DIY Burgundy Bike Tour: How to Plan + Full Itinerary Revealed
With some of the best (and most expensive) wine in the world, the Burgundy wine region in France is a wine lover’s dream. One unique way to immerse yourself in French wine country is to do a Burgundy bike tour through the vineyards. The 22 km Veloroute La Voie Des Vignes is one of the most scenic bike rides we have ever done! Follow my guide to help you plan out your own DIY bike tour.
Burgundy Bike Tour Rental
Who to Pick
Book your bike rental at Bourgogne Evasion in Beaune. With 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor, they are the go-to company for bike rentals in Beaune and Dijon.
They were very quick to respond to my inquiries and gave me great suggestions on planning my route. I loved that they had our bikes ready at opening time, and we were able to get biking right away.
Bourgogne Evasion bike rental shop
You have the option to choose from a hybrid bike (20€/day), E-Bike (40€/day), or a road bike (45€/day). My husband bikes frequently and would have chosen a hybrid bike. However, I knew there were some hills involved and I wanted this to be a very relaxed experience, so I convinced him to get E-bikes.
I have no regrets. The E-bikes were a blast and also ensured we made it to our wine tastings if we were running a little behind.
E-bikes used on our Burgundy bike tour
Important to note as you select your bike is the bike trail is all paved. There are only a few sections where you have to cross a main road.
The total distance of the Veloroute La Voie Des Vignes is 22 km (13.6 miles), but we did an extra section along the canal from Chagny. Our total distance came to 30 km (18.9 miles).
DIY Burgundy Bike Tour vs. Group Tour
If you did not want to do the bike tour on your own, Bourgogne Evasion also offers half-day and full-day group tours. There are pros and cons to doing a group tour. One perk of choosing a group tour is you do not have to arrange lunch and wine tastings in advance and worry about being late. It’s all taken care of for you.
One disadvantage to a group tour is you do not experience the full bike route and the extra scenic section along the canal to Chagny.
Also, there’s also not as much flexibility on stopping points. Since we did the bike tour on our own, I could choose when I wanted to suddenly stop and take a photo or spend more time in one town vs. the other. But this “freedom” also meant we had to arrange wine tastings on our own and had to make sure we were on time, so there was a little more pressure.
Map of Our Burgundy Bike Tour
My husband made a map of our Burgundy bike tour using the AllTrails app. We started using AllTrails several years ago because we hike quite a bit. You can download hiking and biking routes offline, which helps you stay on track. It’s the best $29.99/yr we have ever spent!
Our Burgundy bike tour as seen on AllTrails
In summary, we rented our bikes in Beaune, took the train to Chagny, biked along the canal to Santenay, and then biked our way back up to Beaune via the wine villages of Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault, Volnay, and Pommard.
Refer back to this map as you read through my guide to make sense of the route.
Where to Start: Beaune or Chagny
The answer to this question DEPENDS on which wineries and lunch place you choose.
We originally wanted to bike from Beaune to Pommard for our first wine tasting at 10 am, cycle through all the wine villages to Chagny, take the train from Chagny back to Beaune, and then have our last wine tasting in Beaune.
However, we arrived in Burgundy during harvest season. This is an incredibly exciting time, but it does make it very difficult to schedule wine tastings since everyone is busy. The winery in Pommard could only do our visit + tasting in the afternoon, so we altered our schedule.
Our new schedule required us to take the train to Chagny first and bike our way back up to Pommard and Beaune to make it to the afternoon tastings.
Chagny train station
Bikes on the Train
If you haven’t already, download the Trainline app. The best app we used in France! It gives you all the train times and platforms to be on. Plus, you can book your tickets directly from the app (all in English!).
The earliest we could pick the bikes up was at 9 am. It takes about 10 minutes to bike from Bourgogne Evasion bike rental shop to the train station in Beaune. We took the 10:02 am train from Beaune to Chagny. It’s only an 8-10 minute train ride. This local train allows bikes.
WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ NEXT IS SUPER IMPORTANT.
If you choose a hybrid or road bike, then you will have no problem getting the bike on and off the train. However, if you have an E-bike, you will need a little muscle because those E-bikes are HEAVY. It’s like having a mini-motorcycle.
