5 Must-Visit Burgundy Villages: Beautiful Villages in France

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Combine discovery with relaxation while enjoying sumptuous landscapes in the famous and historic region of central-eastern France: Burgundy.

While you’re there, you’ll want to visit Burgundy’s villages, known across the world as some of the most beautiful villages in France. Though there are many towns in Burgundy, France – all of which are undoubtedly beautiful – some certainly stand apart from the rest.

Indeed, the region is crossed by a network of canals and has many castles, some of which are now luxury hotels. So, during your Bourgogne visit discover picturesque Burgundy villages with breathtaking architecture and landscapes!

Renowned for its exceptional wines and grape varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, experiencing a Burgundy wine regions is a way of tasting unforgettable French wines.

Winalist has gathered the 5 most beautiful villages in Burgundy. Nestled among the rolling hills and lush vineyards that are the pride of France wineries, our incredible Burgundy wine tours in the quaint villages that speckle this town boast architectural, historical, and oenological adventures. Let’s get started.

1. First of the Burgundy villages: Vézelay

burgundy villages
Basilica of Vézelay

Vézelay is one of many charming towns in Burgundy, France. This quaint village is renowned for its picturesque hill and basilica, which are both listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine sits atop the hill, offering visitors dramatic views of the surrounding countryside and a glimpse into the rich history of this area.

Vézelay’s winding streets are lined with cobblestone and traditional French architecture, and the town boasts many historical monuments, including churches, cathedrals and other religious sites. In addition to its impressive landscape, Vézelay also provides visitors with an opportunity to explore its vibrant cultural offerings.

This includes a selection of art galleries showcasing works from local artists as well as a range of restaurants serving up delicious regional dishes.

Not only does Vézelay offer breathtaking views and interesting cultural attractions, it is also one of the main starting points for the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela – making it an ideal destination for those looking to experience a more spiritual side to France’s countryside.

Great writers such as Jules Roy, Romain Rolland or Georges Bataille have lived on this “inspired hill” over time – adding to its appeal as a hub for creative minds seeking inspiration from nature’s beauty.

Nearby Auxerre (just 45 minutes away) offers visitors another unique activity – wine tasting! The Celine & Frederic Gueguen estate allows guests to sample five to six different wines while learning about their production process in detail.

With its combination of stunning scenery, cultural attractions and nearby wine country – Vézelay proves that it is truly one of the most beautiful villages in Burgundy!

Here’s our selection of nice accommodations there if you wish to settle there for a couple of days!

Burgundy being famous for its wines, we also invite you to take the road towards Auxerre, about 45 minutes from Vézelay, to visit the surrounding vineyards.

2. The village of Châteauneuf

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Châteauneuf, one of France’s most beautiful village

The town of Châteauneuf, also known as Châteauneuf-en-Auxois, is located in the Côte-d’Or department in Burgundy. This village, which is one of the most beautiful villages in France, stands out for its height because it is located on a rocky promontory. From there, a breathtaking view of the Burgundy Canal and the countryside is offered to all passers-by.

Unsurprisingly, Châteauneuf has, in the heart of its village, a fortress which is one of the last vestiges of medieval architecture from the 14th century still preserved in its original state. This castle has had many stories over the centuries and was donated to the State in 1936 by Count Georges de Vogüé. Visits are allowed to everyone, so don’t miss them when you come.

You should definitely stay in Châteauneuf a couple of nights to enjoy one of the most beautiful villages in Burgundy!

Châteauneuf is located 35 kilometers from Beaune which has many wine estates, each more captivating than the next. We strongly encourage you to take a look and visit one of these estates to discover the history of the vine and the know-how of the winegrowers. The Besancenot family estate has 10 hectares of vines and has 14 Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC). Among the cultivated grape varieties, we find Chardonnay for white wines and Pinot Noir for reds. The Besancenot estate invites you for an introduction to the tasting of 6 wines in order to awaken your senses around this exercise in aroma recognition.

3. The village of Semur-en-Brionnais

Dans le village classé de Semur-en-Brionnais, vous appréciez vieilles pierres, église romane et château.
Roman church of Semur-en-Brionnais

In the department of Saône-et-Loire, discover the Burgundy town of Semur-en-Brionnais. This historic village in southern Burgundy is also considered one of the most beautiful villages in France, and is also a member of the association that bears the same name. Semur-en-Brionnais comes from the Latin “senemurum” which means “old walls”. Semur-en-Brionnais is renowned for its picturesque and historical monuments as well as its sumptuous landscapes.

