Headwater - Medieval Burgundy Self-Guided Cycling

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8 days
from
$1,945 USD
incl. taxes
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Leisurely
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Trip code: 
C07BU
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Cycling
Min age:
8

The world-famous wine region of Burgundy has over nine centuries of bon viveur tradition 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 mediaeval city, the cycling is easy and tranquil through a fascinating landscape of hidden villages, water meadows, woodlands and vineyards. Your route then takes you along the course of the river Yonne with several swimming possibilities along the way to Ligny, a short 10km from Chablis. You'll then cycle on to Vermenton passing through many small wine villages and along the river once again. 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!

Highlights

  • Gentle, relaxing cycling on totally unspoilt routes; very easy to get to from the UK
  • 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

Key information

  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • 4 days cycling (including 1 optional ride)
  • 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's included

  • All 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's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (compulsory supplement)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Supplement for single traveller (includes single accommodation supplement)
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

4 (including 1 optional ride)

Days of Cycling
Terrain:

The cycling, which is not too demanding, is on little roads or towpaths by the canals.

Day by day breakdown
Day 332.0km/20.0miles
Day 549.0km/31.0miles
Day 630.0km/19.0miles
Day 744.0km/28.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

Auxerre
to
Auxerre
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Auxerre

    This is one of France's prettiest mediaeval cities, on the banks of the Yonne, and your base for two tonights. 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). Staying at  Hotel Normandie.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • 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). Staying at Hotel Normandie.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Auxerre to Ligny-Le-Chatel

    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.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Ligny-Le-Chatel to Nitry

    A longer cycling day today as you pedal from one little wine village to another, but we've planned your route to ensure lots of time for stopping along the way! After a gentle climb to Courgis, where you'll find a lovely picnic spot and stunning views, it's downhill through Chitry and St-Brisle- Vineux to the River Yonne and along the towpath to Vermenton. (Staying at 15 Place Voltaire, Breakfast at hotel, Evening meal at local restaurant)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    At Nitry (free day or optional ride)

    Perhaps walk (or take your bike on the train) to Arcy-sur-Cure (10km) and visit the celebrated caves, and intriguing Manoir du Chastenay. Then cycle to Vezelay, a fortified mediaeval town, from where St Bernard of Clairvaux launched the second crusade. Or take the gentle towpath to Mailly-la-Ville where you can swim at the riverside 'beach' or watch the canal boats coming in and out of the adjacent port.(Staying at 15 Voltaire, Breakfast at hotel, Evening meal at local restaurant)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Nitry to Auxerre

    Today's undemanding route takes you along the towpath towards Auxerre. Picnic on the banks of the Yonne, or go via Irancy where the views are absolutely stunning, and visit the amazing underground Bailly caves where Cremant sparkling wines are made. There's lots of time to explore historic Auxerre, with its abbey, cathedral, shops and superb indoor and outdoor swimming complexes. Staying at Hotel Normandie.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Leave Auxerre

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

France

There are no specific health risks.

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.

Weather

Burgundy is situated in the heart of France and usually has warm or hot summers with a continental feel to them. Generally the summer months are warm and dry, with rainfall averaging 6cm per month in July and August. The climate in Spring and Autumn is a mixture of sun and scattered showers with temperatures in the mid 20's (degrees celcius).

Is this trip for you?

Cycling Conditions
Classification: Self-Guided
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.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

Your 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 choose your own restaurant in the mediaeval town only 5 minutes' walk away, while the C17 coaching house at Ligny-le-Chatel has an excellent beamed restaurant with a familial atmosphere. The Auberge de la Beursaudiere offers individually decorated rooms that take their name from traditional professions including La Coutiere (seamstress), La Dentelliere (lacemaker) and Maquignon (horse-dealer).

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

Call us on 1 844 227 9087