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Medieval Burgundy Cycling

from $2,149.00

This easy cycling tour travels through the charming French villages of Burgundy. Stop in for a taste of world-famous wines along your route!

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Easy plus
    4/8
All about the Medieval Burgundy Cycling.

With over nine centuries of bon viveur tradition, the world-renowned wine region of Burgundy and is often described as ‘the land of great art and good living’. A historic region, reflected in the traditional architecture in the many villages and towns that you pass through, Burgundy also offers a very relaxed pace of life and the rolling hills of the Yonne area provide gentle charming cycling routes.
Starting with historic Auxerre, a lovely medieval city, the cycling is easy and tranquil through a beautiful landscape of hidden villages, water meadows, woodlands and vineyards. Your route then takes you along the course of the river Yonne with several possible swimming stops along the way. On wards to Ligny, a short 6 miles from Chablis. You’ll then cycle on to Nitry passing through the Serein Valley. Highlights of the tour include the celebrated stained glass at St Etienne, the ancient crypt at the abbey of St Germain, the early Gothic abbey of Pontigny and Chablis, where wine has been made for over a millennium!
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the delicious gastronomy of this region and you’ll be able to taste several famous local wines. Your overnight accommodation is specially selected for its charm and character. The family run Hotel Normandie in Auxerre was converted from a maison bourgeoisie into a hotel by an ex patissier. Here you can select your own restaurant for the evening meal in the medieval town only 5 minutes’ walk away, while the 17th century coaching house at Ligny-le-Chatel has an excellent wood beamed restaurant with a family atmosphere. A warm and friendly welcome also awaits from your hotelier at Auberge de la Beursaudiere.

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.
  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • Headwater Wine Collection Service
  • GPS route directions and maps
  • RideWithGPS navigation app
  • High quality hybrid bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
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
  • E-Bike (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Gentle, relaxing cycling on totally unspoiled routes; very easy to get to from Paris
  • World-famous vineyards and local wines
  • Flower adorned villages, hidden meadows, picturesque rivers and canals
  • Roman and Romanesque abbeys; Gothic and Renaissance chateaux
  • Riverside cafes and beaches
  • Historic Auxerre, home to the Gothic Cathedral of St Etienne
  • Based on our popular 6 night, Chablis Vineyards Cycling

 

  1. Day 1 Day 1 - Arrive at Auxerre

    This is one of France’s prettiest mediaeval cities, on the banks of the Yonne, and your base for two nights. (Staying at Hotel Normandie, Breakfast only)

  2. Day 2 Day 2 At Auxerre

    Here you’ll find two Gothic churches: the Cathedral of St-Etienne (C13 and C16 with magnificent stained glass windows) and the Abbey of St-Germain (C13 and C14 with C19 crypt).

  3. Day 3 Day 3 Auxerre to Ligny-le-Chatel 32km/20mi

    Leaving Auxerre, it’s flat gentle cycling along the River Yonne and through the forest of St-Germain to Seignelay (scene of the C8 defeat of the Saracens); here you’ll find castle remains, a fine market hall and pretty views over the Serein. Head via the magnificent abbey at Pontigny (which gave sanctuary to Thomas a Beckett) to Ligny-le-Chatel. (Staying at Relais St Vincent, Half board)

  4. Day 4 Day 4 At Ligny-le-Chatel

    Originally this was the Roman Lanniacum Castrum; later, Marguerite de Bourgogne lived here. See the Church of St Peter and St Paul (Romanesque on the inside, Renaissance outside). It’s just a 10km cycle to the small village of Chablis, almost entirely given over to the production of the world’s most celebrated white wine. There are masses of tasting opportunities here, and don’t forget – we can pick up any purchases for you with the Headwater Wine Service. You may also visit Pontigny, reputed to be home of the greatest Cistercian abbey in the country. (Staying at Relais St Vincent, Half Board in local restaurant)

  5. Day 5 Day 5 Ligny-le-Chatel to Nitry 49km/31mi

    Cycle along country lanes to Chablis, surrounded by its famous vineyards and with plenty of opportunities for wine testing. Continue on through the Serein Valley before heading west to Nitry. (Staying at Auberge de la Beursaudiere, Breakfast at hotel, Evening meal at local restaurant)

  6. Day 6 Day 6 At Nitry

    Medieval Noyers-sur-Serein is a 10km cycle ride away. Officially one of the most beautiful villages in France, discover its half-timbered houses, cobbled streets and ancient towers. (Staying at Auberge de la Beursaudiere. Breakfast at hotel, Evening meal at local restaurant)

  7. Day 7 Day 7 Nitry to Auxerre 44km/28mi

    Pedal to Cravant, then follow the towpath towards Auxerre and picnic on the banks of the Yonne. Head to the amazing Bailly wine cellars where Cremant sparkling wines are made, before returning to historic Auxerre, with its abbey, cathedral, shops and superb indoor and outdoor swimming complexes. (Staying at Hotel Normandie, Breakfast only)

  8. Day 8 Day 8 Leave Auxerre

    Please note that cycling helmets are compulsory in France for children under 12. As we are unable to provide these, we strongly recommend that you bring your own. Please see our Planning you holiday page for full details.

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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).
Relais St Vincent
The Relais St Vincent offers 15 stylish, comfortable rooms, with en suite bathrooms, television and telephone. A former coaching house, it offers superb food in a beautiful dining room with thick wooden beams and chandeliers.
Auberge de la Beursaudiere
The Auberge de la Beursaudiere, formerly a farm building and before that a priory offers individually decorated rooms that take their name from traditional professions including La Coutiere (seamstress), La Dentelliere (lacemaker) and Maquignon (horse-dealer). The restaurant offers regional cuisine that changes according to the season.
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.

Cycling Conditions
Classification: SelfGuided
Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)
Average daily distance: 37km (23 miles).
No. of days cycling: 3
Terrain and route: The cycling, which is not too demanding, is on little roads or towpaths by the canals.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle 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 cycle 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
0/5

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May 10, 2020
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