Beautiful Burgundy is a land of forests, rolling hills and farmland peppered with tidy vineyards and crisscrossed by endless meandering rivers and canals. Located to the south east of Paris, Burgundy has all the ingredients you need for the perfect barge holiday in France. From the Route de Vin and the Morvan Regional National Park to the caves in Bèze and Blanot and the stunning city of Dijon, Burgundy is as beautiful as it is diverse. |
Thanks to the extensive network of waterways, when on a barge holiday in France’s Burgundy region you will have the opportunity to see many of the highlights.
A charming medieval city, Beane has been almost perfectly preserved. Until the fourteenth century, the Ducs de Bourgogne resided here, but in 1477 Louis XI took over. Today Beaune is a haven for wine lovers and is indeed the wine capital of the region. The maze of underground caves has been turned into wine cellars, many of which you can visit.
Climbing the steep path up to this authentic hilltop town is definitely worth the effort. Encircled by defensive walls and guarded over by an elegant turreted castle, the village exudes a romantic air. Once home to the rich merchants of the area, Châteauneuf-en-Auxois has lost none of its aesthetic appeal. You get a wonderful view of the Canal de Bourgogne and the woodlands of the Morvan from the château.
Another historic gem, this little town, perched high on a hill in the Cure Valley is also a Christian shrine. It was a prestigious pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages and is recognised as the place in which St-Bernard made the Call to the Second Crusade, in 1146. A highlight of Vézelay is the Basilica of Ste-Madeleine, which houses one of the most internationally renowned Romanesque works of art: Christ in Glory.
Clos de Vougeot
We can’t talk about the highlights of Burgundy without mentioning a vineyard, and this one is particularly impressive, not least because it is now the seat of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin: the region’s most proclaimed wine lovers. The Château de Clos de Vougeot was originally built as a place to hold the wine presses that were used by the Cistercian monks to make wine for the congregation. Abbey at Fontenay
Dating back to 1118, the Abbey at Fontenay was founded by St-Bernard. Built in a simple style with a somewhat dour aesthetic, the imposing Cistercian monastery has a checkered past. It was destroyed and left to rack and ruin during the French Revolution before being reinvented as a paper factory. Today, thankfully, it has been lovingly restored and stands proud for all to see.
On a barge holiday in France's beautiful Burgundy you are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to visit. We have just touched the tip of the iceberg here and there are many more wonderful towns, cities, châteaux and vineyards to explore. When booking a barge holiday in France, choosing a reputable tour operator is recommended. Let the experts take care of the details while you look forward to your trip.
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider if you're looking for an all-inclusive, luxury barge holiday in France or other great destinations. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.
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