Among the regions of France, Burgundy is one of the most well-known for its wine. It is true that some of the most expensive wine in the world comes from this area, but you will find many other things to see do and taste within Burgundy.
Seeing the Sights
Castles are the main attraction in Burgundy, and you will see them everywhere. Many are open to the public and worth a visit, but you won’t find anything like Guedelon anywhere else in the world so that’s a must see.
Guedelon is a castle being built to the specifications of one in the 13th century. The tractors are replaced by horses, and the electrical equipment is nowhere to be found. In fact, the workers even dress as if they were in the 13th century. The project began in 1995 and is expected to be complete in 2025.
The Castle of Ancy le Franc is one to see, with incredible artwork throughout the living quarters, private chapel and various apartments. You will also want to visit Abbey de Fontenay, which dates back to the 12th century and is one of Europe’s oldest abbeys.
If you still have some free time left, stroll through the quaint villages of Vezelay and Dijon.
Discovering the Wine
When you think of Burgundy, visions of fine red wine come to mind, but don’t overlook the chablis, grown and produced in the town it’s named after. Enjoy a tour through the picturesque Chablis vineyards and learn and taste how chardonnay is changed into this light and fruity beverage.
Make a stop to see Countess Beru, who lives in 15th century castle that also makes some wonderful Burgundy wines from her vineyards under the Chateaude de Beru label. She too can do the unexpected with chardonnay. You will also find guest rooms here if you’d like to stay right among the vineyards.
For those who find reds are more your style, follow the Route des Grand Crus through Pouilly-Fuisse and Maconnais-Beaujolais. You will also find the Route of Crémant in Côte d’Or as well as the Route of Great Wines, which takes you through the vineyards of Côte Chalonnaise.
Eating & Staying in Luxury
If you think Paris is the only place in France to get fine dining by Michelin Star chefs and luxury hotels, you haven’t been to Burgundy.
Two Relais Chateau, properties, La Cote Saint Jacques in Joigny, and Relais Bernard Louiseau in Bourgogne, are spectacular, from the rooms to the views you will find from the balcony.
Both of these hotels also each boast famous chefs who create 10 course pairing meals like you’ve never tasted before, from dishes made with white truffles to beef cooked for days in a clay pot to cheese and dessert courses that will keep you satisfied for days. Just make sure you get reservations a long way in advance – and be prepared for a meal that can cost as much as a plane ticket.
For something a little different, stay and eat at Auberge de la Beursaudiere, where the owners Alsace background shines through with a bit of a German flair in the food and décor.
Burgundy is between the Champagne and Rhones Alpes regions. You can take the train from Paris, Lyon Lille, or even Strasbourg and Geneva. Flights are available from many points around Europe to Burgundy’s Dijon-Bourgogne Airport.
You may also want to consider renting a car and driving from Paris. It’s quite a scenic ride as you enjoy the French countryside along the way.