Bike Trips in Burgundy's Côte d'Or

Southern Burgundy Bike Trips

On this page, you will find...

If you would like to see a map of our different French routes, it is here.
And, for a comparison of our South Burgundy route with our other French trips, see here.


A trip that showcases all that you’ve heard about France, and much that you haven’t.  The world’s most precious vineyards, 15th century villages, Renaissance castles, great art, some of France’s best cuisine, and one of her most beautiful cities, long ago a capital of a vast country. 

Cycling through vineyards is one of our favorite pastimes, and we will discover Burgundy’s greatest during the course of our trip, pedalling the length of the Côte d’Or, or “Golden Hillside.”  With the notable exception of Chablis (see our Chardonnay Burgundy route), all of Burgundy’s greatest wines come from the vines along our route.

But we also spend time off the beaten track, in deep forests and pastoral farmlands, far from famous wine towns. 

Cluny, once a center of medieval spirituality, is now a backwater, charmingly presided over by a “Tower of Cheeses.”  The 14th c. Nolay market pavillion stands on one of the prettiest town squares we know, the lot forgotten by time.  And one of our best cycling days follows an old rail bed, past a castle with a hedgerow maze in which your bike’s GPS is going to be of absolutely no use.

Come and travel with us in the very heart of France, an un-self-conscious place where life is a joy!



The following trips visit Southern Burgundy:

Biking Transcontinental (5 weeks)
Visits Northern Burgundy, Switzerland, the Italian Lakes, the Austrian Alps, and the Danube Valley

Tour de France (3 weeks)
Visits Southern Burgundy and two other French routes

Burgundy Biking (2 weeks)
Visits Northern and Southern Burgundy

C’est Cheese (2 weeks)
Southern Burgundy and Switzerland

Harvest Time on the Red Wine Roads
(2 weeks)
Couples Southern Burgundy with Bordeaux & the Dordogne, for a harvest season ride in the world’s most famous red wine regions.

2 Weeks in France and Italy
Visits Southern Burgundy and Tuscany (May), or Umbria (September)

Pinot Noir Burgundy follows this itinerary exclusively.
Departure dates and prices are in a table, below.

Our Cycle Trips

Overview Map
of the places we stage trips


Departure Calendar
of our scheduled trips


Trips by Length / Title


 
 
 
 
 
or...
Short Trips from Paris
 

What's Included
...
...in the Trip Cost


Additional Services...
...which you can add to your trip.


Other Trips We Offer

 

Day-by-Day Itinerary:   Southern Burgundy

Day of the Week
Description
Typical distances, in km
Saturday
Access Package or Riders Coming from Other Trips:  DIJON
Most will travel to Dijon from Paris.  90 minutes at 300 kph (nearly 200 mph) on this thing they call the TGV.  Others may come from Geneva, or Lyon....

Burgundy’s gastronomic, as well as political, center:  a perfect introduction to our route.  The region’s four most famous products are well-displayed:  mustard, cassis (black currants), wine, and snails.  Mix and match them according to taste.  Visit the old town, the medieval Cathedral, the Palace of the Ducs de Bourgogne.  Or perhaps dabble in a wine tasting.  A Blue Marble Trip Coordinator is typically in Dijon on Saturday night, and will organize an informal dinner for willing participants.

Half Baggage
Lots, but probably on a train
Sunday
Meeting Your Trip.
Riders starting with this route assemble in Dijon on Sunday morning.

VINEYARDS of the CÔTE de NUITS
We start our ride surrounded by the grape greenery at Burgundy’s heart.  As you adjust to your surroundings, you start to feel the special rhythm of this unusual agricultural domain.  We pass through the villages of the Côte de Nuits, the northern half of the “Golden Hillside,” and whose names grace any great restaurant’s wine list:  Marsannay-la-Côte, Fixin, Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Vosne-Romanée, Nuits-St.-Georges (this last gives its name to the whole hillside)....  Much of our ride follows the Route des Grands Crus (loosely, the “Great Wine Road”), though we lead you away from time to time to show off local curiosities.  For instance, the Clos de Vougeot is home to the Brotherhood of the Knights of Winetasting, whose “job” it is to put their seal of approval on their favorite Burgundies during endless tastings calibrated with elaborate dinners (no, we are not making this up).

Evening finds us in Beaune, the Burgundian wine capital, for the first of two nights.
45 k
Monday
BEAUNE, CORTON, and the HAUTES CÔTES de NUITS
Varied biking today:  more vineyards, but also farm fields, canal tow paths, pretty valleys....  We return to Nuits-St-Georges via a collection of charming wine villages, and then head into the hills.  Stop for a liqueur tasting at our favorite producer of crême de cassis, visit the 14th century castle in Savigny-les-Baunes, enjoy the view of the vineyards from charming Aloxe-Corton...  The ambitious can cycle all the way back to Dijon, following the tow path of the Canal de Bourgogne.

