Photo above: the Saone valley plains seen from the grand cru vineyards
of Aloxe Corton. Ciel is somewhere in the middle distance.
to see and do
The unique medieval hospices in nearby Beaune - which served as a
hospital right up to the late 20th century.
the nearest village, has a small restaurant, a boulangerie, hairdresser
and a top-quality family butcher whose locally sourced Charolais steaks
are to die for!
Verdun sur le Doubs
10 minutes in the car, is the nearest small town, and has a small
supermarket, service station 24/7, boulangeries, bank with 24/7 ATM, a
few shops and bars and restaurants. Verdun is the confluence of three
rivers – Le Doubs, Le Petit Doubs and La Saône making it
a paradise for anglers and boating enthusiasts.
slowly across the plain known as the Val de Saône, the rivers Saône,
Doubs and Seille pass beside a number of picturesque small
and villages, and provide many kilometres of relatively flat walking or
cycling trails. About 10 km up the N73 road from Ciel is the
small village of Navilly
where the road crosses the river Doubs on an elegant five-arched 18th
century stone bridge. Carry on over the bridge and eventually you'll
a small town that was the birthplace of Louis Pasteur. His birthplace
is now a Pasteur museum.
In the other dierction, Chalon sur Saône
the nearest big town, is 20 minutes down the road and offers plenty of
restaurants and bars, individual shops and historic buildings. Place
St. Vincent is the place to go to eat or have a cold beer outside in
the sunshine and just watch the world go by. There are markets
the square every Friday and Sunday.
Burgundy wine sales at Pommard, on the wine trail
The most famous and unmissable local attractions are the vineyards
historic heritage of Burgundy
The vineyards and some of their noteworthy buildings, including the
world famous Hospices at Beaune
are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Beaune itself is
very pretty small town, and as well as the Hospices, visitors can enjoy
its historic streets and also sample local wines from some of the
town's many wine merchants. There is a way-marked Burgundy wine trail
as well as cycling routes that will allow you to discover the great
Burgundy vineyards such as Beaune, Nuits St Georges, Pommard,
Mercurey, Ruilly to name but a few.
To the south, the small town of Louhans
is very much worth a visit; its medieval cobbled main street is flanked
on either side by long arcades stretching for 500 metres - one of the
longest surviving examples of a medieval arcaded street in France. Louhans has a big street market every Monday.
South of Chalon sur Saône, the small town of Tournus
standing beside the Saône, has one of the oldest churches in France,
the tenth or eleventh-century church of Saint Philibert, which is also
the oldest of Burgundy's many romanesque churches. Saint-Philibert is
one of the rare early medieval churches in France that still has its
original barrel-vaulted roof.
Finally, just up the motorway from Beaune, there
is the capital city of Burgundy Dijon
which, with its great historic heritage, is always worth a