Things to see and do in Burgundy

Burgundy landscape
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Photo above: the Saone valley plains seen from the grand cru vineyards of Aloxe Corton. Ciel is somewhere in the middle distance.

Things to see and do

Hospital Beaune
The unique medieval hospices in nearby Beaune - which served as a hospital right up to the late 20th century.
Ciel, 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.
Flowing very slowly across the plain known as the Val de Saône, the rivers Saône, Doubs and Seille pass  beside a number of picturesque small towns 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 reach Dole, 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 on the square every Friday and Sunday.

Burgundy wine
Burgundy wine sales at Pommard, on the wine trail
The most famous and unmissable local attractions are the vineyards and 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 a 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 visit.

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