“We found the people we met made the trip so special. Several of us have already been talking about which trip to go on next year.”
– Kay & Jim D,
Self-guided and custom trips also available and can start any day.Call or email for details.
8 days/ 7 nights
9 to 18 km daily (6 to 11 miles), averaging 12 km (7.5 miles)
Some moderate hills on some of the days. This is rated the easiest of the Great Explorations walking tour.
Land Cost (current year):
Touring the Wine Country
Burgundy was once the richest of the ancient duchies in France and continues to exhibit wealth brought about by the popularity of its wine. Walking through small vineyard lanes and quiet country roads, where the only traffic you'll encounter might be a tractor bringing in the harvest, is the best way to see the countryside here. Picturesque villages are filled with wine cellars inviting degustations and tiny restaurants with winemakers' lunches where you'll enjoy food that is superbly prepared. We have been cycling and hiking in Burgundy for over 15 years now, and know the region intimately. From the many Flemish-style chateaux to the extraordinary Hospice de Beaune, the treasures of Burgundy are numerous.
Getting there :
Vézelay: Travel to Vézelay requires both train and bus or taxi connections.
The fastest and easiest but most expensive routing is to take the TGV (high speed train) from Paris Gare de Lyon to Montbard, then take a taxi. In the evenings, a bus connects Montbard with Vézelay (except on Sundays and holidays).
This train and bus journey totals 2.5 hours. There are many trains each day between Paris-Gare de Lyon and Sermizelles-Vézelay. A change of train is required plus a short taxi ride from the station to the town centre. This journey takes between 2.5 and 3.5 hours.
Vézelay - Arrive in Vézelay, a magical village that was once a starting point for the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. It was also here that St. Bernard and Eleanor of Aquitaine urged knights to join the first crusade.
Vézelay - On a day walk from Vézelay, you’ll explore the clean, green hills of the Parc Régional du Morvan. Walk through the small but fascinating vineyards originally planted in the Middle Ages, devastated by phylloxera, then replanted beginning in 1975. Saint-Père-sous-Vézelay has a small but lovely church, and an interesting maker of wooden clogs!
Vault-de-Lugny - Head off on a Grande Great Explorations route to the village of Vault-de-Lugny. It’s a charming site on the lovely Cousin River, but the real attraction is the château where you will be staying for two nights.
DAY 4 :
Vault-de-Lugny - Meander along the curves of the Cousin River to the confluence with the Cure. This is classic Burgundian scenery. Pastures dotted with white cows rise up gentle hills crowned with oak trees. The villages are built of a lovely brown stone, adorned with burgundy shutters and roofs. Today’s highlight is the beautiful town of Avallon, high above two ravines. Walk back or hop in a taxi to return to Vault-de-Lugny.
Chablis - Transfer by taxi to the pretty village of Chitry. Take time to visit the fascinating old church, fortified during the Hundred Years’ War, then begin today’s walk through the vineyards. Pause at the beautiful little church near Bréhy and amble amongst the vines. Your destination is Chablis, identified with the light, dry, white wine produced in the area. You’ll spend two nights here.
Chablis - On a day walk, head into the countryside to explore the vineyards. Be sure to leave time to explore the town and visit the splendid 12th-century church of St-Martin-de-Tours
Auxerre - Start with a taxi ride to Vincellotes, from where you follow the Canal du Nivernais and the Yonne River as you head to Auxerre. Choose to walk past Les Caves de Bailly to taste crémant, sparkling like champagne. The caves are deep in the hillside, in an ancient quarry. Auxerre is a wonderful destination. Originally Roman, the town boasts many churches, particularly the Cathédrale de St-Étienne rising high above the waterfront. Half-timbered houses crowd narrow streets which open into squares lined with smart shops.
DAY 8: Linger in Auxerre before departing for other destinations.
Map of the Area
What's Included in the Cost of Your Trip?
- Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
- 7 nights lodging
- All breakfasts, 2 lunches, and all dinners but 1
- Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
- Detailed map and route instructions
- All baggage transportation
- All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)
Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 604.730.1247