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where to stay in Burgundy

We are 6 adults with 3 children, and we want to stay in Burgundy for one week.... we want to stay someplace central, close to hiking and biking and wine tours. We want to stay in the countryside near a town with a train station

Is there an area where we can plant ourselves and not be too far from everything?

Posted by
454 posts

Stay in either Beaune or Dijon. Not sure how old the children are, but they will probably be happier staying in a town with walkable sights. Beaune is very walkable and Dijon has the fun owl trail.

Posted by
4125 posts

Most of Burgundy is pretty far from everything.

That said, I think the suggestion for in or around Beaune fits the bill. it is a very friendly town and makes a great base; Dijon is just a half hour away by train if you want a big-city day trip, and there is good biking (and a bike rental shop).

I'd get pretty bored there in a week, but if you have a car there is tons to see and do.

Posted by
2 posts

I will add to the recommendation for Beaune. Yes, a car will be necessary. Dijon is also easily reachable by train for a day trip.

Posted by
5700 posts

We prefer smaller towns ourselves and spent a week in a cottage below the walls of Semur en Auxois and loved it -- and used it as a base for day trips to Abbeys, chateaux, hiking trails in the Jura, other villages. There are a couple of restaurants, a bakery, a butcher shop, a couple of cafes etc in the town center. We tended to stock up on basic groceries on one of our excursions when we could find a bigger grocery store. Here is our Semur visit as well as a few day trips in the area on that trip.
https://janettravels.wordpress.com/category/burgundy/

Posted by
6739 posts

Burgundy is two-hours by car in length on the autoroute. Beaune and Dijon are at the southern end. First decide what you want to see, and then decide where you’ll stay.

Edit: Missed the part about train stations until Robert brought it up. Stations were closed in small towns about 30 years ago. So you won't be able to get to the countryside via train.

Posted by
2787 posts

I also think that Semur en Auxois is a great village. However, I don't know if there's a train station nearby. I don't remember seeking one in Semur itself, but then again, I wasn't looking for one.

Posted by
5700 posts

Ah missed that -- yeah nice little towns don't have train stations and Semur does not. If you don't have a car then you need to stay in a city with good transport connections. I don't know that there are good ways to get around Burgundy without a car -- you can visit towns like Beaune without -- but if you want to drive to hikes, abbeys, chateaux, charming towns etc you pretty much have to have personal transport. With a group of 9 I would rent two cars to have flexibility.

Posted by
4125 posts

Semur is another good base if you have wheels. It's bigger than Beaune, though, and the cycling opportunities are not as generous or straightforward.

It is possible to visit some smaller towns via train from Auxerre, such as Arcy sur Cure etc., but honestly I do not recommend them, either generally or for your purposes.

Posted by
84 posts

yeah I neglected to mention that we will have some cars, but we have 2 different couples and 2 singles, and we aren't all in agreement about what we want to do. Some want to only visit cities, which is why I wanted the train scenario if they wanted to go alone.

I want to ride bikes, drink wine and eat lots of dijon! but my wife wants to visit some cities and drink wine wherever we are staying

Posted by
11703 posts

Personally I prefer Dijon to Beaune. There are sights in Beaune that are worth visiting but the center in Dijon is much nicer IMO. Rick used to take his tours to Dijon but I think he opted for the smaller city.

If you have cars, Semur en Auxios is more central and one of the prettiest villages in an area full of pretty villages (Beaune is not one of them). To me the best part of Burgundy are the medieval stone villages interspersed with rolling hills, small forests, farms, livestock and (surprisingly) sparse vineyards.

A week is plenty of time to explore some villages, sights in Dijon and Beaune, wineries and other sights. In fact, you could spend four days there then train or drive from Dijon to Colmar (I drove) and spend several days in Alsace. It's not far but a completely different feel. Between the two of them, you may overdose on charm.

There are three historical things you might love (depending on how much you like history): the Battle of Allesia museum (Julius Ceasar defeats the Gauls), Bibracte (Celtic museum and ancient ruins) and Guedelon (a castle, and open air museum, being built with 13th century tools and plans) a little further west.

Train stations will be at the south end (Dijon and Beaune) or at the north (Auxerre). When I went, I trained from Paris to Auxerre, rented a car and explored north to south, then over to Colmar, explored Alsace up to Strasbourg, then by train to Reims (for a night) en route to Paris. I think I spent ten days for the loop (but also added a night in Freiburg and Heidelberg, Germany, before leaving Strasbourg).

Posted by
704 posts

We stayed in Beaune and biked there a couple different routes..... we liked it over Dijon but I get the train being accessible there might add a point to Dijon. I did not think Beaune was a big town - very walkable

Posted by
1 posts

Semur is a wonderful picturesque medieval town but sadly many of the few shops which were there have now closed, as have restaurants - there is very limited choice other than pizza or burgers in the centre. Whilst you could cycle, you would soon be out into farm land. By car, about 5 mins drive from town you can cycle along the Burgundy Canal. There are a few lakes nearby for swimming and water sports. No train station. No vineyards.
Beaune is much larger by comparison - around 20k population - and is consider the heart of the vineyard and wine region. There are many excellent restaurants . With your own transport you can stay in outside Beaune but in parts of Burgundy you would have to travel into a town for restaurants. It is very easy to hire bikes and join the Voie Verte - the green route through the vineyards.
We live close to Semur but work from Beaune - our recommendation would be to base near to Beaune and take the train into Dijon for a day (no Uber here!)
And, if you would like to explore with a guide or take a wine tour, check us out - from either location! BurgundyDiscovery.com

Posted by
1 posts

Helpful!! Husband and I traveling May for 11 days. We will visit a Paris and rent a car from Tours to see Loire Valley. Can we drive to Burgundy for day or longer from there? Hoping to visit vineyards, beautiful scenery and lots of historical sites. Total of 5 days.