Midway between Dijon and Lyon, Burgundy's southernmost département Saône-et-Loire is an inviting land of rolling green fields criss-crossed by hedgerows and dotted with indigenous Charolais beef cattle. During the region's medieval heyday it was home to the largest church in all of Christendom, the magnificent abbey of Cluny. These days it's a sleepier place, but pretty châteaux and little-known Romanesque chapels still sit around every bend, hinting at Saône-et-Loire's long history and making this a delightful destination for a road trip.
Other regional highlights include the cathedral and Gallo-Roman ruins at Autun and the winegrowing villages around Mâcon, which produce some of France's finest whites. Several rivers, the Canal du Centre and some fabulous bike paths also meander through Saône-et-Loire's forests and pastureland.