A warm welcome from your host Rimma in this opulent manor house built at the turn of the last century by a Parisien goldsmith based on the style of properties in the capital. It has five beautiful rooms, a dining room and lounge as well as grounds covering one hectare. Breakfast and lovely evening meals can be taken outside when the weather permits. It is located just outside the historic village of St Christophe en Brionnais which has a 500 year-old cattle market.
6 days walking/7 nights
A centre-based walking holiday exploring the Brionnais, a secret region in southern Burgundy
Beautiful rolling countryside with a patchwork of vibrant green fields and hedgerows
Great Burgundy hospitality at your lovely guest houses
Immaculate historic villages with typical early medieval architecture
Wonderful views from open ridges across unspoiled countryside towards the Beaujolais hills and the Loire Valley
Visting the historic hill top village of Semur en Brionnais, one of the prettiest villages in France
Beautiful churches and amazing chateaux
Choice of walks of different lengths
Let 's discover the full itinerary!
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.
Overnight: near Clayette, Walk: 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.
Overnight: near Clayette, Walk: 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
Overnight: near Clayette, Walk: 14km, +250m
The local town is dominated by its lake and beautiful historic chateau. An easy walk close to your guest house.
Overnight: near Clayette, Walk: 6km
Clayette to St 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.
Overnight: St Christophe-en-Brionnais, Walk: 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.
Overnight: St Christophe-en-Brionnais, Walk: 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.
Overnight: St Christophe-en-Brionnais, Walk: 14km, +300m
Vauban & 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.
Overnight: St Christophe-en-Brionnais, Walk: 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.
Overnight: St Christophe-en-Brionnais, Walk: 7km, +150m
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast transfer from your guest house to Lyon after breakfast.
At a glance
1 April - 31 October
From €1210 per person (based on 2 sharing)
7 nights / 6 days centre-based walking
Distance: 6-18km per day
Ascent: up to 500m per day
Small quality guest houses
Other self-guided walking holidays in the Burgundy
Similar self-guided Walking holidays
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.
Find out more about the Southern Burgundy region, and the average weather conditions in the Burgundy
7 nights/8 days: 6 days centre-based walking
Everday of week subject to availability during 1 April to 31 October
Walking Profile & Grade
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.
This walking holiday is graded moderate. You should have some experience of day walking and be in reasonable health. See more information about walking grades.
Accommodation & Meals
7 nights in two high quality small guest houses in historic properties. Both are in chateaux and one has a swimming pool. They have been chosen for their local charm and character, high standards and warm welcome. Full board accommodation, evening meals are traditional and delicious local dishes. Picnic lunches prepared by your hosts.
Where is the Burgundy?
When to Travel
Our self-guided walking holiday in the Burgundy is available from the beginning of April to the end of October. From April to October the Burgundy is generally warm, although it can be hot during the months of July and August. However, relative humidity is often low (except during unstable thundery weather.) Ideal walking temperatures (ie late teens to the low twenties centigrade) are generally experienced from late April to early June and from mid September to mid October. Rainfall becomes more and more sporadic and linked to thunderstorms as you move from spring to summer, and this continues into the Autumn. On average there is rain on one in every three days, but this is often for relatively short periods. Autumn is often characterised by warm sunny days. Sunshine totals are characteristic of its position in France and the sun's strength means that you must protect yourself against the sun even on overcast days. See more details about the Burgundy climate.
Other things to consider are the fact that the leaves are often not the trees or the vines until at least mid April. The grape picking season is often during the first couple of weeks of September and this provides added activity to the countryside. In October the Burgundy takes on a different character with autumn colours.
Navigation, Walking Notes & Maps
Most of this walking holiday follows local trails waymarked in yellow. There is a fairly dense network of signposts with place names and directions in the Burgundy. The walking follows clear paths, tracks and minor roads for its entire duration. Our walking notes are very detailed (more information here) and include intermediate distances for sections of the trail. They also include information about the sites which can be explored along the route. We supply one walking guide per person on this holiday. As well as the detailed walking notes we supply official walking maps produced by IGN at a scale of 1:25,000. Your trail is highlighted on the maps.
On this walking holiday your main luggage is transferred between guest houses when you are transferred. There is also the possibility for you to walk between the two guest houses. This transfer is carried out by your guest houses. For your day walks you only have to carry a day rucksack with picnic lunch (supplied by the guest houses and included in the holiday price), water and spare clothes, waterproofs, camera etc. Please limit the weight of your bags where possible to 20kg. We only use hotels and small guest houses in historic buidlings and some of the rooms are accessible by stairs.
Transfers between Lyon Airport or train station and the Burgundy region of France are included in the price of your independent walking holiday. Pick ups are generally between 2 and 5pm. Please contact us if you require pick up at at different time. We can also pick you up from a hotel if you are st
7 nights / 6 days centre-based walking
- From €1210
- Prices are per person and based on 2 sharing a room (please contact us concerning single supplements)
- Loyalty scheme reduction applies for returning customers (see terms and conditions)
What's included in the price
- Airport and station transfers from Lyon or a closer station
- 7 nights accommodation.
- FULL BOARD.
- Full walking notes and maps
- Transfers between guest houses along with your luggage
What's not included in the price
- Travel to and from Lyon, France
- Lunches on your day of arrival and departure
- Travel insurance
- Any entrance fees
- A deposit payment of 30% or at least £250 or 250€ per person must be made to confirm your booking. The balance of payments is due 8 weeks before the holiday date. If the holiday date is less that 8 weeks away at the time of booking, then the full price should be paid.
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, Clayette
The Chateau de Grandvaux is located in a superb 15th century chateau on the edge of the village of Varennes sous Dun. The pretty castle has a small courtyard and extensive grounds and is a great place to unwind after your excursions. Pascale and Olivier will reserve you a warm welcome. Pascale will serve you delicious breakfasts and evening meals in the beautiful dining room in the chateau with an open fire. For those who are partial to beef, the local Charolais is a popular speciality. Wine is served with your meals.
It is possible to add an additional night at both of the guest houses on the circuit. We would recommend extra night(s) at Chateau de la Chaix which is a wonderfully refined guest house, where you'll enjoy great confort as well as great hospitality from Rimma, your host. We can add additional walks to your walking guide for additional nights.
The nearby city of Lyon is a great destination for a city break and can be easily combined with this walking holiday, as you'll be picked up and dropped off in the city. Lyon, France’s second city and gastronomic capital, is a lively historic city ideal for those in search of lots to see and do. Classed as a world heritage site, Lyon has it all; roman amphitheatres, medieval streets, renaissance architecture and modern art. See more of our page dedicated to Lyon. We can book a city break for you and provide you with all the information you need for a great stay.
Please consult us for a price on any of the above options.
Combining walking holidays
This wine trail walking holiday can be combined easily with any of our walking holidays elsewhere in the Beaujolais and Burgundy, which all have transfers to and from Lyon.
If you want to learn more about the region's culture through tailor-made activities and visits, check out those trips that include a few days in the Burgundy region. Contact us to add them to your hike.
A trip crafted for foodies and wine lovers to experience the world's finest gastronomy from Paris to Dijon, Lyon, Avignon and Marseille.
A magical journey to uncover France, starting in Cormar, reaching Beaune, Lyon, and Paris, savoring the culinary delights during the holiday season
It was a wonderful & memorable expereience. Well done & many thanks.
Enjoyed experiencing the warmth and hospitality of the people after a delightful day walking in the countryside. Thank you again William for another memorable family holiday.
Neil & Angela B.