At the very south of Burgundy is a sweet town by the Saône, where the region’s glazed roofs and timber framed buildings are replaced by the flat-fronted pastel houses of the south.
Suddenly you get the sense that you’re approaching the Mediterranean in Mâcon, which despite being small has lots to hold your attention for a day or two.
You might not know the place, but you may know the name, as Mâcon is where a lot of Burgundy’s best chardonnays come from.
Wine-lovers won’t be short of inspiration for days out with a big directory of wineries close by.
It’s also a sign of the richness of the Saône valley that none of the natural landmarks or heritage sites in this article are more than 30 minutes from the town.
Lets explore the best things to do in Mâcon:
1. Musée des Ursulines
The former Ursuline convent was chosen to host the town’s museum in the 1960s, and it shines a light on Mâcon’s history.
Ground level is devoted to archaeology, showing tools, bones and weapons from the prehistoric site in Solutré, and Gallo-Roman artefacts like coins and ceramics unearthed at Mâcon’s ancient necropolis.
Go up a floor for the ethnography department, which reveals the techniques of local potters, winemakers and fishers on the Saône.
And then you have the art exhibits, running from the 1500s up to the present day, stopping by Titian, Charles le Brun and Monet en route.