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Southern Burgundy Touring and Lodging Advice Needed

Question for Southern Burgundy Aficionados,
In June we are two couples taking a one-week Croisi-Europe barge trip in Northern Burgundy departing Besancon ending in Dijon. Then we are going to spend 3 nights in a hotel or gite and tour Southern Burgundy. We need suggestions as to what town we should base our stay, what best sites to see, and any hotel/gite recommendations. We enjoy visiting wineries but equally appreciate other sites, historical, cultural, arts, and scenic natural sites. We have listed some excursion below thinking of Chalone sur Saone for a base but appreciate recommendations.

Friday Day 1 – Disembark pick up car in Dijon and head south to Chateau Vougeot; then on to Beaune. Tour Hospital and other sites, likely overnight further south in Chalon sur Saone or other town.
Saturday June 25 Day 2 - Cluny Abbey and maybe Taize (12:30 mid-day prayer) and Cormatin Castle. Possible Rock of Solutre instead of Taize as too many things this day
Sunday June 26 Day 3: What to put on this Day? What’s missing?
Monday June 27 Day 4: Depart by train for Paris.
Thank you for any help based upon your experience.

Posted by
192 posts

My wife and I drove from Lyon and stopped at a couple of places in southern Burgundy before reaching our six-night lodging in Meursault (very near Beaune). Trip report on RS Forum, with Burgundy covered in Part 6 (with info on our lodging, which would be comfortable for two couples): https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/trip-report-france-28-days-aug-sep-loire-dordogne-languedoc-roussillon-lyon-burgundy-honfleur

Posted by
4223 posts

Chalon sur Saône is not particularly charming. I recommend Tournus instead, there are several good hotels (7 Fontaines, on the high end, is excellent) and restaurants in town.
For the day when you do not know what to do, Brou royal abbey near Bourg en Bresse is worth seeing despite being well off the beaten track.
I am assuming you will have a car; to go back to Paris you can either return the car in Dijon, or at Mâcon Loché TGV station.

Posted by
299 posts

I'd definitely recommend La Roche de Solutré over Taizé, but I'm non religious so Taizé holds zero interest to me. Solutré has beautiful views of the area, a bracing walk up the hill, and an interesting museum of prehistory at the base of the rock. Taizé has... I never quite figured that out over the years I lived there.

I used to live in southern Bourgogne, and I would recommend a trip west to Paray le Monial. It's a place of pilgrimage for many. There's a large basilica that mimics the destroyed basilica of Cluny, a chapel where visitations reportedly took place, and another chapel with beautiful tile work and the remains of one of the saints associated with the town. The central, medieval part of town has recently been renovated, and just northeast of town in Genelard is an interesting museum about the importance of the Canal du Centre during WW2 (Centre d'interprétation de la Ligne de démarcation). That canal, which passes through both Genelard and Paray le Monial, defined the border between occupied France and free France in the early days of WW2. It provides interesting insight into how the local population dealt with the hindrances and dangers presented by the border.

For meals, I would recommend two spots: l'Apostrophe in Paray le Monial near the train station, and l'Auberge de Vigny in the countryside just northwest of Paray. Both are excellent. And, in keeping with the area, you'll likely find nothing but locals in either one. I can practically guarantee it.

Paray le Monial, by the way, is a bit less than 3 hours from Paris by bus or train to the closest TGV station, and then TGV up to Paris.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks to all for the great feedback and helpful tips. I've checked out and saved your entire 6 week report as it looks like great guidance for future.
GDH