The département is part of the current région of Bourgogne. It is surrounded by the départements of Yonne, Nièvre, Saône-et-Loire, Jura, Aube, and Haute-Marne.
A chain of hills called the Plateau de Langres runs from north-east to south-west through the département to the north of Dijon and continues south-westwards as the Côte d'Or escarpment, after which the département is named. It is the south-east facing slope of the escarpment which is the site of the celebrated Burgundy vineyards. To the west of the Plateau de Langres, towards Champagne, lies the densely wooded district of Châtillonais. To the south-east of the plateau and escarpment, the département lies in the broad, flat-bottomed valley of the middle course of the Saône.
* The Saône
* The Seine rises in he southern end of the Plateau de Langres.
* The Ouche rises on the dip slope of the escarpment and flows to the Saône via Dijon.
* The Armançon rises on the dip slope of the escarpment and flows north-westward.
* The Arroux rises on the dip slope of the escarpment at the southern end of the département.
The climate of the département is temperate, with abundant rain on the west side of the central range.
Beaujolais is a historical province and a wine-producing region in France. It is now part of the Burgundy région for administrative purposes. The region is known internationally for its long tradition of winemaking, and more recently for the enormously popular Beaujolais nouveau.