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Mâcon

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Macon France and River Saone

Buildings painted burnt sienna, buttermilk and rose – Mâcon has a distinctly Mediterranean feel and looks to the south for inspiration. To get a feel of this town on the River Saône, head for the terrace of the café in the Maison de Bois, a house covered in elaborate, if not grotesque, wooden carvings normally reserved for interiors. There you can people watch: it is on the corner of Rue Dombey and Place aux Herbes where the vegetable market is held daily with the exception of Monday.

Rue Carnot is one of the busiest shopping streets in the town. Here, is the L’Ancien Hospice de la Charité, once a hospital, but now an old people’s home. To the right of the front door is a swivel-gate where new-born babies were abandoned by placing them unseen in a barrel which then swivelled around and when the bell was rung, the nuns rushed to collect the baby. A walk around the town on the Heritage Trail brings you to the Hôtel Dieu, the Old St.Vincent Hospital.

Mâcon was the birthplace of one of France’s greatest writers, the poet Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869). He was active politically in the area and the house in Rue Lamartine where he lived until his wedding still stands. Château St-Point, west of Milly where he wrote many of the Méditations Poétiques and Jocelyn, and where he and his English wife are buried, can be visited. There is a Lamartine Heritage Trail which passes through places he lived, loved and found inspiration.

© BIVB Armellephotographe Charney les MaconBut above all, Mâcon is famous for its wine and the annual wine fair held each April. Two thirds of the wine is white, coming from the Chardonnay grape with Pouilly-Fuissé, St-Véran and Mâcon-Villages Blanc being the most famous. The other third is red or rosé from the Gamay or Pinot Noir grape. Less highly priced than the wines of the Côte d’Or, you can enjoy the wine of Mâcon and Beaujolais with a picnic lunch or dinner without damaging your wallet. For an overview of the wines in this region, see Jancis Robinson's article. To taste the best of the region’s wines visit the Maison des Vins, 520 Maréchal Lattre-de-Tassigny. Part of the building is a museum dedicated to wine, you can eat local specialities there and of course, buy some bottles.

There's a bustle in the air in Mâcon town. All around you can enjoy the beautiful surrounding countryside of the Mâconnais, extending from Tournus between the valley of the Saône and River Grosne.

Market Day

Saturday

visit a Maconnais winery

Find wineries to visit at a click on the Rue des Vignerons website. This is a free service where you book online, there's information about the visit, prices, map and directions, and you can buy the domaine's wine at a reduced price.

hotels in and around Macon

La Maison du Herrison Hotel  Fuisse, Burgundy, France Best Western Hotel Macon Burgundy France Brit Hotel Macon Burgundy France
In the wine country of Fuissé, 7km from Mâcon, the Maison du Hérisson offers pet friendly accommodation with restaurant Located close to the old part of town, choose a room overlooking the river at the Best Western d'Europe et d'Angleterre The Brit Hotel is modern and comfortable with a great location for travellers, 200 m from the train station in the centre of town.

burgundy holiday homes direct from owner

  • Vinzelles, sleeps 3, ref: 97260
  • La Roche, sleeps 12, 10 and 6 ref: 416560
  • Montmeland, sleeps 11, ref: 88413
  • Charolles, sleeps 6 and 2. ref: 439213

Places to eat

  • Au P’tit Pierre, 10 Rue Gambetta
  • Au Pouilly Fuissé, Fuissé, 9km from Mâcon

Places to visit nearby

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weather in Macon

getting to and from Macon
Mâcon is 400 km from Paris and 75 km from Lyon, the nearest airport.
By train:
TGV services
TER regional trains
Voyages Sncf UK

By bus:
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Pam Elson ©burgundytoday.com