ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN REAL TRAVEL ADVENTURES – (additional photos added after publication).

The Cote d’Or, in Burgundy, France, literally means hills of gold, the color of the vines after they turn golden in the fall.

IN FALL, AFTER HARVEST, THE GRAPE LEAVES TURN GOLDEN.the grape leaves on the rolling hills after harvest. This tiny slip of land only 35 miles longby 1 mile wide could just as well be called the gold hills for the ‘strike in rich’ opportunities it offers to active travel.
Biking thru the vineyards.

The Cote d’Or, famous for it’s world-class wines, is fast becoming legendary for it’s development of both hiking and biking trails for mountain bikers, pleasure seekers and professionals alike. There are hundreds of miles of paths that connect the ancient villages, chateaus and vineyards. You certainly could not ask for more picturesque surroundings.

Burgundy canal.

There are 28 different “promenades”, (walks), that tour Beaune and the village surrounding it.  Two prominent bike routes, the Velo, and the Voie Vert, (Green Way), visit the vineyards and flank the Burgundy Canal. This famous waterway was an early concept of Leonardo da Vinci linking Paris with the Mediterranean.

All trails are well charted; maps are available from the local tourist bureaus. There are a number of biking, or hiking, specialty tours to choose from that can include anything from wine tasting, to yoga or culinary arts. Whether budget or first clas, it is easy to go it alone or be completely catered to with exotic meals and accommodations.

Fountain in Dijon

Don’t miss out on the rich history of the Cote d’ Or. Visit the Musee des Beaux Arts in Dijon, considered second only to the Louvre Museum for its collections.  Dijon, the capital of Burgundy, and Beaune, the capitol of the wine trade, are the largest towns of the Cote and both offer magnificent 14th century architecture.  Nolan, Semur-en-Auxois and Vezelay are but a few of the mediaeval villages that offer fascinating sites and history.

To make the most out of these famous, fertile, fields of grapes you might consider a wine testing class. Vin Sensation, in downtown Beaune, offers 1to 1 ½ hour classes tasting from 4 to 8 wines. www.sensation-vin.com.  L’ Ecole de Vins de Bourgogne, also in Beaune, is staffed by industry professionals.  For the past 30 years they have offered a variety of programs, from a 1 ½ hour wine tasting class, to a full week covering the entire wine making process.  L’ Ecole des Vins also offers a weekend seminar with 18 wines for tasting over the two days, in class, and at meals.  The weekend is all-inclusive, you are provided 4 star accommodations, gourmet lunch and dinner.www.ecoledesvins-bourgogne.com.

You will begin to see why Burgundy is called, “the land of great art, and goodliving.”


For both walking and biking maps, equipment, winery guides and hotel accommodations contact, Office de Tourisme de Beaune, www.ot-beaune.fr

For tours and general Burgundy information, www.franceguide.com for the EZReference Guide.