With its charming countryside, peaceful atmosphere and pure country air, the French region of Burgundy is the ideal destination for those seeking to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Particularly known for the plentiful wine and culinary delights, tourists come to Burgundy when they want to get away from it all. The friendly people and laid back atmosphere make for the perfect relaxation getaway, and the beautiful natural landscape is the perfect backdrop for leisurely bicycle rides. Here are five reasons why Burgundy is the place to cycle.
Wine and Gastronomy
Burgundy is home to France’s main wine producing areas, and its products are known and enjoyed worldwide. Names like Beaune, Nuits-St-Georges, Chablis, Meursault and Gevrey-Chambertin all hail from this region, where Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes are grown extensively. In addition to the famous wine selection, Burgundy offers visitors a taste of delectable local foods, from traditional to gourmet. Dishes such as coq au vin, beef bourguignon and Epoisses de Bourgogne cheese are rich, flavorful and offer an unforgettable culinary experience.
Visitors to Burgundy would be remiss not to pass through its historical capital, Dijon (perhaps you’ve heard of its famous mustard). With its rich history dating back to Roman times, it has evolved into a friendly town that offers a wide variety of food, culture, shopping and nightlife – something for everyone.
Chateau de Ancy-le-Franc
This incredible work of architecture was once described by The Marquise de Sévigné as a French building ‘in Italian dress’. A must-see for any visitor to Burgundy, the château is perfectly symmetrical and surrounds a beautiful central courtyard. The interior boasts lofty carved ceilings, Italian tiled floors and endless decorative details. It is also home to the finest collection of mural paintings in all of France.
A wine lover’s haven, the town of Beaune is the capital of the Burgundy wine region. It’s described as majestic, with its cobbled streets and copious boutiques. Beaune is known for its charitable institution once used to hospitalize the poor and needy. The Hospices de Beaune, also known as the Hôtel-Dieu, houses countless decorative carvings and surrounds a beautiful courtyard. The present day museum is host to the annual charity wine auction. This area is the perfect atmosphere for leisurely bike rides, and visitors to Beaune will experience a brush with medieval history they won’t soon forget.Musée du Châtillonnais
Musée du Châtillonnais
Located in northeast Burgundy, this contemporary museum is home to some incredible ancient artifacts. One of the most popular pieces is a 5-foot tall bronze vase that was part of the Treasure of Vix. The largest piece ever located from the Celtic period, it is in flawless condition and is the center piece of the museum, which is presently located in the Abbaye de Notre Dame at Châtillon-sur-Seine.
France certainly has its share of beautiful places to visit, but perhaps none is as serene and inviting as Burgundy. If leisure and relaxation are what you are seeking, and you enjoy casually strolling or cycling through beautiful pastures while enjoying fine wine and delicious food, then Burgundy should be first on your travel itinerary.