Stage town for the 6th time

Prefecture of Saône-et-Loire (71)

Population: 34,500 (Mâconnais)

Specialities: Mâconnais wafers, Idéal mâconnais (cake), Mâconnais wines, wines (Viré-Clessé, Saint-Véran, Pouilly-Fuissé), bouchon (chocolate with Burgundy marc), andouillette, snails and goat's cheese.

Personalities: Alphonse de Lamartine (poet, novelist, playwright, politician), Antoine Griezmann (football), Marine Lorphelin (Miss France ), Barbara Barthet (world record holder in progressive shooting in sport boules), Maryvonne Icarre (world champion in masters athletics), Sandrine Martinet Aurières (gold medallist at the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016), Joseph Dufour (creator of wallpaper), Maxime Descombin (sculptor)

Sport: Macon regatta (rowing), AS Mâcon Rugby (N2), Union du football mâconnais (N2), Vélo sport mâconnais. Events: international rowing regattas, international motorboating grand prix, 3-star international jumping, world speedway championship, Gambettes Mâconnaises, Corrida Lamartinienne, Triathlon, 10km half-marathon on the voie bleue.

Festivals: Wine rally (March), Wine Fair (April), Été frappé (concerts, shows, workshops, dance, open-air cinema, etc.), 123 Macon (September, associations forum), Tales & Lights, Naive and contemporary art biennial festival, Magic and circus festival, Autumn symphonies, Humour Crops, Effervescence  Film Festival.

Economy: winegrowing, Cité de l'entreprise (start-up and digital business incubator), Zac Grand Sud (SMEs, industry, transport companies, etc.), marina (largest river marina in France) and soon Saône Digitale (digital activities and relaxation areas).

Labels: Terre de Jeux / 2 Fleurs d'Or / 4 flowers town / Ville ludique et sportive / Ville sportive et conviviale / Internet City @@@ / hashtag d'or (best performance on social networks) / listed tourism resort/ tourism and handicap label / quality tourism brand for the 4-star campsite.

Websites / social networks: / /    / / / /  /

The town of Lamartine

In 2019, Macon celebrated the 150th anniversary of the death of its most illustrious figure, poet Alphonse de Lamartine. Conferences, exhibitions and concerts provided an opportunity to discover or rediscover the wealth of his works and thought, whose themes remain relevant today (fight against racism, defence of democracy…). Alphonse de Lamartine was born in Macon in 1790 and spent his entire childhood in Milly. The great love of his teens, Elvire, triggered his vocation for literature. Throughout his life, Lamartine pursued a first-rate literary and political career simultaneously. He retired from political life in 1849, saddled with debts, and spent the rest of his life in his native Macon region. He died in Paris in 1869 and is now buried in Saint-Point. His main works are Jocelyn, La Chute d'un Ange, Graziella and Histoire des Girondins. You can also follow a 50km "Lamartine route" in the Macon region, marked out by the places that marked the poet's life.


Macon has put itself on the Tour de France map thanks to two decisive time trials. This was notably the case in 1991, when Miguel Indurain sealed the first of his five titles by beating Gianni Bugno and Greg LeMond. During the Criterium du Dauphiné in 2011, the stage in Macon gave young German John Degenkolb the opportunity to confirm his place as one of the leading sprinters of the peloton by winning on the banks of the Saône, at the foot of the statue of Lamartine. In 2012, the town was the starting point for a stage to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine that enabled Thomas Voeckler to claim the penultimate of his four stage victories in the Tour de France. He repeated the feat in Bagnères-de-Luchon to take the polka-dot jersey. In 2019, it was Thomas de Gendt, a specialist in long breakaways, who won a stage from Macon in Saint-Etienne. Two Macon-born cyclists took part in the Tour de France: Joël Millard, on four occasions between 1972 and 1975, and Guy Buchaille, in 1953 and 1957. Joël Millard is currently president of the Saône-et-Loire departmental cycling committee.


  • Ursulines Museum History:

the museum occupies the premises of the former convent of the Ursuline nuns, who were called to Macon by Bishop Gaspard Dinet in 1615 to oversee the education of young girls from the local nobility and bourgeoisie. The buildings erected between 1675 and 1677 are typical of the art of building in Burgundy in the 17th century. Requisitioned during the Revolution, the building became a prison in 1792, then a military barracks from 1798 to 1929, and an association centre until it was converted into a museum in 1968.

Features: the museum brings together a condensed history of Macon through its archaeology, ethnography and fine arts rooms. It also hosts temporary exhibitions showcasing local artists. An area devoted to the Lamartine collections has also been created.

Listed as: Musée de France / Historical Monument in 1929, then 1962.  

  • The blue lane

From the Esplanade Lamartine, you can cycle or walk along the Saône to Tournus. This former towpath has been converted into a 35-km cycling trail. It's an ideal route for nature lovers and sports enthusiasts, who can take in the exceptional panoramic views.  

  • Tracé de la plume

Follow the bronze arrows and let them guide you through the town. This heritage trail takes between one and two hours to discover the history, architecture and gastronomy of Macon. This walk through Macon follows a rich itinerary of 28 points of interest, with commentary on the spot thanks to explanatory terminals and a mobile application.  

  • Saint-Laurent bridge

Construction: 11th century.

Features: this medieval bridge is one of the town's landmarks. Comprising 13 arches and measuring 230-m long and 3.50-m wide in places, this bridge links the Saône and Bresse rivers. It underwent major renovation in 2017.

Listed as: Historical Monument since 1987.  

  • Wooden house

Built: between 1490 and 1510.

Style: timber-framed house.

Features: Built between 1490 and 1510, the Maison de Bois (Wooden House) is probably the oldest house in Macon, and certainly the most famous. Its façade, built entirely of wood, is decorated with a multitude of statuettes, often inspired by saucy imagery. Characters with masks of men and monkeys, more or less grimacing, are standing, sitting, winged, naked or sometimes dressed only in a scarf or bonnet. Some, with their arms outstretched, alternately hold the head and tail of a fantastic or real animal. The Goncourt brothers likened the Maison de Bois to a gigantic wooden chest that the people of Macon could only look at when escaping, because of the truculent carvings on its walls.

Current use: it now houses a restaurant.

Listed as: Historical Monument since 1920.  

  • Cité des Climats et vins de Bourgogne

The Cité des Climats et Vins de Bourgogne, located in three emblematic sites in the vineyards, offers friendly, sensory and educational experiences for all. Immersive tours reveal the cultural richness and diversity of Burgundy wines, with workshops, tastings and a varied programme.  

  • Solutré Rock and prehistory museum

A must-see site in southern Burgundy, Roche de Solutré rises to 493 metres and offers a superb view of the Solutré Pouilly Vergisson Grand Site de France. A spectacular limestone escarpment in the middle of the Macon vineyards. A prehistory museum, an archaeological and botanical garden and the House of the Grand Site complete the visit. The evocative power of this site, which has probably been occupied by humans for 55,000 years, won it the favour of former French President François Mitterrand, who used to gather his entourage here every year for a ritual ascent.  


  • Maison mâconnaise des vins (Macon house of wine)

Founded in 1958, this house facing the Saône is both a renowned traditional restaurant serving the best Burgundy recipes and a cellar where you can discover a wide range of Macon appellations.  

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