On foot, by bike, by boat or by car

Top 5 sightseeing itineraries for autumn

Whatever your chosen means of transport, Burgundy is a superb place to explore in autumn. How you decide to explore the area is your choice: on foot for those who want to go at a slow pace (or not, as the case may be), by bike for more adventurous visitors or by car to be able to explore all the hidden treasures of the region.

Vignobles de la Côte de Beaune
Alain DOIRE / BFC Tourisme
1 An introductory journey into the world of wine

The Route des Grands Crus (Route of the Great Wines)

Either by bike or by car (this route is too long to be able to cover the entire length on foot), you'll be passing by the vine plots bearing some well-known names, including Pommard, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet... There are so many appellations to enjoy tasting!

Other than the actual vineyards, there is a whole cultural heritage to discover, thanks to the "climats" of Burgundy's vineyard, recently added to UNESCO's list of world heritage!

Not-to-be-missed along the way

Le Clos de Vougeot, home to the Confrérie du Tastevin (bacchanalian fraternity of Burgundy wine connoisseurs)

The Hospices de Beaune, with the famous glazed tile roof

Dijon and its fascinating cultural heritage

 

Canal de Bourgogne en automne
Alain DOIRE / BFC Tourisme
2 A relaxing trip down the water

Burgundy Canal

Another way to explore Burgundy is by hiring a boat and setting off on a trip down Burgundy Canal. You're in for a special treat in autumn. Thanks to the autumn colours reflecting into the waters like a mirror, you'll be whisked away into this special Indian summer atmosphere that can only be found in Burgundy!

 

Not-to-be-missed along the way

The Château d'Ancy-le-Franc, a treasure of the Renaissance era.

Fontenay Abbey, listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO.

Dijon, the city of the Dukes of Burgundy.

 

Tour de l'Horloge d'Avallon
Alain DOIRE / BFC Tourisme
3 An exploration of the great ourdoors

The Morvan

Hop on your bikes and set off on an adventure into the Morvan Regional Natural Park. It is a hilly place but not too difficult for an unexperienced cyclist to come and explore this "green lung" of Burgundy. Along the way, you'll come across exceptional wildlife and in autumn, the colours are just incredible, with the huge red and gold horse chestnuts contrasted with the green fir trees and ferns dotted alongside the footpaths.

Not-to-be-missed along the way

Settons Lake, for a refreshing break on your bike ride.

Avallon, medieval town on the outskirts of the Morvan.

Autun, birthplace of the local Celtic culture.

Montgolfière au dessus de Chalon
Jerome Marche-OT Grand Chalon
4 A taste of freedom

Burgundy from a hot-air balloon

A hot-air balloon ride is an original and very enjoyable way of exploring Burgundy. In autumn, a birdseye view of the vineyards is like looking at a colourful work of art. The huge square plots are filled with bright colours, and you will even be lucky enough to witness the grape harvest. The vineyards are buzzing with life during this period, awash with men and women cutting and collecting the bunches of grapes, well organised in the rows of vines, with other people carrying the harvest to machines which then transport the grapes... All this takes place in complete and utter silence. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be shared!

 

Place de la libération - Dijon
Alain DOIRE / BFC Tourisme
5 Urban exploration

City break in Dijon

Dijon is the timeless city of the Dukes of Burgundy, with a fascinating history to tell. The best season to come and learn about this significant part of the history of France is autumn, as there are less people on the streets, the days are still long enough to be able to enjoy the outdoor terraces in the evenings, and the light cast upon the town's most iconic monuments really showcases them at their best. The Palace of the Dukes appears bigger, as the shadows accentuate every nook and cranny. The Tour Philippe le Bon (Philip-the-Good Tower) reflects the very last light of the day, against a pink and purple sky. The pedestrian streets slowly start to come to life...

Not-to-be-missed along the way

The Parcours de la Chouette, an unmissable sightseeing tour around the main sights of the town.

Darcy Garden, a pleasant area of greenery for a relaxing break.

The town centre, completely car-free, a lively but accessible place.

En résumé