Artistic and Cultural Attractions
Prehistoric weapons, tools and skeleetons testify that humans lived here 130.000 years ago. The cliffs rise steeply, almost threateningly, out of the otherwise rolling vineyard slopes of Pouilly-Fuissé (9 km west of Màon).
An excursion west of Autun to Mount Beuvray is worthwhile for anyone interested in history. Near this mountain Julius Caesar crushed the advancing Helvetian army in 58 B.C. The ruins of the old Roman town of Bibracte are a center of European archeology, with excavations, a research center and a museum.
This little town near Avallon is the most important pilgrimage stop in Burgundy. The tremendous 12th century Basilica of Sainte-Madeleine, visible from far off, towers over the splendid old townhouses and the mighty town walls. Other famous churches and monasteries can be seen in Tournus, Cluny, Autun and Fontenay.
Cattle market at Saint-Christophe-en-Brionnais
Every Thursday the traditional spectacle of livestock auction is on view in this small town as up to 3.000 cows change owners.
Museum of Fine Arts in Dijon
This museum is, housed in the ducal palace, is one of the most famous in France. The collection includes Burgundian, Flemish and Dutch painting, sculpture and metal crafts.
Nicéphore Niepce Museum, Chalon-sur-Saône
Lying on the bank of the Saône, this museum is dedicated to the inventor of photography, Burgundian Joseph Nicéphore Niepce. It lodges an interesting collection on the history and technical development of photography as well as changing exhibitions of contemporary photography.
Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune
Built in 1443, the hospital and old age home’s huge, single sickroom (which was still in use until 1971) and beautiful old apothecary give a glimpse into medical care as it used to be.
Château of Pierre-de-Bresse
This imposing moated castle in the district between Chalon-sur-Saône and Dole hosts a museum of ecology where, with the help of the local population, the cultural and natural resources of Bresse are researched and documented so the traditions and identity of the region can be preserved.
Other equally impressive (partially open to the public) castles sit in La Rochepot, Germolles, Sully, Talmay, Châteauneuf-en-Auxois, Rully, Cormatin and Château Chinon.
Sport and leisure activities
Burgundy is a contemplative landscape, but it still offers many sport possibilities:
Hiking, biking and riding
Far and near, the rivers and hills offer many opportunities. Some of the most beautiful stretches through fields, woods and vineyards are marked as footpaths. The old train line from Chalon-sur-Saône to Cluny has been rebuilt into a bike and bridle path.
Fishing is possible in many lakes and streams. A valid fishing license is necessary, and tourists can easily obtain short-term licenses.
Many areas are suitable for climbing, such as the cliffs in the uplands beyond Dijon; the gorges at Brochon, Lavaux and Fixin; and the cliff over the Yonne River in Morvan Regional Park.
Wild water sports
Some river stretches in the Morvan area are good for canoeing, kayaking and rafting.
Several 18-hole courses are distributed throughout the region’s glorious landscape.
Ideas for families with children
Cardoland entertainment park
In Chamoux, 7 km from Vézelay, you can go back to the Stone Age!
The Azé cave southwest of Lugny offers a short walk among the old bones of cave bears.
The 21 columns of the limestone cave at Blanott by Cluny are refreshingly cool on a hot midsummer day.
The Great Cavern at Arcy-sur-Cure presents admirable Stone Age paintings and two underground lakes.
The subterranean river in the cave at Bèze can be explored in a flat-bottomed boat.
Horse-driven wagons provide pleasant trips through the vineyards.
Petting zoos can be found in Romanèche-Thorins (south of Mâcon) and Saint-Fargeau (west af Auxerre).