Quick Guide to Burgundy
Departments in Burgundy:
Cote d'Or · Nievre · Saone-et-Loire · Yonne
Dijon · Beaune · Macone · Nevers · Auxerre
For many, Burgundy is all about the wine. There's no denying that the endless fields of sun-kissed grapes, the welcoming family vineyards, and of course the elegant full-bodied wine itself are irresistible, but the wine is only part of the story. The cultivated vineyards are offset with dark forests brimming with flora and fauna in Nièvre, an abundance of Medieval architecture in Saone-et-Loire, magnificent castles along the river in Yonne and the patchwork hillsides of Cote d'Or - not to mention the slightly ironic wealth of gorgeous churches in the region responsible for executing Joan of Ark. And all of this on Paris' doorstep. So by all means, polish off a few bottles of the exquisite wine along the way, but be sure to see everything else this stunning region has to offer.
Top things to see...
- The bottom of a bottle (or three) of Burgundy wine whilst relaxing in the sun at the wineries.
- A different beautiful medieval church around every corner in Brionnias.
- Some of the more than 100 hundred nationally endangered species which can only be found in Burgundy forests.
- La Roche de Solutre - a towering rock formation in the winery region with unrivalled views out over the area, with prehistoric bones and flints found nearby.
- The turreted towers of resplendent Ducal Palace in the heart of Nevers.
Top things to do...
- Learn how to talk with authority about wine at one of the many friendly vineyards.
- Cycle from vineyard to vineyard along the « Champs-Élysées of vineyards » a straight alignment through the region which features the most prestigious vineyards.
- Wander through groves, forests and hillsides along the famous "voie verte", the "green way", an 80km path along the rustic old railroad tracks.
- Follow a series of stone owls positioned around the town on the Owl's Trail ("La Chouette") for an innovative way to discover Dijon.
- Charter a boat along the Canal du Nivernais, a canal of the river Loire with easy-to-navigate waters and beautiful surroundings.
Wine, vineyards, food, medieval churches, castles.
Did you know...?
The first locomotive in France was made in Burgundy in 1838, in the Schneider iron and steelworks based at Le Creusot which still operates today.
By road... Bordering the Ile-de-France region where Paris lies, Burgundy has always enjoyed good road links which are well maintained and make driving from Paris very easy.
By air... There are many possible options for flying, but nearly all involve a change at Paris and then a very short flight to Dijon. Depending on where you are staying, a better option might be to fly to Paris and then catch a train to a town closer to your final destination.
By public transport... Probably the easiest option from Paris and also often cheaper and quicker than flying, the T.G.V departs regularly to and from Paris and makes the whole journey time from London about 4 hours, thanks to the rapidity of both the Eurostar and the regional trains in Burgundy. There are also some bus options, although these can take a lot longer as they tend to stop a lot in the outskirts of Paris.