Cycling in Burgundy: The Saturday Market in Beaune

If you’re traveling to Burgundy and are thinking about adding a few days of cycling to your itinerary, Beaune is the perfect town to begin your adventures. Less than two hours by train from Paris, Beaune is a perfect place to immerse yourself in Burgundian life. With only 22,000 residents, Beaune is much more manageable than Dijon and is filled with history, medieval treasures, wine caves, great little restaurants, wonderful hotels and small inns and little shops brimming with local delicacies.

The town is very accessible to bicyclists, with bike paths along the ring road around the entire city.  You can take the train from Paris to Beaune, walk 5 minutes from the train station to Bourgogne Randonnees where Florent will outfit you with bikes and before you know it, you can be on your way to the Route des Grand Crus, the Burgundy Canal or just slow touring around Beaune. Regardless of your timetable, Beaune is the perfect base for beginning your slow travel adventures.

If you go to Beaune, try to arrange your travel to be there on Saturday for the weekend market.  It is one of my favorite Beaune adventures.  Markets are a cornerstone of life in towns and villages like Beaune, and they are a perfect way to experience French life in the slow lane.  They are an occasion to meet friends, make new ones, sample local cheeses, jams, foie gras, smoked meats and pastries or sit and have coffee and watch the activity around you. French markets are a perfect social encounter that captures the wonderful energy and character of French life.  Here are some of my favorite photos from the Beaune market.

The Saturday market is the perfect place to catch up with friends

This is definitely the place to buy mustard!

Market baskets

Fresh herbs

I love this bread!

Even deciding on cheese can be difficult!

After tasting these, I don’t know which to choose

These smell so good!

Street Entertainment at the Market

Bicycling home from the market

If you are considering a trip to Beaune, here are some terrific resources to help you start the planning process.

Office of Tourism:  This website is packed full of all the basic information you need to start planning your trip, from hotels, B & B accommodations, tourist passes, events calendars and interactive maps and videos, this is the perfect starting place for planning your adventure.  Brochures are available to download, or you can order them to be sent.  It is also possible to schedule tastings and tours at this website.  In addition, the Office of Tourism will help with reservations not only in Beaune, but throughout the Burgundy region.

Trip Advisor: This is one of the first places I go to review comments on hotels and B & B’s.  While many small hotels and inns do not have much coverage, the site still provides a great overview of the experiences others have had with foreign hotels.

Hotel Dieu:  This website has background and tourist information on the most popular attraction in Beaune.

Bourgogne Randonnees:  This is my favorite place for bike rental in Beaune.  The Gitaine hybrids are well maintained and are perfect for exploring Burgundy by bike.

Les Jardins De Lois:  If you are looking for a peaceful and luxurious place to stay in Beaune, look no further than Les Jardins De Lois.  From the moment you enter the giant gates of this intimate B & B, you realize what a very special experience you are going to have.  Anne-Marie and Philippe Dufouleur welcome guests with such warmth, you quickly feel at home in one of just four rooms on the estate. Surrounded by gardens and fruit trees, it is hard to imagine that you are only steps from the Hotel Dieu and the busy streets of Beaune.

The estate is also home to Domaine Lois Dufouleur Wines, and Anne-Marie and Philippe conduct tastings for guests and non-guests alike.

Burgundy Wines:  This is a great website for learning about the wines of the Burgundy Region.  From the history of the Burgundy region and its grapes to the vine growers of the area, this website will help you understand the wines, labeling and how to get the most out of your tastings.

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.

  1. Thank you for this information-do you have any other suggestions-I will be there shortly and will have a car and will rent a bike.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Esme,
      Thanks for the note and yes, there is a lot of great biking in Burgundy! In case you have not seen them, I would look at the following posts: August 26, 2010 on the Canal du Centre, August 28 on the Vineyard Trail, one of my favorite rides in all of France, August 29 on the Picnic Lunch, September 1 on riding the first voie verte in France in Southern Burgundy, and then March 14 of 2011, Ten Reasons to Bike the Burgundy Canal.

      In addition, check the Burgundy resources on my home page, specifically the link for Detours in France, the best bicycle shop in Beaune. Go and visit Florent, the shop is just down the street from the Beaune rail station. He will get you set up with a great bike and give you suggestions on the best rides in the area. Please let him know that you heard about him from my website!

      Have a great time, I am off for a few days along the Burgundy Canal in a couple of weeks too!