- 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||
Burgundy & Walks
Our short break independent walking holiday in the southern Burgundy region of France explores a rich landscape full of historic treasures between the two religious towns of Tournus and Cluny. Medieval chateaux, historic Romanesque (early medieval) churches and old farms are set in beautiful rolling countryside carpeted with vines, pasture and forests.
The French region of Burgundy is well-known for its fine wines and gastronomic food, a reputation that is richly deserved. You will have plenty of opportunity to sample both during your short break self-guided walking holiday. In addition you will have plenty of time to see the varied and rich architectural delights of this relatively quiet corner of Burgundy, such as those found at Cluny, a very important spiritual, political and artistic centre of the Middle Ages with its Benedictine abbey. Your independent walking tour will start in the historic town of Tournus famous for its beautiful Romanesque abbey and will pass through the typically French, quiant medieval villages of Brancion, Ozenay, Uchizy, Blanot and Clessé. In addition, many of the other pretty villages that your walking holiday trail passes through have impressive churches and ramshackle rural buildings which seem to transport you to another time.
This French walking holiday in Burgundy will take you through a variety of experiences, including the famous Chardonnay vineyards bordering the Saône, the forests of the high ridges, the historic towns of Cluny and Tournus, and secluded valleys covered in a patchwork of pasture and vines.
This short break independent walking holiday is suitable for most ocassional walkers (with a minimum of preparation). The walking distances for some days can be varied to suit your wishes. The distances vary between 12km and 19km on any given day. Athough this part of Burgundy is hilly, the ascents are relatively small and average a total of 320m in a day. Individual ascents and descents are generally no more than 150m at a time. The walks allow for time to rest and take advantage of the interesting sites on route. The walking trails are generally good, although they can be rough and stony in places.
Day 1: Arrival
Pick up from Lyon or travel direct to your accommodation in Burgundy at Tournus - a small, pretty town on the banks of the Saone River, famous for the Romanesque Abbey St Philibert at its centre.
Day 2: Tournus - Brancion
After exploring the pretty town of Tournus, your walking trail leaves the Tournus behind and quickly heads into the rolling countryside, following a delightful ridgeline with vast panoramic views. Your first day traverses through chardonnay vines before reaching your first village en route - Ozenay with its chateau and beautiful 12th century church. You'll then pass through the rustic village of Royer where time seems to have stood still for centuries. Next you'll climb gradually to the medieval fortress of Brancion. This is a remarkable site with the remains of its chateau overlooking the rest of a well preserved hamlet protected by a series of walls. The hamlet contains delightful stone houses, a historic covered market and a Romanesque church on the hill top edge. 16km, +380m
Day 3: Brancion - St Gengoux de Scisse
To start with you have the choice of heading east to the pretty village of Chapelle sous Brancion set in a beautiful rolling countryside of pasture and vines. Climb back to the ridge and descend through vines to the wine village of Martailly les Brancion. Your walk then passes the beautiful chateau at Cruzille before reaching the village of Lugny. Chance to visit its cooperative wine cellar before climbing to your guest house on the edge of woodland. 14km - 19km, +300m
Day 4: St Gengoux de Scisse - Azé
Today you'll have the choice of several trails to reach your wonderful guest house in the village of Azé. Either follow vine covered valleys or venture into the hills through pretty forests with great views. Option of extending the walking to the pretty and secluded village of Blanot with its old priory. You'll have the chance to visit the caves at Azé an important site for primitive man, 400,000 years ago. Following this period the cave was occupied by bears for about 300,000 years and as a result it contains the most important fossil record of bears in Europe. 12 -18km, +260m or 370m
Day 5: Azé - Cluny
Your walk crosses forested summits to reach the village of Donzy which is remote and unspoilt, with great views over the Grosne Valley. You'll then descend to the town of Cluny. This one of the most important historic towns of the region. Enjoy looking around the ruins of the Abbey and the historic properties that line its pretty streets. 17km, +460m
Day 6: Departure
Breakfast and transfer to Lyon or Tournus.
Accommodation & Meals
On this short break independent walking holiday in Southern Burgundy you will be staying in a number of charming, spacious and very comfortable guest houses (mainly bed & breakfasts and small hotels) full of local character. All rooms have private bathrooms. Examples of the guest houses used on this French walking holiday are shown below.
A hearty and healthy continental breakfast provides the perfect opportunity to discover the local specialities such as home-made jams and local cheeses. At midday you will eat a picnic lunch lovingly prepared by your hosts. Some evening meals will be taken at your guest houses with your hosts, where you will be treated to local delicacies and have the opportunity to discover more about the region and its people. Some meals will be taken in a local restaurant where you will have a choice of menus. Local specialities will be available to try every evening.
|La Maison des Gardes||B&B||A rustic feel to this historic property near the centre of Cluny. Lovely wooded courtyard and warm welcome from your hosts.||3 Corns|
|Montagne de Brancion||Hotel||A very comfortable hotel perched at 400m near the medieval village of Brancion with fantastic views across the countryside towards Tournus. Great cuisine.||3 stars|
If required, transfers between Lyon Airport or 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, Edinburgh, Birmingham, London Heathrow and Gatwick - to Lyon St Exupery airport.
Please visit our travel shop for links to useful sites for reserving airport parking or booking train tickets
Note: Please check concerning the availability of a walking 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 direct to Lyon Part Dieu, as well as trains changing at Lille or Paris.
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.
Channel ferry crossings from Dover to Calais in France 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.