13 Things to Do in Burgundy: From Châteaus to Cheesy Delights
We fell in love with Burgundy. Prepare for charming villages, exceptional wines, delicious classic French cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes. The locals, too, showered us with their warmth and hospitality. We could easily embrace this kind of lifestyle and just enjoy the simple pleasures in life. If this sounds intriguing, continue reading for my handpicked selection of the top 13 things to do in Burgundy, France.
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01- Cycle through the Most Expensive Vineyards
Cycling through vineyards in Burgundy
Hands down, one of our FAVORITE things to do in Burgundy, France was biking one of the most scenic bike routes we have ever done, the 22 km Veloroute La Vie Des Vignes!
We picked up our bikes in Beaune and took the train to Chagny. Then we casually biked from one charming French village to the next as we made our way back up to Beaune.
The day was sunny, and the temperature was perfect. The surrounding countryside was breathtaking. We rode alongside a meandering canal and passed by rolling vineyards, grand chateaus, and quaint shops.
We stopped periodically to munch on some delicious French cheese and did a few wine tastings. Life is good.
If this sounds like your kind of travel, don’t miss my article below.
02- Book a Tour to Experience Burgundian Wine
Visiting Maison Moillard-Grivot in Burgundy, France during our wine tour
I was quite surprised to find out that the legal alcohol limit in France is 0.05% (it’s 0.08% in the United States). With some of the strictest drinking and driving laws, we were not messing around.
We decided to book the local wine experts to show us this beautiful wine region and enjoy several tastings.
Authentica Tours picked us up at our hotel, and we enjoyed a lovely day of Pinot Noir tastings at two renowned wine houses.
Enjoying some French classics: Beef bourguignon and creamy mashed potatoes paired with exceptional Pinot Noir at Domaine Trapet Père et Fils
If that was not enough, we had one of the most delicious meals at a seventh-generation family wine estate.
We savored every bite of our beef bourguignon, creamy mashed potatoes, and Comte cheese bread. Of course, this incredible meal was paired with exceptional Burgundian wine. Oh, how I love the French.
You will love Authentica Tours! They offer small group and private tours. We did a private tour because we specifically wanted to explore wine estates in the Côte de Nuits wine region.
They were professional, very knowledgeable, and took us to several very high-quality wine estates.
03- Spend a Few Hours at Hospices de Beaune
Hospices de Beaune
Don’t miss a visit to this unique museum with a fascinating history!
Hospices de Beaune was built as a hospital for the poor in 1443 and operated until 1971! One of the striking features of this building is its glazed multi-colored tile roof.
When you walk inside, you can see how it would have felt to be a patient during this time.
Patient beds line the periphery of a large open room. The audio guide provided with your 12€ ticket walks you through the history as you go from room to room.
Hospices de Beaune hospital beds
The hospital has been given many donations over the years including vineyards!
Hospices de Beaune now owns around 150 acres of mostly Grand and Premier Cru vineyards. Every 3rd Sunday in November it hosts a charity auction selling the wine it produces from these vineyards.
04- Try Delice de Pommard Moutarde Cheese
Enjoying Delice de Pommard Moutarde cheese in Meursault, France
I love cheese. I love cheese so much that we even did a cheese tasting class while in Paris.
Before we went to Burgundy, I had heard of the famous Delice de Pommard Moutarde cheese. This delectable cow’s milk cheese is crafted by Monsieur Alain Hess, who operates his own cheese store in the charming town of Beaune.
Its luscious interior is enveloped by mustard seeds, imparting a subtle touch of spiciness.
For an ideal picnic to accompany your Burgundy bike expedition, be sure to pick up some delectables from this adorable shop.
05- Go Mustard Tasting?!
Edmond Fallot La Moutarderie “Mustard Bar”
I have been wine tasting, taco tasting, and cheese tasting but never mustard tasting. This was a first and a lot of fun!
Check out the mustard mill, Edmond Fallot La Moutarderie, which has been a family business since 1840! This artisanal shop still grinds its mustard seeds the old-fashioned way using silex grindstones.
As you enter the gift shop, go all the way to the back to the Mustard Bar. The super friendly staff will give you samples of the mustards you want to try (for free!). They have interesting flavors like cassis, red chili pepper, basil, and Pinot Noir (of course, you are in Burgundy!).
Edmond Fallot Moutarde de Dijon
We went traditional and purchased a jar of Moutarde de Dijon.
It definitely has a kick, which I didn’t appreciate until I generously smothered our sandwiches with it for our hike in Chamonix later on in our trip.
Pro Tip: Little bit goes a long way!
06- Stay in a Historic Winemaker’s Home
Our room at La Maison de Pommard
Embrace the French art de vivre lifestyle and stay in a charming boutique hotel in Burgundy.
The friendly and welcoming owner, Isabelle, is a winemaker’s daughter. Her father used to store his vintage wines in the home she renovated into a hotel. The property is a strikingly beautiful space that combines both historic features and contemporary touches.
