A Guide to Holiday in Burgundy

Where is Burgundy?

Burgundy is a traditional province and a former autonomous area in central-eastern France. It takes its name from the Burgundians, the East Germanic people who migrated westward beyond the Rhine during the late Roman century. Historically, the name of Burgundy has denoted a range of political bodies, from kingdoms and duchesses from the Mediterranean to the Low Nations.

Geographically speaking, after the creation of the French departmental structure in 1790, the term applies to the territorial region of the four departments of Côte-d’Or, Saône-et-Loire, Yonne and Nièvre.

Burgundy is, first and foremost, a nation of fine wines, and so obviously they are omnipresent in local cuisine. From the popular beef bourguignon, a wine-based recipe, of course, to “en meurette” meals served with lardons and red wine.

Such dishes contain œufs au vin (eggs), coq au vin, as well as charcuterie and persillé bacon. Both regional dishes are served and enjoyed with wine produced by one of the great winemakers of Burgundy.

 

Where are the must see Places in Burgundy ?

Burgundy has an impressive range of ancient landmarks and museums, unexpectedly tucked deep in the quiet countryside. The scenery of densely wooded woods and rolling hills abound with cultural treasures: Romanesque chapels, medieval cities, picturesque villages and ancient abbeys.

There are more than 300 churches in Burgundy, and many of them are masterpieces of Gothic architecture.

Medieval Structures in Noyers-sur-Serein

Visiting this place, you will love strolling via twisting cobblestone avenues, admiring half-timbered homes, and exploring the age-old ramparts capped by 23 walls. Due to its position on the roaming Serein River, Noyers was a significant medieval hub of commerce.

Place du Marché-au-Blé (Corn Market) and Place du Grenier-à-Sel (Salt Storehouse) testify to the thriving history of the village as a commercial area. Due to its charming historic setting, Noyers is rated among the “Five Beaux Villages” in France.

Small square in Saulieu

In the heart of Burgundy, the tiny village of Saulieu provides the beauty of the countryside and the history of France. The village is famous for its excellent gastronomy and is a perfect spot to enjoy a gourmet dinner.

Saulieu boasts a range of outstanding restaurants along with the two-star Michelin establishment Le Relais Bernard Loiseau, which offers both creative and traditional Burgundian cuisine. Within a traditional hotel, the dining room boasts a sumptuous décor and a view overlooking the backyard.

Roman Ruins in Autun

Autun has a long history stretching back to Roman times. On the east side of the town are the remnants of the biggest Roman theater in Gaul (which is home to 20,000 spectators), the ancient city gates (Porte d’Arroux and Porte St-André) and the impressive foundations of the Temple of Janus.

From the 12th century, the Cathedral of Saint Lazarus was a splendid example of Romanesque architecture. There are two richly painted chapels in the church, and the largest on the left is the martyrdom of Saint Symphorian sculpture by Ingres (1834).

This artwork shows the artist’s ability to construct a complex three-dimensional crowd image. There are two richly painted chapels in the church, and the largest on the left is the martyrdom of Saint Symphorian sculpture by Ingres (1834).

The Burgundy Canal and Châteauneuf-en-Auxois

In the 12th century, the formidable medieval castle of Châteauneuf-en-Auxois gained a strategic benefit from its elevated position spanning the Burgundy River. The castle’s circular towers and impressive walls are noticeable from a distance.

The twisting gothic streets are filled with magnificent 14th-16th-century houses belonging to the merchants of Burgundy. Many of the locations around the village provide panoramic views of the countryside.

Châteauneuf-en-Auxois is one of the best places to visit in Burgundy.

Dijon

The center of Dijon is relatively compact and best explored on foot. The historic quarter of Notre-Dame is host to the city’s glories, including the extravagant townhouses of the wealthiest peasants.

Visit the tourist office housed in the 15th-century Hotel Chambellan on Rue de la Chouette, one of Dijon’s finest structures.

Visit the Morvan National Park

The National Park in Morvan is one of Burgundy’s best hidden secrets: over a thousand square miles of forest provided for hiking and riding. This whole region is a geographical peculiarity – a large granite outcrop in a limestone sea.

Experience the view of Clos de Vougeot Vineyard

Clos de Vougeot has one of the largest vineyards in Burgundy. The Château de Clos de Vougeot is a small château designed to house the wine presses used by the Cistercian monks to produce wine for their masses.

