Driving through the Route des Grands Crus

France is quite well known for its beautiful scenic views and drives. The old films showed it much better than any photographs can depict, but the fun thing is to travel and visit for oneself. One of the most scenic places in France is the Route des Grands Crus. It is a must-have experience – a necessary item for any travel lover’s bucket list. Everyone likes vineyards, after all!

The region

The region is famous for its Burgundy wines and is filled with beautiful vineyards. Wine production in the region has been established since the times of Charlemagne, so the vineyard owners are justifiably proud of their little, or not so little, vineyards. This region is also very easy to reach from some of the main cities of France. Located at a distance of approximately 1.5 hours by car from both Paris and Lyon, the Route des Grands Crus is a major attraction of Bourgogne. For tourists desiring to make this trip, there are many popular car rental agencies in both Paris and Lyon, like Alamo and Avis.

Chambertin

The route

The Route des Grand Crus, situated in Burgundy is a scenic route stretching from Dijon to Santenay for 60 kilometers. This spectacular route has became a famous tourist drive over the years. Covering 37 villages and towns, this gorgeous drive covers many vineyards producing different kinds of grapes used in Burgundy wine production. Each vineyard is small, only about 10 – 15 hectares, so they are very well maintained and a pleasure to watch as they flash by. The road is well paved and there is also a cycling path for those who want to ride there in summer, enjoying the nice breeze, and feeling the warmth of the mild sun.

The experience

Not only are the vineyards beautiful to watch, but the small stops in the villages on this route are worth the experience. Each village has its own tradition of wine making and its own history, and the local people are quite proud to explain why their way is superior.

At times during the drive, the vineyards give way to beautiful hills, forests and cliffs. The drive passes through certain historical spots as well, the most famous among them being the Vosne-Romanée chateau, famous for the Romanée Conti wines. Another famous spot to check out along the way is the amazing steep coloured-tile roof of Château Corton-André. The Château de La Rochepot, also located on the route, is worth a visit. Many of the small villages have old churches and community buildings still standing.

For those preferring a more athletic experience, there are several hiking trails set in various parts of the route, like the Sentier des Roches which moves across the Baubigny cliffs.

For information and assistance in undertaking a trip to the Route des Grands Crus, the Burgundy Today website is an excellent resource. This is certainly an experience worth having!

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