Burgundy and Dijon: the names alone should get the taste buds going, but the towns and countryside of this French region are a feast for all the senses.
Day 1: Dijon
The gorgeous streets of Dijon, with their centuries’ worth of well-preserved buildings, offer more than a day’s sightseeing, but do your best. From the 150-foot (46-meter) high Tour Philippe le Bon, right in the center of town, enjoy a superb view and plan your next moves. The adjacent Palais des Ducs recalls the days when the Dukes of Burgundy were wheeling and dealing across Europe. The building houses the excellent Musée des Beaux-Arts, which is particularly strong on Medieval and Renaissance art. Explore the surrounding streets and you’ll soon come across the St-Michel church, with a twin-towered façade unlike any other you’ll see in France. Finally, the Mustard Museum will answer all your questions about Dijon’s most famous product.
Day 2: Wine
From Dijon, head out to the Cote de Nuits region. Winemaking is part of the very fabric of this region, intimately intertwined with its history and economy – even its religion (with numerous monasteries making their own wine). The “Routes des Grand Crus” takes you through the heart of Burgundy’s wine-making country, and you’ll pass scenic villages, picture postcard chateaux and – of course – sample some great wines. In the afternoon, why not explore the stunning medieval hillside town of Semur-en-Auxois, west of Dijon.
Day 3: Beaune
Bone up on your French history in Beaune, once the capital of Burgundy and still preserving some excellent historic monuments. The Hotel-Dieu is a Medieval masterpiece with a fanciful tiled roof, and much of the old city wall is intact. Walking the winding streets of the manageable city center is a great way to spend the day, with the evening offering all sorts of culinary temptations in this renowned hotspot of gastronomy and viticulture.