- At a glance
- Locality & Walks
- Accommodation & Meals
- Travel options
Your Holiday at a Glance
|Independent Walking Holiday||
|Dates for 2020||
|Accommodation and Meals||
|What's not included||
Locality & Walks
This unique centre-based walking holiday takes place in the Brionnais, an off-the-beaten-track region of southern Burgundy in 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 grazing fields and copses where 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 is perhaps best known for its architectural treasures, which 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 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 centre-based walking holiday is based in two locations allowing you to see the best of the Brionnais at your own pace.
This independent centre-based walking holiday is suitable for most walkers of an average fitness (with a minimum of preparation). The walks are of varying distances meaning that you can choose the walk you wish to do based on the weather, how you are feeling etc. Walks vary between 8 and 18km, with a number of relatively small ascents throughout the day cumulating in an average height gain of about 300m per day. 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 muddy in places. Some parts of the walking trails follow minor roads
Day 1: Arrival
Pick up from Lyon or direct to your accommodation near Clayette. A warm welcome in a medieval chateau in a lovely village in Eastern Brionnais where you'll get to sample some of the fine Charolais meat with your evening meal.
The following is a sample of the walks included in your guidebook
Pastures, Lakes & Hills
This walk takes you through beautiful green pastures with the local Charolais cattle grazing in this idyllic and quiet rural countryside. You have great views of the high hills to the south before you reach a more gentle landscape of small lakes and historic buildings. Varied scenery throughout. 10km - 14km, +470m
Montagne de Dun
Our walking trail takes you onto the beautiful rolling slopes of Montagne de Dun, the summit which sits on the edge of the Brionnais and from where you have magnificent views across the whole Brionnais region. On the way you'll pass through small rustic hamlets. You can decide whether to go to the summit before descending through a pretty rural valley with a patchwork of fields. 13km - 17km, +340m or +500m
Chateau de Dree
This walk will take you through a number of pretty villages and hamlets including Bois Ste Marie before reaching the fabulous Chateau de Dree which it is possible to visit. Gentle undulating countryside throughout. 14km, +250m
The local town is dominated by its lake and beautiful historic chateau. An easy walk close to your guest house. 6km
Clayette to Christophe en Brionnais
On the day when you change guest house you can do a linear walk between the two locations. You have the choice of various drop off points depending on the distance you wish to cover. You'll pass through pretty rolling countryside where, 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. You'll finish at your superb guest house near the village of St Christophe en Brionnais. Between 14 and 22km, +260m to +360m
St Christophe en Brionnais & Briant
Today's walk starts by exploring St Christophe en Brionnais, dominated by its 500 year old cattle market. Possible guided visits on market days (Wednesday). Your 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 climb onto a hill located in the centre of the Brionnais which affords great views of the area. 14km, +380m
You'll be given a transfer 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 walking trail follows a pretty secluded valley before climbing back onto the hills with superb views to the west of the Massif Central across the Loire Valley and to the south of the Beaujolais hills. 14km, +300m
Vauban and gentle hills
Heading south from your guest house you'll find a gentler landscape. Pass through a number of quiet rural hamlets and rustic farms far from the nearest towns, discovering a pretty unspoilt countryside. The walk can be varied to increase the distance as desired. Up to 18km and +240m
Valleys around St Christophe en Brionnais
A smaller half-day walk which can be combined with visiting the cattle market. Explore the pretty green valleys and ridges surrounding the village of St Christophe en Brionnais and your guest house. 7km, +150m
Day 8: Departure
Breakfast and leave direct from La Clayette or transfer to Lyon.
Accommodation & Meals
7 nights in two good quality small guest houses in historic properties with ensuite rooms. They are both in chateaux and have been lovingly restored. One of the guest houses has a swimming pool. 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 the price at Chateau Grandvaux. Picnic lunches are prepared by your hosts and include a fine selection of fresh local produce. The guest houses are both in rural locations located on the edge of the nearest village. The two guest houses we usually use are presented below. If they are not available we will inform you before booking an alternative.
|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. They have a swimming pool.||3 Corns|
|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 very warm welcome and take great pleasure in looking after you during your stay. Lovely rooms and beautifully restored common areas. Great food.|
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.
Transfers from Lyon airport
The 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.
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.
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.