The Cote d’Or (department number 21) is located in the region of Bourgogne (Burgundy) and has an estimated population of 506,000 (approximate in 1999).
The capital of the department is the city of Dijon, with the bigger towns of Montbard and Beaune situated within the immediate area.
Plenty of gastronomic delights wait to tantalise your taste buds, including mustard, crème de cassis liqueur, gingerbread and wine to name a few.
Why you should visit Cote d’Or for your next holiday in France
The Cote d’Or has so much to offer beyond the grape. The department boasts beautiful countryside with miles and miles of vineyards and hectares of woodland. The area offers visitors a chance to enjoy its wealth of heritage as well as its gastronomic delights in a haven of peace and serenity.
From spring until late September and sometimes beyond, the climate is warm and dry with summer temperatures often reaching 30 degrees C plus. This is occasionally punctuated by short heavy thunderstorms, which help to fatten the grapes. The climate is cooler mornings and evenings in early spring and late autumn as you would expect.
What to see in Cote d’Or
The capital of the area is truly captivating, with a lot of its beauty preserved though out the ages. Once a town of a hundred bell towers, many of the belfries have since long gone.
Sites to visit while in Dijon include:
- Rue Verrerie and its antique shops
- Notre-Dame Church, rue de la Chouette and Hôtel de Vogüé
- Saint-Bénigne Cathedral and its 11th-century crypt
- Dijon’s museums (free admission)
- The former Palais de Justice (Law Courts)
This delightful town is located beside the lovely Burgundy canal and is full of charm. There is a picturesque town centre making shopping as enjoyable as a meander along by the canal. Unusually for a town of its size, there is a TGV stop in Montbard on the Paris to Dijon line, owing to the fact that part of the TGV was built in the town.
Interesting heritage sites worth visiting include:
- The Grande Forge, originally a water-powered foundry built by Montbard’s most famous son, George-Louis Leclerk, Comte de Buffon. Now completely reconstructed, it has an underground furnace and water-powered bellows.
- Musée des Beaux Arts, which has a collection of Burgundian Art, all by local artists.
- Ermitage Walk
- The Burgundy Canal
This historic and ancient town is associated with the very finest of the burgundy wines. Due to its beauty and history, Beaune is a popular tourist spot and yet it still manages to retain its refined and cultured air. The town is surrounded by some of the greatest and most famous vineyards of France and its landscape is covered with a blanket of vines as far as the eye can see.
The prosperous and stylish town of Châtillon-sur-Seine is surrounded by hectares of woodland, rolling meadows and vineyards. The town lies in Frances’ heartland of fine wines and foods and there is a great selection of restaurants to choose from. There is an old quarter in the town, where the traditional steeply pitched red rooftops can be seen from the rocky outcrop above, and where the ruins of a castle can be found. There is also a delightful Romanesque church, and if you know where to look, a natural spring erupting from solid rock to join the Seine.
Saulieu is a lovely town that dates back to Roman times. It is situated on the edge of the Morvan National Park and it was originally known as Sedelocus. Set in traditional Burgundy countryside, the town has a gastronomic reputation worthy of its location.
Like Montbard, the pretty town of Pouilly en Auxois lies close to the Burgundy Canal. The town benefits from its natural surroundings and is both light and clean in appearance. A lively town centre make Pouilly-en-Auxois an interesting place to visit.
Arnay-le-Duc and Is-Sur-Tille are also lovely towns full of the charm of Burgundy and the yummy delicacies.
How to get to Côte-d'Or
Holiday accommodation in Cote d’Or is easily accessible.
Various international and other independant airlines operate services to Paris and from here you can travel via TGV to Burgundy, or hire a car. There is also a regional airport at Dijon.
Burgundy is located just 100km south of Paris and 80km north of Lyon and has good motorway connections with both the north and south of France via the A6 and A31 motorways.
The TGV service to the area is excellent. From the Gare de Lyon station in Paris you can be in Montbard in 65 minutes, Le Creusot in 1 hour 20 minutes, Dijon in 1 hour 35 minutes and Macon in 1 hour 35 minutes.