Chablis Vineyards Cycling

From $1329 per person

****# Based on 28 customer reviews
  • Gentle, relaxing cycling on totally unspoilt quiet routes; very easy to get to from the UK
  • World-famous vineyards and local wines
  • Flower adorned villages, hidden meadows, picturesque rivers and canals
  • Roman and Romanesque abbeys; Gothic and Renaissance chateaux
  • Riverside cafes and beaches
  • Historic Auxerre, home to the Gothic Cathedral of St Etienne

What's included?

  • 6 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Every two days from 13 May '17 to 20 Sep '17
  • All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals included
  • Managed locally by Headwater employed representative
  • Sustainability rating: 89%
  • Headwater wine service
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Optional electric bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

Excellent for...

Chablis Vineyards Cycling

The world-famous wine region of Burgundy has over nine centuries of bon viveur tradition and is often described as 'the land of great art and good living'. A historic region, reflected in the traditional architecture in the many villages and towns that you pass through, Burgundy also offers a very relaxed pace of life and the rolling hills of the Yonne area provide gentle charming cycling routes.

Starting with historic Auxerre, a lovely mediaeval city, the cycling is easy and tranquil through a fascinating landscape of hidden villages, water meadows, woodlands and vineyards. Your route then takes you along the course of the river Yonne with several swimming possibilities along the way to Ligny, a short 10km from Chablis. You'll then cycle on to Vermenton passing through many small wine villages and along the river once again. Highlights of the tour include the celebrated stained glass at St Etienne, the ancient crypt at the abbey of St Germain, the early Gothic abbey of Pontigny and Chablis, where wine has been made for over a millennium!

You'll have plenty of opportunities to savour the delicious gastronomy of this region and you'll be able to taste several renowned local wines. Your accommodation is specially selected for its charm and character. The family run Hotel Normandie in Auxerre was converted from a maison bourgeoisie into a hotel by an ex patissier. Here you can choose your own restaurant in the mediaeval town only 5 minutes' walk away, while the C17 coaching house at Ligny-le-Chatel has an excellent beamed restaurant with a familial atmosphere. A warm welcome also awaits from your hosts Alison and Mark at Vermenton, where French King, Louis Philippe (1830 to 1848), is reputed to have stayed.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive at Auxerre

This is one of France's prettiest mediaeval cities, on the banks of the Yonne, and your base for tonight. Here you'll find two Gothic churches: the Cathedral of St-Etienne (C13 and C16 with magnificent stained glass windows) and the Abbey of St-Germain (C13 and C14 with C19 crypt).

Day 2 - Auxerre/Ligny-le-Chatel 33km/20.5mi or 43km/26.5mi

Leaving Auxerre, it's flat gentle cycling along the River Yonne and through the forest of St-Germain to Seignelay (scene of the C8 defeat of the Saracens); here you'll find castle remains, a fine market hall and pretty views over the Serein. Head via the magnificent abbey at Pontigny (which gave sanctuary to Thomas a Beckett) to Ligny-le-Chatel

Day 3 - At Ligny-le-Chatel

Originally this was the Roman Lanniacum Castrum; later, Marguerite de Bourgogne lived here. See the Church of St Peter and St Paul (Romanesque on the inside, Renaissance outside). It's just a 10km cycle to the small village of Chablis, almost entirely given over to the production of the world's most celebrated white wine. There are masses of tasting opportunities here, and don't forget - we can pick up any purchases for you with the Headwater Wine Service. You may also visit Pontigny, reputed to be home of the greatest Cistercian abbey in the country.

Day 4 Ligny to Vermenton 49km/31mi or 54km/34mi

A longer cycling day today as you pedal from one little wine village to another, but we've planned your route to ensure lots of time for stopping along the way! After a gentle climb to Courgis, where you'll find a lovely picnic spot and stunning views, it's downhill through Chitry and St-Brisle- Vineux to the River Yonne and along the towpath to Vermenton.

Day 5 - At Vermenton

Perhaps walk (or take your bike on the train) to Arcy-sur-Cure (10km) and visit the celebrated caves, and intriguing Manoir du Chastenay. Then cycle to Vezelay, a fortified mediaeval town, from where St Bernard of Clairvaux launched the second crusade. Or take the gentle towpath to Mailly-la-Ville where you can swim at the riverside 'beach' or watch the canal boats coming in and out of the adjacent port.

