In the centre of France, Mâcon is an attractive and prosperous town on the banks of the river Saône. Its surrounding area, the Mâconnais, is renowned for its wines, made using the Pinot Noir (red) and Chardonnay (white) grape varieties. Mâcon is also the préfecture (capital) of the Saône-et-Loire department, which is part of the greater region of Burgundy.

Since its foundation in the 2nd century BC, Macon prospered as a trading town, benefiting from its position on a busy crossroads. For many years it lay between the Kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire, its famous Saint-Laurent Bridge being the link between the two.

Mâcon is a lively, tourist town, which is especially evident when walking by the bars, cafes and restaurants that line the river. During late July and August, jazz bands perform evening concerts in its flower-adorned streets and other musicians play intermittently throughout the summer months.


Surrounded by 10 000 acres of vineyards producing over 13 million bottles annually, Mâcon’s tourist attractions centre round the wine industry for which it is famed.

Innumerable local vineyards, offer tastings and tours (a list can be obtained from the Mâcon tourist office). Those with a car can follow the well-indicated vineyard trails that extend throughout the Mâconnais and south to Beaujolais, stopping to sample wines along the way.

The Hameau du Vin park, a short distance outside of Mâcon, demonstrates the entire winemaking process from production to consumption. It features a cinema; cafe, restaurant and bistro; railway station and railway museum; extensive gardens; and working vineyard.

The 15th century Château de la Greffière houses another exhibition dedicated to the wine trade.

In May, the Concours des Grands Vins de France draws visitors and connoisseurs from around the world to Mâcon. It is one of the biggest international wine fairs in France.

Mâcon’s biggest tourist attraction is the curious Maison du Bois Doré, an elaborate wooden house built in the early 16th century on the corner of the Place des Herbes.

The Romanesque Cathedral St-Vincent, formerly known as the Eglise St Napoleon, is a spectacular sight. Classified as national property after the revolution, it was sold and partially demolished. On a clear day you can see as far as Mont Blanc from the top of its two towers.

The 19th century poet, politician and writer, Lamartine, was born in Mâcon. He is remembered by a museum accommodated in an elegant 18th mansion, the Hôtel Senecé, on the rue Sigorgne.


The local Mâconnais wine is available from many cellars around Mâcon; although the best prices are obtained directly from the producers, who happily offer tastings to visitors to their estates. The two famous cru (the second highest wine appellation in Burgundy) wines of the Mâconnais are made in the villages of Saint-Véran and Pouilly Fuissé.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Mâcon has no shortage of excellent restaurants for visitors to choose from. Many of which are situated along its riverbanks. Most eateries serve local Burgundian cuisine, which is made using high quality regional ingredients, such as Bresse poultry and Charlois meat. These are considered to be among the best in the world because they are raised using traditional local methods, which are far from any form of industrialisation.

Au Rocher de Cancale on the quai Jean-Jaurés is a typical example of such a restaurant serving Bresse chicken and local Bourgogne snails. Its menus range from €16-€38. A la carte meals start at around €5 in Macon’s simpler restaurants and menus start from around €9. Dining in any of the area’s haut-cuisine eateries costs between €20 and €75 for a menu.

As well as snails, Burgundy is also renowned for its frogs-legs, which feature regularly on restaurant menus.

Macon possesses several nightclubs as well as two large theatres, an amplified concert hall and a jazz club.

Tourist Information

Mâcon Office du Tourisme1, place Saint-Pierre 71000 Mâcon, France

Telephone: +33 (0) 385 210707Email: info@macon-tourism.comWebsite:


The nearest airport to Mâcon is Lyon Saint-Exupéry, which is 45 minutes away down the A6 motorway. Lyon airport is serviced by a range of budget and premium airlines from the UK.

The Eurostar also runs services from London to nearby Dijon.

All car hire locations in France