The Château is also the location of the most elegant wine lovers of Burgundy, the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin.

Walk around the Abbey at Fontenay

The Abbey of Fontenay was established by St-Bernard in 1118. This large monastery near Montbard is notable for its very plain, austere design and no-frills architecture. 

Having been ruined and destroyed after the French Revolution, and instead used as a paper mill, the Abbey was so beautifully rebuilt and it is still the most intact surviving medieval monastery.

Vézelay

Vézelay is a traditional hilltop town in the Valley of the Cure and a Christian shrine. This was the origin of St-Bernard ‘s Appeal to the Second Crusade in 1146. This became a significant pilgrimage location and a special stop on the road to Compostela throughout the Middle Ages. Pilgrims stay here on their journey to St-Jacques-de-Compostelle.

The formidable Roman Basilica of Ste-Madeleine (12th-13th century) is situated high over the “eternal slope.” The room, with its glorious Christ in Heaven, is one of the finest Romanesque pieces of art in the west.

What are the Top things to do in Burgundy for fun ?

There are lots of fun things to do in Burgundy, but we have listed out the ones you might like based on reviews.

Go Wine Tasting

Unless you plan to explore Burgundy and not to drink wine, you are mistaken. It seems difficult to miss the finest wines produced in this spot in the country, particularly if you are not a wine lover.

You don’t have to be an expert to experience them, but if you want to know more, there’s no better spot than Burgundy. Select one of the sampling opportunities provided by several wine producers and wineries, such as the one in Chateau de Pommard.

Cycle the GreenWay

Do you know there are 1000 km of bike paths in Burgundy? These create the so-called “Le Tour de Bourgogne à vélo,” which is the Green Way route through the canals, along the old railway tracks and through several narrow roads and pathways across the vineyards.

If you’re sport-oriented and enjoy running, this is the perfect way to see and smell Burgundy and its full beauty.

Eating the Food

“Things to do in Burgundy” list won’t be full without eating. The whole of France and its people are food-oriented, and several delicacies are made here, reflecting the nation at its finest. 

And while you’re in Burgundy, be free to eat and drink as much as you want.

Experience Ancient civilization of Bibracte

This pre-Roman village was once deserted and rediscovered in the 18th century, Bibracte was once Gual’s largest city and is now uncovered. The Celtic Culture Museum on the site portrays the finding of the city and subsequent excavations, while demonstrating Bibracte’s relation to Celtic Europe.

Together with nice buildings, you can see pottery, jewelry and drawings showing what was understood and how life was conducted at the height of Bibracte. Besides, the local scenery is beautifully stunning, rendering Bibracte the ideal spot for a simple stroll full of discovery.

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon

The Dijon Museum of Fine Arts is housed in the city’s old Ducal Palace. The shows are extremely diverse, varying from masterpieces such as Boudin and Monet to Korean stoneware, Buddhist art and Gothic tombs. You will experience the display of Fayum mummy portraits in the Egyptian Museum Series, enabling you to see authentic paintings showing Egyptian burials from over 2,000 years ago.

Try the mustard bar at the Fallot mustard mill

This pre-Roman village was once deserted and rediscovered in the 18th century, Bibracte was once Gual’s largest city and is now uncovered. The Celtic Culture Museum on the site portrays the finding of the city and subsequent excavations, while demonstrating Bibracte’s relation to Celtic Europe.

Together with nice buildings, you can see pottery, jewelry and drawings showing what was understood and how life was conducted at the height of Bibracte. Besides, the local scenery is beautifully stunning, rendering Bibracte the ideal spot for a simple stroll full of discovery.

Cruise the Nivernais Canal

Traveling more than 180 km (112 miles), between St Léger des Vignes in the Nièvre and Auxerre, the capital of Lower Burgundy, the Nivernais canal allows tourists to travel closer to the greenery, villages and vineyards, in boats without having a licence.

Make a wish to the legendary owl of Dijon

This pre-Roman village was once deserted and rediscovered in the 18th century, Bibracte was once Gual’s largest city and is now uncovered. The Celtic Culture Museum on the site portrays the finding of the city and subsequent excavations, while demonstrating Bibracte’s relation to Celtic Europe.

