Home > Essential Burgundy: Beaune and Dijon
Ride through a patchwork of lush pastures and broad-leaved woodlands interspersed with extensive vineyards, for here, you are in one of France’s foremost wine regions. On a dazzling itinerary, you’ll spot some of the most valuable vines — and wines — in the world.
For those who enjoy classic wines, the names of the towns and villages will resonate with you: Beaune, Nuits-Saint-George, Vosne-Romanée… even more exciting will be when you ride past these domains in person! Aside from the stately chateaux, the architecture of Burgundy is distinctive, with many fine old half-timbered buildings whose steeply pitched roofs are patterned in multi-colored tiles.
This itinerary enables an appreciation of food, wine, and the countryside but also provides some healthy exercise to justify a little indulgence at the end of each day. The lattice of quiet lanes and tracks follows rivers and meandering canals, with invigorating climbs into the hills to explore the ancient abbeys, magnificent chateaux, and charming medieval villages.
This tour focuses on the area north of Beaune.
For travel and cycling tips to Burgundy and Beaujolais, visit our "Travel and cycling tips" section.
Arrive in Beaune at the time of your choice. The earlier you arrive, the more time you’ll have to drink in — figuratively and literally — the magic of Burgundy’s wine capital. Its cobblestone streets offer world-class attractions including the 15th century Notre-Dame Basilica; the Hôtel-Dieu, with its famous multi-colored tile roof; and the Wine Museum. There are also numerous wine caves (wine cellars), perfect for sharpening your toast-giving skills for the days ahead!
You’ll strike south of Beaune for the Côte de Beaune vineyards on another epic day of biking and wine tasting. The villages of Pommard and Volnay make for good lunch stops before continuing on to Nolay, a small village steeped with glorious 15th-century architecture. Don’t miss the 16th century covered market located close to your hotel!
Leave the vineyards behind and cycle through the forested uplands to the hilltop village of Chateauneufen-Auxois. This picturesque plateau countryside emits an air of captivating stillness, as if permanently posing for yet another postcard shot. For lunch, you’ll stop in Bligny-sur-Ouche, a small farming village laden with Gothic and Roman architecture. From here you’ll cross the Burgundy Canal and arrive in the medieval village of Chateauneuf-en-Auxois. Its storybook-like architecture and high setting makes it easy to understand why it has been deemed one of France’s most beautiful villages. Our longer option takes you to Arnay-le-Duc before returning to the Burgundy Canaland reaching Chateauneuf.
Most of the day’s ride will take place along the Burgundy Canal past La Bussière-sur-Ouche and then on to Dijon to complete the day. The capital of Burgundy is a majestic city, more open-air museum than a metropolis. At night, the soft glow from the storefronts and illuminated landmarks lend a romantic feel to the air, one that only grows during your evening feast.
In the morning, you’ll trade the bustle of the city for the hush of the country and immediately find yourself in the midst of wine superstardom — let the clinking begin!
Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny, Vosne-Romanée, and Nuit-Saint-Georges headline these “Hills of God.” In between “cheers!” you’ll find many restaurants and open-air cafés chock-full with gastronomic specialties.
Or if you prefer, you can picnic roadside and acquire a firsthand understanding as to why the French countryside has inspired so many artistic masterpieces. The easy pace of this route provides ample time to visit the many museums and architectural wows of Beaune, where you’ll find yourself again this evening.
After breakfast, depart Beaune at the time of your choice.
3 nights in 3-star hotels, 1 night in a non-rated hotel “of character”, and 1 night in a guesthouse of charm