- Countryside Abbey-crested winelands
- Country life Market shopping, domaine-hopping
Located in the heart of France, Burgundy is a region of peaceful canals, well-tended vineyards and rural charm – the epitome of la vie Française.
Burgundy has unexpected charms to uncork: vineyards, of course, but also tranquil canals and, at its heart, a lake-laden national park. Romanesque churches dot the hills and plains, among them the beautiful Cistercian abbey at Fontenay. And traces of Burgundy’s pre-Enlightenment incarnation as a powerful duchy remain, such as the imposing Ducal Palace in the centre of Dijon. Today, it’s the region’s food and wine that are all-conquering: its rich gastronomie bourguignonne and its precious Côte d’Or vintages. Burgundy’s towns and rivers – Chablis, Mâcon, Beaune, Pouilly, the Loire and the Saône – make up an oenophile’s gazetteer. You don’t have to be a wine lover to come on holiday here, but... actually, you do.
Do go/Don’t go
ummers are hot and sunny; winters are cold and clear. Spring sees more rainfall but fewer crowds in the towns and cities. The oak and maple forests look spectacular in autumn, and the wine harvest takes place in September and October.
Planes Fly into Dijon-Bourgogne in the north of Burgundy, or Lyon St Exupéry airport if you’re visiting the south of the region. Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and Orly Airports in Paris are within easy reach of Dijon.
Trains From the UK, take the Eurostar (www.eurostar. com) from London St Pancras to Lyon via Lille (around six hours), or Paris (slightly quicker, but you connect from a different station). The TGV from Paris Gare de Lyon takes two hours (www.tgv.com).
Automobiles Burgundy is connected by good roads, and a car is recommended if you want to visit the vineyards, châteaux and historic towns scattered throughout the region. There are multiple rental desks at Lyon Saint-Exupéry airport (www.lyon.aeroport.fr). Access Burgundy via the A6 from Paris, or the A7 from Marseille.
- Taxis In Dijon, there’s a taxi rank at the railway station. Otherwise, book one through Taxis Radio Dijon (+33 (0)3 80 41 41 12) or your hotel.