Burgundy (French, Bourgogne) is an inland region of east-central France southeast of Paris. Noted for its rich history, Burgundy is probably most famous for the wines of the same name, as well as several other important varieties.
- Autun — small hill city with very well-preserved ancient Roman walls and a great Romanesque cathedral
- Auxerre — with a relatively compact old city, Auxerre is pleasant to walk through and features some beautiful, very old buildings including the Old Abbey of St. Germain, whose crypt contains frescos from the time of Charlemagne
- Beaune — capital of the Dukes of Burgundy after Dijon, a well-to-do city that features a beautiful Hotel-Dieu with the "Polyptych of the Apocalypse" by Sluter
- Dijon — capital of the region and former capital of the Dukes of Burgundy, with a beautiful old city, great art and architecture and the atmosphere of a university city as well as one of history and commerce
- Époisses — a small village, best known for its cheese; it also has its own chateau
- Saulieu — a small town that features the Gothic Basilique Saint-Andoche
- Semur-en-Auxois — a walled medieval town in the heart of the Côte-d'Or, situated on the banks of the Armançon, which has a striking skyline and a beautiful collegiate church (collégiale)
- Sens — a historically important city with a famous Gothic cathedral and other striking buildings from those heady times in its past
- Vézelay — hill village that's home to the famous Basilica Sainte-Marie-Madeleine de Vézelay, start of many a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela
- Morvan Regional Natural Park, a protected area of woodlands, lakes and traditional farmland.
Burgundy has a rich architectural inheritance of remarkable buildings, including castles and major Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals. Its vineyards are some of the most prestigious in the world, and its cuisine is also famous. Aside from cities and towns, many of them walled, with well-known structures, the countryside is dotted with numerous pleasant, picturesque villages.
Burgundy also offers natural beauty, with lakes and forests, and plenty of opportunities for fishing, walking or riding. The Nièvre holds a vast area of wild countryside ideal both for sport and cultural activities. The visitor will find lands with different tastes to discover, and gentle landscapes with the river Loire and hillsides covered with vineyards.
Wine is unmistakably the most well known product in Burgundy. From north to south, the most famous and recognizable wines of the region grow on carefully exposed soils: Chablis, Côteaux de l'Auxerrois, Côte-de-Nuits, Côte-de-Beaune, Hautes-Côtes, Côtes Chalonnaise et Mâconnais, and, of course, Pouilly-sur-Loire.
As far as English is concerned, it is quite likely that tourists will be able to find English speakers in tourist areas, and the larger towns and cities such as Dijon. As soon as you venture into less populated areas, some knowledge of French becomes essential.
Burgundy is crossed by the A6 from Paris in the northwest to Beaune where it connects to the A31 that runs from north to south along the east side of the region. On the west side, parallel to the Loire, runs the A77 that proceeds as RN7 a few kilometers south of Nevers.
- The vineyards (Vignoble de Bourgogne)
- Route des Grands Crus - The approximately 60 kilometer route runs along the foot of the Côte d'Or from Dijon in the North to Santenay in the South. She runs through many of the great appellations of Burgundy wines. It takes visitors through the vineyards of the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune and the hills of the Hautes-Côtes. The route passes 33 villages, including Beaune, and runs along many picturesque churches.
- Route Touristique des Grands Vin de Bourgogne - This route of 100 kilometers is a continuation of the Route des Grands Crus and runs from Santenay to Saint-Gengoux-le-National. The route is well marked and can be traveled easily by bike.
- Routes des Vins Mâconnais-Beaujolais – This route is a way to discover the vineyards of Upper Mâconnais and leads along Lugny, Burgy, Fleurville, Saint-Albain, Macon, Peronne, St. Gengoux-de-Scisse and Bissy la Mâconnaise. Suivez la grappe means follow the grapes.
- Route des Vignobles de l'Yonne – This route takes you through the vineyards of the Yonne, called wine of Lower Burgundy, and is formed by the Chablis vineyards, Auxerre vineyards, the vineyards of Vézelay, the vineyards of Tonnerre and Joigny.
- Castles - There are hundreds of castles in Burgundy. Many can be visited. The French Wikipedia web site Liste des châteaux de Bourgogne shows a list of all castles per department.
- Villages - Many villages in Burgundy have old medieval centers. Walk around, visit a terrace, drink a glass of wine and enjoy.
- Le Beaujolais Est Arrivé! - Every third Thursday of November, the new Beaujolais Nouveau wine arrives at bars and restaurants across France and select places around the world. This wine is from the historical Beaujolais province and wine-producing region north of Lyon that covers parts of the northern part of the Rhône département (Rhône-Alpes) and parts of the southern part of the Saône-et-Loire département. It is a young wine meant to be drunk as soon as possible as it does not age very well.
- MuséoParc Alésia, 1 Route des Trois Ormeaux, 21150 Alise-Sainte-Reine (Station: Gare des Laumes-Alésia), ☎ +33 3 80 96 96 23. Mon-Sun 9AM-5PM. An archaeological museum with a multimedia exhibition, reconstructed fortifications, the remains of a Gallo-Roman city, statue of Vercingetorix
- Biking - There is an extensive network of cycle routes in Burgundy, which is an excellent way to explore the region.
Burgundy is not only known for its famous wines. It has a good reputation for its cuisine, too.
- Bouef bourguignon – A beef stew in red wine
- Escargots – Snails with herbs and garlic butter
- Jambon persillé - Terrine of shoulder ham and parsley with Bourgogne Aligoté (white wine)
- Gougères – Cheese puffs
- Coq au vin – Chicken with mushrooms and herbs in a red wine sauce
- Regional cheeses – Chèvre, Citeaux, Époisses
- Moutarde de Dijon – Mustard (nowadays not from Dijon but from neighboring Chevigny-Saint-Sauveur)
- Crème de cassis – A sweet dark red liqueur with the taste of black currant
- Anis de Flavigny – Sweets made from anise and covered with sugar syrup
Of the 25 three-star restaurants in France, three can be found in Burgundy.
- La Côte Saint-Jacques, 14, faubourg de Paris, Joigny 89300, ☎ +33 3 86 62 09 70.
- Le Relais Bernard Loiseau, 2, rue Argentine, Saulieu 21210, ☎ +33 3 80 90 53 53.
- Restaurant Lameloise, 36, place d'Armes, Chagny 71150, ☎ +33 3 85 87 65 65.
But you do not have to go to a starred restaurant for good food. Even in the smallest villages you will find good traditional restaurants. Along the roads you will find Restaurant Routiers where you can order le menu du jour or le plat du jour for a very reasonable price.