Burgundy: a region of varying charm
Sylvie Ramisse has been running the INTER-HOTEL Normandie in Auxerre, her hometown, for several years now. After studying at the Ecole Hôtelière school, she spent ten years in Paris working as a housekeeper in luxury hotels. Passionate about the sector, she decided to return to Auxerre to take over the hotel "that has been in her family for two generations". The INTER-HOTEL Le Normandie owes its name to the pastry chef from the famous liner, "Le Normandie", who created this charming establishment with large reception rooms.
When Sylvie Ramisse speaks of her region, she focuses on the warmth and hospitality of the Burgundy people, along with the many activities the region has to offer. "It's the diversity of the region that attracts people. There's something for everyone."
Burgundy is known for its prestigious wines and food, but it also boasts a rich heritage. There are interesting towns and cities to visit, all with a certain charm, and many sites to explore. Spend a weekend or longer in the region and succumb to the Burgundy charm.
From Dijon mustard to the Hospices de Beaune
Let's begin the visit in Dijon, "capital" of Burgundy. A university city with a touristic side, Dijon plays host to a range of museums and the former Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy. The city is also world-famous for its mustard. Our hotels in Chenove and Daix in close proximity to Dijon are on hand to host you during your visit to the main city in Burgundy.
Nearby lies Nuits-Saint-Georges with its long-renowned vineyards. Several miles away, you will also find the famous town of Beaune, known as the capital of Burgundy Wines. Located on the wine route which extends from Dijon to Beaune, the town is a must-visit for fine wine enthusiasts.
As you pass through Côte-d’Or, don't miss Pouilly-en-Auxois and the Notre-Dame Trouvée chapel. Named the town of the "Sacred Heart" for its magnificent Basilica, Paray-le Monial, the main town in Saône-et-Loire makes for a pleasant visit with its medieval lanes and numerous historical places and monuments of interest.
From the Auxerre Clock Tower to the Saint-Etienne de Sens Cathedral
In Auxerre, known as a 'city of art and history', you will find the wonderful Saint-Etienne cathedral, a Gothic-style building in the pedestrian quarter, and the clock tower whose hands map out the movements of the sun and the moon. A short distance from the tower lived Guillaume Rousselle, better known as Cadet Rousselle, a bailiff turned famous thanks to a popular satirical song. You will enjoy walking in the centre where the buildings are punctuated with wooden sculptures, crafted by artist François Brochet.
Another Burgundy town classed as a 'city of art and history', Chalon-sur-Saône, bears historical relics from antiquity to the Renaissance. It owes its label to various civil monuments such as the Maison des Vins wine centre, the Colisée sports centre, the exhibition centre and the half-timber houses, lanes and towers.
Visit Mâcon and explore the museum dedicated to Alphonse de Lamartine, a native of the town. Don't miss the wonderfully-preserved Hôtel-Dieu apothecary which will immerse you in the world of 17th-century pharmacists or the Saint Vincent cathedral, classed as a historical monument.
Located between Chalon-sur-Saône and Auxerre, the town of Nevers boasts an incredible historical heritage combining the Middle Ages and Modern Times with the Renaissance thrown into the mix. In Nevers, simply follow the blue line on the ground which will guide you to various parts of the town. You can admire the half-timber houses, and visit the cathedral or the Frédéric Blandin museum and its wonderful collection of Nevers earthenware. Nature lovers worry not, the trails are perfect for walks or bike rides, and boats specific to the region are available for cruises down the Loire.
On the border of three regions (Ile-de-France, Champagne-Ardenne and Centre), Sens is just a few miles from Paris. Sens cathedral, considered to be the first Gothic cathedral of the 12th century, will delight fans of handsome buildings. Also take the time to view the "House of Abraham" built around 1540, a picturesque monument bearing a sculpture on a post representing the tree of Jesse (family tree of Jesus Christ).
Burgundy: gourmet queen
Finally, no trip to Burgundy would be complete without a mention of the food, followed by tasting: Burgundy fondue, beef bourguignon, snails and gingerbread to name but a few specialities. As for wine, a mere mention of Gevrey-Chambertin, Pinot noir, Chardonnay or Chablis is enough to delight wine enthusiasts.
Burgundy will also win you over with its abundant nature and its 750-mile waterway network, perfect for walks along the canals or cruises. Keen cyclists will also find everything they need to satisfy their cravings for exercise and fresh air. Burgundy has so much to offer that you will have no choice but to return to ensure you don't miss out on anything.