Casual gourmet meal in the garden at La Maison de Pommard
We loved sitting outside in the garden sipping on a glass of their exceptional wine and enjoying a casual gourmet meal of local charcuterie, cheese, fresh bread, and a garden salad.
A huge perk of this boutique property is the location.
It’s situated in the heart of the quaint town of Pommard right off the bike trail, Veloroute La Vie Des Vignes (which was our #1 thing to do in Burgundy).
07- Go French Village Hopping
Water fountain in Meursault, France
Burgundy boasts numerous quaint towns brimming with character. An excellent approach to undertake this exploration is by cycling between villages along the Veloroute La Vie Des Vignes.
One of our favorite Burgundian villages was Meursault. We love all the cute shops and cafes and the beautifully arranged flower boxes scattered around the main square. The central city fountain was the perfect place for a picnic.
Another charming village was Santenay, which is nestled in the heart of the vineyards. It’s home to a medieval castle, a windmill, and a thermal spa.
So many little towns to explore. If you have a favorite, please let me know in the comments below.
08- Shop the Beaune Saturday Market
Beaune Saturday Market extends to Hôtel Dieu
I was so sad we missed visiting this market, but I’ve heard this is a must-visit attraction.
If you happen to be in Beaune on a Saturday, don’t miss the 150 vendors that stretch from the Halles covered market to Hôtel Dieu.
You can purchase everything from a Bresse chicken, locally made saucisson, truffles, flowers, antique goods, clothes, you name it! This is where the locals shop.
09- Experience a Grand French Château
Burgundy wine tour with Château du Clos Vougeot in the background
Burgundy has quite a few impressive châteaus to explore, but the one that is considered the icon of the Burgundian vineyard is Château du Clos Vougeot.
Built by the Cistercian monks in the 12th century, you cannot miss its impressive presence rising up among the vineyards.
Our Authentica Tours wine guide stopped by this prestigious château during our tour of the Route des Grands Crus (Route of the Great Wines).
Although the Château du Clos de Vougeot no longer produces wine, it remains a historic symbol of Burgundy and its exceptional wine.
For more cool châteaus to explore, check out La Bourgogne’s Top 10 Châteaus.
10- Celebrate at a 1-Star Michelin Restaurant
Lobster Menu at La Table de Levernois
France has the most Michelin-star restaurants in the WORLD!
We experienced 1 of the 630 Michelin-star restaurants during our stay in Burgundy.
On our first night, we had a delicious meal at the 1-Star Michelin restaurant, La Table de Levernois. We enjoyed a pre-dinner cocktail on their beautiful terrace before being led indoors for our lobster tasting menu experience.
Warm grand mariner soufflé with blood orange sorbet at La Table de Levernois
The meal was expertly prepared and delicious. Although the lobster dishes were delicious, I really enjoyed their signature dessert, a warm grand mariner soufflé with blood orange sorbet.
And if you don’t feel like driving home, you can stay on the property in one of their 26 beautifully appointed rooms!
11- Explore Burgundy via Barge Cruising
Canal route from Chagny France to Santenay
When we were cycling along the canal from Chagny to Santenay, I noticed these houseboats parked along the side. I didn’t realize France had so many canals and waterways. One of the best ways to explore all the picturesque towns is by boat.
You can book a barge cruise to slowly navigate from village to village along the 150-mile Burgundy Canal. Once you reach a village, you can hop out and explore by foot or bike to see the highlights.
These small group cruises can be pretty swanky, with beautiful modern rooms and fine French cuisine and wine.
European Waterways seems to be the recommended outfitter for food and wine lovers. Yet another reason to come back to explore Burgundy!
12- Visit the Oldest Cellars in Beaune
Undergound cellar of Joseph Drouhin
If you read Wine and War, you know a visit to Joseph Drouhin is a must. We booked a tasting and tour of these historic cellars, which were owned at one point by the Dukes of Burgundy and the Kings of France.
Three generations of Drouhins have led this prestigious wine estate starting in 1880! This winemaking family also has an estate in Willamette Valley in Oregon, which is known for exceptional Pinot Noir too.
Joseph Drouhin wine tasting
The tour was well organized, and our wine guide was very knowledgeable. After the cellar tour, we had an excellent tasting of three whites and three reds, which included a few Premier Crus.
13- Hunt for Truffles with a Local Expert
Hunting for truffles is #66 on my couples bucket list. There are a few places in the world where you can hunt for truffles, and Burgundy is one of them!
This regional delicacy is highly prized. It instantly elevates a meal to another level.
I love truffles, but my husband really really loves truffles. We’ve tried truffles on everything from pizza to burgers to pasta to popcorn to fries.
Maison Aux Mille Truffes offers a truffle hunting experience with Taiga, their expert truffle hunter dog. After your adventure, you can taste some delicious truffle treats.
If you are a foodie and wine lover who also loves to be outdoors, you are going to love Burgundy! Paris was great, but we loved Burgundy and its “slow down and enjoy life” lifestyle. I hope these top things to do help you plan your own ideal French wine country getaway.
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