The Burgundy region of France is renowned for its superb wineries, with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes hailing from the region. Chalon-Sur-Saône will not disappoint the wine buff: this lively port town on the Saône River and the Canal du Centre is ensconced in green rolling hills covered in vineyards that make some of the best wines in France, including Montagy, Givry, Rully and Mercuray.
Chalon-Sur-Saône is a quaint and beautiful town, worth taking in at a gentle stroll. Like many towns in Burgundy, the architecture is a pleasing blend of half-timbered medieval houses and buildings with 17th and 14th century façades. Stroll along the riverbanks to the beautiful Saint-Laurent Bridge, which spans the Saône to connect Chalon Island with the centre of town. This medieval bridge was built in the 16th century and was expanded to include a gatehouse and a drawbridge in the 17th century.
Chalon-sur-Saône is a busy port with 175 moorings. Most cruise ships dock at the main port on the Chalon River at Port de Plaisance, Municipal 8, Avenue de Verdun. In busy times, ships occasionally have to dock at two other ports: Quay de Messageries and Quay Gambetta nearby. Each port is a very short walk to the centre of town.
Facilities near the ports in Chalon-Sur-Saône include:
- Secure parking
- Tourist information centres
- Restaurants and cafés
- Bank and ATMs
- Medical centre and pharmacy
- Post office.
How To Get Around
The city centre is small and easily navigated on foot. The bus service ‘Zoom’ offers free rides for tourists throughout the centre of town.
Travel times from the main port of Chalon-Sur-Saône:
It is an 11 minute journey to Cathedrale Saint Vincent
It is an 11 minute journey to Musée Nicéphore-Niépce
It is a 14 minute journey to Rue Général Leclerc.
It is a 3 minute journey to Musée Nicéphore-Niépce
It is a 5 minute journey to Cathedrale Saint Vincent
It is a 6 minute journey to Rue Général Leclerc
It is a 7 minute journey to La Roseraie Saint Nicholas
It is a 46 minute journey to Dijon Bourgogne Airport.
It is a 54 minute journey to Dijon Bourgogne Airport.
- Currency – The currency in Chalon-Sur-Saône is the Euro (€). Notes come in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500 denominations. Coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and €1 and €2 denominations.
- Time Zone – Chalon-Sur-Saône follows Central European Time (CET), which is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC); daylight savings changes Chalon-Sur-Saône to 2 hours ahead of UTC between March and October.
- Weather – Chalon-Sur-Saône enjoys an oceanic climate with semi-continental influences, with warm summers for Western Europe and cold winters with frequent snow. July is the hottest month in Chalon-Sur-Saône, with an average temperature of 20 degrees Celsius. January is the coolest month, with temperatures averaging at 2 degrees Celsius.
Chalons dans la Rue – In late July each year, an exciting street festival—Burgundy’s version of the Edinburgh Festival—arrives in Chalon-sur-Saône. Across 4 days, the city is filled with performances from entertainers from France and all around the world (including Australia, Spain and Germany). Acts include acrobats, actors, ballet, fireworks, circus acts and a mass tango that gets the entire town dancing. Most of the performances are free.
Musée Nicéphore-Niépce – This small museum in the Hôtel des Messageries in the centre of town is dedicated to Joseph Nicéphore-Niépce, the inventor of photography. Born in Chalon in 1765, he produced the world’s first photograph in 1826 – a blurry view of the rooftops from his workroom. The museum houses exhibits on evolving photographic techniques, cameras, and other inventions by Joseph Nicéphore-Niépce (including the first internal combustion engine), as well as the work of contemporary French photographers.
La Roseraie Saint Nicholas – This stunning rose garden, just 4 kilometres outside the town centre, features 600 species of roses. The rose garden is open every day of the year, and entry is free. The terrace restaurant overlooking the Saône River (part of a hotel in the park) is open to tourists. Serving traditional cuisine, it’s a great place to try frogs, snail casserole, pike and other Burgundy fare.
Chalon-Sur-Saône Market – The Chalon-Sur-Saône Market is held at the Place St-Vincent on Wednesday and Sunday mornings and all day on Fridays, with stalls selling fresh produce, breads and pastries, cheese, patés and many other French delicacies. The town also offers beautiful cafés and gourmet stores that sell the specialities of the region every day of the week. The bakery in Rue Général Leclerc sells pastries and a huge selection of French breads.