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Burgundy see + do

Sightseeing in Burgundy often revolves around the region's 4,000 wineries. The Burgundy wine route zigzags for hundreds of miles between the villages of eastern and southern Burgundy; you'll find the top wineries and the prettiest scenery in the area that runs south of Dijon via the Côte-de-Nuits, Beaune, and Côte-de-Beaune to the Côte Chalonnaise. Bivb.com lists over 600 wineries in Burgundy that are open to the public, as well as information on winemaking, wine tasting, and wine routes.

Even if you don't care for wine, you'll still find plenty to love about a Burgundy vacation. Burgundy is a favorite vacation area of Parisians, in part because of its big, beautiful landscape of lakes, forests, rivers, and historic sites. To explore Burgundy's back country, take a drive on the narrow roads (marked yellow or white on most maps) that wind through vineyards, forests, and pasturelands. There are also dozens of clearly marked car-free or lightly trafficked roads and paths that make it safe and easy to hike or bike through wine country. Many B&Bs and some hotels keep bikes on hand for guests' use; you can also book a weeklong biking or walking tour of Burgundy through Butterfield & Robinson. Consider, too, a scenic river or canal cruise. Afloat in France's barges navigate Burgundy's waterways between April and October, including a six-night cruise along Burgundy's wine route; check with the local tourist boards for other reputable outfitters. Along the way, you'll pass some of the hundreds—yes, hundreds—of Romanesque churches, monasteries, abbeys, and fairy-tale châteaux that dot the countryside. Budget enough time to explore the winding, cobbled streets of medieval towns and villages like Auxerre, Autun, Chablis, Beaune, Cluny, and Tournus, where one of the most pleasant activities is people-watching from a sidewalk café with a glass of local wine in hand.

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Abbaye de Fontenay, Montbard

Founded in 1118 by Saint Bernard and finished in 1147, Fontenay Abbey is a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture and one of the oldest Cistercian monasteries...more

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Autun

About ten miles south of Mont Beuvray, on the southern edge of the Morvan, is Autun, a walled city founded by Augustus Caesar. One of France's great cathedrals,...more

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Auxerre

Founded during the Roman Empire along the Via Agrippa consular highway, Auxerre (originally named Autessio-durum) is an atmospheric town of about 40,000...more

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Château d'Ancy-le-Franc, Ancy-le-Franc

One of France's great Renaissance châteaux, Ancy-le-Franc's perfectly symmetrical, chalky white edifice—surrounded by a moat and manicured...more

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Château de Cormatin, Cormatin

You'll find France's best-preserved Louis XIII–period interiors at this early-17th-century castle built on 12th-century foundations. A slate-covered...more

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Château du Clos de Vougeot, Vougeot

If this fortified Renaissance château's towers, gabled roof, and 12th-century cellars look familiar, it's because they're on practically every postcard and...more

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Cluny

This animated town of 5,000 inhabitants about 15 miles northwest of Mâcon was long home to the biggest, most powerful monastic order in Europe: Cluny...more

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Dijon

The many attractions of Dijon, Burgundy's capital city, center on the Ducal Palace and the Place de la Libération that fronts it. Toss a coin from there...more

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Flavigny-sur-Ozerain

According to legend, Flavinius, a Roman who arrived in Burgundy with Julius Caesar around 52 B.C., fell in love with the site of this enchanting village and...more

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Hospices and Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune, Beaune

For centuries, the Hospices and Hôtel-Dieu of Beaune (better known simply as the Hospices de Beaune) was the main hospital of this fortified town,...more

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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