Exploring the Region

The Hospices de Beaune by Stefan Bauer, (Own work) CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

Countless pleasures await you in this delightful part of Burgundy

Wine and vineyards may be the first things that come to mind when you think of Burgundy, but there’s so much more to enjoy. En La Marre’s location, 45 minutes from Beaune, gives you an ideal base from which to take in everything from spectacular architecture and historic monuments to hill walking and canal trips.

Of course, if you’re keen to sample the famous Côte d’Or wines and see where they come from, you’re well placed to sniff out some of Burgundy’s finest, including Meursault and Nuits-Saint-Georges.

Beaune

The walled town of Beaune is one of the must-sees of the Burgundy region. Wander along its cobbled streets, browse its art galleries, stop off at one of the pavement cafés or wine cellars. Above all, don’t miss the 15th-century former almshouse, which is now the Hôtel-Dieu Museum, showcasing masterpieces such as Le Jugement Dernier by Flemish artist Rogier Van der Weyden.

45 minutes by car.

The Hospices de Baune by Nguyenld (Own work) CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

Dijon

The capital of Burgundy, Dijon is home to some impressive architecture ranging from Gothic to art deco. The 18th-century Musée des Beaux-Arts situated in the enormous Palais des Ducs has a rich collection of sculptures arts and antiquities. A short walk from the palace is the huge covered market Les Halles – open four mornings a week.

Around 1.5 hours by car. Or drive to Chagny (20 mins) and take the train to Dijon (35 mins).

Musée des Beaux-Arts. Photo © Burgundy Tourism

Autun and Morvan National Park

To the west is Autun, a small town that belies its historical significance as the Roman capital of France. Among the numerous Roman remnants is an amphitheatre, which was the largest of its time.

From Autun, you’re well placed to explore the Morvan National Park, with its forests and lakes and whole range of outdoor activities from whitewater rafting and mountain biking to diving and climbing.

Morvan Resistance Museum

Located within the Morvan Nature Park Centre, the Morvan Resistance Museum gives a remarkable insight into the role of the Maquis French Resistance rural guerrilla fighters during the Second World War.

Cluny and Taizé

South, towards Mâcon, is the commune of Cluny, where you can see the ruins of a former Benedictine monastery. Aside from its theological significance, Cluny is home to the National Stud Farm of Cluny, a world-famous equestrian centre and stud renowned for its purebred stallions, created on the order of Napoleon I.

En route to Cluny, you pass Taizé, home to an ecumenical monastic community, which has become a place of pilgrimage, especially for young adults.

Wine villages of south Burgundy

Head further south, beyond the Maconnais, and you come to the Beaujolais region, where the villages of Fleurie, Saint Amour, Julienas and Chenas give their names to the classic red Beaujolais wines. For famous whites, make for Pouilly-Fuissé and Saint Veran. If you fancy a tipple or a taste of local cuisine, you’ll find excellent restaurants and auberges aplenty.

Photo by Arnaud 25 (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

La Bresse

 

For a change of scenery, head east beyond Chalon (a 25-minute drive) to the Bresse, where vineyards give way to flat plains dotted with handsome brick barns and timbered farmhouses.

 

Here, the River Saône wends its way south past small towns and villages, where you can stop off and enjoy some of the region’s classic dishes: the world-famous Bresse free-range poultry, friture – a small fried freshwater fish – and pochouse, the local version of Mediterranean fish stew, bouillabaisse.

 

Another 30 minutes further on from the Bresse, you come to the mountain region of the Jura… and that too, has its own unique wines and food.

View to Echebrune

The River Saône at Chalon

The 12th century church

Once described as ‘the queen of poultry, the poultry of kings” – Photo: Arnaud 25

Local vineyard

Friture – made with fish fresh from the Saône

Cafes at Pons

Pochouse – a classic Burgundian fish stew

Seasonal Gastronomic Events in Burgundy

As the gastronomic centre of France, Burgundy is host to numerous food and wine events throughout the year. Here are some of them:

April – All month. Various food and wine events throughout the region.

May – First weekend: Journées Gourmandes in Saulieu– Tasting of local produce and wine. Plus many other events in other villages all month.

June – Lots of wine tastings throughout the month

June-July – Bursting with wine and food activities, some combined with music such as Les Musicaves

August – First weekend: La Ronde Couchoise – a weekend of “open door” at around 30 cellars in the Couchois, tasting local wines and produce

August – First weekend Du Cep en Verre in Nolay – festival of wine and folk music

AugustCharolais Festival – lots of meat and local produce to sample

August-SeptemberFêtes de la Vigne in Dijon.

