316km (196 miles) SE of Paris; 39km (24 miles) SW of Dijon

Beaune is the perfect base for exploring the Côte d’Or wine region that stretches to the North and South of the city. Burgundy’s most influential wine merchants are all based here: Louis Jadot, Joseph Drouhin, and Bouchard Père et Fils, to name but a few. Beaune was a Gallic sanctuary, then a Roman town and some of its ramparts are still intact; you can even walk on them. Until the 14th century, Beaune was the residence of the ducs de Bourgogne. When the last duke, Charles the Bold, died in 1477, Louis XI annexed the town. The main sight is the Hôtel-Dieu (see “Exploring Beaune”), also known as the Hospices de Beaune. The Swiss-born Chevrolet brothers, who moved to the US and created one of the world’s best-known car brands, were brought up here.