• At a glance
  • Locality & Walks
  • Accommodation & Meals
  • Travel options
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At a Glance

Your Holiday at a Glance

Independent Walking Holiday
  • Beautiful Brionnais: Secret Hills of Burgundy

Dates for 2021
  • April - End of October
  • From £910 (single supplement £240)
  • From €995 (single supplement €260)
  • Loyalty scheme reduction applies for returning customers (see terms and conditions)
  • moderate grade walking trip

  • 7 nights, 6 days independent walking moving between guest houses
  • Beautiful rolling countryside with a patchwork of vibrant green fields and hedgerows
  • Great Burgundy hospitality at your lovely guest houses
  • Immaculate historic villages and small towns with typical early medieval architecture
  • Wonderful views from open ridges across unspoiled countryside towards the Beaujolais hills and the Loire Valley
  • Visting the historic town of Charlieu and the hill top village of Semur en Brionnais, one of the prettiest villages in France
  • Beautiful churches and amazing chateaux
  • "It couldn't have been better. A perfect holiday for us - relatively easy walking; lots to see & do (natural history, churches, farms, language, people); eating & chatting with French people a huge plus; lovely food & drink; stress free because planning & payment already settled; very few non-French people around! Many thanks again for such a good holiday." J. Kay, UK
  • "I thought the choice of accommodation was brilliant with each property ofering high levels of hospitality but all so different too." T. Whitehouse, UK
  • See further customer comments regarding this and other self guided holidays in Burgundy.
Accommodation and Meals
  • 7 nights in a mixture of good quality small guest houses in historic properties including a couple of chateaux and two with swimming pools. They have been chosen for their local charm, high standards and warm welcome. Full board accommodation (except one evening meal), evening meals are traditional and delicious local dishes and include wine (in all but one guest house). Picnic lunches prepared by your hosts.
What's included
  1. Transfers to and from Lyon if needed, 7 night's full board accommodation (except one evening meal). Full walking notes and maps, transport of luggage between guest houses.
What's not included
  1. Travel to Lyon, France. Lunches on arrival and departure days and one evening meal. Any excursions and entrance fees. Travel insurance.
  1. See full list of our independent walking holidays - Other Burgundy Holidays - Self-guided Centre-based walking holiday in Brionnais

  2. Home Page


Locality & Walks

This unique independent walking holiday takes place in the Brionnais, a secret region of Burgundy in central France. In the shadow of the high Beaujolais hills, the green and picturesque hills of the Brionnais lead you towards the mighty Loire Valley. These rolling hills and valleys are made up of a patchwork of fields and you'll pass from beautiful secluded valleys with babbling streams to open ridges with great panoramic views. This secluded and quiet part of south west Burgundy also has a number of architectural treasures to rival some of the more popular parts of Burgundy, a region known world-wide for its hospitality, and great food and wine. A number of delightful villages, immaculately maintained and decorated with lovely floral displays, are home to fine Clunian churches and abbeys, as well as a number of other historic buildings. Clayette has an amazing chateau, whilst Charlieu houses a magnificent abbey. Semur-en-Brionnais, classed as one of the prettiest villages in France, sits on top of a ridge with its 10th century chateau St Hughes, the oldest one in Burgundy, overlooking the Burgundy hills. Inside its village walls you'll also discover a wonderful church and a number of historic houses, whilst on the outside, the valley slopes are planted with vines. Your self guided walking tour takes a circular trail through the Brionnais, flirting at its eastern end with the Beaujolais hills and in the west descending down to the Loire Valley.

Walking Profile

This independent walking holiday is suitable for most walkers of an average fitness (with a minimum of preparation). The distances are relatively long and the days average nearly 18km, with a number of relatively small ascents throughout the days cumulating in an average of 330m per day. Some days include options allowing you to increase or reduce the difficulties. The walks allow for time to rest and take advantage of some of the interesting sites en route. The paths are generally good, although they can be rough and stony in places. Some parts of the walking trail follow minor roads

See also our centre-based walking holiday in the Brionnais


burgundy France location map

Day 1: Arrival

Pick up from Lyon or direct to your accommodation near Clayette. A warm welcome in a chateau in a lovely village where you'll get to sample some of the fine Charolais meat with your evening meal.

