Home > Green Ways and Red Wines: Beaune and Cluny
Featuring one of France’s longest greenways, Burgundy is a cyclist’s paradise. Our colorful itinerary takes you to the world’s most exceptional vineyards, from those producing varying shades of Burgundian red wines to the Charolais white! Travel through a palette of colors as varied and diverse as the remarkable tiled roofs that top the Hospices de Beaune. Each stop on your cycling tour adds to the mosaic of exceptional medieval sites scattered around Burgundy.
If the scenery draws out your inner artist, the local gastronomy and wines will turn you into a food critic! Delve into the hearty local cuisine, typically featuring Burgundian wine sauces, and discover which wines please your palate.
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 wine capital of Burgundy. 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.
Stop at any of the numerous wine caves (wine cellars) for an introduction to the many names you’ll see on vineyard signs in the days ahead!
The first ride is a loop from Beaune to the Abbey of Citeaux in Saint-Nicolas-lès-Cîteaux. Founded over 900 years ago, it’s still a functioning abbey — the Trappist monks who call it home produce and sell Cîteaux cheese, honey sweets, and caramels. From the Abbey, the route takes you through the best Pinot noir vineyards of Burgundy, Chambolle-Musigny and Nuits-Saint-Georges, among others.
You can take it easy today as the ride is fairly short and leisurely through ‘Chardonnay territory’. The villages of Pommard, Meursault and Santenay are an ideal introduction to the region and provide you with many good options for lunch.
Your hotel is in the center of the village of Rully and boasts an excellent restaurant. A slightly longer route will take you up to the village of Saint-Romain before rejoining the normal itinerary.
Today’s route carries you south through the Côtes Challonnaises and the village of Mercurey, which produces one of the best examples of the pinot noir appellation of the same name.
The terrain transforms into rolling hills with a succession of hamlets, creeks, woods, and of course vineyards.
You will stay in the pretty medieval village of Buxy for 2 nights.
You may opt to spend the day relaxing or browsing the streets of Buxy and perusing its shops, or you may choose to do our recommended loop.
Our optional ride from Buxy takes you south to the world-renowned Abbey of Cluny, which was built in 910 AD, and still towers as a monument to Romanesque architecture and medieval Europe’s prestigious center of Christendom. Prior to the building of Saint Peter’s in Rome, it reigned as the largest church in the world and earned a reputation for producing popes.
The ride back to Buxy will be done on a cycle path.
After breakfast, travel northwest to the rural town of Couches, after crossing the Canal du Centre. This itinerary is definitely a good contrast and a nice balance to the wine-making area, as you’ll be crossing a land of cattle farms, oak woods, and isolated farms.
This ride ends in the market town of Nolay, where you will overnight.
The ride from Nolay takes you up to Bligny-sur-Ouche and down to the Canal of Burgundy at Pont d’Ouche. After riding along the peaceful canal on the towpath, you will cycle back to Beaune.
This 15-km stretch is a smooth downhill through a lovely forest before reaching the great vineyards of Alex Corton.
After breakfast, depart at the time of your choice.
3 nights in 3-star hotels, 1 night in a non-rated hotel "of character", 1 night in a 2-star hotel and 2 nights in a guesthouse of charm