Burgundy By Bike

I love cycling in Burgundy, and I can’t think of a better place to start my new series on routes to consider this year than Burgundy. Burgundy is a paradise for lovers of the outdoors, wine, wonderful food, history and most important, bicyclists!  Burgundy boasts over 1,000 kilometers of safe and signposted cycle and greenways. Whether you’re 10 or 70, traveling alone or with a family, there is a cycling alternative for you in Burgundy!

Regardless of whether you have a weekend, a week or longer, cycling in Burgundy will provide you with memories of a lifetime. Here are 5 reasons to consider exploring Burgundy by bike on an upcoming vacation:

Easy access from Paris and other major French cities

Dijon is less than 2 hours from Paris, and you can even take the TGV directly from Charles DeGaulle Airport, saving a trip into Paris for the end of your trip. Imagine being in the heart of Burgundy just several hours after you arrive in France.  Great train service also means that you can easily add a weekend in Burgundy to an already planned trip.  A weekend cycling through the Cote du Beaune vineyards would be unforgettable.

An incredible variety of cycling opportunities 

From cycling on country lanes, car-free bike paths, canal towpaths, abandoned rail lines or quiet roads through the vineyards, Burgundy has it all!  There are more than 1,000km of safe and signposted cycle paths in Burgundy just waiting for you to explore.

From famous routes like the Burgundy Canal, Canal du Centre and the Vineyard Way to less known routes like the Greenway and the Blue Way, Burgundy will welcome you with a kind of hospitality you’ll only find here.

Scene along the Burgundy Canal

Greenway along the Canal du Centre

EuroVelo 6 also runs right through the heart of Burgundy, providing cyclists with the opportunity to sample several of the best Burgundy cycle paths.  I will be cycling this route this summer and I cannot wait to return to this region!

Amazing historical attractions

Burgundy has a rich history dating back to before Christ.  One of my favorites is the battleground of Alesia where Julius Caesar realized his greatest military achievement during the Gallic War in a victory that brought the region under Roman control.  During the 14th and 15th centuries, the Duchy of Burgundy was one of the richest and most powerful states in Europe.  The city of Dijon is testimony to the elegance of Burgundy during this time.

There are attractions throughout Burgundy, on or near the many cycle paths in the region, attractions like Chateau d’andy-le-Franc, the medieval abbey of Fontenay, Chateau de Tanlay, Vezelay and Cluny Abbeys, Guedelon Castle, the Hospices of Beaune and the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy, just to name a few.  Without a doubt, there are plenty of historical attractions to visit as you make your way along the cycle paths of Burgundy.

Museoparc at Alesia, complete with reenactment area behind museum

Burgundian Food 

Beef Bourguignon, Escargots, Coq au Vin, Cassis, Dijon mustard, Epoisses cheese and Pain d’spices de Dijon are just a handful of the many incredible foods that Burgundy is known for. If there was a region in France known for comfort food, I think it would be Burgundy.  Some of our best picnic lunches in Burgundy featured Beef Bourguignon we bought in local supermarkets along our route.

Nothing is more French than a picnic with Burgundy cheese and wine by the vineyards

Mustards from Dijon or Beaune are perfect gifts to bring home

Burgundy Wines

No matter where you cycle in Burgundy, you’re certain to see hillsides covered with grape vines. This isn’t surprising since there are over 180 million bottles of wine produced here each year by several thousand small growers and vineyards.  In Burgundy, “terroir” or the soil is king which differentiates Burgundy from all other wine producing regions. The 2,000 year old practice of dividing vineyards into climats, or individual plots makes this region so unique, that in 2015, UNESCO declared the Cote de Beaune and the Cote de Nuits a World Heritage site.  If you choose to visit this area, you will quickly learn that the vineyards in Burgundy are truly unique.  To explore the vineyards in this region by bike is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity!

A perfect path through the vineyards

Always a popular cycling route

Whether you tour a vineyard, do a wine tasting, attend a class on Burgundy wines, or simply enjoy drinking them while you’re there, traveling along the vineyard paths by bike will definitely be a highlight of your vacation.

The list of reasons to visit Burgundy could go on and on, but hopefully by now, I’ve piqued your interest in possibly cycling in Burgundy.  If so, here are several great resources to kickoff your trip planning.

Burgundy By Bike

If you’re thinking about cycling in Burgundy, this is definitely the first place you should visit.  You’ll find information on all the major cycling itineraries in Burgundy.  From in-depth information on each route, to downloadable maps and GPX files to information on what to see and support services, Burgundy By Bike can provide everything you need to plan an independent cycling trip to the region.  And if you think you’d prefer to do a tour, there’s information to help you out there too!  Be sure to bookmark this website as you will use it often.

Burgundy Tourism

If there’s any information you can’t find on Burgundy By Bike, you’ll certainly find it here!  This website is extremely user-friendly and is packed with information on places to stay, things to do and the history of Burgundy.  A few visits here will help you learn more about the areas you are considering visiting, and the site just may help you whittle down the options you’re considering.  You can also order tourist booklets from the website to help with your trip planning.

Bourgogne Wines

This is the place to come to learn everything about the wines of Burgundy. From how to find your favorite wine to learning about aroma families and what makes the Burgundy wine growing area so unique, this website is a great tool to get you ready for a visit.  You’ll find suggested itineraries, a complete list of winegrowers and background information.  Spending some time reviewing this website will help you really enjoy the time you spend in the Burgundy vineyards.

One of the most famous vineyards in the Cote de Beaune

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post about cycling in Burgundy.  I will be spending some time here this summer, and I hope that you’ll decide to explore the area by bike too!

Posted by Maggie LaCoste

I love the adventure and unpredictability of experiencing France by bike. Cycling in France is the ultimate slow travel adventure, an opportunity to see it through the back door in a way few tourists experience. One week on a bike in France and life takes on a different meaning! I created Experience France By Bike to inspire recreational cyclists to visit France the slow way….by bike, and to be the best source of information for planning the perfect bicycling adventure. I encourage readers to embrace the uncertainty of the road ahead and to take the path less traveled, exploring roads, towns and villages that you would never experience traveling by car.