Welcome to your next adventure with my Burgundy France travel guide! Picture yourself meandering through rolling vineyards, sipping on world-renowned wines, and indulging in the heart of French cuisine. Burgundy is not just a destination; it’s an experience that promises to charm you with its rustic beauty and rich history. I spent an entire month living in and exploring this beautiful region of rural France. Whether you’re a wine lover, need a relaxing getaway, or want to experience small town France, Burgundy is the place for you. In this travel guide, I’ll go over where to visit in Burgundy and why, as well as some tips for visiting the region. Let’s get to it!
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Burgundy, France Travel Guide
Why Visit Burgundy, France?
Why visit Burgundy, you ask? My Burgundy France travel guide will show you just how this region captivates all who wander its cobblestoned paths. Imagine losing yourself in the rolling hills that have perfected the art of winemaking over centuries. Picture quaint villages where history whispers through ancient stones, and every meal is a celebration of flavors. From the serene canals to the grandeur of Dijon’s palaces, Burgundy is a symphony of sensory delights. It’s not just a stop, but a journey through the essence of France itself. Come and be spellbound by Burgundy’s timeless allure!
Best Places to Visit in Burgundy
There are many great places to visit in Burgundy, each with its own charm. I recommend visiting for at least 3 or 4 days if you have it in your schedule. Many of these towns you can see in just a few hours, but to get the most of it I suggest staying overnight. Anyway, here are my picks for the best places to visit in Burgundy based on my travel experiences!
Dijon, the proud capital of Burgundy, is a vibrant gateway to this illustrious region. As you stroll through its lively streets, you’ll uncover an array of highlights, from the Palace of the Dukes to the bustling Les Halles market, brimming with local delicacies. Dijon is a showcase of medieval and Renaissance architecture, a city where history is painted on every wall and echoed in the cobblestones. With its central location and excellent transport links, it’s the perfect home base for your Burgundy adventures, offering easy access to the surrounding vineyards and villages. Make Dijon your starting point and embrace the spirit of Burgundy!
Châteauneuf, a storybook town nestled in the heart of Burgundy, is a place where fairy tales come to life. Wander through its enchanting, narrow streets lined with ancient, timbered houses that seem to whisper tales of yore. The majestic Château de Châteauneuf looms over the town, offering panoramic views that sweep across the Burgundian plains. Visitors can explore the fortress, relishing in its medieval splendor, or simply relax in the town’s serene atmosphere. Highlights like the artisanal shops and the picturesque countryside make Châteauneuf a must-visit for anyone seeking the charm of old-world France.
Beaune is the heartbeat of Burgundy’s wine country, a town where every cellar door opens to a story and every glass is filled with tradition. Wander the cobbled lanes to find the Hospices de Beaune, with its iconic glazed tile roof, a symbol of Burgundy’s heritage. The town’s wine museum unravels the rich tapestry of local viticulture, while the Saturday market bursts with regional produce and vibrant colors. Beaune is not just a destination; it’s an invitation to indulge in the finer things of life amidst the backdrop of historical charm and vinicultural excellence.
4. Arnay Le Duc
Arnay Le Duc is a hidden gem in Burgundy, where tranquility and heritage blend seamlessly. This quaint town invites you to explore its medieval roots at the old 15th-century market hall and the charming Church of Saint-Laurent. Meander through the streets lined with classic Burgundian houses, and don’t miss the Musée Régional de la Nourrice, which offers a unique glimpse into the local history of wet nursing. Arnay Le Duc’s gentle pace and rustic ambiance provide a peaceful retreat from the bustle of the more frequented tourist spots, making it a perfect slice of Burgundian life for those seeking serenity and a touch of the past.
Autun is a treasure trove of Gallo-Roman history, nestled in the rolling hills of Burgundy. Step back in time as you visit the ancient Roman gates, still standing as proud sentinels of the town. The towering Cathedral of Saint-Lazare, with its intricate carvings and historic aura, dominates the skyline. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the Roman theater, where the echoes of the past seem to mingle with the present. Autun’s blend of historical grandeur and natural beauty makes it a captivating stop for any traveler seeking to immerse themselves in the deep roots of Burgundian culture.
