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Burgund-Franche-Comté, Bild: Massimo Santi / shutterstock

Burgundy-Franche-Comté – Close to nature

In its own words, the Burgundy-Franche-Comté region is mainly aimed at holidaymakers who want to experience a trip close to nature and close to unspoilt landscapes. In fact, the region around the former Burgundy, which was merged with Franche Comte in 2016, is one of the special highlights of France.

This is not only about the wine-growing regions of the Burgundy, even if this is of course absolutely typical for Burgundy. Here you will find a wide variety of growing areas for outstanding products, beautiful small villages, impressive stretches of coastline and, last but not least, a very special breed of people who are known above all for their hospitality.

Burgundy-Franche-Comté – the land of beautiful things

Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine in Vézelay, Burgundy
Basilica Sainte-Marie-Madeleine in Vézelay, Image: Khun Ta / shutterstock

When the saying “Living like God in France” was created, the unknown author could easily have meant the Burgundy-Franche-Comté region. After all, the region has been able to look back on beautiful buildings, rich architecture and still impressive nature for many decades. Holidaymakers have a wide variety of options here: they have the option of going to the beaches, travelling through nature, cycling, hiking and, of course, trying out the many good products that can be found here. In addition to the authentic Burgundian cuisine and the vineyards, there are also other small and large treasures here.

Auxerre
View of Auxerre, Image: canadastock / shutterstock

A holiday in Burgundy-Franche-Comté is above all a journey of diversity. Just a moment ago in the world-famous vineyards, you can find yourself in Dijon, the capital of the region, shortly afterwards. There, modern architecture meets the treasures of the past and the Middle Ages. However, it is not only the larger cities in the region that are particularly interesting for holidaymakers. Burgundy-Franche-Comté is vast and so are the small villages and towns that invite you to stop. Here it is mainly the restaurants where you can see the preference of the French for good food just by looking at the menu.

It is important that you take your time for the trip. Whether by car, bike or on your own feet, there are many ways to discover Burgundy-Franche-Comté. If you take a little time and want to explore the various treasures and diverse natural deposits, you should plan a few days.

What to see and discover around Burgundy-Franche-Comté

Guédelon
The castle of Guédelon, Image: photofort 77 / shutterstock

Once you start, you don’t know what to do first in this beautiful region of France . One of the absolute sights of Burgundy-Franche-Comté is, of course, the vineyards. There are some interesting tours here, where you can not only discover nature, but also try one or two good wines. If you like it a little more secluded, you will find relaxation in the Ballon des Vosges Nature Park. The many lakes, such as the lake of Saint-Point in the Doubs, are also a great way to relax. There are also beaches here where you can plunge into the cool water after a long day.

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A hike or bike ride along the Saône-et-Loire Green Trail should be a great way to discover a little more of the country and its people. In particular, these small paths offer the opportunity to make one or two discoveries outside the big cities. How about a visit to the Basilica of Vézelay, for example? Or the medieval construction site in Guédelon? Here, people of today try to build a castle using the means of the Middle Ages alone and offer interesting guided tours. So you can be there live as a new castle is built and without the technology, but with the charm and sweat of the time.

Dijon, Burgundy-Franche-Comté
View of Dijon, Image: Photomario / shutterstock

The big cities of the region are definitely worth a visit. Dijon itself is a great place to go because of the mustard museum. Here, however, the ducal palace of the former rulers of Burgundy stands out. Auxerre and Belfort are also home to architectural achievements of the past. Burgundy is associated with a very long history and the various buildings of the time are still one of the best reasons why you should aspire to visit France.

Food and wine in Burgundy – the finest wines

There is no need to say much about the wine of Burgundy. A good Burgundy is the epitome of the best wines in the world and the region naturally knows how to celebrate this fact. But it is also worth visiting the restaurants and pubs, the small and large inns on the streets or even just in the snack bars of the big cities. Cheese, sausage, hearty food and the peculiarities of the region can be found in the kitchen. You can spend an entire holiday just feasting on the menus. In any case, there is enough to discover.

Holidays in Burgundy-Franche-Comté: the best tips

Journey

  • Airports:
    • Lyon-Saint Exupéry (LYS): About 200 km from Dijon, the capital of Burgundy.
    • Geneva (GVA): About 150 km from Besançon, the capital of Franche-Comté.
  • Train: Good TGV connections from Paris and other major cities to Dijon and Besançon.
  • Car: Well-developed motorways and country roads make the region easily accessible.
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Best time to visit

  • Spring (April to June): Pleasant temperatures and blooming landscapes, ideal for wine tasting and sightseeing.
  • Summer (July to August): Warm weather, perfect for outdoor activities and festivals.
  • Autumn (September to October): Grape harvest season, colourful vineyards and fewer tourists.
  • Winter (November to February): Quieter time, ideal for relaxed visits to wineries and museums.

Activities and sights

  • Wine tastings and wineries: Burgundy is world-famous for its wines. Visit wineries in the Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, and Chablis regions.
  • Historic Cities: Discover the rich history and architecture of Dijon, Beaune and Besançon.
  • Castles and abbeys: Visit the castle of Clos de Vougeot, the Abbey of Fontenay (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans.
  • Nature experiences: Explore the Morvan Natural Park, the Doubs Gorge and the picturesque Jura mountains.
  • Bicycle tours: The region offers numerous cycle paths, including the Voie des Vignes, which runs through the vineyards of Burgundy.
  • Canoe trips and boat trips: Enjoy canoe trips on the Saône and boat trips on the Canal de Bourgogne.

Places to visit

  • Dijon: The capital of Burgundy with its impressive ducal palace, museums and lively market hall.
  • Beaune: Known for the Hôtel-Dieu (Hospices de Beaune) and the prestigious wineries.
  • Besançon: The capital of Franche-Comté with its impressive citadel and the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie.
  • Vézelay: A picturesque village with the Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Arbois: A charming wine town in the Jura, known for its wines and beautiful surroundings.

Accommodation

  • Luxury hotels: Numerous luxury hotels and castle hotels offer upscale accommodation, such as the Château de Gilly in Gilly-lès-Cîteaux.
  • Bed & Breakfast: Cozy bed and breakfasts in historic buildings and charming villages.
  • Holiday rentals: Ideal for families or longer stays, numerous apartments and country houses are available for rent.
  • Campsites: The region offers well-equipped campsites in picturesque landscapes.

Culinary tips

  • Regional cuisine: Try traditional dishes such as beef bourguignon, coq au vin, and the famous Burgundian snails (escargots).
  • Wine: Taste wines such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the renowned wine regions.
  • Cheeses: Discover local cheeses such as the Epoisses, Comté and Morbier.
  • Markets: Visit local markets to discover fresh produce and regional specialties.

Practical tips

  • Car rental: A car gives you the flexibility to explore the region’s various places and attractions.
  • Public transport: Good train and bus connections between the larger cities and tourist destinations.
  • Currency: The local currency is the Euro (EUR). Credit cards are accepted in most shops and restaurants.
  • Language: French is the official language, but English is often spoken in tourist areas.

Safety

  • Crime: Burgundy-Franche-Comté is considered safe. Usual precautions as in any tourist region are advisable.
  • Health: There are numerous pharmacies and medical facilities in the region. Travel insurance is recommended.