itinéraire au coeur de la bourgogne

The Treasures of Burgundy

History and heritageAround the art

Dijon, the Abbey of Vezelay, Beaunes: a getaway into the heart of Burgundy.


Even though Burgundy is easily associated with its prestigious wine territory, it must also be remembered that the region is especially rich in historical monuments. The Romans left many ruins here, the Catholic Church dotted the region with magnificent churches in the Middle Ages, and powerful Dukes gave it considerable influence in the arts.

Esprit de France invites you to (re)discover the golden age of Burgundy, which is reflected in the palaces, majestic hotels and collections of artwork.

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  • 4 days
    3 nights
  • Stages: 
    632 km
  • From
  • Spring Summer Autumn

Step by step

  • D1

    From Cluny to Château de Prye

    Km to Km

    The day begins with a visit to the Abbey of Cluny, considered the "light of the world" by Pope Urban II. This abbey was founded in the year 910 and wielded considerable influence through the centuries. You can admire the remains of the huge restored abbey church. A 3D film and virtual recreations complete the visit and make it possible to represent Cluny in its heyday. Then take the road to Beaune, to discover the Hotel-Dieu, one of the most beautiful monuments in Burgundy. Step into the courtyard and admire the splendour of the place with its domes, turrets, and roofs of multi-coloured tiles. The altarpiece of the Last Judgement is an wonderful work of art of the place. Finish the day by visiting Autun, built by Emperor Augustus in the first century BC. The city was one of the most important of the Gallo-Roman cities. The town's greatest treasure is the Saint-Lazare Cathedral, known for its architecture and sculpted décor. In August, the remains of the ancient theater are brought back to life each year through a show evoking the Gallo-Roman life.


    1st night at the Château de Prye.

  • D2

    From Château de Prye to the Abbaye de Reigny

    Km to Km

    The day starts by exploring the major sites of the town of Nevers, such as the Ducal Palace, the Romanesque church, or Saint-Cyr Cathedral. Then head to Vézelay, famous for its Madeleine Church. Above the lower portal inside, you can admire the famous tympanum, a masterpiece of Burgundian Romanesque art which represents the mysteries of the Pentecost. Behind the abbey, above the city walls, opens up a lovely promenade, from which you can see the whole region.


    2nd night at the Abbaye de Reigny.

  • D3

    From the Abbaye de Reigny to the Château de Courban

    Km to Km

    For this third day, take the road to Auxerre to admire the majestic Abbaye Saint-Germain. The 9th century crypts feature the oldest wall paintings discovered in France to date. Be sure to admire the Saint-Jean Tower and its imposing stone spire as you are leaving the abbey. Then head to the Saint-Etienne Cathedral, to see one of the finest preserved sets of stained glass in France. Then go to the Abbaye de Fontenay, the oldest Cistercian monastery.  Beautifully restored and declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, the abbey provides a fascinating picture of medieval monastic life. Ideally located in the heart of a wooded valley, this monument is decorated with a landscaped park classified a "Jardin Remarquable (Outstanding Garden)". Then head to Châtillon, near the source of the River Seine, to admire the treasure of Vix, on display at the Archaeological Museum. This treasure was discovered in 1953 in the tomb of a Celtic princess, surrounded by beautiful objects.


    3rd night at the Château de Courban.

  • D4

    Day around the Château de Courban

    Km to Km

    This fourth and final day is devoted entirely to visiting Dijon, capital of the Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled over the city from their palace. The view of the city from the Tour Philippe le Bon  is sublime. The Ducal Palace also houses the fine arts museum, with collections of works by Dutch and Flemish masters. Also take this opportunity to discover the Chartreuse de Champmol a former monastery which retained two major works by Flemish sculptor Claus Sluter: the church portal and the Puits de Moïse (Well of Moses). This well illustrates the richness and finesse of Burgundian-Flemish sculpture from the late fourteenth century. Do not leave Dijon without tasting its famous kir in a cafe on the Place François-Rude.


    After visiting Dijon, you can sleep at the Château de Courban once again or stay put.

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