...or do none of the above:  just use the bike to explore Beaune.  The 15th-century hospital, a masterpiece of Burgundian / Flemish architecture, was incredibly still in use until 1971!  A wine museum occupies the former mansion of the Dukes of Burgundy — two culture hits with one entrance.  The ramparts, in excellent condition, offer a 2 k tour of the town from above.


0, 30, 50 or 75 k
Tuesday

CÔTE de BEAUNE
A leisurely morning for those who wish to complete their visit of Beaune.  Our bikes now carry us into the southern half of the “Golden Hillside,” the Côte de Beaune.  We make our way south on quiet farm lanes.  Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet... add their prestigious names to our virtual wine list.

At the end of the day, a little side valley takes us into the Hautes Côtes de Beaune, and to Nolay, a charming 17th century market town.

Half Baggage

35 or 50 k
Wednesday
La ROCHEPOT, ROMAN BURGUNDY
Depending on how you feel, today could be as short as a trip to a local swimming hole.  But there is a lot of good cycling at your door, and attractive destinations abound.  Close by, there’s a nice waterfall at the Cirque du Bout du Monde (“hole at the end of the world”), in case your shower doesn’t work so well.  La Rochepot, on the hillside above us, offers a jewel of a medeival fortified castle, restored stone by stone by former French President Sadi Carnot.

Add to this beautiful views, and as many wine towns as you can drink, and you’ll have plenty of inspiration to encourage you to cycle out. 

The ambitious can head for Autun, the most important Roman settlement in Burgundy (founded by Emperor Augustus), and a town more-or-less frozen in time since its apogee in the 15th century.  Home to a grand cathedral, the vestiges of Gaul’s largest amphitheatre, and another set of virtually intact ramparts, Autun reveals an unknown aspect of Burgundy that may be one of its most pleasing.

Half
Baggage
15 - 80 k
Thursday
The CÔTE CHALONAISE
A beautiful ride through the hills of the Côte Chalonaise, but also including 45 flat k on a rail-to-trail bike path.  The best!  Givry is the most prestigious wine town along the way, Buxy is the prettiest lunch stop, swimming holes abound, and Cormatin has a castle out of a fairy tale.  The silliest game of the day is chasing each other through it’s maze.

With Autun, Cluny was long the center of medieval spirituality, but our favorite thing about the town is that the central tower is called the Tour des Fromages — Tower of Cheeses.  More things should be named after cheese.
80 k
Friday
The SAÔNE VALLEY and the MÂCONAIS
We drop down to the Saône Valley after a morning climb over the ridge.  Stop for a picnic in one of the glens of the forest of Chapaize.  Or just make straight for Tournus, whose 11th century abbey is named for an obscure looney.  Or maybe the reverse.

End the afternoon lounging by the river in Tournus, watching teens-on-scooters cruise the bridge.  Then a quick train ride undoes your work of the past week, and carries you back to Dijon in time for supper.

Trips ending with this route disband on Friday evening, upon arrival in Dijon.  Our Dijon Access Package includes a hotel night in Dijon, and ongoing train tickets to a variety of points like Paris.  Breakfast is also on offer to any who have time for it.

Riders continuing with us will also overnight in Dijon.  Our final Burgundian dinner will involve all the snails that can’t run fast enough to get away.  Yum!

Half
Baggage
45 or 65 k
Saturday
CONNECTION DAY
The first morning train from Dijon to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport reaches the airport at 9a.  Book same-day flights accordingly!  A Saturday departure is also in store for those headed to the Loire or to Bordeaux.  Riders continuing with us to Switzerland have a day for the exploration of Burgundy’s beautiful capital, before travelling onwards on Sunday morning.



Pinot Noir Burgundy — Facts & Figures
2015 Dates
Baggage Services Offered** (optional)
Difficulty of the Ride
June 14 - 19
$1,675 US
$1,875 C
1,195€
Daily, Half
Easy or Moderate

Varied route options, and two “loop” days (out and back to the same hotel) let you mold this ride to your desires.  Indeed, plenty of beautiful extra kilometers could make it a “hard” were that your goal.  But there is much to stop for....
July 19 - 24
Daily, Half
Sept. 20 - 25
Daily, Half


A special “Burgundy Biking” trip, combining the first half of this route with the first half of our Northern Burgundy route, will additionally operate August 9 - 15.  Though the trip is designated “Family-Friendly,” adult tables will be available at dinner, more challenging rides will be on offer, and people who think of themselves as adults are welcome to join the trip without children.  Details are here.


* Prices in $ and € do not include precisely the same things.  Click here for details.

Prices of Optional Extras (links lead to explanations)
Currency
$ prices include
the bike.
See here for information on bringing your own.
** At least 4 riders must subscribe to a given baggage service for it to operate.  The services listed are those currently offered on the departure in question.  Services which appear in bold already have at least 3 subscribers (so, one more would ensure their operation).
Daily
Half
$US
$190
$124
$290
$C
$210
$140
$325
€uros
150€
98€
230€
140€

Reaching & Leaving Your Trip:  General Information on Access Packages
Specific information on reaching your trip’s start in... Dijon
Specific information on departing from your trip’s end... Dijon