Tour of Burgundy and Paris
After spending time in Paris, Ernest Hemingway dubbed the city "a movable feast.” There's plenty to stimulate the senses in France's capital city—from the classical artwork at the Louvre to the night sky lit by the Eiffel Tower—but Burgundy, one of France’s main wine-producing regions, also leaves a lingering impression with its stunning chateaus, historic wineries, and quaint villages. You'll start your seven-day, six-night self-guided tour by spending several days in Burgundy, sampling French wine from a 250-year-old vault, touring centuries-old abbeys, and exploring verdant gardens, then cap off the trip with a visit to some of Paris’ most famous landmarks.
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Days 1–2: An overnight flight takes you from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Paris. Once in the fabled City of Love, you can pick up your rental car and set out for Burgundy.
Along the way, feel free to make a pit stop at the Château de Fontainebleau, a sprawling palace set on 130 scenic acres. The massive castle took three hundred years to fully complete, but the end result is dazzling, with more than a thousand rooms featuring elaborate frescoes and period furnishings from the collections of Marie Antoinette.
The Abbey of Fontenay is another iconic landmark en route to Burgundy. The UNESCO World Heritage site is nearly a thousand years old and is set amid a picturesque landscape of manicured gardens and stone fountains. Check out the abbey's forge, one of the earliest examples of its kind; it's also the supposed site of the invention of the hydraulic hammer and its initial testing on several cartoon characters.
The elegant 16th-century Château de Chailly will be your home base for the next few days. For eight centuries, the palatial structure served as a fortress, complete with a drawbridge. Today, historical touches include colorful tiled mosaics, old-fashioned chambermaids, and exposed wooden beams. There’s now an 18-hole golf course onsite as well, designed by professional French golf champions.
Days 3–5: In Burgundy's wine country, rolling vineyards and Renaissance-style buildings showcase the city's strong Italian influence. At Beaune, Burgundy's unofficial wine capital, you’ll partake in an included tour and tasting in the massive vaults of Patriarch Père et Fils winery, which has been around for nearly 250 years. The winding underground cellars can be traced back to the 13th century and are stocked with millions of wine bottles.
A tour of the Hospices de Beaune, a former Flemish-style medieval hospital known for its gabled, tile-lined roof, is included in your trip, as is entry into Château du Clos de Vougeot, a former wine farm that now serves traditional French cuisine. The chateau sits along the famed Route des Grands Crus, a 60-kilometer stretch of the Côte d’Or, or Gold Coast, that passes by some of the region’s most spectacular vineyards and French villages. Along the way, there are numerous opportunities for exploring gardens by foot or bike and places to fish.
Day 6: The next day, venture toward Paris to settle in at the lavish, four-star Mercure Paris Opéra Garnier and explore the city at your leisure. The hotel is a scenic stroll from the Champs-Élysées, the famous picturesque avenue dotted with cafés, boutiques, and fountains.
A short trek south takes you to Notre Dame Cathedral. Its looming bell towers, stained-glass windows, and stone gargoyles recall medieval times.
Day 7: Head back to Charles de Gaulle Airport for your flight back to the States.
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