Fontenay Abbey, Marmagne – Image courtesy of Jjpetite/Wikimedia Commons
In Burgundy, discover one of the world’s finest wine producing regions, home to quaint villages (familiar to wine lovers) such as Beaune, Macon, Puligny-Montrachet, Vougeot and Nuits-St-Georges – the perfect destination for a honeymoon or romantic getaway.
The region is equally famous for its distinctive cuisine: try boeuf and escargots à la bourguignonne.
What to do and see in Burgundy
Discover Norman abbeys and Renaissance châteaux as well as historical sights that range from Gallic remains to Romanesque towers.
Check out Châlon-sur-Sâone, the birthplace of photography, as well as the historical capital of Nevers and medieval Dijon.
Top attractions in Burgundy, include:
Explore one of the world's most complete monastic complexes, complete with cloisters, chapel, dormitory, hospital, prison and abbot's house. Founded in 1118 by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, the monastery nestles at the head of a quiet stream-filled valley enclosed by woods of pine, fir, sycamore and beech, making it a perfect location for quiet contemplation. The abbey is located east of Montbard.
Abbey of St Mary Magdalene
Be inspired by the soaring decorative vaults, superlative sculptures, arches edged with fretted mouldings and columns crowned with morality tales from the Bible.
The abbey was historically a starting point for pilgrims heading to Santiago de Compostella and contained relics of Mary Magdalene.
From here St Bernard preached the Second Crusade at Vézelay Abbey in 1146, and, in 1190, Richard the Lionheart and Phillippe Auguste, King of France, embarked on the Third Crusade.
The abbey fell into disrepair after rumours indicated that Mary Magdalene's bones were false relics. Today, pilgrims flock to the restored abbey to view different relics of Mary Magdalene, given to Vézelay in the 1870s.
After exploring the abbey, wander the narrow, picturesque winding streets crowded by ancient houses and view the original village ramparts that still surround the charming hilltop village of Vezelay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Founded in the 12th century, the village sits on the edge of the Morvan Regional Park – a popular destination for walking, with views over the Monts de Marvan.
Explore one of the first Renaissance 16th century chateaux to be built in France. Discover an elegant exterior that conceals a grand Italian-style courtyard and interior with several grand and impressive rooms featuring frescoes and paintings. The chateau is located south-east of Tonnerre, on the Canal de Bourgogne (Burgundy canal).
This Renaissance chateau was built in white limestone in the 16th century on the site of an earlier chateau and features sumptuous interior rooms including impressive frescoes in the Grand Gallery and in the Tour de la Ligue. The chateau is surrounded by pretty parkland and located between Tonnerre and Chatillon-sur-Seine.
Wander past medieval houses (dating from the 12th, 15th and 16th centuries) that crowd the narrow streets of the old town. Pop into the 15th century Ducal Palace, characterised by turrets, statues and views over the Loire Valley.
Explore the cathedral of Saint Cyr-Sainte-Julitte, the pilgrim church of St Etienne and the Roman triumphal arch. Located at the confluence of the Loire and Nièvre rivers.
Le Puy en Velay
Hike steps to reach the unique Romanesque Church of St Michel d'Aiguilhe, perched dramatically atop a needle-shaped rock. Then explore the Le Puy Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built in 12th century.
Le Puy is located in the heart of the Massif Central in the Auvergne region south of Burgundy and is famous as the starting point of one of France’s main pilgrimage paths to Santiago de Compostella – a 1600km walk.