Quiet, low-traffic roads that weave through rolling vineyards (and not just any vineyards, some of the best in the world) are ideal for exploring on two wheels. Temperatures get quite warm during the summer months, so biking the route is best enjoyed in autumn during harvest, or just afterwards when the fields turn a yellow-gold. Sites en route include the châteaux de Corton André, Pommard, and Meursault, all located along the stretch through the Côte de Beaune. With many bike shops in town, it’s easy to rent for the day and push off pedalling from Beaune; talk to the shop owner to map out a ride ahead of time as parts of the region have some significant hills that are best suited for avid riders.
“Produits du terroir”, which roughly translates to “products of the land”, is the best way to describe the food of Burgundy: hearty and rich, using beef, meat, foul, and other ingredients that are native to the region. Rich beef stews (such as the classic Boeuf Bourguignon), escargots, Coq au Vin, and frogs legs are just a few of the oh-so-classically French dishes that were born in Burgundy. Restaurants abound in Beaune, visitors can have no shortage of choices for an unforgettable feast. Some of our favourites include Caves Madeleine and Caveau des Arches for an authentic experience serving up nothing but produits du terroir. Bon appétit!
As Burgundy is synonymous with wine, there’s no better place to sip and learn about the delicate Pinot Noirs and crisp Chablis it harvests than from the source. A number of well-known producers can be found right in the town of Beaune, such as Joseph Drouhin, Louis Jadot, and Bouchard Père et fils. To dive even deeper, head into the countryside for a tasting (or two) at a domaine alongside the vines. Make sure to call and book appointments ahead of time, particularly during high or harvest season. The local tourism board or hotel concierge would be happy to assist with this.
Those who’ve always waned to unleash their inner Julia Child can do so in Beaune and partake in a cooking class with a local master. As mentioned earlier, Burgundy is the home of some of the most classic, and complicated, French dishes. Conquer them in the company of trained professionals, such as the ladies of The Cook’s Atelier: a mother-daughter pair from the United States who now call Beaune home, living out the expat dream.
Not one, but two markets operate on Saturdays in Beaune. The market in Place de la Halle, located in the town centre beside the famous Hospices, has over 100 vendors supplying the townspeople and visitors alike with fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and pretty well any culinary staple imaginable. A short walk away in Place Carnot is the antique market* filled with old books, glassware, vases, clothing and more.
(*only from March to November)
A stroll along the ancient ramparts that surround the city centre is not only incredibly romantic, but offers a different perspective of Beaune. Entrances to ascend into the ramparts can be accessed from the ring road by venturing down any of the roads leading to the town centre and are marked by the symbol of Amis des Remparts de Beaune. There are a number of important sites to see along the ramparts including the Château de Beaune, once a 15th-century castle turned headquarters of Bouchard Père et fils since 1872, the Théâtre de Verdure, a former theatre and now public garden, the Porte de Nicolas, one of the last remaining gates offering access past the walls to the town centre, and the statue garden of the Square des Lions.