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Vézelay
Vézelay

Vézelay

The basilica is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day.
Vézelay, Vézelay, Burgundy

The basics

Vézelay is famous for its 11th-century basilica, which contains the relics of its patron saint, Mary Magdalen. The basilica played a significant role in the Second and Third Crusades in the 12th century, and is now a major starting point of the Way of St James pilgrimage route. For something out of the ordinary (or if you want to get some fantastic photos), take a hot air balloon ride over the town.

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Things to know before you go

  • Admission is free of charge, while one-hour guided tours are available for a small fee.
  • Men and women alike should avoid wearing shorts or revealing clothing in the basilica out of respect for Catholic traditions.
  • Note that many shops in town close on Sundays and sometimes for longer stretches during August, when the French vacation en masse.
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How to get there

Vézelay can be reached from Dijon in less than an hour and a half via the A38 and A6 highways, and from Paris in 2.5 hours via the A6. If you're coming by train, disembark at Sermizelles or Montbard and take a shuttle to town. Montbard shuttles are limited to Friday nights (towards Vézelay) and Monday mornings (toward Montbard), and don't run on public holidays.

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When to get there

Vézelay is a year-round destination that can get extremely crowded depending on the time of year. During religious holidays, accommodations tend to sell out quickly, so it’s best to plan in advance. Summers are good for visiting, and don’t get too hot, while the spring months can be rainy. Winters can get cold, but temperatures rarely drop below freezing. The basilica here is open daily.

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The Wine of Vézelay

In addition to outstanding architecture, Vézelay boasts a prominent wine appellation–Bourgogne Vézelay–that specializes in white wines of the Chardonnay and Muscadet variety. Most of the vines were planted by Christian monks back in the seventh century, which slowly grew into what is now a massive production spreading over 100 hillside acres of four villages (Asquins, Saint Père, Tharoiseau, and Vézelay).

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Vézelay?
A:
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Burgundy?
A:
As well as visiting the Vézelay, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: