The noble grape may rule in this prosperous region and the wine may be truly magnificent, but there is much more to enjoy on this cycling holiday through the heart of Burgundy. The local cuisine offers memorable gastronomic experiences and the charming timeless villages are rich in tradition. From the historic winding streets of medieval settlements, set out to ride across rolling hills with broadleaf forests of oak, beech, hornbeam and birch through some of the best of rural France. The itinerary explores the Canal de Bourgogne, has opportunities to visit chateaux and historic sites along the way and of course winds its way through the best-known Bourgogne vineyards. These are found on the great southeast-facing escarpment known as the Cote d'Or or 'Golden Hillside', which overlooks the historic towns of Beaune, Nuits-Saint-Georges and Meursault. This tour through the famous wine-growing region starts and finishes in the beautiful town of Beaune, the hub of Burgundy's wine industry, at the heart of a cluster of prestigious vineyards.
We grade the tour as moderate (grade 3); standard day stages between hotels vary from 30km to 55km. Two days are loops returning to the same hotel. The first loop is at Beaune and covers 55 or 70 km, depending on the option you choose. The second from Buxy is a 40 or 75 km cycle with great sightseeing at the furthest point. You may need an early start. The terrain is mostly flat through the vineyards but there are moderate up hill sections and undulating countryside on the route.
There is lots to see and do in Beaune, and you can enjoy its rich historical and architectural heritage if you arrive early, or there is time on day 2 and at the end of the trip to visit its sights. You can also enjoy its vinicultural heritage - surrounded by famous wine villages and with many producers' cellars located in the town itself, Beaune is the hub of Burgundy’s wine industry.
We offer the trip on a mostly B&B basis so you can choose from the wide selection of excellent restaurants in the region. 3* hotel in Beaune.
Your bikes will be delivered to your hotel after breakfast. Details of exact times will be given in the route notes and can be confirmed at the hotel. Today you ride to the Abbey of Citeaux and back, through the famous vineyards of the Cote de Beaune with numerous ancient churches, chateaux and charming villages along the way. There are a few interesting sights in Nuits-Saint-George including the 13th century church and the museum. From the Abbey, the return route passes through the best pinot noir vineyards of Burgundy, including Chambolle-Musigny and Nuits-Saint-Georges. There are two route options - whichever option you choose there is much to see and of course opportunities to taste some of the local produce!
Overnight in 3* hotel in Beaune.
You can spend time in Beaune before starting your ride or just take it easy, as today’s ride is fairly short and easy (35km) through chardonnay land. The villages of Pommard, Meursault and Santenay will be a great introduction to the province and good options for morning coffee and/or lunch and/or afternoon tea.
If you fancy a little longer in the saddle, you can ride up to the village of Saint-Romain before rejoining the main route (55km).
If you start any day except Monday & Tuesday, you'll stay in 2* hotel in the village of Rully. If on Monday or Tuesday, you'll stay in 3* hotel in Chassey le Camp, which is approx. 4 km from Rully - the itinerary is not significantly changed.
Continue south through the Côtes Chalonnaises to the village of Mercurey, which produces one of the best examples of the pinot noir appellation. The route is a bit more testing, passing over rolling hills with a succession of hamlets, creeks, woods and of course vineyards. You will stay in the pretty village of Buxy for 2 nights.
3* hotel in Buxy.
The optional ride from Buxy is a loop south to the great Abbey of Cluny. As on previous days, today is punctuated with numerous villages and lovely and varied countryside, as well as Gallo-Roman ruins. After a good break in the village of Cluny, visit one of the most prestigious abbey complexes in France. Return to Buxy along the traffic-free cycle path. Overnight 3* hotel in Buxy.
From Buxy you ride northwest to the country town of Couches, after crossing the Canal du Centre. The day’s cycle is a good contrast to the wine making countryside you have seen so far, this is a land of isolated cattle farms and oak woods. Overnight 2* hotel in Nolay.
The ride from Nolay takes you to another old market town, Bligny sur Ouche, and to the Canal de Bourgogne at Pont d’Ouche. After cycling along the peaceful canal using the old towpath, you return to Beaune. The last 15km is a smooth downhill through lovely forest, before you pass the great vineyard of Aloxe Corton. There are two route options for this ride to Beaune, one of 30km and the other of 58km.
Overnight 3* hotel in Beaune.
Trip concludes in Beaune after breakfast.
It was a memorable holiday cycling through one of the most picturesque parts of France. By bike, there is the opportunity to discover in greater detail, the history, people, customs and cuisine of a very interesting and important area of Europe. If you like food and esp.wine, it is just full of pleasures to be found around every corner. The locals are very welcoming and enjoyed talking to us about their area which they are rightly very proud of.
R. Thurlow., Somerton Park, SA, Australia
Per Person, Twin Share