Vézelay, perched atop a hill overlooking the Burgundian countryside, is a beacon of historical and spiritual significance. The village is famed for the Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The hilltop silhouette is as inspiring as its storied past. Wander through the village’s winding streets, lined with artisan boutiques and cozy eateries. In order to truly capture the essence of this medieval gem, take your time. Vézelay’s combination of spiritual heritage and commanding views offers a peaceful yet awe-inspiring experience. Vezelay marks a pivotal chapter in any Burgundy travel tale.
7. Morvan National Park
Morvan National Park is a lush oasis in the heart of Burgundy, a haven for nature lovers and adventurers alike. Here, the dense forests and sparkling lakes invite endless exploration. Whether you’re hiking, cycling, or simply soaking in the serene views. Highlights include the set of trails leading to breathtaking vistas, the chance to spot diverse wildlife, and the tranquil waters of Lac des Settons, perfect for a leisurely paddle or a picnic by the shore. Morvan’s natural splendor offers a refreshing contrast to the vineyard-clad landscapes of the region, making it an essential stop for those seeking the wild heart of Burgundy.
Best Things to do in Burgundy, France
Along with visiting the many towns in Burgundy, there are plenty of location specific experiences you’ll want to have. Many of these best things to do in Burgundy can be done in any number of the towns I’ve mentioned above. No matter where you choose to have your experiences, don’t miss out on these top things to do in Burgundy, France:
- Top Experiences to Have in Burgundy, France
- 1. Wine Tasting– Explore Burgundy’s soul through its wines. Each tasting is a journey through rich, velvety flavors and storied vineyards. Burgundy is known all over for having some of the best wines in the world. Don’t leave without sampling some.
- 2. Visit a Chateau– Experience the grandeur of old France by visiting one of the countless Chateau’s in the Burgundy region. There are so many to choose from and most offer some kind of tour.
- 3. Bike Tours– Discover Burgundy’s beauty at a slow pace through either a group or private bike tour through the countryside. Pedal past verdant vineyards. Breathe in the crisp, grape-scented air.
- 4. Picnic– Unfold your map and lay out a feast. Savor local flavors by the tranquil canals. Toast to the picturesque countryside.
- 5. Cruise in the Burgundy Canals– Glide on serene waters. Pass quaint villages and lush vineyards. Embrace the slow rhythm of Burgundy.
- 6. Cooking Class– Chop, sauté, and savor. Learn from Burgundian culinary artisans. Create and taste the region’s gastronomic delights.
- 7. Visit a local Market– Stroll through vibrant stalls. Discover fresh, local produce. Immerse in the buzz of Burgundian life.
Tips for Visiting Burgundy, France
Embarking on a journey to Burgundy is like stepping into a world where every moment is ripe for discovery. To make the most of this enchanting region, a little insider knowledge goes a long way. Here are some tips for your visit:
- Getting Around: Rent a car for flexibility to explore the sprawling vineyards and hidden gems of the countryside; just be sure to book in advance.
- Best Time to Visit: Aim for May through October when the weather is pleasant, with harvest season in September offering a unique spectacle. I visited the entire month of September and the weather was perfection.
- Car Rental Tips: Remember that manual cars are more common and often cheaper to rent.
- Duration of Stay: Dedicate at least a week to truly soak in the essence of Burgundy, from its wines to its heritage sites.
- Accommodations: Consider staying in a central location like Beaune or Dijon, which allows for easy day trips across the region.
- Wine Tastings: Reserve your wine tasting experiences in advance, especially during peak season, to ensure a spot in the renowned domains.
- Local Markets: Visit the local markets early in the morning for the freshest produce and an authentic slice of Burgundian life.
- Dining: Book restaurants ahead, particularly the popular ones, to indulge in the region’s famed culinary delights without disappointment.
- Language: Brush up on some basic French phrases; it will enrich your interactions and is greatly appreciated by the locals.
Burgundy France Travel Guide Conclusion
As this Burgundy France travel guide comes to an end, I hope your desire to witness the splendor of Burgundy is just beginning. With its enchanting vineyards, historic towns, and culinary delights waiting to be savored, Burgundy is a treasure trove of experiences. So pack your bags, bring your zest for life, and prepare for a journey that will etch itself in your heart. Burgundy awaits to turn your travel dreams into cherished memories. Bon voyage!