Together with nice buildings, you can see pottery, jewelry and drawings showing what was understood and how life was conducted at the height of Bibracte. Besides, the local scenery is beautifully stunning, rendering Bibracte the ideal spot for a simple stroll full of discovery.

What is burgundy known for?

Burgundy is, first and foremost, a nation of fine wines, and so obviously they are omnipresent in local cuisine. From the popular beef bourguignon, a wine-based recipe, of course, to “en meurette” meals, served with lardons and red wine.

Such dishes contain œufs au vin (eggs), coq au vin, as well as charcuterie and persillé bacon.

Both regional dishes are served or enjoyed with wine produced by one of the great winemakers of Burgundy. Burgundy offers a broad variety of wines, from red, green, chardonnay and sauvignon.

Certain types in Burgundy comprise a limited number in roses and sparkling wines, and Bourgogne makes these. Besides the most popular wine regions such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chablis, the wines of Burgundy often include several prominent French wines.

Burgundy has been renowned for its beautiful, sophisticated and nuanced wines for a long time, but it still contains many surprises. Burgundy is a wine that creates an almost mysterious popularity among wine lovers due to its unusual mix of wines and its distinctive look.

Restaurants in Burgundy

Whether you’re heading out and preparing your own meal or heading to a restaurant, this is the place to be. Modern Burgundian food is delicious.  Oeufs en Meurette, Jambon persillé and Boeuf Bourguignon are all well-known food items. And there are the snails of all forms and sizes.

Frédéric Doucet

Led by Frédéric Doucet, this beautiful restaurant is a must for you if you want to explore southern Burgundy. The dining rooms and the terrace offer gastronomic delights for all the senses. They offer foie gras, Charolais beef, pigeon breast and Breton lobster.

La Lune

Grab a counter seat and enjoy the one-man show of chef Seiichi Hirobe preparing French-Japanese fusion dishes such as roasted scallops with umeboshi sauce and tuna tartare. The abundance of fresh veggies offers a nice break from Beaune’s normally richer cuisine.

Au Fil du Zinc, Chablis

Au Fil du Zinc is among the finest restaurants in Burgundy. Offering French cuisine with an emphasis on new and local ingredients. Chef Ryo Nagahama offers a tasty menu, as well as a small range of a la carte choices. With a broad variety of inexpensive local wines, it’s a perfect spot to eat and drink.

 

La Dame d'Aquitaine

La Dame d’Aquitaine has long been the gastronomic mainstay of the Dijonaise scene in the stunning stone cellar of the sumptuous 17th-century house.

The skilled owners cook dishes such as the single meunière with churros-style potatoes or the “Rossini” tournedos (topped with moist foie gras) dusted with the truffle.

Le Bistrot des Halles

This restaurant provides dishes such as scallops or snail risotto served with a fragrant truffle sauce. Take a seat on the sidewalk or dine inside this beautiful restaurant.

Le Carmin

In a dead-centre position facing the market hall and within reach of the Hospices de Beaune. The beautifully furnished and elegant dining room offers the background for innovative market-driven dishes. Dishes like carpaccio of scallops marinated with spices and topped with crispy raw radishes, or venison mixed with purée, quince and chestnuts are served here.

Le Chateaubriant

This restaurant provides dishes such as scallops or snail risotto served with a fragrant truffle sauce. Take a seat on the sidewalk or dine inside this beautiful restaurant.

Holiday lettings in Burgundy

You can’t enjoy your stay in Burgundy without having a nice place to stay. We have provided a list of holiday lettings you can choose from based on reviews.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I certainly think Burgundy is worth a visit for cuisine, wine and historic towns. Beaune is a perfect spot to spend a day. They have several wine cellars that you can visit to taste a wide variety of local wines.

The main wine growing regions of France

Alsace.

Bordeaux.

Burgundy.

Beaujolais.

Champagne.

Côtes du Rhône.

Jura.

Languedoc.

Burgundy, one of the world’s most beloved wine regions, is blessed with the perfect combination of geography, geology and climate for the production of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, among other cool-climate grape varieties.

Pinot Noir is the most significant grape variety grown in Burgundy and is best known for the region. Red Burgundy is 100% Pinot Noir, although many other grapes are used, so it is also one of the most popular red wines in the world.