Day 2: Clayette - St Christophe-en-Brionnais

Your walking trail starts by passing through Clayette with its wonderful chateau, before quickly heading west into the rolling countryside. If the weather is fine you'll be able to count 17 church towers dotted in the surrounding hills and valleys. Your route then passes through the pretty village of Vareilles, before following a ridge to reach the rustic villages of Amanze and then Oyé. 15 or 24km, +260m or +360m

Day 3: St Christophe-en-Brionnais - Anzy-le-Duc

Today's walk crosses a number of delightful valleys and ridges. You'll pass through the pretty village of Briant adorning a hill top position. You'll have great views as you pass over a couple of hills before descending to the beautiful historic village of Anzy-le-Duc with its priory and amazing church. 22km, +330m

Day 4: Anzy-le-Duc - Iguerande

Your walking trail takes you to the ridge top village of Semur-en-Brionnais, classed as one of the prettiest villages in France, with the oldest chateau in Burgundy and a beautiful historic church. Afterwards your route crosses a number of pretty valleys before descending to the pretty village of Iguerande, overlooking the Loire Valley with great views towards the Mont de Madeleine to the west. 14km, +320m

Day 5: Iguerande - St Nizier sous Charlieu

You'll pass through the local vines which, although small in scale, cover 4 communes or parishes. In days gone by 4000 hectares of this area were once covered in vines, witness to the sunny nature of the climate in the Brionnais. With a mixture of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Gris, the production comes under the appellation Vin du Pays de Saone et Loire. Great views throughout the day including from the hilltop village of Fleury la Montagne. 17.5km +300m

Day 6: Charlieu - Chateauneuf

In the morning you'll get a transfer to the historic town of Charlieu. Discover its pretty streets with a mix of stone and wooden frame buildings, and its benedictine abbey where you can admire its gothic cloisters. The trail then passes through secluded valleys and open ridges with far reaching views to reach the well preserved perched village of Chateauneuf in the Sornin Valley. 17.5km, +350m

Day 7: Chateauneuf - Clayette

Your last day's walking is a fitting finale to your holiday as you head towards the higher hills which border the edge of the Brionnais and Beaujolais regions. Beautiful rolling hills in a sleepy rural scene accompany you as you head east, where you climb gradually with the chance to reach the Medieval chapel sitting at 710m on the hill known as Dun. This hill was once the site of an important chateau from where the Lords ruled over a wide area. These days you can relax and enjoy the wonderful views. A pretty descent takes you back to your first guest house near La Clayette. min 17km, +410m

Day 8: Departure

Breakfast and leave direct from La Clayette or transfer to Lyon.

Please note that your walking holiday may have different stops from that shown above, due to the availability of guest houses. This will not however, affect the overall walking circuit.


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Accommodation & Meals

7 nights in a mixture of good quality small guest houses in historic properties with ensuite rooms. They include a couple of chateaux and lovingly restored farm houses and former wine makers properties. Two of the guest houses have swimming pools. They have been chosen for their local charm, high standards and warm welcome. Full board accommodation, evening meals are a chance to enjoy some traditional and delicious local dishes, as well as getting to know your hosts. Wine is included in all but one of the evening meals. Picnic lunches are prepared by your hosts and include a fine selection of fresh local produce. A couple of examples of guest houses are presented below.


Name Type Details Rating  
Chateau de Grandvaux B&B Stunning 15th century château in Varennes sous Dun which has been lovingly restored. Great food and warm welcome in this beautiful location. Enjoy the picturesque dining room or relax on their terrace. 3 Corns B&B at Varennes near La Clayette between Burgundy and Charolais France
Chateau de la Chaix B&B A wonderful manor house built in 1902 in the style of the large Parisian houses. It was also formerly a wine makers property. Rimma will give you a warm welcome. Lovely rooms and beautifully restored common areas. Great food. 3 Corns  
Travel Options

Travel Options

Transfers between Lyon Airport and Lyon train stations and the south Burgundy region of France are included in the price of your independent walking holiday.

Flight Options

Transfers from Lyon airport

he airlines Easy jet, Flybe and British Airways have scheduled flights from the UK - Luton, Birmingham, Gatwick, Edinburgh and Heathrow to Lyon St Exupery airport.

Please visit our travel shop for links to useful sites for reserving airport parking or booking train tickets to the UK airports

Note: Please check concerning the availability of a holiday before booking any flights. If you need further information or would like to discuss any aspect of your travel arrangements, please contact us, we’re here to help you. We would be happy to book travel arrangements to Lyon, France on your behalf.

By Train

Eurostar and the TGV provide a relaxing journey from London to Lyon Part Dieu direct and changing at Lille. Please use Rail Europe's train finder on our travel shop page to organise your train journey. It is also possible to go via Paris and to get a TGV that stops at Macon Loche.

There is a practical train time leaving London at 9am and arriving in Lyon at 3pm. Please contact us before booking to check for other practical times.

If you wish to go direct to your guest house, you can catch a train from Lyon Part Dieu station heading towards Tours and get off at La Clayette-Baudemont station. There would then be a short transfer to your guest house.

Self Drive

Channel ferry crossings from Dover are provided by a number of operators including P&O Ferries & DFDS seaways. Crossings are also provided by train with Eurotunnel.

Once in France, the journey from Calais to the Burgundy area takes about 6 and a half hours (excluding long breaks).

Tolls amount to about 35 euros each way. Controlled parking is available at the airport for 50 euros. Other secure but non-surveilled parking is available free of charge.




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