After traveling alone in the Loire Valley during the nuanced and exciting autumn of 2013, this year I ventured by the Region of Burgogne and Champagne.
Exploring cycle routes in France is becoming a kind of passion driven by duty.
At the end of last summer, accompanied by my bike partner Cristiane, we took a train from Paris to Dijon by the beautiful region of Bourgogne, in a “free as a bird” mood. It was happening in a marvelous moment of my life!
In Dijon, we rented our bikes, and cycled for a few hours at this small and charming town. We caught a quick glimpse around the city, accompanied by the touch of a cold summer breeze that insisted on being present. We delighted tasting escargots and gourmet mustards before catching our first route destined to Beaune.
Until Beaune, by the regular road, it’s about 35km. By the cycle route we didn’t know in advance the exact distance – it went through small towns surrounded by grape plantations, thus making the path become longer and curved, on unpaved back roads.
The joy of living that moment was so great that innocently we forgot that the sun would soon go down. During the trip, we stopped every time we saw enchanted landscapes, such as flowers and vineyards, almost ready for harvest.
A quick stop in the city of Gevrey-Chambertin, an area of prestigious world-class vineyards – we tasted 7 different wines in a cave and returned radiant to the cycle trip.
The first twilight signs appeared when we still had far to go. Passing through a small village with a castle with a living, but unattended aspect, it began to drizzle, when the night was to come.
Going by bike through these small towns in France where people live in the very few houses, can be beautiful and scary at the same time. I wish I could describe the feeling of excitement of going through a place where even knowing that there is life inside the houses; it looks like you can die of cold without anyone noticing you…
Night came much before Beaune, and so did fear and cold. It was still dark and rainy, and we should still bike 19km on the road. Without booking any hotel for the night, the adventure had reached its limit. For over an hour, we sought a place to stay.
We finally found a hotel-spa that welcomed us with discount and comfort. A shame we did not have the time to enjoy it….
The next day we left before lunch pedaling by lovely landscapes by vineyards of grand-cru grapes and finally we arrived to the picturesque town of Beaune. We had lunch and a delicious tasting of white wines at the Corton-André château and it was already time to go back to the road again.
Not to be stressful again, we booked a hotel 12km away. We traveled more relaxed, enjoying every view this trip could reveal us.
At our small and simple hotel in the middle of nowhere, in front of a car-camping, we found a lot of weird people, and we stayed quite this night, without leaving our room.
Next morning, after a reinvigorating breakfast, it was time to go biking for the third and last day. More wine plantations followed us until we got to the Canal of Bourgogne.
From the canal, the atmosphere changed, not as beautiful as before, but on a cycle path that allowed us to quickly run 50km around. Without losing focus, we kept going until our final destination, the city of Montchanin. There we took a train to return our bikes back to Dijon.
During the 50 minutes on the train, we recognized several places that we had biked through during the 120km. Deep down the landscapes, where our eyes almost could not see in the distance, in the infinite… We were astonished!
It was lovely everything we lived by bike in Bourgogne!
If you want to know more details about this cycle-trip, please check the article we wrote to Conexão Paris clicking here: