Burgundy is famous across the globe for its fine wines and gourmet food, sleepy canals, ancestral châteaux and picturesque villages, largely unchanged through time. But this region at the heart of France has even more to offer: the countryside is beautiful, uncrowded and unspoiled, there are forests, rivers and lakes, and a strong cultural heritage.
The four departments of Burgundy are Côte d'Or, Yonne, Saône-et-Loire and Nièvre. In the centre you have the regional park of the Morvan, a protected natural area with hilly forests and deep lakes with pure water. Dijon is its historical and administrative capital since the glorious days of the Dukes of Burgundy. The best well known wine region is along the cotes (hill sides) from Dijon to Macon, with Beaune as the wine capital active all year round. More vineyards also situated around Chablis to the north and the Loire valley near to Sancerre.
Burgundy is in the heart of France, just 3 hours from Paris by car, or one and a half with the TGV. Tourist on the way south stop here as it is just 8 hour’s drive from London, or Amsterdam. Also living here means you have Milan, Barcelona and Munchen at less than a day’s drive, not just the heart of France, but also the center of western Europe.
Those seeking a property close to the wine villages will have to pay a premium. But, if you are prepared to travel even short distances, prices are drastically lower just outside the vineyards areas. The Burgundy country side is littered with great bargains, as there is no pressure of prices from metropolitan areas such as Paris and Lyon
Burgundy being in the centre of France, benefits from a continental climate: warm summers and cold crispy dry winters. It does rain, but not as a drizzle… that is why the country side stays green. The saone valley, say from Macon to Dijon that has more sun than the rest, as it is in between the highlands of the Alps and Massif Central. We have some snow in the winer, but the last years it did not lie for long.
The culinary tradition has no equal, with many hearty dishes originating here. We have renowned restaurants with 3 Michelin stars for more than 25 years. There is no need to go all out, there are many restaurants where you can get a four course meal for as little of 12 euros.
Castles, markets and medieval villages to discover. Lakes and rivers to navigate on luxury barges, with cycle paths along them called “voie verte”.
The wine region enjoys activity all year round, just the months of December and January are quiet. The Morvan is more remote, with most activities taking place in the summer.
A typical house of the region will have a vaulted cellar and built from local stone which has a wonderful warm colour. Roofs often are with small clay tiles. On the inside you will find large chimneys and beautiful Burgundy flag stone floors.
So, if you’re looking for a home in France where you’ll find plenty of property choice, beautiful countryside, cultural towns and marvellous markets, Burgundy might be the answer to your dreams…