6 days from £519 per person*
*based on sharing on a twin/double basis and a minimum of 40 paying passengers
Burgundy is France’s richest province – historically, culturally, gastronomically and economically. An area that was once independent from the French crown and ruled by Dukes, there is a concentration of unique architecture, world famous vineyards, excellent cuisine, interesting history and wonderful art. Dijon is an ideal base to explore the area and enjoy the variety of attractions. Dijon itself is a must for art lovers as the Duke’s Palace houses the great art treasures in its Fine Arts Museum. The Museé Magnin also has a impressive collection of 16-19th century paintings displayed among period furniture.
Depart our local area by coach and drive to Folkestone to take the 35 minute Eurotunnel crossing to France. Continue to Arras with time for leisure & lunch (not included). The city itself is marked by the Grande Place and the Petite Place. Although destroyed during WWI, these two squares have been rebuilt and are quite splendid, providing some 155 unique facades of Flemish baroque architecture. Its most notable sites are the Gothic town hall and the Cathedral. Continue onto Dijon to arrive at our hotel in the early evening. Dinner at the hotel.
Full day in Beaune, travelling via the vineyard route of the Cote d’Or. The route is almost an unbroken line of vineyards from Dijon to Santenay, including some well known names such as Vosne-Romanee and Nuits St Georges. Beaune is easy to explore on foot as the old centre is within the ramparts. We will have a morning guided tour of the city and the indisputable treasure, Hotel Dieu. The two wings of this ancient hospital, built in the golden age of Burgundy in 1443 by Nicholas Rolin, have been built around a central courtyard with deep roofs covered in the now famous glazed multi-coloured tiles arranged in geometric patterns. Inset in the roofs are gable windows with carvings and decoration which are an art form in themselves. Roger Van de Weyden’s Last Judgement polyptych, which used to hang in the chapel, is now on display in a room of its own. There will be time for individual exploration. Dinner at leisure.
After breakfast there will be a guided tour of the Abbaye at Fontenay. It is the oldest surviving Cistercian foundation in France and offers a rare insight into their way of life. Structurally beautiful, the warm sandstone building has no rich decoration. The Abbaye flourished between the 12th and 15th centuries then, during the French Revolution it was turned into a paper mill. In 1906 it was privately bought and completely restored to its former glory. We continue to the lovely small town of Tonnerre for lunch (not included): Known for its mystical cloudy green spring & Hotel Dieu which is 150 years older than that in Beaune. This afternoon we visit Chateau d’Ancy-le-Franc for a guided tour followed by a wine tasting. Its is a wonderful Renaissance Chateau with the biggest collection of Renaissance murals in France. It also boasts carved ceilings, Italian tiled floors, frescos and friezes The chateau stands in a beautiful park with an 18th century folly on a romantic island in the middle of a pond. Dinner at leisure.
Spend the morning visiting Semur-en-Auxois, with its massive 14th C round bastions, and Eglise Notre Dame which dates from the 13th & 14th Century. The town is very picturesque with attractive houses, antique ironmongery on the walls and doors and narrow streets. This afternoon we will visit The Abbey at Vezelay which dominates the area and is truly one of the treasures of Burgundy. It is one of the most important surviving monuments of architecture and sculpture of the Romanesque period. It was a pilgrimage church in its own right, allegedly holding the relics of St. Mary Magdalen. The early 12th Century building is notable for its groin-vaulted nave, as well as its sculptures on the portals. We continue to the fortified town of Avallon which lies between two ravines and from the ramparts are great views across the Valley of the Cousin. Dinner at leisure.
After breakfast there will be a morning guided walking tour of Dijon, to enjoy the history and splendid architecture. The afternoon will be free for our individual exploration of the museums or churches. Dijon has a rich history dating back to Roman times. It became capital of the Kingdom of Burgundy as early as the 5th century but the days of glory arrived in the 14th century, when the Dukes of Burgundy held court there, turning it into one of the most important towns in medieval Europe. The Palais des Ducs et des Etats de Bourgogne today houses the art museum, the Musée des Beaux-Arts and town hall. The Museum of Archaeology offers one of the most interesting cultural visits, housed in the truly magnificent Abbey Bénigne. We highly recommend the little known private museum close to the Place de Liberation called the Musée Magnin showing fine French interiors, furniture and paintings. Dinner at a local restaurant (included).
We depart Dijon for the homeward journey. En-route there will be a stop in Reims. Famous for its magnificent Gothic Cathedral, but with three UNESCO World Heritage sites, it has many other attractions including the Porte Mars, Palace Tau and St Remi Museum . The town has an air of elegance with its art deco facades and has a history dating back to the Romans. A lovely city to spend a few hours in before heading back to home.
The exact order of the itinerary is subject to change
Ibis Dijon Gare Hotel
The 3 star Ibis hotel is ideally located in the centre of Dijon and offer simple but comfortable accommodation. The hotel facilities include 2 restaurants, bar & terrace. All rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, en-suite facilities, satellite TV and telephone. Please note that the rooms are a little small but offer excellent value for money in a prime location.
• Executive coach travel throughout
• Return crossing by Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais
• 5 nights on bed & breakfast basis at the Ibis Dijon Gare Hotel
• 1st night dinner (3 course) at the hotel
• Last night dinner at a local restaurant
• Visit to Hospice de Beaune & half day guided walking tour of Beaune
• Guided visit of Fontenay
• Guided visit & wine tasting at Chateau d’Ancy-le-Franc
• Visit to the Abbey at Vezelay
• Half day walking tour of Dijon
• Tour Manager
What’s not included
• Single supplement
• Travel insurance
Any of our tours can be tailored to suit your particular groups requirements.
For further details please contact one of the team on 01225 764205 or email@example.com