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Chablis Vineyards Walk

from $2,279.00

This relaxed walk follows in part the route St James took en route to Compostela, and covers a gently rolling landscape of forests, farmlands, river valleys and fields full of poppies. Highlights include ancient Auxerre, medieval UNESCO-listed Vezelay and Chablis, renowned for its famous wines!

  • Reviews 33 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Easy plus
    4/8
All about the Chablis Vineyards Walk.

A region where Renaissance chateaux, mediaeval villages and castles stand proudly amongst the vineyards, Burgundy is steeped in history and offers a tradition of exceptional wines and fine foods. It’s an area rich in birdlife and wildlife enthusiasts are in for a real treat!
Starting in mediaeval Auxerre, one of the prettiest riverside cities in France, this gentle-paced ramble takes you through picture-postcard Burgundy. You’ll walk along towpaths, river valleys and wheat fields alive with bright red poppies, as you head via the wine capital of Chablis, to the fortified mediaeval town of Vezelay, an important stopping-off point for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Vespers are still held here daily at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Basilica of Mary Magdalene. En route, you’ll pass through world-famous vineyards with plenty of degustation opportunities and flower-filled hillsides crowned with woods and pretty riverside villages.
You’ll stay in hotels hand-picked for their perfect location, warm welcome and superb regional cuisine. In Auxerre you’ll stay in a family-run hotel that was converted from a maison bourgeoise, and the Hostellerie des Clos is a gastronomic boutique hotel, nestled in the heart of Chablis. Louis Philippe, the French King (1830- 1848) is reputed to have stayed in your next hotel at Vermenton and the Hotel Les Glycines in Vezelay is just a few steps from the Basilica.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 8 nights accommodation, hotel-to-hotel
  • All Breakfasts and 6 evening meals
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels (inquire for prices and details)
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Relaxed walking following the Grand Randonnee, part of St Jacques’ route to Compostela
  • Gentle rolling landscapes, forests, farms, poppies, sunflowers and vines
  • World-famous wines including Chablis, Irancy, Aligote and Cremant
  • Steeped in historic interest: ancient Auxerre, Medieval Cravant and UNESCO basilica at Vezelay
  • Lots of flora and fauna, roe deer, hen harriers, hoopoe and wildflowers
  1. Day 1 Day 1 - Arrive at Auxerre

    Your hotel is ideally situated just a few minutes’ walk from Auxerre’s historic centre.(Staying at Hotel Normandie, Breakfast only)

  2. Day 2 Day 2 - Auxerre to Chablis 15km/9.5mi/4hr

    We give you a lift to Venoy where you join the ’Wine and Cheese route’ ambling gently through vineyards until you reach the lakeside wine village of Beine. After a leisurely lunch, you stroll along the lake beneath the Premier Cru vineyards into the village of Poinchy where you will find some of our favourite Chablis caves. Your final stretch follows the River Serein into the town of Chablis and on to your hotel, a gastronomic jewel nestled in the heart of the town. (Staying at Hostellerie des Clos, Half board)

  3. Day 3 Day 3 - At Chablis

    The entire town of Chablis is almost completely devoted to the production of some of the world’s finest white wines, and there are a plethora of cellars to visit and taste. You can follow the popular 8km circular walk around the celebrated Grand Crus vineyards with panoramic views of Chablis town. (Staying at Hostellerie des Clos, Half board)

  4. Day 4 Day 4 - Chablis to Pontaubert 13km/8mi/4hr OR 21km/13mi/5.5hr

    From the viewpoint at Courgis, head through the vines to the village of St-Cyr-les-Colons. Continue through forest and farmland to Cravant, with its 18th-century donjon. We transfer you to the Moulin des Ruats in Pontaubert, your hotel for the next 2 nights. (Staying at Moulin des Ruats, Half board)

  5. Day 5 Day 5 - At Pontaubert

    Take a walk in the beautiful Vallee du Cousin or visit nearby Avallon with its cobbled streets and impressive town houses. (Staying at Moulin des Ruats, Half board)

  6. Day 6 Day 6 - Pontaubert to Vezelay 16km/10mi/4.5hr

    Follow part of the Camino de Santiago, keeping your eyes peeled for rare birdlife. Th ere are wonderful views of the magnifi cent hilltop basilica as you approach Vezelay. You stay at the Hotel SY les Glycines for two nights, with dinner included. (Staying at Hotel SY Les Glycines, Half board)

  7. Day 7 Day 7 - At Vezelay

    The C12 basilica is a masterpiece of sacred art and a UNESCO world heritage site and is definitely worth exploring. It is the largest church in France, and was the launching point for two Crusades. A short walk takes you to the village of St Pere-sous-Vezelay and its ornate Gothic church, or you can visit the nearby Roman Baths or Fontaines Salees. (Staying at Hotel SY Les Glycines, Half board)

  8. Day 8 Day 8 - Vezelay to Auxerre 14km/8.5mi/3.5hr

    It’s a great walk today for bird-spotting and seeing wild animals. As you leave Vezelay behind and head into the forest, look out for roe deer and stags, or pairs of jays darting in front of you. As you approach the pretty village of Chatel-Censoir take time to explore the chateau, church and the busy little port, before returning to Auxerre. (Staying at Hotel Normandie, Breakfast only)

