach to Mâcon (27 min trip) and relax on a café terrasse by the Saône River before heading to the archaeological Ursuline.
The Wine Routes
The wine routes are certainly the right way to savour Burgundy and explore the region’s essential ingredients of wine, gastronomy and architecture. Chablis, Coteaux de Pouilly-Sancerre, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise, Mâconnais… The vineyards of Burgundy stretch out from the north to the south of the region over a length of 250 km. The Burgundy Wine Routes are divided into several itineraries. They take the visitor through 100 different AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) made from two grape varieties: Pinot Noir for the red wines and Chardonnay for the whites. The production results in 200 million bottles marketed annually.
The wines of Burgundy
Wine is without doubt Burgundy’s most famous ambassador. However, Burgundy isn’t about a single wine but an infinite harmony of wines produced from the same grape varieties, thanks to the individuality of every vineyard and every winegrower. You can meet winegrowers who are as diverse as the landscapes they inhabit and the wines they produce. There are many ways to discover the wines and vineyards of Burgundy, to suit all sorts of people: wine tasting courses, cellar visits, special interest holidays…
What distinguishes the wines in Burgundy is the unique match between the land, the microclimate, the variety of grapes and the individual expertise. This perfect blend is known as the terroir and it is the source of some of the most prestigious wines in the world.
Accommodating wine cellars
Over 270 wine professionals from across the region have signed up to the De Vignes en Caves (from vines to cellars) charter and await your visit, glass in hand. They have taken a vow to offer visitors a very warm welcome. So don’t be shy! Open their doors and let them share their passion for wine in the cosy setting of their own cellars. You are sure to meet some great people!
Friendly wine bars
Cosy, cool or festive atmosphere, modern or retro décor… more and more wine bars are opening in Burgundy’s towns – ideal places to meet up with friends. They offer an excellent selection of wines recommended by real professionals.
Learn the secrets of wine!
Whether you are a complete beginner, keen amateur or connoisseur, there are wine-related courses for all levels and open to everyone. Learn to taste wine, acquire an understanding of Burgundy wines from the experts – for an hour, a half day or longer. These workshops are designed for everyone, even families, with specially adapted activities for children.
|Chalon Sur Saone||Dijon||00:29||NZ$10|
|Macon||Chalon Sur Saone||00:25||NZ$9|
|Beaune||Chalon Sur Saone||00:17||NZ$9|