The train station does have little ramps on the side to push your bike up to the platform, but my 5’2” frame could not do it. Luckily, I have a super strong husband, who easily navigated my bike for me.
Then once you have the bike on the platform, choose the train cabin that has the bike symbol on the outside.
Bike cabin on train from Beaune to Chagny France
The bike cabin has hooks to hang your bike on. The E-bikes are super heavy and really require strength to position them vertically on the hooks. I could not physically hang the bike, but the hubby could.
E-bikes on the train from Beaune to Chagny, France
Our Burgundy Bike Tour Itinerary
9 AM: Pick-up Bikes
We picked up our bikes at Bourgogne Evasion promptly at 9 am. There is a huge parking lot to leave your car. Easy breezy.
9:30 AM: Alain Hess Cheesemonger
We were doing the full bike route and we had two wine tastings lined up, so we knew we wouldn’t have time for a full sit-down lunch. Instead, we decided to do a picnic lunch. Before we got on the train to Chagny, we stopped by the cheese shop of Alain Hess.
If you read any of my blog posts, you will notice a running theme of our travels. We love delicious food & wine, and we love to be outdoors. So, of course, we had to pick up the famous Delice de Pommard Moutarde cheese from the creator himself, Monsieur Alain Hess.
Beautiful cheeses from Alain Hess in Beaune, France
This delicious creamy cow’s milk cheese is surrounded by mustard seeds, giving it a hint of spice. Although they did not have bread, they did have some crackers which were perfect for scooping up the cheese. We also purchased some saucisson (dry-cured sausages) to pair with our meal.
The staff was super friendly and helpful in selecting our food products.
Alternatively, if you are doing a shorter bike route and not many wine tastings, you may want to have a nice sit-down lunch. While we were still in the planning stages, we narrowed our choices down to two restaurants: Le Bistro d’Olivier and Le Montrachet. Both are located in the town of Puligny-Montrachet.
10:02 AM: Train Ride from Beaune to Chagny
We purchased our train tickets through the Trainline app. After an ungraceful attempt at lugging the E-bikes onto the train, we were off! 10 minutes later we arrived in Chagny.
Note: If you decide to start the bike tour from Beaune instead of Chagny, the Bourgogne Evasion bike shop is right next to the entrance of the trail (3-minute bike ride). Super convenient.
Entrance to Veloroute La Voie Des Vignes in Beaune (right next to the bike shop)
10:20 AM: Cycle the Canal Route from Chagny to Santenay
This section of the trail was gorgeous. It was flat and made for a very easy, relaxing ride as it snaked along the river offering very picturesque views.
Riding bikes along the canal route from Chagny, France to Santenay
10:45 AM: Cycle from Santenay to Chassagne-Montrachet
Santenay was a cute little town with a central water fountain in the center surrounded by beautiful flower arrangements.
We pressed on and very shortly found ourselves SURROUNDED by endless vineyards and beautiful chateaus. My husband and I just happened to come during the start of the harvest season, which was very exciting to witness. As we biked around, we saw all the pickers gathering the grapes.
By the way, it is hard to get lost except in the little wine villages. Sometimes you have to look around for a bit to find the bike symbol sign. Always follow the green veloroute sign as seen below.
Follow the green veloroute signs during your Burgundy bike tour
11:15 AM: Cycle from Chassagne-Montrachet to Puligny-Montrachet
As we entered Chassagne-Montrachet, we approached a cute little church and then the grand Chateau de Chassagne-Montrachet. Although we did not do a wine tasting here, the Chateau offers several great wine-tasting packages. If you do a group full-day tour with Bourgogne Evasion, this is one of the wineries they take you to.
Chateau de Chassagne-Montrachet
The surrounding vineyards are gorgeous. We stopped for a lot of photos in this area.
Vineyards of Chassagne-Montrachet
11:50 AM: Cycle from Puligny-Montrachet to Mersault
Once you arrive at Puligny-Montrachet, the town has a fun roundabout to ride around a few times. When we were there during harvest season, we had the pleasure of watching the harvest workers celebrating the end of the season by driving around the circle honking and sending out flares. The excitement was contagious!
