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Saint Pierre de Varennes - historic village in rural Burgundy

The little village of St Pierre de Varennes is located in picturesque countryside in rural Burgundy, somewhere between Charolais and Morvan. Overlooked by an important chateau, and with several historic features, St Pierre de Varennes is a delightful oasis of calm and tradition in a modern world. The village itself is simple and unspoiled, yet as it lies within one of France's finest regions, it is near enough to great centres of culture to benefit from the affluence and sophistication of Burgundy, where the best (arguably) wines and foods of France are found.

Château Brandon

The village is noted for its chateau, Château Brandon, which is a listed monument. It lies in the hills that surround the village, creating an air of mystery as well as of history, and was built for the Dukes of Burgundy to defend and protect their fortunes and heritage. The chateau is open for visitors, although it is actually privately owned, and a tour of the ancient building is highly recommended.

Other sights to see

The village also has an interesting church, dating from the Roman period, and also some 12th century features, such as a gate, and a bell tower, which are all worth a look.

Village life

Life in St Pierre de Varennes goes on undisturbed by the outside world, or so it may seem by its sleepy, "olde worlde" charm. The village has plenty to offer today's residents and visitors though, with a well established infrastructure of necessary facilities, and a surprisingly broad selection of shops, services, a café and a pizza shop! Something you will want to visit in St Pierre is the fromagerie, where you can taste the fresh cheeses and learn a little of the process involved in this most French of cottage industries.

Saint Pierre de Varennes's reservoir

There is an enormous reservoir on the edge of the village, and not only does this provide a great resource for the area by supplying water, but it is also a very beautiful and tranquil backdrop. Fishing is allowed by permit only, so ask at the Marie if this is what you wish to do. There is also a lovely walking circuit around the lake, perfect for a summers evening stroll if you have overindulged in the wonderful food and wine of the area. Meanwhile St Pierre also has some tennis courts, so don't forget the racquets!

Out and about...

If you don't already know the Burgundy region, you are in for a treat. There are hills and mountains, lush green pastures with sleepy eyed Charolais cattle, Roman remains and famous vineyards. A car for proper exploration is essential.

How to get there

The nearest airport is Lyon, and there are plenty of flights from the UK that land here, including Air France, British Airways, easyJet and bmi. It is also feasible to take a flight to Paris, and to connect to a flight to Dijon. Trains are a good means of travel from the UK, as the nearby city of Chalon sur Saône has a TGV stop which means that with one simple change at Paris you can make almost the entire journey by rail. For drivers, the N80 is the nearest major road.

Property prices and availability in and around Saint Pierre de Varennes

As the area around the village is relatively undiscovered in terms of the foreign property market, prices have yet to boom in the manner that they have done in many other parts of France. St Pierre de Varennes is not the cheapest place in France for property, but prices are, at the time of writing, very reasonable, and property here should prove a wise investment. It is a good area in which to seek a renovation project, as there are a good number still coming onto the market.

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Saint Pierre de Varennes AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Saint Pierre de Varennes?

Saint Pierre de Varennes is located in the east of France. It lies in the north of the Saône-et-Loire department.

Saint Pierre de Varennes Property Map


Burgundy Guide

Burgundy Property Map


Saône-et-loire Guide

  Saône-et-loire Map

Population: 836

Access: By air: Fly to Lyon. By road: The village is found not far from the N80. By rail: There is a TGV station at nearby Chalon sur Saône so you can take a direct TGV from Paris after alighting from Eurostar.

Economy: The economy is predominantly rural and agricultural. Cattle raising is the most important activity.

Interesting fact: The village has an important and historic chateau, Château Brandon, which is open to the public although privately owned.

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