Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

Photo © voyageur61

Travel Guide Europe France Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

edit

Introduction

Bourgogne-Franche-Comté is a region of east-central France, created in 2016 through administrative reorganisation from Burgundy and Franche-Comté. Noted for its rich history and diverse scenery, the region stretches from the rolling Burgundy wine country in the west, to the Jura mountains and Swiss border in the east.

The entire area formed the heart of the Kingdom, and later Duchy, of Burgundy for 1000 years in the middle ages, but was absorbed into the French state from the 15th century onwards. In 2016, the two regions of Burgundy and Franche-Comté voluntarily merged to form the present Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, as part of national territorial reform. They were the only two regions to have already bilaterally expressed a wish to merge before the national law was passed, probably due to their strong historical ties.

Burgundy and Franche-Comté have a rich architectural inheritance of remarkable buildings, including castles and major Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals. The vineyards of the region are some of the most prestigious in the world, with the Burgundy wine region including Beaujolais and Chablis. Aside from cities and towns, many of them walled, the countryside is dotted with numerous pleasant and picturesque villages.

The region also offers natural beauty. Burgundy has lakes and forests, and plenty of opportunities for fishing, walking or riding. A gentle landscape of hillsides covered with vineyards lines the river Loire. The Nièvre holds a vast area of wild countryside ideal both for sport and cultural activities. The Jura is a low range of wooded mountains with many gorges, caves and rocky peaks, which gave its name to the Jurassic period.

Top

edit

Geography

The region borders Grand Est to the north, Île-de-France to the northwest, Centre-Val de Loire to the west, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes to the south and Switzerland (the cantons of Vaud, Neuchâtel and Jura) to the east.

Top

edit

Cities

  • Dijon - capital of the region and former power-base of the Dukes of Burgundy, with a beautiful old city, great art and architecture, and the atmosphere of a university city as well as one of history and commerce. Really cuts the mustard.
  • Auxerre - with a relatively compact old town, Auxerre is pleasant to walk through and features some beautiful, very old buildings including the Old Abbey of St. Germain, whose crypt contains frescos from the time of Charlemagne
  • Beaune - capital of the Dukes of Burgundy after Dijon, a well-to-do city that features the beautiful Hôtel-Dieu with the Polyptych of the Apocalypse by Sluter
  • Besançon = renaissance city with Vauban-designed citadel which is surrounded by beautiful green hills
  • Mâcon - colourful city on the river Saône, gateway to the Beaujolais wine region
  • Sens - historically important city with a famous Gothic cathedral and other striking buildings from those heady times in its past

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

  • Two historic salt production sites in the region are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List; the Royal Saltworks at Arc-et-Senans and the saltworks of Salins-les-Bains.
  • Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp, a chapel designed by the architect Le Corbusier. It's one of 17 buildings worldwide by Corbusier to be listed as a World Heritage site.
  • Villages - Many villages of the region have old medieval centres. Walk around, find a bar, drink a glass of wine and enjoy.
  • Castles - there are hundreds of castles in Burgundy. Many can be visited. Wikipedia has a list of all the castles of the region.
  • MuséoParc Alésia, 1 Route des Trois Ormeaux, 21150 Alise-Sainte-Reine (Train: Gare des Laumes-Alésia), ☎ +33 3 80 96 96 23. Open every day, 10:00–17:00 (winter) / 18:00 (spring and autumn) / 19:00 (summer). An archaeological museum with a multimedia exhibition, reconstructed fortifications, the remains of a Gallo-Roman city, statue of Vercingetorix. €12 adults, €10 concessions, €7 children.
  • The Région des Lacs consists of nine lakes of crystal blue water. Here motor-powered boats are prohibited and fishing regulated. It runs from Clairvaux-les-lacs, to Doucier Via Les Frasnois and the Cascades du Herisson. The lakes are a haven for locals on hot summer weekends, and a great place for a barbecue or picnic. Water temperatures are usually around , and make for a very refreshing dip after a long hike.

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

  • Fête Nationale (14 Juillet) is celebrated on 14 July to commemorate the storming of the Bastille prison, during the French Revolution, with festivities on the Champs-Élysées attended by the President of France and other dignitaries. There are fireworks displays in many cities, with the largest display in Paris against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower. This holiday is informally known as Bastille Day.

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

The region has one tiny commercial airport, Dole-Jura, which receives Ryanair flights from Fez, Marrakech and Porto. The nearest large international airports offering flights from English-speaking countries are Euroairport (near to the Swiss city of Basel, but actually in the French town of Saint-Louis, Haut-Rhin) and Geneva, which straddles the French-Swiss border.

By Train

The TGV runs from Paris (Gare de Lyon) to Dijon (1h 35 min), Besançon (2h 15 min) and Belfort (2h 13 min). These stations are also served by TGV services from other cities in France (Lille, Lyon, Mulhouse, Strasbourg) and neighbouring countries (Basel, Frankfurt, Geneva, Luxembourg, Milan).

By Car

The A5 and A6 autoroutes both connect the region to Paris. The A6 heads south to Lyon, a hub of highways coming from southern Europe. The A40 brings traffic from Geneva.

Top

edit

Getting Around

By Train

An extensive local rail network is operated by TER Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. Dijon and Besançon are linked by the TGV.

By Car

The region is well-connected by road, with the following motorways (autoroutes) being particularly useful:

  • A6: Île-de-France, from Paris, Auxerre, Avallon, Morvan, Beaune, A36, Mâcon, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, towards Lyon.
  • A31: Grand-Est, from Nancy, Dijon (A39), A36, Beaune, A6.
  • A36: Beaune (A6, A31), Dole (A39), Besançon, Belfort, Grand-Est, towards Mulhouse.
  • A39: Dijon, A31, Dole (A36), Jura, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, towards Bourg-en-Bresse.
  • A77: Centre-Val de Loire, from Paris (via A6), Loire Valley, Nevers.

By Bicycle

There is an extensive network of cycle routes, which is an excellent and relaxing way to explore the region, whether among the Burgundy vineyards or the hills of Franche-Comté.

Top

edit

Eat

Bourgogne-Franche-Comté is home to many dishes that have become synonymous with French cooking all over the world; the best among them use the local wine as a key ingredient.

A significant part of the regional cuisine. Comté is a creamy local variety of Gruyère, and is the region's signature cheese. Elsewhere, morbier is a semi-soft cows' milk cheese with a thin blue layer running through the middle. This cheese has made it into the kitchen in a regional speciality, the morbiflette. If you know a thing or two about French gastronomy, you'll guess this is a tartiflette (potato, lardon and onion gratin) made with morbier. Some chefs will switch the lardons for a more typical sausage of the region. Also to try are Citeaux and Époisses. Lastly, your inner child may appreciate munching processed lunchbox favourite La vache qui rit (The Laughing Cow) on her home turf.

Top

edit

Drink

Wine is unmistakably the most well-known product in Burgundy. From north to south, the most famous and recognisable wines of the region grow on carefully exposed soils: Chablis, Côteaux de l'Auxerrois, Côte-de-Nuits, Côte-de-Beaune, Hautes-Côtes, Côtes Chalonnaise et Mâconnais, and Pouilly-sur-Loire.

Away from wine, Crème de cassis is sweet dark red liqueur with the taste of blackcurrant

Top

edit

Sleep

The cities and towns have a range of hotels to suit any need. Accommodation in the rural areas consists of guesthouses, self-catering gîtes and camping. You can pitch a tent almost anywhere without concerning the locals. Camper vans can be parked overnight in most public parking areas.

Top

Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

This is version 2. Last edited at 8:26 on Nov 28, 18 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License