September – First weekend: La Fete du Cassis in Nuits-Saint-George

Plus many, many more, especially in October after the grape harvest. Ask us for details.

View to Echebrune

Les Musicaves

The 12th century church

Du Cep En Verre Photo © Beaune Tourisme

Local vineyard

Charolais festival. Photo © Maison-Charolais

Cafes at Pons

Fêtes de la Vigne – Dijon by Gerard FERON, via Flickr

Things to Do

If you’re looking for a bit of action or recreation in between visiting Burgundy’s sights and attractions, you won’t have to go far.

Golf

Chateau d’Avoise – rue de Macon, Montchanin/Le Creusot (15 kms) – 18 hole championship standard. www.golf-avoise.net
Golf Municipal de Chalon – Parc des Loisirs, St. Nicolas, Chatenoy en Bresse (26 kms) – 18 hole. www.golfchalon.com
Golf Municipal d’Autun – le Plan d’Eau du Vallon (15 kms) – 9 hole. www.golfautun.fr

Cycling and Walking

Cyclists can take advantage of the wonderful paths created along former railway lines and canal paths, La Voie Verte. Bikes and helmets are available at En la Marre at no charge.

The same paths are also suitable for walking, plus many more, locally amongst the vineyards and hills of the Couchois and throughout the region. We have cycling and walking maps and routes for your reference at En la Marre.

Fishing

A very popular sport in France and available in the many lakes, rivers and canals. Permits are required; daily ones can be purchased from the “tabacs”.

Horse riding

We have three riding stables within 20 minutes’ drive:

Ecuries les Bruyeres, Saint Pierre de Varennes info@poneys-des-bruyeres.fr

Centre Equestre et Poney Club de Montvaltin, Le Breuil (Le Creusot)

Le P’tit Canasson, Auxy

Rockclimbing

Great rocks at Le Bout du Monde, Nolay (6 kms). For others, check out www.climb-europe.com

River trips

Various excursions (day, lunch, dinner, picnic) available all season on the River Saône at Chalon sur Saône (26 kms). Booking required at the Tourist Office in Chalon: email:officedetourisme@achalon.com

Hot air ballooning

A truly magical experience for that special occasion. One company operating from Beaune is Beaune Mongolfiere

A ballooning championship Les Montgolfiades takes place in June at Chalon-sur-Saône with balloon rides and wine-tastings. See www.montgolfiades71.com

We have information on all the main cultural events taking place throughout the season at En la Marre and will be happy to help you plan your itinerary.

View to Echebrune

The spectacular Augustodunum. Photo © www.augustodunum.fr

The 12th century church

Le Bout du Monde by Toïlev (Own work) GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Cafes at Pons

Hot air ballooning over vineyards. Photo © www.montgolfiades71.com

Cafes at Pons

Open air concert Nuits du Mont Rome

Burgundy culture

For ‘culture vultures’, Burgundy has far more to offer than its Roman history. Autun, Chalon, Beaune and Dijon all have theatres and cinemas and many cultural events take place all season. The most popular are:

L’Esitvade in Dijon, – Last week in June – A week-long wide programme of cultural events in various locations in and around Dijon. www.dijon.fr

Chalon dans la Rue in Chalon – Third week in July – A festival of national and international street artistes and musicians – very popular with all ages. www.chalondanslarue.com

Augustodunum at the Roman amphitheatre in Autun – Last week July / First week August – a son-et-lumiere night-time spectacle of the Roman history of Autun, in which the whole town takes part. Great fun! www.augustodunum.fr

Folkloriades Internationales et Fête de la Vigne in Dijon – End August / start of September – a week-long folkloric dance festival. www.fetesdelavigne.fr

There are numerous art and sculpture exhibitions throughout the region, especially in Tournus, Cluny Beaune and Dijon.

For music lovers

The summer months are busy with musical concerts in the surrounding local villages including the very popular Nuits de Mont Rome during the last week of July at Saint Sernin du Plain (6 kms). These fabulous evening open-air concerts created by France’s last living composer of contemporary music, Patrice Sciortino, are held in a Roman amphitheatre on the side of Mont Rome.www.nuitsdumontrome.org

Blues at Le Creusot – Last week in June. A high standard of national and international blues artistes at le Chateau de la Verrerie www.festival-du-bleus.com

Jazz A Couches – Second week in July. National and international artistes in outdoor and indoor concerts over the week. www.jazzacouches.fr

Beaune International Festival of Baroque Music – Each weekend in July. www.festivalbeaune.com

Tourist information websites you may find useful

burgundyeye

burgundy-tourisme

burgundytoday

You may find some of the websites detailing the events listed may not have the latest information until nearer the time of the event.