Your first stop after leaving Dijon (which deserves a poke around before picking up your bikes) should be Châteauneuf-en-Auxois, part of the association 'Les Plus Beaux Villages de France' (The most beautiful villages of France). It is situated at just under 500m above sea level so it is quite a hike to reach it (you may want to think about getting an electric bike, at least for this stretch) but the reward is certainly worth it. Proud residents look after the village with love and attention and wondering through its quite streets you will soon realise why many a location scout has fallen for the place. There are many architecturally interesting houses dating from between the 15th and 18th century on which you can see the advancement in building techniques through various features relating to access, drainage and support. At the main square is a large cross under which coffins would be placed before funeral ceremonies, baptisms would take place and where criminals could come to avoid being lynched (the practice being banned at this particular spot). For a great view of the surrounding landscape head down a path towards the back of the village (where you'll find another larger cross) and take in the splendour. But it is for its dominant medieval Burgundy military style castle that the village is best known. Sitting atop a rocky spur, its construction begun at the start of the 12th century by Jean de Chaudenay and went through several expansions over several centuries, notably the 14th and 15th. Having passed through several hands, it now belongs to the regional council and is open all year round (closed on Mondays) for visitors to admire the 12th century dungeons, the 15th century living quarters and the chapel, amongst others. If you are looking to stay the night in Châteauneuf-en-Auxois, we recommend the charming Hostellerie du Château, which has an excellent restaurant and pretty garden.
Voûte de Pouilly