Day 6 Vermenton to Auxerre 26km/16.5mi or 33km/21mi

Today's undemanding route takes you along the towpath towards Auxerre. Picnic on the banks of the Yonne, or go via Irancy where the views are absolutely stunning, and visit the amazing underground Bailly caves where Cremant sparkling wines are made. There's lots of time to explore historic Auxerre, with its abbey, cathedral, shops and superb indoor and outdoor swimming complexes.

Day 7 - Leave Auxerre

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

If you'd like to keep your bikes with you for any extra nights we can arrange this for you for just £25 per adult per day and £18 per child per day. Please contact us on 1-800-567-6286 for further details.

Hotel Normandie , Auxerre   (3 star)

Hotel Normandie , Auxerre

This hotel was originally a maison bourgeoise until it was converted into a hotel by an ex-pâtissier! It has now been in Mme Ramise's family for over 45 years.

The hotel only provides breakfast, although à la carte room service is possible (very reasonably priced and a good selection of hot and cold dishes). However, it's fun to explore the lovely town of Auxerre and there are plenty of good restaurants in all price ranges within 5-15 minutes walk.

There's a public swimming pool in the town and a sauna at the hotel (approx 7€). There is a secure closed garage behind the hotel (5€ per day) or free parking in front (ask at reception).

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Relais St Vincent , Ligny-le-Chatel   (3 Star)

Relais St Vincent , Ligny-le-chatel

The Relais St Vincent offers 15 stylish, comfortable rooms, with en suite bathrooms, television and telephone.

A former coaching house, it offers superb food in a beautiful dining room with thick wooden beams and chandeliers.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Air conditioning

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

15 Place Voltaire, Vermenton   (3 Acorn)

15 Place Voltaire, Vermenton

15 Place Voltaire is a charming chambre d'hotes run by Mark and Alison Walters. The rooms here are all individually and stylishly decorated and all have an ensuite bathroom equipped with hairdryers and bathrobes.

Meals are taken in a local restaurant. There is also a kitchen available for your use for preparing and storing those all important picnics and bottles of water!

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Extra nights and stop over hotels

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Hotel St Louis, St Omer   (2 Star)

Hotel St Louis, St Omer

A traditional hotel in the town centre - very convenient for the channel ports and also for exploring St Omer itself - an aristocratic town that boasts the finest Cathedral in Northern France.

The hotel has two restaurants. One of these has an airy modern feel, the other is more intimate with low lighting and a brick 'cellar' feel. There is also a residents' bar: le Flo.

The rooms are furnished in a simple but appealing style and all have an en suite bathrooms.

The hotel also has private parking for its guests.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Hotel Le Senat , Paris   (4 Star)

Hotel Le Senat , Paris

The 4* Le Senat is simply stunning! There are just 41 rooms, all stylishly furnished and a couple of suites with terraces, if you really fancy splashing out! All have satellite television, mini bar, air-conditioning, safe and hairdryer, plus Internet access.

The hotel has its own small bar - adorned with photographs of eminent artists, being in the heart of the artists' quarter - plus a reading room with complimentary internet access.

Breakfast is taken in the basement, where you'll find a copious buffet of viennoiseries, cereals, fruit salad, ham, cheese, bread, yoghurt, bacon, eggs, sausage, fruit juices, tea or coffee. If you prefer, you can have a continental breakfast served to your room at no extra charge.

Le Senat is perfectly located on a quiet side street just a stone's throw away from the Luxembourg Gardens and metro, and a 5 minute walk from the vibrant Latin quarter, where you'll find a plethora of restaurants to suit all budgets.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Travel options

Transfers included from Auxerre train station at 15:28 Mon-Sat & 17:21 Sun, and back to Auxerre train station at 11:15.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Mr Breach on 22/08/2016

A great holiday, well organised and not as physically demanding as we imagined. Steve was a very knowledgeable and accommodating host. Please let him know that I was reunited with my wedding ring and that I think we found the hidden aircraft factory that he told us about.

Reviewed by Dr Garton on 11/06/2016

great support right from time of booking, challenges such as French floods tackled proactively, very comfortable, civilised cycling

Reviewed by Mr Jones on 30/05/2016

Good holiday, scenic routes and very pleasant towns and villages. Excellent support from local Headwater staff Stephen Miles - you are lucky to have such an experienced person on board.

Reviewed by Mrs Kyle on 28/09/2015

A wonderfully relaxed holiday with broad open views and interest on the journey every day.

Reviewed by Mr Grubb on 01/09/2015

Exceeded our expectations, really enjoyable experience. Our rep, Ross, was always on hand, with advice even acting as a taxi service taking us to and from the local restaurant for evening meals and also to Vezelay for the day, nothing was too much trouble. Will be looking forward to booking our next cycling holiday!

