France: Birds & Art in Burgundy: May 27—Jun 01, 2019
Register NowTour Details
Price: To Be Announced.
($2495 in 2016)
Tour Limit: 12
Operations Manager: Greg Lopez
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Romanesque sculpture, Basilica St. Magdalene, Vézelay, France— Photo: Pecold/shutterstock
The bird-rich countryside dotted with romantic villages and medieval churches is the setting for leisurely excursions into one of the loveliest of Europe’s ancient landscapes.
For well over a thousand years, Europe’s major pilgrimage routes have crossed the gentle hills and rolling fields of Burgundy. In the late Middle Ages, this rich and fertile duchy watered by the mighty Rhone River was the site of bitter, often fatal contention between the French, the Burgundians, and the Flemish; the splendor of Burgundy’s ducal court was outshone only by the wealth of its ancient churches. The cumulative result is a cultural landscape unmatched anywhere in Europe, with palaces, cathedrals, and imposing castles seemingly around every corner. Burgundy also occupies a very special place in the history of ornithology: It was in Montbard that Buffon, the father of Enlightenment natural history, composed most of the 36 volumes of his monumental encyclopedia.
Hawfinch— Photo: AlekseyKarpenko/shutterstock
Our base for this relaxed tour is the charming and compact city of Dijon, with its captivating mix of beautifully preserved medieval monuments and elegant eighteenth century townhouses. From Dijon, it is a comfortable drive to the famous architectural masterpieces of Tournus, Autun, and Vézelay, while forests, ponds, and field edges provide summer homes to a good variety of nesting birds. The relaxed atmosphere, fine food, and, of course, renowned wines make our days in Burgundy fly past for birders and non-birders alike.
Accommodations and cuisine very good; birding and sightseeing mixed on most days, often simultaneously at a single site; perfect for birders and their non-birding spouses, partners, and traveling companions; warm to hot, generally dry weather.