Travel Partner: Butterfield & Robinson
Duration | 6 Days
Destination | Burgundy
Starting Price | $4,995
Burgundy is vintage Butterfield &Robinson territory—a place renowned for its culinary traditions, celebrated wines and rich history. With our European headquarters based in Beaune, Burgundy for us is home terrain. Thousands of miles of peaceful, paved roads await your exploration, and our guides are well acquainted with how best to stay off the beaten track when traversing this stunningly varied landscape. We’ll lead you to the top of the gorgeous Hautes Côtes, uncork the splendid vintages from French wine’s ancestral home, and bed down in the region’s most exclusive hotel: the Abbaye de la Bussière. In sum, it’s pure pleasure!
Bienvenue en Bourgogne! We rendezvous this morning at your Dijon hotel, and take a quick drive to the beginning of our first ride in the Côtes de Nuits. You’ll start in front of the Château de Saulon-la-Rue, a vast 18th century property, ideal for your first contact with the region’s rich history. Our route takes us along the Saône River plain, past wheat fields and rustic farms as well as famous villages such as Vougeot. As we approach lunch in Nuits-St-Georges, you will start to follow the Côte-d’Or through some of the most renowned vineyards in the world such as Romanée Conti, La Tâche and Richebourg.
This afternoon, after your first encounter with the region’s fine cuisine, you’ll continue south to the medieval city of Beaune. Upon entering its ancient walls, you will wind through the cobbled streets to find L’Hotel de Beaune, your home for the next three nights. After settling in this evening, you’ll listen to an informal introduction to Burgundian wines, where our local expert will let you in on a few valuable pieces of information to help you negotiate your week’s liquid diet! Suitably educated, you’ll enjoy dinner on your own this evening. It being your first night in Beaune, we recommend the Bistrot de L’Hôtel—one of our very favourite addresses in town—and are happy to make a reservation for you in advance
Today offers a couple of different rides around Beaune. You may journey into the plains for a flatter option, away from the vineyards, passing through villages such as Villy-le-Moutier and Ruffey-lès-Beaune, with its stunning classified church. Alternatively, a hillier ride will take you through Savignyles-Beaune, and then on a gradual climb to the village of Bouilland. On your way back down, you will cycle through Aloxe-Corton, home to the Côte de Beaune’s red Grand Crus. After lunch along the way, or back in Beaune, the rest of the afternoon is yours to explore this charming town, which for centuries was the capital of the dukes of Burgundy. Beginning with the Capetian dukes and continuing until well after the Valois dukes, Beaune was the site of Burgundy’s parliament. Nicolas Rolin, one of the parliament’s chancellors, left behind the masterpiece of the Côte d’Or—the Hôtel Dieu (or Hospices), established in 1443, and not surprisingly intimately connected with the wine trade.
You’ll rendezvous with our local guide in the early evening, who will impress you with their deep knowledge and passion for all things Burgundian. They will accompany you through the Hospices, recounting this unique establishment’s rich history. After the visit, your guide will walk you to the restaurant of your choice for dinner on your own.
After breakfast, we’ll pedal off into the Côte de Beaune, the southern half of the Côte-d’Or, by one of two routes. Following vineyard and forest roads, you’ll glide toward the picturesque village of La Rochepot and then down into the heart of another jewel in the Burgundian crown: The Montrachet. This wine appellation is also the name of one of the most famous restaurants in the area, where we will have lunch today. Le Montrachet, in Puligny-Montrachet, was recently honored with its first Michelin star, and you will be offered a warm welcome from long-time Maître D’ Thierry Gazagnes.
After lunch, it’s a lovely ride through vineyards and the towns of Volnay and Pommard before heading back to Beaune. After relaxing (and perhaps a bit of shopping), we will meet up with our winemaker friend Jane Eyre-Renard for a “hidden” wine tasting at Domain Newman. This domain offers fantastic and promising wines from the Beaune area—some of which we’ll taste directly from the barrel! For dinner, you will once again have the opportunity to delight in Beaune’s exquisite restaurant scene, and your guide will happily help you decide which restaurant to descend upon for your evening feast.
Today we’ll head northwest into the Ouche Valley, which Tsits just behind the famous Côte-d’Or. You are in for a real treat, as the landscape and riding are absolutely spectacular. The terrain is hilly in parts and flat in others, providing a perfect blend. The ride meanders along quiet country roads, passing through the villages of Nantoux and Bessey-en-Chaume, before descending upon the green pastures of the quiet valley, dotted with the region’s white Charolais cows. It is simply picture perfect.
For lunch today, you’ll enjoy a picnic in the stunning privately-owned garden of the Abbaye de La Bussière. This meticulously restored ancient Cistercian abbey dates back to the 12th century, and also happens to be your home for the next two nights. This afternoon, you’ll have the option to log some extra miles, but you may simply want to relax and stroll around your hotel’s fifteen acre park, carefully manicured by Clive Cummings, the abbey’s charming owner. For dinner tonight, your guide will help you choose from a handful of local restaurants in the surrounding villages.
This morning’s ride takes us along the Burgundy Canal, and past the wooded valleys and small farms that surround the abbey. You’ll ride through the famously pastoral region known as L’Auxois, which extends from just east of the Morvan to the Plâteau de Langres. The Auxois horse, native to the region, was first bred in the Middle Ages to pull chariots and boats along rivers and canals. Late morning, you will ride all the way up to the magnificent citadel of Châteauneuf, which used to be a fortified point guarding the road between Dijon and Autun. This perfectly preserved medieval town dates back to the 11th century, and is deservedly considered one of the prettiest villages in France.
Lunch is on your own today and there are a number of choices, including the best little crêperie, and you will have plenty of time to explore town before continuing on. The afternoon promises more riding past the village of Commarin and its Renaissance château, as well as through the most charming string of hamlets set against the greenest of rolling hills. The late afternoon provides an opportunity to relax and enjoy the hotel’s sumptuous grounds before joining your guide for cocktails and dinner to celebrate your Burgundian voyage!
This morning, after breakfast at the abbey, you’ll head off to the Gare de Dijon-Ville train station, where you can catch a train to Paris or beyond. Bon voyage!
Prices are per person, based on two people sharing. Room categories, dates of travel and changes to services will affect the price. Dollar conversions shown (if applicable) will fluctuate throughout the year. Contact the Andrew Harper Travel Office to customize this itinerary to fit your needs.
Feeling inspired? We can craft a custom itinerary just for you.Connect with a Travel Advisor