  9. Day 9 Day 9 - Leave Auxerre
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Where you stay
Hotel Normandie
This hotel was originally a maison bourgeoise until it was converted into a hotel by an ex-patissier! It has now been in Mme Ramise’s family for over 45 years. The hotel only provides breakfast, although a la carte room service is possible (very reasonably priced and a good selection of hot and cold dishes). However, it’s fun to explore the lovely town of Auxerre and there are plenty of good restaurants in all price ranges within 5-15 minutes walk. There’s a public swimming pool in the town and a sauna at the hotel (approx 7). There is a secure closed garage behind the hotel (5 per day) or free parking in front (ask at reception).
Hostellerie des Clos
The Hostellerie des Clos is a family run hotel in the heart of Chablis. The hotel is set in beautiful gardens, with terrace for breakfast or pre-dinner drinks. There is a cosy lounge and all the rooms are individually decorated across two buildings.
Moulin des Ruats
Located just 4km from Avallon, the Moulin des Ruats is full of character, it’s a former 18th-century watermill offering 25 comfortable bedrooms that mix elegance and refinement with modern decoration. The restaurant has a large picture window opening onto the forest and the mill wheel so you can watch the river flow as you enjor the fine local cuisine.
Hotel SY Les Glycines
Hotel Les Glycines is situated just 50m from the basilica and has been recently renovated from a C18 townhouse to create a charming hotel with 13 individually decorated well equipped rooms. Breakfast and a la carte evening meals are taken at the sister hotel La Terrasse, just 50m up the hill beside the basilica.
Eating and Drinking

“La Bourgogne est bien dans son assiette”. This is very much cuisine du terroir, a traditional gastronomy with its roots deep in the soil. The fantastic wines of the region play an important part in many dishes: boeuf bourguignon, coq au vin, saupiquet de jambon, oeufs sauce meurette, smelly wine washed cheeses like the popular Epoisses – the list could go on indefinitely! St Florentin, Soumaintrain, Chaource and Crottin de Chavignol are the other main Burgundian cheeses. Before dinner, you may also try the typical Kir drink, made with white Bourgogne Aligoté and the regional Crême de Cassis.

The Auxerre vineyards have been renowned since the Middle Ages, when the wine was transported to Paris and beyond along the River Yonne. At the end of C19 the Yonne had more vineyards than all of Burgundy and Beaujolais together but sadly, like all of Europe’s vineyards, these were ravaged by phylloxera.

Walking Conditions
Classification: SelfGuided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)
Average daily distance: 16km (10 miles). Please note that this is the average of the shortest distances, on day 4 there is the option to extend the walk.
No. of days walking: 4
Terrain and route: Moderately easy walking following the well-marked GR13, with just the odd short, steepish climb. Towpaths, wooded slopes, hilltops and vineyards.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can walk at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The routes notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotels are normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 03/10/2019
5/5

Mrs Rowland

A very enjoyable, well planned and organised trip, like the other Headwater trips we have done (cross-country skiing in Venabu - highly recommended.). The arrangements worked well. Route maps and directions were for the most part very good and easy to follow. The luggage pick up service is great. Richard the rep was excellent - and we really appreciated the wine pick up service. It was good to have an easier day after the longer hikes of 10 - 12 miles so you do need to be fit. The hotels were all very comfortable, and the food was either excellent (Hotel des Clos restaurant and Hotel Poste & Lion d'Or) or very good at the others. We'd suggest booking a restaurant in advance before arriving in Auxerre - the good ones get booked up, so our choice was limited. It was a very enjoyable holiday - the first time we have done a self guided walking holiday like this. As it worked so well, we'll certainly look at more.

Reviewed On 22/07/2019
5/5

Mr Beale

We had an excellent walking holiday, we passed through beautiful scenery, a mix of vineyards, open farmland, tiny villages and small towns. Overall, the hotels were very clean and comfortable, the Hotel SY Les Glycines gave us an upgrade. Richard, our rep was always on time collecting us and our luggage and giving briefings. The food at each hotel was excellent, my wife is gluten free, this request was given at the time of booking and each hotel provided a gluten free choice. Headwater Head Office were very helpful, meeting our request to travel by rail from London to Auxerre. They even met our request for Paris RER metro tickets, which saved us a lot of time when transferring from the Gare Du Nord and Bercy.

Reviewed On 15/07/2019
5/5

Mrs Hoskins

This was a very good holiday in all respects. The walking was excellent with well marked tracks. The wild flowers were amazing accompanied by the perfumes from roses and lime trees. We were well supported by our Headwater representative. This was our first Headwater walking holiday and I would thoroughly recommend it.

Reviewed On 28/05/2019
4/5

Mr Goodyear

If you are interested in wine and like varied walking this is an excellent holiday to choose.

Reviewed On 03/10/2018
5/5

Mr Burcher

An excellent holiday!

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May 9, 2020
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$2,279.00
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