Dijon: sightseeing by bicycle
So where did their weekend getaway begin? In Dijon, or as the locals call it, the capital of the dukes.
This is a fairly small town and we immediately felt completely at ease surrounded by the characteristic glazed tiles. What better a way to explore the town than with the self-service bicycles? Just like the locals here, we opted for the purple (just like the blackcurrant liqueur used to make the famous Kir® cocktails) 'vélib' (here, they're called Vélodi) to cycle around the pretty capital of Burgundy.
Head for the 'Halles' (indoor market)
Dijon indoor market is the place where all the locals meet on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Dijon Tourist Office even organises a cultural and gourmet tour of this iconic place.
We recommend taking the time to stop for a drink before lunch in the fantastic atmosphere, surrounded by the market stalls filled with seasonal delights, at the Buvette des Halles!
All around the market, you'll be spoilt for choice with a wide range of great restaurants where you can eat out on the terrace.All the restaurants in Dijon
Beer tasting workshop
Burgundy is famous for its wine, but don't forget the beer!
At 'Un Singe en Hiver' near the future Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin (opening on the 6th May 2022), brothers Pierre-Elie and Quentin organise beerology sessions.
We really enjoyed our time at this micro-brewery, which doubles up as a contemporary art gallery. Platters of cheese and cured meats are served with the beers to taste: what a treat! Of course, we left with some bottles of craft beer to take with us in our backpacks.
For fans of Burgundy wines
There are plenty of wine bars dotted all around the ducal town, where you can not only taste the different vintage wines, but also various local specialities such as jambon persillé (Burgundy ham), a platter of local cheeses including Cîteaux and Epoisses, and why not treat yourselves to a dozen snails.
After our evening in this intimate and welcoming place, we knew everything there was to know about Burgundy wines. Burgundy in fact produces more wines from the Chardonnay grape variety than Pinot Noir. Of the 84 appellations you're sure to find a few to your taste, so bon appétit and pour yourself a large glass!
Stylish lodgings at Vertigo!
There are so many great places to stay in Dijon, but we chose to stay at the Vertigo Hôtel Spa!
This stylish hotel is in the town centre in a building that is certified a Historic Monument, with 42 contemporary-style rooms and suites.
At the weekend a resident DJ plays at the Embassy bar.
A half-day cycling outing through the vineyards
It feels incredible to cycle through so many iconic winegrowing villages such as Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny, Vosne-Romanée... names that we usually only see on a wine list!
My friends and I were lost for words when we came face-to-face with the sheer number of vines stretching off into the distance, and the 2,000 years of history that have shaped Burgundy's vineyard.
Our recommendation: Opt for the 1/2 day cycling & tasting outing with Bourgogne Evasion By Active Tour. You will be visiting a family-run winegrowing estate with the winegrowers themselves. What better a way to learn all about the world of winemaking and unveil the secrets of the wines than with a passionate expert! As an added bonus, you can place an order for wines and get them delivered to your house!
Other cycling expeditions through the vines
We'll tell you all about the cycling and hiking routes across Burgundy, suitable for all levels!
The Hospices de Beaune
An exceptional tasting experience
We were told that the Hospices was one of Burgundy's iconic sights to see, but we weren't expecting to be so impressed by this medieval masterpiece and its symbolic roof!
The history of this place is fascinating, as before becoming a museum it was in fact a hospital for many centuries. The history of this monument goes hand-in-hand with that of the Burgundy vineyard.
Exceptional wine tasting as an added bonus: until the 31st March, you'll be able to taste 4 superb Premier Cru wines and even 1 Grand Cru from the Maison Bouchard Père & Fils, as part of the exhibition 'Le Bon, le Téméraire et le Chancelier'.
Some magnificent starred establishments in Beaune
We stayed at the Hostellerie Cèdre & Spa Beaune ***** very close to the Hospices.
After a day of exploring in the great outdoors, it was amazing to be able to come back here to relax in this luxurious and peaceful hotel. There's even a Nuxe Spa, and I'm sure I'll have to come back one day with a certain someone!
In the evening we were treated to some absolutely delicious dishes at a restaurant inside a 19th-century winegrower's house, run by chef Jordan Billon. We can see why he was awarded his first Michelin star in 2022. Hats off to the chef and his team!
A special mention for the wine list with over 400 different wines, including some very impressive Burgundy wines!
The Rock of Solutré: wine tasting and a walk
To end our weekend on a high note, we set off for the magnificent Rock of Solutré, a prehistoric site overlooking the Pouilly-Fuissé vineyard.
We met up with Emmanuel, a local from the winegrowing village of Chardonnay nearby, in the gardens of the aptly-named Café de la Roche after enjoying a lunch of local and mostly organic products.
This tour guide told us all about the history of the rock as we walked up to the top along a private path. You don't need to be an experienced hiker but the rock still stands at a height of 495 metres!
To make all the effort worthwhile, Emmanuel had brought with him a few bottles of Chardonnay from his family's estate.
Admiring the 360° view of the vineyards while enjoying a glass of Chardonnay was an experience we'll never forget!