Do not miss the visit of the Château Saint-Hugues or that of the Collegiate Church of Saint-Hilaire which is a former Romanesque collegiate church from the 12th century. This church has been listed as a historical monument since 1862 and is unmissable when you come.

To discover the nearby vineyards, go to La Roche-Vineuse, 1 hour by car from Semur-en-Brionnais, to the Château de la Greffière in the Burgundy vineyards. The winegrowers will present the vines, the wine cellars and the bottling of their wines to you, but will also guide you to the Château museum. To end this oenological experience, you will taste their “Prestige” cuvées in the cellar.

4. The village of Chablis

Surnommée la porte d'or de la Bourgogne, Chablis est une charmante bourgade célèbre pour son vin prestigieux
Prestigious vines of Chablis

Chablis, a town located in the department of Yonne, is known by all the curious, amateurs and/or wine professionals. Renowned worldwide for its exceptional white wine, the village of Chablis has sumptuous buildings and landscapes of extreme beauty. You can visit the Saint-Martin de Chablis collegiate church or the Synagogue when you arrive.

For sports enthusiasts or simply adventurers, e-bike tours in the vineyards are carried out within the village. This allows visitors to discover the town from a different angle but also to open up to the cultivation of vines. Check out where to stay in Chablis!

Many domains are present in Chablis. We invite you to visit Domaine Régnard for a private visit and tasting where you will have the opportunity to discover the cellar as well as ten of their cuvées. This experience will begin in the House’s winery and then in a private cellar to taste these ten Chablis cuvées, all accompanied by appetizers.

5. The village of Noyers-sur-Serein

Découvrez Noyers, au bord de la rivière Serein, typique cité médiévale de Bourgogne
Medieval village of Noyers

To end on a high note, head to Noyez-sur-Serein, also called Noyers, in the Yonne department. It’s not a joke when we repeat ourselves and say that this village is one of the most beautiful villages in France and was ranked 7th favorite village of the French in 2014 (out of 21 villages in competition). Noyers-sur-Serein has many houses with half-timbered facades which give this rustic and medieval side to the village.

Discover the Château de Noyers-sur-Serein which is an old medieval fortress. Built before the 10th century, the castle was enlarged but also fortified at the beginning of the 13th century by the bishop of Auxerre, Hugues de Noyers. Also visit the Museum of Naïve and Popular Arts composed of 3 floors and 1500m2 of exhibition space.

In this Burgundy village, you will find Medieval accommodations where you will spend a memorable stay.

Regarding the history of wine, we recommend an outing around Auxerre, about thirty minutes by car from Noyers. Once there, do not hesitate to go to the Domaine Louis Moreau which will be delighted to welcome you to their tasting cellar and to present their estate and the terroir to you. A tasting is planned at the end of the visit to help you discover 4 wines of different appellation levels: Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru and Chablis Grand Cru. You will also have the chance to taste the gougères prepared by a local artisan.

Burgundy is one of the regions where we can find many villages classified as “most beautiful villages in France”.

This wine region rich in wine history – so go and discover Burgundy through its many visits and tastings in one or several of these beautiful towns in Burgundy, France!

FAQ & Useful resources

Where to take walks in Burgundy?

– The course of the Owl
– Museum of the Hotel-Dieu
– Dijon Museum of Fine Arts
– The Citadel of Besançon
– Nivernais Canal – Old City
– St. Lawrence Bridge
– St. Stephen’s Cathedral

What is the main city in Burgundy France?

Burgundy’s capital city is Dijon, one of the region’s most beautiful city to visit!

When is the best time to go to Burgundy?

The best time is actually not during the summer, but rather from September to November, when autumn colors turn vineyards into a beautiful color palette.

What villages are in Burgundy?

Burgundy is a rather large region where you can come across many villages. On top of the selection of this article, these following villages in Burgundy are also worth visiting:
– Auxeerre
– Flavigny-sur-Ozerain
– Clamency
– Merry-sur-Yonne
– Chevroches.

Best Burgundy villages to stay at:

Amongst the villages we have mentioned in this article, the best ones to stay at for spending a couple of days are:
– Vézelay
– Châteauneuf
– Chablis
You can also consider staying at bigger cities, like Dijon and Beaune.

Is Bourgogne Burgundy?

Bourgogne is the French name that stands for Burgundy in English – so yes, Bourgogne is Burgundy!
If you haven’t studied a little bit of French, its pronunciation is a little tricky with that French “r” followed by “g”. Sticking with “Burgundy” is perfectly fine!

What is the best way to visit the Burgundy villages?

The best way to get the most of what Burgundy villages have to offer you, is to do the Route des Grands Crus! Discover the best itinerary in this dedicated article.