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Semur-en-Auxois, medieval village in Burgundy.

- © Boerescu / Shutterstock
Burgundy
Burgundy

Burgundy: terroir and bon vivants

Burgundy in short

Burgundy, a historic region of France

It was in Burgundy that our ancestors the Gauls suffered their last and most bitter defeat, at Alesia. Although Vercingetorix bowed to Caesar, a few hundred years later the Duchy of Burgundy stood up to the Kingdom of France. Today's Burgundy, which is much calmer, has preserved many vestiges of these periods. As for the battle of Alesia, the quarrel between specialists lasted for many decades before it was accepted that the site was indeed in the Côte d'Or, where a MuseoParc will soon be built.

For the centuries that followed, the heritage is not open to question, given the number of exceptional monuments to be found in Burgundy and remarkable religious buildings such as the abbeys of Cluny and Fontenay.

The fort of Châteauneuf, in the region of Burgundy Franche-Comté.

- © Massimo Santi / Shutterstock

Visit the wonderful châteaux of Burgundy

Some of Burgundy's châteaux are tucked away in the wildest corners of the country, steeped in history and dating back to time immemorial. Lovers of French history and novices alike will be equally charmed by these imposing monuments.

On the road to France's grands crus, don't forget to admire the marvellous gardens of the Château de Digoine, a veritable 18th-century gem where immersive shows take place. The Château de Saint-Fargeau, all pink brick, also reproduces the scenes of the period in stunning historical reconstructions.

Near one of France's most beautiful villages, Châteauneuf, the fortress offers a magnificent view over the region's vineyards and the Burgundy canal.

Burgundy, complex and elegant wines

These heritage, architectural and cultural treasures are accompanied by an incomparably rich soil from which some of the world's most famous and appreciated wines are extracted. Chablis, Côte de Beaune, Vosne Romanée, Givry and Mâcon-Villages are among the labels that every wine lover should have in their cellar.

Take the route des Grands Crus and don't forget to choose your 'Sam' for the day.

The wine route winds its way through the vineyards of Burgundy, offering magnificent views of the hillsides and wine-producing villages. Get ready for a day of drinking...

The vineyards of Burgundy, France.

- © tichr / Shutterstock

Nature tourism in Burgundy

This land that offers such high-quality vineyards is also generous with the rest of the plant and animal world. The region is therefore at the cutting edge of green tourism, with preserved natural areas.

The Morvan Regional Nature Park is a paradise for sports enthusiasts, with kayaking, hiking, cycling and climbing available all year round. The banks of the Burgundy canal offer opportunities for swimming and walking in an idyllic setting.

Finally, cyclists will be delighted to learn that the Canal du Centre cycle route is a 120km cycle path that follows the Canal du Centre from Chalon-sur-Saône to Digoin. Discover the river landscapes, locks, barges and more.

The rocks of Solutré, in the south of Burgundy.

- © JeromeSauvage / Shutterstock

Burgundian cuisine, all that is most French

Meat lovers, Burgundy will delight you... Burgundian cuisine is based on quality local produce.

Burgundy meats are renowned for their superior quality. Indeed, the traditional farming methods handed down from generation to generation make your meal an experience not to be missed.

Charolais beef, Bresse poultry and Burgundy snails are all delicious dishes to try during your stay in the land of the bon vivants.

Burgundy wines are also an essential ingredient in this family-style cuisine, particularly in the preparation of traditional dishes such as coq au vin or boeuf bourguignon, which needs no introduction. Other local specialities include jambon persillé, gougère, tarte Tatin and cheeses such as Epoisses and Cîteaux, all of which are the pride and joy of Burgundy gastronomy.

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The must-sees

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How to get there?

There is no international airport located directly in Burgundy. However, the region is easily accessible from several nearby airports: Dijon-Bourgogne airport, 8km from Dijon, and Lyon-Saint Exupéry airport, around 150km from Burgundy. The latter is the largest airport in the region, offering both national and international flights.

From the airport, we recommend that you hire a car to explore Burgundy at your own pace.

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Where to stay?

Burgundy offers a variety of rather upmarket accommodation, from charming hotels and châteaux to luxury villas and prestigious guest houses.

To complete your trip, the region also boasts a number of renowned gourmet restaurants where you can sample the cuisine of this refined terroir.

Historic towns such as Dijon, Beaune and Autun offer a host of options for discerning travellers...

Practical information

When should you visit Burgundy?

Like the rest of France, Burgundy enjoys a temperate continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers.

However, don't let this surprise you: the centre of the country can experience much greater variations in temperature than the coasts. Average temperatures range from 1°C in January to 20°C in July. Temperatures regularly drop below zero during the coldest weeks of winter.

As far as rain is concerned, take your umbrella with you. Although rainfall is generally evenly distributed throughout the year, May and June are particularly wet and rain is frequent.

There can also be periods of fog, especially in autumn and winter.

In general, Burgundy is a great place to live, with sunny, pleasant days, especially in summer. If you're lucky, summer extends into the autumn, which the locals call an Indian summer.

The Burgundy holiday calendar

The official website of the Burgundy tourist office has put together a calendar of events for the region. You can find all the festivities in the Bourgogne Franche-Comté region: markets, exhibitions, shows and festivals.

As you might expect, there are plenty of wine-related celebrations. Discover the 10 best wine festivals in Burgundy, for an authentic and somewhat... drunken experience.

Take a look at the region's events and plan your holiday accordingly!

Getting around Burgundy

Let's be clear: Burgundy is not London or Berlin. Over there, there are more cows than public transport...

So, to get around the region easily, car hire is the most practical option.

There are numerous rental agencies in the major towns such as Dijon and Beaune, as well as at the region's various airports.

The motorways are well-maintained and allow quick travel between towns, while the secondary roads offer picturesque scenery for more adventurous drivers.

Big city drivers beware, it's important to remember that narrow roads in historic villages can be difficult to navigate if you're not used to them.

Car hire in Burgundy costs between €100 and €200 per day, depending on the model of car you are looking for.

Do I need a visa to come to Burgundy?

France is a fairly open country, accepting tourists of many nationalities. If you're a foreigner and you want to come on holiday to Burgundy, check with the French embassy or consulate in your home country. If you are planning a short stay of less than 90 days, a Schengen visa may be sufficient.

COVID in France

According to the official French government website, the measures taken at borders to combat COVID-19 no longer apply.

In fact, no specific measures have been taken in France.

Find the latest updates on the COVID situation on the French government website.

lightbulb_outline Editor's tip

Be prepared to walk: Burgundy is a region for walking and hiking, so make sure you bring comfortable shoes that support your ankles.

Useful links
Burgundy Tourist Office

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