Considered the gastronomic heart of France, The Burgundy region (Bourgogne in French) is perhaps most famous for its diverse array of exquisite wines and its local culinary pleasures such as Beef Bourgignon and Coq au Vin. Local chefs are famous for using high-quality, ultra-fresh local ingredients to create rich and hearty dishes, some of which are only available locally.
Visit World-Famous Wineries
Vineyards in Burgundy produce such fine wines as Chamberlain, Meursault, Chablis, and Pouilly-Fuissé, among others. Throughout the year Burgundy celebrates their vineyards with wine festivals where one can roam about and sample the year's vintages. In addition, many local vineyards will welcome you to their door with a glass of wine to taste and an invitation to explore their cellars.
Explore Ancient Historical Sites
Burgundy's history is as rich and diverse as its food. You can explore Paleolithic sites such as the caves of Arcy-sur-Cure, which display the art and living of the hunters of the time. Or you can visit the tomb of the princess of Vix, a remnant of the wealth and power of the Celts who once ruled here.
Here also you can follow the footsteps of the Gallic nobleman Vercingetorix on the path to his famous clash with Julius Caesar at Alésia, the battle in which the Roman Empire completed its conquest of Gaul. Along the way visit the ruins of Roman colonies and see the integration of French/Roman history and modern life in towns like Autun, the site of "Augustodunum" -- a pageant which re-enacts history in the ancient Roman theater, which was the largest of its kind in the western Roman Empire.
Tour The Former Homes of French Royalty
If you prefer instead to follow in the footsteps of the Royalty of France, the châteaux of Burgundy provide a rich and varied experience filled with the tales of royalty and peasants alike. Stroll the gardens of the château at Epoisses and sample the local cheese, a freshly-made delicacy available only locally.
Or visit the ducal palace in Dijon, the capital of Burgundy and the gastronomic capital of the world. Touring the châteaux of Burgundy provides enough history, activity and relaxation to fill weeks of your time here.
See Burgundian Architecture, Old and New
The same can also be said of Burgundy's architectural history -- a tour of the more picturesque examples will allow you to sample most of Burgundy's finer points, such as the Abbeys at Fontenay and Flavigny-sur-Ozerain and the red-and-gold rooftops of Beaune.
Burgundy Has Something For Every Itinerary
If you crave the excitement of a city, look to Dijon -- home of the mustard of the same name. If instead you wish to experience a more calm and natural landscape, look to the countryside of Auxois, for example. Burgundy is home to some of the most beautiful and unspoilt countryside in France.
You can spend your days and nights sightseeing if you wish, but if you instead prefer to avoid the crowds, there are any number of activities available to you here. These include hiking, fishing, sailing, rock climbing, golfing, bicycling and horseback riding, among others. You can use the house in Semur-en-Auxois as a point of origin for any and all of these nature activities, or combine them with the sightseeing and culinary activities above.
Phil and Louise