Burgundy – the perfect place to break your journey
Driving through France needn’t be a marathon – just four and a half hours away from Calais, the beautiful region of Burgundy to the east of central France is an ideal stop-off point if you need to stretch your legs.
Driving through France needn’t be a marathon – just four and a half hours away from Calais, the beautiful region of Burgundy to the east of central France is an ideal stop-off point if you need to stretch your legs. The most convenient route to the capital of Burgundy leads from Paris via the A6 and A31 motorways, taking you to Dijon in just 3 hours. From there you can choose between the A6 if you are heading to the south of France, or the A39 for the Alps.
If you prefer to travel to the south via Auvergne and the Massif Central, taking in the famous Millau viaduct, follow the A77 motorway and stop off in the Val de Loire Nivernais, the westernmost part of Burgundy:
Nevers is famous for its faience artisans and its rich architectural history. Follow the painted blue line running along the pavements of the old town to discover its hidden gems. La-Charit�-sur-Loire is situated on the pilgrim’s route to Compostela. An easy crossing point for the river Loire, this UNESCO World Heritage site has always been a major stop on the road towards the south.
La-Charit�-sur-Loire – � Alain Doire – Burgundy Tourism
Driving from north to south along the A31, the A6 or the A39, you’re spoilt for choice as to where to break your journey for a day or two:
Dijon was once the historic capital of Burgundy, and today retains the title as the administrative and economic centre of the region. The historic town centre is best explored on foot, following the Parcours de la Chouette (The Owl Trail) clearly marked on the ground, which will introduce you to the town’s most important sites. Nuits-Saint-Georges at the heart of C�te de Nuits offers endless possibilities when it comes to tasting some of the best wines in the world. Beaune is the capital of Burgundy wine, and is also a destination for a gastronomic or cultural stop-over. A visit to the famous H�tel-Dieu Hospices museum is a must. Chalon-sur-Sa�ne is known as the birthplace of Nic�phore Ni�pce and the cradle of photography. It holds a very attractive market twice a week and also offers cruises on the River Sa�ne. Built on the right bank of the Sa�ne, Tournus is the place to stop to visit the abbey church of Saint Philibert, a prime example of Romanesque architecture. M�con is the southernmost town of Burgundy. It is the birthplace of the great poet Lamartine and also the springboard for excursions into the nearby M�connais. Close to the A39 is Louhans, capital of the Burgundian Bresse area, classified as a site remarquable du go�t (remarkable site for taste). This is where the famous Bresse poultry comes from, the only poultry to have been awarded an A.O.C. (Appellation d’Origine Contr�l�e).
On the way back from your holiday take time to drive through the far western side of Burgundy to discover another side of the region. Driving south to north along the A6 and A5 motorways, the choice is yours as to where to stop and get a taste of what Burgundy has to offer:
Saulieu and the Auxois are world-renowned for gastronomy and are also the departure point for excursions in the Morvan Regional Nature Park. In Avallon and Vezelay you can walk not only in the footsteps of Vauban, the military engineer, but also those of the pilgrims bound for Santiago de Compostela. And of course no stop in Vezelay is complete without a visit to la colline �ternelle (the eternal hill), a UNESCO World Heritage site. Auxerre boasts the second largest pedestrianised sector in the region. Ideal to stretch your legs after a long drive, it’s also the point of departure for boat trips on the River Yonne. Joigny is a town of artistic and historical interest marked by the Renaissance. Visit the picturesque old town with half-timbered houses and beautiful views of the River Yonne. At just an hour from Paris, Sens is the northern gateway to Burgundy. It boasts the Saint �tienne cathedral, the first of the great cathedrals in France.
Auxerre � Alain Doire – Burgundy Tourism
Whichever route takes you across France to get to your final destination, you’re spoilt for choice in Burgundy for a great beginning to your holiday.
For more information, visit www.burgundy-tourism.com
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