Sitting pretty between Paris and Lyon in east central France, you’ll discover that Burgundy is a fairytale land of Renaissance chateaux, medieval abbeys, fortified villages and rolling vineyards.
Burgundy is the embodiment of Old French power and the region boasts some of the most spectacular castles you will see in Europe. Among them are Chateau d’Ancy le Franc which is styled on the Italian Renaissance, and Chateau de Cormatin, a unique survivor from the days before the revolution. Today, Burgundy continues to be one of France’s most prosperous and wealthy regions, at least in part in thanks to the huge success of its vineyards which produce some of the most prestigious and expensive wines in the world such as Pinot Noirs, Chablis and Beaujolais.
While the chateaux dotted vineyards of rural Burgundy are captivating indeed, don’t miss a trip to the region’s capital, Dijon. Dijon was once the capital of the mighty Dukes of Bourgogne and it’s celebrated for its narrow streets, honey-coloured house, the awe-inspiring Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy and the gothic Cathedral of Saint Benign.
When to go
Across most of France the busiest months are July and August as that's when most of the locals tend to take their holidays. So, if you're wanting to avoid the crowds, aim to visit on either side of that period. If the pull of the warmer weather trumps sharing your holiday with others, be advised it could still rain, even in July. Autumn starts to arrive towards the beginning of September and with it comes cooler weather and harvest time. Expect dark and very cold days in winter.
What to do
- Hike through vineyards
- Savour local gourmet delicacies
- Must-see sights include the basilica of Vezelay, the abbey of Cluny and the abandoned Fontenay Abbey
- Discover Burgundy's rich Medieval, Celtic and Gaulish heritage
- Tour the Morvan National Park