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Ten of the best things to do in Burgundy

Family cycling is popular beside the Burgundy Canal
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Burgundy doesn't rest on its laurels. You may travel there to sample fine wines and superb cuisine, but you should linger to visit it's landmarks, museums, parks and attractions. There's a lot on offer. Try some of these.

 

  1. Les Hospices de Beaune was founded in the 15th century to provide free care to veterans of the Hundred Year's War and as an alms house for people from the war ravaged countryside. The Gothic fantasy of a building houses an excellent museum and terrifying painting of The Last Judgement.
  2. Donkey trek to Solutré rock near Mâcon. The rock tops steep limestone hills where archaeologists have found evidence of human habitation 52,000 years ago. Ride up to the Sphinx-like outcrop for views across the Pouilly-Fuissé, Saint-Véran and Mâcon-villages vineyards.
  3. Cruise on the Saône. Breakfast, lunch , dinner and full-day cruises leave from the national docks at Saint-Jean de Losne - a peaceful way to glide past villages, vineyards and chateaux.
  4. Follow the Owl's Trail in Dijon, past 22 points of interest showcasing Dijon's most fascinating historic landmarks, lovely medieval lanes and beautiful Renaissance architecture. A walking guide for the trail, "La Chouette", is available from the local tourist offices.
  5. Visit a museum. The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon is one of Burgundy's best and also one of the oldest museums in France. It's collection stretches from ancient Egyptian art to the 20th century and it's all housed in a magnificent, historic Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy.
  6. Go Shopping in Dijon. The regional capital is a retail feast with a 19th century covered market , Les Halles, as well as unusual shops and boutiques along rue de la Liberté, rue du Bourg, rue Bossuet, and rue Verrerie. Buy the original Dijon mustard to take home at Moutarde de Maille.
  7. Play in the Park. The Parc Naturel du Morvan in the heart of Burgundy is a center for watersports of all kinds. Canoe, kayak, go wild water swimming and white water rafting in the Chalaux and Cure rivers between April and November. Fish and sail in the park's lakes.
  8. Cycle the tow paths of the Burgundy Canal or mountain bike, with or without a guide, along the 330 km Grande Traversée du Morvan.
  9. Visit some castles. The region has dozens of impressive chateaux. Château de Chastellux played a role in the history of Joan of Arc and has been in the same family for more than 1,000 years.
  10. See the Duke's winery. The Pressoirs des Ducs de Bourgogne in Chenôve date from 1228. The enormous wine press crushed 100 casks of grapes and produced 23,000 liters of wine every day.