Trek Notes - France

Biking in Burgundy 8 Day

The Grand Cru of Cycling Holidays

The noble grape may rule in this prosperous region and the wine may be truly magnificent, but there is much more to enjoy on this cycling holiday through the heart of Burgundy. The local cuisine offers memorable gastronomic experiences and the charming timeless villages are rich in tradition. From the historic winding streets of medieval settlements, set out to ride across rolling hills with broadleaf forests of oak, beech, hornbeam and birch through some of the best of rural France. The itinerary explores the Canal de Bourgogne, has opportunities to visit chateaux and historic sites along the way and of course winds its way through the best-known Bourgogne vineyards. These are found on the great southeast-facing escarpment known as the Cote d'Or or 'Golden Hillside', which overlooks the historic towns of Beaune, Nuits-St-Georges and Meursault.

This tour through the famous wine-growing region starts and finishes in the beautiful town of Beaune, the hub of Burgundy's wine industry, at the heart of a cluster of prestigious vineyards. There is plenty of time to look around the major sites such as the imposing mansion of the Dukes of Burgundy, the basilica of Notre Dame and the most famous of all the sights in Beaune, the steep pitched patterned roofs of the Hotel Dieu. Just a gentle 30km in the saddle will see you arrive in Rully having passed through prime chardonnay country on the way. A choice of routes for the second ride takes in more rolling landscapes via the hamlets of the Cotes Chalonnaises and the village of Mercurey where one of the best examples of the pinot noir appellation is produced. The destination for the day is the pretty village of Buxy, which will be home for two nights. From Buxy you can make the 70km round trip to visit the Benedictine Abbey of Cluny. Founded in 910 the Abbey was the center of a major monastic reform movement in the Middle Ages and its church was the largest Christian building in the world until St. Peter's Basilica was built in Rome. Today, one transept of the 12th-century abbey church, the 15th-century abbots' residences, the 18th-century convent buildings, gardens and museum make for an interesting visit.

Moving on, we reach Nolay, a village of fine mediaeval buildings, narrow streets and half-timbered houses. The ride takes us away from the vineyards through oak woods and prime cattle rearing countryside. Next day completes the full circle back to Beaune via some canal side cycling, forests and the vineyards of Aloxe Corton. The final day is an optional loop to the Abbey of Citeaux (built 1140-1193) and the vineyards of Chambolle-Musigny and Nuits-Saint-Georges, arguably some of the best pinor noir vineyards of Burgundy; a fitting end indeed!


March to October. 


8 days (7 nights).

Terrain & Difficulty

We grade the tour as moderate; standard day stages between hotels vary from 30km to 55km. Two days are loops returning to the same hotel, the first from Buxy is a 70km loop with great sightseeing at the furthest point; you may need an early start. The second loop is from Beaune and covers 55 or 70kms depending on the option you choose.
The terrain is mostly flat through the vineyards but there are moderate up hill sections and undulating countryside on the route.

The Bikes

18 - 21 gear hybrid bikes that come with handlebar bag (to contain maps, fruit, cheese, wine etc), front and rear carrier with panniers, spare inner tube, repair kit, tools and pump, bottle holder and helmets.
Cycle hire fee is included (for 6 days). Your bikes are delivered to the hotel. They will arrive at 9am on day 2 and the technician who delivers the bike will make sure it is adjusted to fit and will answer any of your questions about the bikes.
Water bottles are not provided so please take your own. We highly recommend the wearing of a good fitting helmet whenever you are cycling.

Itinerary Guide

     Day 1.  Arrive Beaune. There is lots to see and do in Beaune if you arrive reasonably early. If you arrive later then there is time on the morning of day 2 and later in the week to visit all the sights.

    Day 2.  The hire bikes are delivered to you at the hotel after breakfast. Details of exact times will be given in the route notes and can be confirmed at the hotel. You can spend time in Beaune before starting your ride or just take it easy, as the first day's ride is fairly short and easy (30kms) through Chardonnay land. The villages of Pommard, Meursault and Santenay will be a great introduction to the Province and good options for morning coffee and/or lunch and/or afternoon tea.
If you fancy a little longer in the saddle then a slightly longer route will take you up to the village of Saint-Romain before rejoining the normal route.

    Day 3.  We carry on south through the Côtes Chalonnaises. The village of Mercurey produces one of the best examples of the pinot noir appellation. The route is a bit more testing passing over rolling hills with a succession of hamlets, creeks, woods and of course vineyards.
We will stay in the pretty village of Buxy for 2 nights were we meet the very friendly hoteliers and make the most of the hotel swimming pool (open in season).
There is a choice of longer or shorter routes, 35kms or 50kms.

     Day 4.  The optional ride from Buxy is a loop south to the great Abbey of Cluny. As on previous days the day is punctuated with numerous villages and lovely and varied countryside but this time there are even gallo-roman ruins on the way. After a good break in the village of Cluny visit one of the most prestigious abbey complexes in France. You can cycle back to Buxy by the traffic free cycle path. 70kms

      Day 5.  From Buxy, ride northwest to the country town of Couches after crossing the Canal du Centre. The day's cycle is definitely a good contrast to the wine making lands you have seen so far; this is a land of isolated cattle farms and oak woods. This ride ends in the old market town of Nolay. 55kms

     Day 6.  The ride from Nolay goes to the old market town of Bligny sur Ouche and to the Canal de Bourgogne at Pont d'Ouche. After riding along the peaceful canal using the old towpath, we cycle back to Beaune. The last 15kms is a smooth downhill through lovely forest then the great vineyard of Aloxe Corton. There are two route options for this ride back to Beaune, one of 45kms and the other of 60kms.

    Day 7.  The last ride is a loop from Beaune to the Abbey of Citeaux. The route takes you through the famous vineyards of the Cote de Beaune with numerous ancient churches, chateaux and charming villages along the way. There are a few interesting sights to see in Nuits St George including the 13th century church and the museum. From the Abbey, the return route passes through the best Pinot noir vineyards of Burgundy with Chambolle-Musigny and Nuits-Saint-Georges among them. There are again two route options, this time of 55 or 70kms. Whichever option you choose there is much to see and of course opportunities to taste some of the local produce!

   Day 8.  The tour ends in Beaune after breakfast.

Print   To Top