We also saw this cool art feature of a cork butterfly as we left the town.
Cork butterfly in Puligny-Montrachet
12:15 PM: Picnic Lunch in Meursault
The wine village of Meursault was my favorite! Incredibly charming and picturesque. We decided to stop here for our picnic lunch of crackers, Delice de Pommard Moutarde cheese, and saucisson. Oh, how I love France! All the simple pleasures in life.
Enjoying Delice de Pommard Moutarde cheese in Meursault, France
Enjoying saucisson during our picnic lunch in Meursault, France
There’s a beautiful fountain in the town square with a few benches to enjoy your lunch.
Charming town of Meursault, France
After you are done eating, there is a public restroom near the fountain to wash up before you continue the home stretch of your bike ride.
12:50 PM: Cycle from Meursault to Volnay
There was not much to see in the town of Volnay. We cycled through pretty quickly. The surrounding vineyards were beautiful.
1:10 PM: Cycle from Volnay to Pommard
We stopped for a few photos in front of this beautiful chateau situated among the vineyards in Volnay before we reached Pommard.
The bike ride to Pommard did not take long, and we arrived around 1:30 PM. We were actually staying at La Maison de Pommard. Since we were a little early for our first wine tasting, we relaxed on the veranda of our beautiful boutique hotel until it was time.
2 PM: Wine Tasting #1 at Domaine Lejeune in Pommard
My husband and I loved our visit to Domaine Lejeune. The staff was super kind to even host us during their busy harvest season. It was incredible to witness the excitement and watch the ladies de-stem the grapes and prepare the juice for the fermentation process.
Harvest time at Domaine Lejeune
One of the staff members showed us around the property, and then we were led down to the cellar for a private tasting of six lovely wines (15€/person). Reserve in advance!
Wine tasting at Domaine Lejeune
3 PM: Cycle from Pommard to Beaune
My husband and I cycled the last stretch of our Burgundy bike tour and arrived in Beaune around 3:30 pm. After dropping our bikes off, we walked 10 minutes over to Joseph Drouhin for our final wine tasting.
Biking on the Veloroute La Voie Des Vignes towards Beaune
4 PM: Wine Tasting #2 at Joseph Drouhin in Beaune
If you love wine, please read Wine and War. When you visit the underground cellars of Joseph Drouhin, it gives you a much better context.
Underground cellar of Joseph Drouhin
It was pretty cool to know we were actually walking underneath the streets of Beaune as we were shown around the underground cellars. In the end, we enjoyed an excellent wine tasting of three whites and three reds from Joseph Drouhin. No grand crus, but we were able to taste a few premier crus.
Joseph Drouhin wine tasting
5:30 PM: Conclusion of our Burgundy Bike Tour
Had we not had extra time, we would have dropped our bikes off after our wine tasting at Joseph Drouhin. The bike shop closes at 6 pm. Since we were running on time, we were able to complete this step before our last wine tasting.
After Joseph Drouhin, we visited the Hospices de Beaune and then drove back to our hotel in Pommard.
Hospices de Beaune
Summary of Cycle Times Between Each Wine Village
Here is a summary of the time it took us to cycle between wine villages. Now realize this time includes me stopping for MULTIPLE photos, and we were riding on E-bikes.
- Chagny to Santenay: 25 minutes
- Santenay to Chassagne-Montrachet: 30 minutes
- Chassagne-Montrachet to Puligny-Montrachet: 35 minutes
- Puligny-Montrachet to Meursault: 25 minutes
- Meursault to Volnay: 20 minutes
- Volnay to Pommard: 20 minutes
- Pommard to Beaune: 30 minutes
Total cycle time: 185 minutes (around 3 hours)
Picnic Lunch at Meursault: 35 minutes
Wine Tasting #1 in Pommard: 1 hour
Wine Tasting #2 in Beaune: 1.5 hours
Final Thoughts on Burgundy Bike Tour
Charming French towns, grand chateaus, endless rolling vineyards, and amazing French food & wine? Wow. Our Burgundy bike tour goes down as one of our favorite bike trails! I hope this guide helps you plan your trip.
Questions about our Burgundy bike tour?
Let me know in the comments below!