Burgundy – 5 reasons you must visit

A few years back (before COVID-19), the New York Times placed Burgundy 15th out of 50 top places to visit around the world…

Here are my 5 reasons why you should visit this marvellous region…

1/ Heritage. Burgundy is associated with some of the most important historical events in France’s history.

Cluny Abbey – founded in 910 by William 1st, Duke of Aquitaine, establishing the Benedictine Order as the keystone of stability in European society. In the 12th century Cluny became known as the leader of western monasticism.

Fontenay Abbey – one of the best examples of Cistercian architecture in Europe – 1118

Cluny Abbey
Cluny Abbey
Fontenay Abbey

The Medieval period was probably one of the most significant when the Duchy of Burgundy became powerful through the reign of the four consecutive Valois Ducs from 1365 to 1477. Their power-base stretched through what is today’s Burgundy region, all the way to Switzerland, Holland and Belgium. However, some of the most beautiful castles can be visited in Burgundy, for example:

Chateau de Commarin
Chateau d'Epoisses
Chateau d’Epoisses
Ducal Palace Dijon
Ducal Palace Dijon
Palais des Etats

2/ Beautiful “Bucolic” countryside…

Burgundy possesses some of the most beautiful and romantic countryside in France. Burgundy is crossed by the Saone river and the Canal de Bourgogne. Primarily an agricultural region, there are many crop fields and pastureland, forests and lakes, as well as the stunning Morvan natural park. Burgundy also boasts some of the most beautiful villages in France…Flavigny Sur Ozerain, Semur en Auxois, Chateauneuf en Auxois, Noyers, Vezelay…

Chateauneuf & canal
Chateauneuf & canal

3/ Wine

Burgundy is one of the premium wine regions in France, famous for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – arguably the best examples of these particular grape varietals in the world.

But it’s not just about the iconic wine villages such as Gevrey Chambertin, Meursault, Pommard or Vosne Romanée, or the Romanée-Conti and Montrachet vineyards, but also the villages of Chablis, Mercurey, Pouilly, Givry, Montagny, Santenay and many more. 200 kilometres of pure heaven!!

Clos des Lambrays – LVMH group

Chinese & Schaditski

Burgundy is a unique wine region, still unspoilt and full of rural charm. Following the Grand Cru wine trail alone isn’t the easiest of tasks, as unlike wine-tourism regions elsewhere in the world, Burgundy has many small, boutique wineries, of which only a selected few are open to the public, but well worth looking for. Using the srvices of one or the specialist wine tour guides is recommended.

4/ Food

Maybe not the ideal gourmet heaven for vegetarians, Burgundy fare is all about the great local meats and vegetables. The region has a vast array of gourmet – Michelin-star restaurants and some hidden treasures that just have to be discovered – along with the local dishes: Beef Bourguignon, Coq au Vin, escargots (snails), marbled ham in a parsely aspic, gougères (chou pastry with melted cheese), Eggs Meurette (poached egg in red or white wine sauce)!!!

20141031_134723 (1)
Beef Bourguignon
The Parsley ham starter chez Senard
The Parsley ham starter chez Senard

We mustn’t forget the famous local cheeses such as L’Epoisses  as well as Dijon’s famous mustard…

The famous Epoisses
The famous Epoisses
Fallot mustards
Fallot mustards

5/Service quality

In Burgundy you will not only discover a region that is great value-for-money, but also that has a very high standard of service. Despite what stereotypes might circulate, the French are very welcoming and in particular in Burgundy. If you want to sample the real welcome after a hectic (but enjoyable) stay in romantic Paris, Burgundy is for you, whether you prefer 5 star or low-budget hotels, or staying with the families at Air B&B, there is a place for every budget.

Hotel Le Levernois
Hotel Le Levernois

My TIPS for a great stay…

Where to stay:

Dijon chic – Hotel Philippe le Bon, Dijon economy – Air B&B

Beaune chic – Hostellerie le Levernois (5 mins by car from city centre), Beaune charm – Les Jardins de Lois (guest house)

Cote de Nuits vineyards: Castel de Très Girard, Morey-Saint-Denis (great restaurant too)

Cote de Beaune vineyards: Hotel d’Olivier Leflaive – Puligny Montrachet

Countryside chic: Hotel Abbaye de la Buissière, Buissière sur Ouche

Where to eat:

Dijon: L’Epicerie & Cie, Les Oenophiles, Le Pré au Clercs, Dr Wine

Beaune: Ma Cuisine, Le Bistrot au Bord de L’Eau, Le Gourmandin, Le Fleurie

la Buissière sur Ouche: Hotel Abbaye de la Buissière

Chablis: Le Bistrot des Grand Crus

Cluny: Le Potin Gourmand

Vezelay: restaurant Marc Menot

Chambolle Musigny: Le Millésime

Morey Saint Denis: le Castel de Très Girard

What to visit:

Dijon: Owl trail (historical centre), Ducal Palace, Musée des Beaux Arts

Beaune: Hospices de Beaune, Musée du vin, Fallot Mustard Factory

Marmagne: Fontenay Abbey

Vezelay: Church of Mary Magdelene

Cluny: Cluny Abbey

Semur en Auxois



Flavigny sur Ozerain

These are just some of the many ideas that may tempt you…so time to come on over. if you need more advice, contact me personally on: stephenliney@gmail.com

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