Suggested Day Trips
We have formulated five suggested day trips based on some popular themes according to our guests. We can also suggest a customised itinerary for you given your specific interest and amount of time you are planning on staying in Burgundy. Let us know your interests for your upcoming stay and we can make some suggestions for you.
Day 1: Northern Burgundy Wines
For the Northern Burgundy Wine day, we recommend a visit to the famous Chablis wine region and the lesser known Côte d'Auxerre wine region. The small town of Chablis is literally surrounded by village, premier cru and grand cru vineyards and the various wine makers are easily accessible for wine tasting. Chablis is just over an hour drive from Les Roches! We recommend a morning of vineyard visits and wine tasting in the Chablis wine region and then have lunch at the Bistro des Grand Cru in Chablis (very good food and very reasonably priced!). After lunch, we recommend a stop in Saint-Bris-Le-Vineux, which is located in the Côte d'Auxerre wine region, for a little more wine tasting... On the way back to Les Roches, we suggest stopping off at Noyers, which is a charming medieval town that has regained its interesting architectural heritage: timber-framed houses. If you have the time, we also recommend visiting the Château d'Ancy-le-Franc, which is one of the most beautiful renaissance mansions in Burgundy!
Day 2: Basilicas and Abbeys
For the Basilicas and Abbeys day, we recommend a morning drive to Vézelay (about a 1.5 hour drive from Les Roches on country roads). Just a few minutes before you arrive in Vézelay you will pass a village called St-Père-en-Vézelay where you will find a very good restaurant called L'Espérance (a Marc Meneau restaurant and if you are celebrating a special occasion why not reserve a table there for lunch!). Vézelay is located on a hill overlooking the Cure Valley and is dominated by the Basilique Ste-Madeleine. Climb to the top of the hill, past the boutiques and galleries, cafés and restaurants (large selection of cafés and restaurants for lunch) and there you will find pretty alleyways and courtyards bourgeoning with geraniums throughout the summer. After lunch, we recommend a visit to the Abbaye de Fontenay, which is a good example of what a 12th century Cistercian monastery was like. Abbey de Fontenay became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. On the way back, we recommend a stop at Semur-en-Auxois, which is a beautiful fortified medieval small town and built on a pink granite rock (on the highest point of the little town, you will find the recently restored Gothic church of Notre-Dame from the 13th-14th century).
Day 3: Red Wines in the Côte-de-Nuits
For the Red Wines Day, we recommend a morning visit to Dijon (less than an hour drive from Les Roches). Dijon has a rich history dating back to Roman times. It was at the crossroads of many trade routes, notably pewter, tin, amber and exotic spices. 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. We often go to the vast food market in the centre of Dijon ("Les Halles") to buy fresh and seasonal food and vegetables for our dinners at Les Roches (the market is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings). For lunch, we suggest eating at Restaurant L'O (good value lunch menu during the week!), which is located at Les Halles. Although, a visit to the Dijon market in morning is possible along with wine tasting in the afternoon but one could really spend a full day exploring Dijon! After lunch, head to the Côte-de-Nuits for vineyard visits and wine tasting! We simply recommend driving the "Route des Grand Crus" and stop in the villages of Gevrey-Chambertin (taste some of the greatest pinot noirs of the world there!), Chambolle-Musigny for further wine tasting and/or coffee break, visit Château du Clos de Vougeot, pay homage at the Romanée-Conti vineyard just outside the village of Vosne-Romanée and end the day with visits to Pernand-Vergelesses.
Day 4: White Wines in the Côte-de-Beaune
For the White Wines Day, we recommend driving directly to the Côte-de-Beaune on the country roads starting with Chassagne-Montrachet (less than an hour from Les Roches) and start the morning off with fantastic white wines! Continue the wine tasting in the villages of Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault, Volnay and Pommard (there are some nice red wines in Volnay and Pommard!). For lunch, we recommend booking at table at Loiseau des Vignes, which is located in the centre of Beaune (there are many other restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy lunch). This is the only restaurant in the world (at least of now) that offers all their wines by the glass so you can taste the various great grand crus during your meal (they offer a quite good value lunch menu during the week!). In the afternoon, we recommend that you visit the famous Hospices de Beaune (also includes Hôtel-Dieu). The Hôtel-Dieu was built in the golden age of Burgundy in 1443 by Nicholas Rolin, the Chancellor of Duke Philippe-le-Bon. Beaune at the time was suffering from poverty and famine after the Hundred Years' War and so as a sweetener, Rolin and his wife, founded the Hospice for the poor, giving it an annual income and its own resources, vines and salt works. If you have not had enough of wine tasting, then we recommend a visit to the enormous wine cellars of Patriarche Père et Fils in Beaune where you can see over a million bottles of wine and taste a selection of white and red wines.
Day 5: Châteaux
For the Châteaux day, we recommend a visit to Château de Commarin where you can stroll through the gardens and see the 16th century tapestries. Within a short drive you can visit the pretty village of Châteauneauf-en-Auxois where there are some shops, cafés and restaurants. The château, enclosed by thick walls flanked by massive towers, is separated from the village by a moat. There were two fortified gates; now a single drawbridge, flanked by huge round towers, gives access to the courtyard and the two main buildings. We recommend having lunch at the Restaurant de l'Auxois (traditional Burgundian cuisine) in Vandenesse-en-Auxois. In the afternoon, you can either take a walk on the Burgundy Canal or return to Châteauneauf-en-Auxois as there are many signed walking paths with various distances.