Next week, AmaWaterways and I will team up to present a fun and interactive virtual event about sailing on the Rhone River in France.
Connecting France and Switzerland, the Rhone is one of the most important rivers in the whole of Europe. Cruising along its waters is an unforgettable way to soak up the picturesque French cities, villages and countryside of Burgundy and Provence. Along the way, you will have plenty of opportunities to disembark and explore the towns, nature and vineyards of two of France’s most alluring regions.
Located in eastern France, Burgundy (Bourgogne) is one of the nation’s most prominent wine regions and produces both red and white varieties. The most highly acclaimed wines to come out of Burgundy’s patchwork of vineyards are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Due to the exceptional terroir and high quality of these wines, they are some of the most expensive in the world.
Burgundy is historically poignant and the whole region is peppered with castles and abbeys. Scattered amongst its rolling plains are idyllic villages which encompass all the rustic charm of France. Of all of these, Vézelay is one of the most beautiful with its hilltop location and Sainte Marie Magdaleine basilica. Meanwhile, the moated Château de Cormatin with its landscaped gardens is a masterpiece of 17th-century French architecture.
Burgundy is also home to some fascinating cities where you can connect with French culture. As the regional capital, Dijon is an architectural wonderland with its UNESCO World Heritage-listed center and its Palace of the Dukes. From both Dijon and its southern neighbor Mâcon you can explore museums and local vineyards.
As Burgundy melts into Provence, the scenery becomes even more diverse as you traverse fairytale pine forests, iconic lavender fields and glamorous coastal resorts. If you want to see the lavender in bloom you’ll need to schedule your visit for late June/early July. The beauty of Provence inspired the works of artists Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cézanne and Pablo Picasso!
Its capital city, Marseille, is where you’ll find a landmark that rivals the Eiffel Tower; the Notre Dame de la Garde. You can enjoy a wander along the Vieux Port (Old Harbor) where fresh fish is served in abundance and summertime sunsets are out of this world. Meanwhile, in the city of Avignon, you can visit the ‘original’ Vatican City; Palais des Papes.
Provence is another of France’s major wine regions - in fact, it’s the oldest wine-producing region in the country. Famed for their crisp, dry taste, Provence is responsible for the vast majority of all French rose. On a hot summer’s day in the South of France, there’s no better way to end your day than sipping a glass with a view of the twinkling ocean. Together with the French Riviera, Provence gets the best weather in France with pleasant temperatures and sunny skies year-round.
This gives you a flavor of Burgundy and Provence. If you haven’t already signed up for our presentation on Thursday, March 11th at 5:00 pm EST then you can do so for free now. You might also want to take my wine quiz to find out if France is the perfect match for your wine taste.