The 7 must-do things in Châteauneuf


Planning a visit to Burgundy? Discover the 7 must-sees in Châteauneuf, one of France’s most beautiful villages!

Ranked among the most beautiful villages in France, a visit to Châteauneuf and its fortified village is a must when you’re in the Côte d’Or. Once guarding the road from Dijon to Autun, this village combines medieval entertainment with contemporary art during the summer.

A stage on the Burgundy canal, along the « voie verte », it also offers some of the finest views in the region. Its historic heritage is well worth a visit. Planning to discover this beautiful village? If so, we’ve got 7 things you must do in Châteauneuf during your stay!

1. Château de Châteauneuf

Chateau de Chateauneuf

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Borisb17

Châteauneuf-en-Auxois is one of the last remaining examples of 14th-century Burgundian military architecture. Towers and curtain walls were built to defend the village and the Auxois plains, particularly during the Hundred Years’ War. Dating back to the 12th century, the Châteauneuf fortress is a fine example of this military architecture and the history of this fortified village.

Built on a rocky spur, this long fortress guards the southern end of the Auxois region. It dominates the Burgundy canal valley, protecting a strategic axis. If you’re visiting Châteauneuf, you won’t want to miss this landmark. Admire it, discover its living spaces and enjoy the view!

2. The Fortified Town

Bourg Chateauneuf en Auxois

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Lev Levin

As mentioned above, Châteauneuf-en-Auxois is no ordinary village. It was first and foremost a strategic stronghold in the Middle Ages! Fortunately for travelers, this heritage has been preserved. So be curious and attentive, and take the time to lose yourself in its star-studded streets.

You’ll discover pediments and stair turrets, as well as beautiful merchant residences. This once-prosperous city reveals its history to attentive travelers!

3. Church of Saint-Philippe and Saint-Jacques

Eglise Saint Philippe et Saint Jacques

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Lev Levin

Placed under the dual patronage of Saint-Philippe and Saint-Jacques, Châteauneuf’s church dates from the late 15th century. It is one of Châteauneuf’s must-see monuments. The building houses a 14th-century « Virgin and Child ».

You can also admire a 15th-century Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Saint-Jacques and Saint-Philippe. In addition to its works of art, you’ll also appreciate its architecture and surroundings.

4. Chapelle Notre-Dame du Chêne

Notre Dame du Chêne

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Nestled in the forest at the top of the Butte de Châteauneuf, north of the village, this chapel was built in 1746 by Curé Saulgeot. He discovered a statue of the Virgin Mary in an oak trunk.

To discover this chapel, take the path on the right after the avenue of lime trees. You’ll find it in a clearing. You can still see the remains of old stone enclosure walls, more or less crumbled away. A truly picturesque setting awaits you!

5. Ruins of Saint-Julien hermitage

Ermitage Saint Julien

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If you’re visiting Châteauneuf, you won’t want to miss the ruins of the Saint-Julien hermitage. They, too, are located in the forest at the top of the Châteauneuf hill. To find them, however, you’ll need to take the left-hand path after the avenue of lime trees.

These beautiful ruins still reveal large sections of wall, as well as a few sculptures. You’ll also admire some superb carved stone door surrounds and towers.

6. The Burgundy Canal

Canal de Bourgogne

Photo credit: Shutterstock – andre quinou

The Canal de Bourgogne is one of Châteauneuf’s and the region’s must-see attractions. This small-gauge waterway stretches from the Seine to the Rhône basins and crosses Burgundy. The stretch from Pouilly-en-Auxois to La Bussière-sur-Ouche, which passes through Châteauneuf, is a dream spot for cyclists.

They can enjoy a bike ride along the Canal. You’ll admire Burgundy’s rural landscapes, and pass through some picturesque villages. And if cycling doesn’t tempt you, you can always opt for a boat trip on the canal!

7. Château shows and exhibitions

Manifestation Chateauneuf

Photo credit: Shutterstock – JeniFoto

Whether at the Château, the focal point of the village’s cultural events, or in the village itself, every year Châteauneuf organizes workshops, shows, evening walks, entertainment or a medieval market. A perfect blend of contemporary art and medieval entertainment.

Younger visitors, for example, can train to become real knights. Older visitors will appreciate the works created by contemporary artists from a variety of backgrounds! Don’t forget to check out the events organized by the commune and the château during your stay.

How do I get to Châteauneuf?

Located in the Côte-d’Or department, Châteauneuf is less than an hour’s drive from Dijon. Unfortunately, there are no direct train or bus connections to Châteauneuf.

Nor is flying to Châteauneuf the best solution. Dijon airport is mainly used for business flights, even to the university hospital in the department’s capital.

The best way is to go to Dijon by train or bus, then rent a car. You can also reach the village by bike. You can then enjoy a delightful itinerant ride along the Canal de Bourgogne. Cabs are another option, albeit expensive and inconvenient. Finally, you can opt for carpooling.

If you have a car, it’s easy to get to and around Châteauneuf. Here are a number of itineraries you can follow from the major towns in the area:

  • From Dijon, take theA38 westbound, then exit at junction 27. Follow the D977 Bis towards Châteauneuf;
  • Or from Paris, take theA6 towards Pouilly-en-Auxois (via Auxerre). Exit near Autun/Saulieu/Pouilly-en-Auxois, then follow the D977 Bis to the village;
  • From Lyon, take theA6 to Pouilly-en-Auxois. Take the Autun/Saulieu/Pouilly-en-Auxois exit, then follow the D977 Bis ;
  • From Besançon, take theA36 and then theA6 to Pouilly-en-Auxois. Alternatively, take theA39 to Dijon.

Where to stay in Châteauneuf?

If you’re planning to visit Châteauneuf, you’re obviously wondering where to stay. Luckily for travelers, there’s no shortage of accommodation options here. In France’s most beautiful village, there’s something to suit every budget.

In particular, you can opt for a room in a beautiful hotel or a charming gîte. You can also choose to stay at a flowery campsite or with a local, via Airbnb. To find the offer that suits you best, use a hotel comparator.

Now you know what to visit if you stop off in Châteauneuf. So you can start packing your bags.

Map of hotels and accommodation – Bourgogne-Franche-Comté