A real connoisseur's guide to Burgundy, this trip showcases the wines, the towns and the strategic importance of the waterways over the centuries. The cycling is relaxed and undemanding, along riverside trails and canal towpaths, and takes you through rolling countryside, with vineyards and orchards to the north, and flower-filled meadows and woods to the south. 

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Why We Love It

Visit the famous Mary Magdalene Basilica at Vezelay, a UNESCO heritage site,

Explore mediaeval Noyers-sur-Serein with its half-timbered houses and cobbled streets

Savour a plethora of fine wine-tasting opportunities in Chablis and beyond

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Day by day Itinerary

Classic Burgundy Cycling

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Day 1


This is one of France's prettiest mediaeval cities, on the banks of the River Yonne, and your base for tonight. 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). There's time to explore the mediaeval lanes and pretty port before dinner in town with plenty of choice of restaurants within a couple of minutes' walk of your hotel.

Day 2

Auxerre - Chablis

Take the path along the River Yonne, out of Auxerre, to Moneteau and Gurgy, then it's on to the spectacular C12 Abbey at Pontigny, founded in 1114 as a Cistercian monastery. Among those buried at the abbey are Adele of Champagne (queen of Louis VII of France) and Saint Edmund of Abingdon (Archbishop of Canterbury from 1234-1240 who was later canonised following alleged miracles at his grave!). Continue on along the River Serein and through La Chapelle Vaupelteigne to Chablis. (43kms) (B)(D)

Day 3


Explore the town of Chablis, which gives its name to the world-famous wine. Enjoy wine-tastings galore in localcaves with the seven Grand Cru vineyards of Les Preuses, Vaudesir, Grenouilles, Valmur, Les Clos, Bourgros and Blanchots all sitting on a single south-west facing slope just to the north and overlooking the town. There are also several Premier Cru vineyards within easy cycling distance of the town. (B)(D)

Day 4

Chablis - Nitry

Pedal, from Chablis, along the beautiful River Serein valley, discovering pretty towns and villages, including Chemilly-sur-Serein, Poilly-sur-Serein and Sainte Vertu along the way. Enjoy rolling countryside as you cycle from one town to the next and enjoy a picnic by the river in Annay-sur-Serein. Continue on, via Villiers-la-Grange and its C12 chapel and barn - built by the Cistercian monks from Pontigny, to your hotel in Nitry for the next two nights. (35kms) (B)(D)

Day 5


Cycle out to explore nearby Noyers-sur-Serein, one of the prettiest villages in France. Set in the hollow of a meander of the River Serein, its half-timbered houses, cobbled streets, C12 castle site, towers and ramparts all demonstrate the village's mediaeval roots. Enjoy lunch in one of the local restaurants before returning to Nitry. (B)(D)

Day 6

Nitry - Vezelay

Cycle through open, rolling farmland to Joux-la-Ville where a local, specialist biscuiterie makes a range of traditional tuiles, moelleux and financiers. Continue through woodland towards Lucy-le-Bois followed by a climb up to the surrounding open countryside and a cycle down to the Cure River valley at Sermizelles - worth cycling (or walking) up to the octagonal Malakoff Tower and the chapel of Notre Dame d'Orient with its modern design and stained glass. Continue along the valley to hilltop Vezelay, a major starting point for pilgrims on the Camino. (44kms) (B)(D)

Day 7


The C12 basilica is a masterpiece of sacred art and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's the largest church in France, and was the launching point for two Crusades; visitors flock here to pay homage to the tomb containing the remains of Mary Magdalene. To see a recreation of how the midday sun at the summer solstice reflects nine pools of light leading the way up to the altar, visit the Maison du Visiteur on your way up to the basilica; it's a special experience to listen to the sung service at 12.30 on weekdays or Vespers at 18:00. 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. (B)(D)

Day 8

Vezelay - Auxerre

Cycle through the most northern part of the Morvan Natural Park and on to Chatel-Censoir where you join the 'green way' along the Canal du Nivernais. Potter around the pretty ports and villages along the canal then either take the train to Auxerre from Cravant or continue along the canal to visit the Bailly caves , the birthplace of Cremant de Bourgogne for a final sparkling wine tasting. (40kms or 60kms) (B)

Day 9


Your journey ends after breakfast. (B)

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