Reviewed by Mr Davey on 20/08/2015

This holiday is an ideal introduction to Headwater. Rep, Ross Brown, was excellent: knew the area well, had very good relationships with local hotels, very helpful and inspired confidence. Hotel Normandie excellent urban base to begin the holiday. Relais St Vincent is a quite outstanding hotel, full of character, very comfortable, superbly run and offering excellent food in a fine dining room. Vermenton relaxed, informal and welcoming, and food at Accolay excellent. Varied and interesting route with places to visit and wonderful rides on fine towpaths beside the rover Yonne.

Reviewed by Mrs Unwin on 01/08/2015

A great way of getting to know a small area of France and savouring local life. On a bike you see and hear things and also meet people that would pass you by if travelling by car.

Reviewed by Mr Vaile on 29/06/2015

An excellent and relaxed holiday made all the better by a very helpful and knowledgeable local representative, Ross Brown. The cycle routes along the canal and river paths especially on the final day, were delightful. Wine tasting and buying opportunities were frequent and fun and the wine collection service worked flawlessly.

Reviewed by Mrs Caulkin on 19/06/2015

Excellant holiday with one of the best travel reps we have come across .He put himself out to help us and nothing was too much trouble

Reviewed by Mr Moss on 30/05/2015

Ross was great as a tour guide, and very helpful in pointing out places of note/interest. Countryside and views were glorious, and the villages were delightful. However, 2 things stuck out on this tour: This was a level 1 tour but there were several 1-plus hills on the route - i think that could be better explained; and most of the pretty villages we visited were empty of life, no people, no animals, no cafes/bars or facilities - i think that needs to be better explained too, as it was a disappointment to find them shuttered up. Auxerre was interesting, and Chablis and Vezelay very pretty with plenty to see and do, but not much in between. Our 2 nights with external dinners in Vermenton were great - superb choice of restaurants, and Ross was a very considerate driver, waiting for us to finish late on both occasions!

Reviewed by Mr Redman on 25/05/2015

Excellent, good fun and good value.

Reviewed by Mrs Barr on 07/09/2014

Contacted Headwater at very short notice to arrange our cycling holiday and the help and advice given by holiday adviser was excellent [Karen Ross]. Cycling days easy apart from Ligny to Vermenton,mileage was perfectly manageable [31 miles] but have to admit to walking through village of Courgis [this is allowed as we are OAPs] and view was worth it. Would strongly recommend buying supplies as mentioned in the notes before starting out each day as there were no cafes open at all. Area was beautiful very picturesque and peaceful. Thoroughly enjoyed our cycling holiday again - this was our 7th Headwater Cycling Holiday and are already planning our 8th.

Reviewed by Ms Marshall on 30/07/2014

This was our first experience of a Headwater holiday and we'd certainly do another one. I was a bit apprehensive about the level of fitness required for the cycling, but it was easily manageable - although I'm glad I did some training beforehand. The bikes and routes were great - all we had to do was enjoy the scenery en route and get to the next destination. Loads of suggestions of things to do and places to visit - but no pressure to do anything. Bliss.

Reviewed by Mr Marston on 24/07/2014

A very well organised holiday with outstanding tour manager, top quality bikes, excellent hotels with very high standard of cusine in a lovely area of France

Reviewed by Mrs Griffith on 21/07/2014

Every detail of the holiday had been researched well which resulted in a complete and professional package. The routes, hotels and food were all excellent and from the first welcome by Ross a feeling of confidence and helpfulness was portrayed - all surpassed expectations.

Reviewed by Mr Craven on 07/07/2014

Good bikes, variable accommodation. Good daily distances and accurate grading. Very willing but inexperienced rep. has the potential to be a very good rep but needs to get out cycling, driving or walking the routes and making his own notes.

Reviewed by Mr McLean on 13/06/2014

A more relaxing and fun way to have a cycling holiday which is well organised from the beginning.

Reviewed by Mr Ingram on 30/05/2014

Well organised travel arrangements. Good overall accommodation. Welcoming and knowledgeable staff. Rep support very good and while not needed by ourselves we spoke to others who had been helped. Wine collection service tried and tested - it works! (Thank you, Ross). In our experience (May 2014) finding an open cafe and 'facilities' was not always easy. Next trip with Headwater is already booked! Enough said!

Reviewed by Mrs Logan on 03/12/2013

A good holiday with excellent cycles and this time a good rep/agent and his wife although we could have had more information on how to adjust the bikes if needed before we set off. Maps are poor and it is worth photocopying your own before leaving home to help you plan your trips. Route guidance is reasonable most days.

Reviewed by Mr Patterson on 09/10/2013

A wonderful week's escape. Just what we were looking for. Peaceful cycling in idyllic rural France.

Reviewed by Mr Bush on 10/09/2013

Really enjoyable holiday with excellent routes worked out and plenty of scope for variation if you wanted to do a bit more. Lots of 'hidden gems' along the way with the notes signposting them really well. Really useful to have the pointers to cafes and restaurants along the route, or to know that a particular village had no bakery or the cafe was closed on Tuesdays! The bikes were incredibly comfortable and great to ride and having chosen the less strenuous holiday option, we found that we could manage them easily despite not having cycled any great distance for some years .

Reviewed by Mrs Cranfield on 09/08/2013

Please note we stayed in Chablis not Ligny so comments re that hotel relate to Chablis. That was to our advantage as Chablis a much better centre and the food at the hotel was superb. Keith and Judith were excellent reps. All in all a very good holiday.

Reviewed by Mr Cooper on 03/08/2013

NB For Relais St. Vincent above please Read Hostellerie des Clos, Chablis. A delightful holiday; beautiful scenery, lovely food; excellent accomodation and hospitality. The only weak link (by Headwater's high standards) is the Hotel Normandie, where the accomodation is average only and the staff businesslike rather than hospitable. Otherwise Keith and Judith are first-rate reps and his bikes are the most comfortable we've ever ridden. Mark and Alison at Vermenton and the staff at Chablis we all delightful and very attentive.

Reviewed by Mr Lodwick on 18/07/2013

Very well organised from start to finish, Keith, our rep was excellent and very professional. Our cycling trip was absolutely brilliant couldn't fault it in any way. The food which was included as half board was absolutely fabulous and we will recommend headwater to our friends.

Reviewed by Mr Hood on 24/09/2012

Wonderful holiday - lived up to our expectations. Great way to see France and the countryside and meet the wonderful people. After a days cycling the lovely food was a welcome treat.

Reviewed by Mrs Miles on 23/07/2012

It was a wonderful experience. The scenery was beautiful. The bags were were always at the destinations.

Reviewed by Mr Herron on 23/07/2012

Helpful rep and interesting accommodation. All the hassle taken out of organising a hliday.

Reviewed by Mrs Bishop on 11/07/2012

We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday!

Departure dates & prices

May 2017 departuresTour only 
May 13$1329
May 15$1329
May 17$1329
May 19$1329
May 21$1329
May 23$1329
May 25$1329
May 27$1329
May 29$1329
May 31$1329
June 2017 departuresTour only 
Jun 2$1363
Jun 4$1363
Jun 6$1363
Jun 8$1363
Jun 10$1363
Jun 12$1363
Jun 14$1408
Jun 16$1408
Jun 18$1408
Jun 20$1408
Jun 22$1408
Jun 24$1408
Jun 26$1408
Jun 28$1408
Jun 30$1408
July 2017 departuresTour only 
Jul 2$1408
Jul 4$1408
Jul 6$1408
Jul 8$1408
Jul 10$1533
Jul 12$1533
Jul 14$1533
Jul 16$1533
Jul 18$1533
Jul 20$1533
Jul 22$1533
Jul 24$1533
Jul 26$1533
Jul 28$1533
Jul 30$1533
August 2017 departuresTour only 
Aug 1$1533
Aug 3$1533
Aug 5$1533
Aug 7$1533
Aug 9$1533
Aug 11$1533
Aug 13$1533
Aug 15$1533
Aug 17$1533
Aug 19$1533
Aug 21$1533
Aug 23$1533
Aug 25$1533
Aug 27$1533
Aug 29$1533
Aug 31$1533
September 2017 departuresTour only 
Sep 2$1363
Sep 4$1363
Sep 6$1363
Sep 8$1363
Sep 10$1363
Sep 12$1329
Sep 14$1329
Sep 16$1329
Sep 18$1329
Sep 20$1329

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided cycling, hotel-to-hotel. Managed locally by Headwater employed rep.


Every two days from 13 May '17 to 20 Sep '17, for 7 days (6 nights). This holiday departs every 2 days, however non-standard arrivals and altered itineraries may be possible - please call for prices.


All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals included.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfers included from Auxerre train station at 15:28 Mon-Sat & 17:21 Sun, and back to Auxerre train station at 11:15.

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

We'd like to keep you informed of our latest news and special offers. Please tick here if you'd rather not receive our free e-newsletter.
We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.


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  • ABTA Member (No. W1593)
  • Relaxed activity holidays since 1985

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