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 Nitry passing through the Serein Valley. 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 at Auberge de la Beursaudiere.
This is one of France's prettiest mediaeval cities, on the banks of the Yonne, and your base for two nights. (Staying at Hotel Normandie, Breakfast only)
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).
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. (Staying at Relais St Vincent, Half board)
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. (Staying at Relais St Vincent, Half Board in local restaurant)
Cycle along country lanes to Chablis, surrounded by its famous vineyards and with plenty of opportunities for wine testing. Continue on through the Serein Valley before heading west to Nitry. (Staying at Auberge de la Beursaudiere, Breakfast at hotel, Evening meal at local restaurant)
Medieval Noyers-sur-Serein is a 10km cycle ride away. Officially one of the most beautiful villages in France, discover its half-timbered houses, cobbled streets and ancient towers. (Staying at Auberge de la Beursaudiere. Breakfast at hotel, Evening meal at local restaurant)
Pedal to Cravant, then follow the towpath towards Auxerre and picnic on the banks of the Yonne. Head to the amazing Bailly wine cellars where Cremant sparkling wines are made, before returning to historic Auxerre, with its abbey, cathedral, shops and superb indoor and outdoor swimming complexes. (Staying at Hotel Normandie, Breakfast only)
Please note that cycling helmets are compulsory in France for children under 12. As we are unable to provide these, we strongly recommend that you bring your own.
Please see our Planning you holiday page for full details.
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. 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.
NEARBY:This hotel was originally a maison bourgeoise until it was converted into a hotel by an ex-patissier! It has now been in Mme Ramise's family for over 45 years.
Room upgrades: Privilege Room.
The Privilage room has a very spacious bedroom with king size bed.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
NEARBY:The Relais St Vincent offers 15 stylish, comfortable rooms, with en suite bathrooms, television and telephone.
The Auberge de la Beursaudiere, formerly a farm building and before that a priory offers individually decorated rooms that take their name from traditional professions including La Coutiere (seamstress), La Dentelliere (lacemaker) and Maquignon (horse-dealer).
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.
NEARBY:The Hostellerie des Clos is a family run hotel in the heart of Chablis. The hotel is set in beautiful gardens, with terrace for breakfast or pre-dinner drinks. There is a cosy lounge and all the rooms are individually decorated across two buildings.
Room upgrades: Grand Confort Room, Superior Room or Duplex Room.
Grand Confort rooms offer the same facilities as the standard Confort rooms but are approximately 5m2 larger (24m2). Superior rooms offer the same facilities as the standard Confort rooms but are much larger (average size 53m2). Duplex rooms are over 2 floors with an approximate surface area of 90m2. They also have a separate lounge area and have direct access to the sauna.
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.
Transfers included from Auxerre train station at 14:20 and back to Auxerre train station at 11:15.
Please call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange connecting flights.
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop, and where necessary improve, our services and ensure our holidays continue to be the best they can be. However, as this is a relatively new holiday, we don't yet have any customer reviews available.
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday. Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.
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Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided cycling Managed locally by Headwater appointed rep.
Every two days from 4th May 2019 to 11th Oct 2019, for 7 nights.
All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals
It is possible to hire electric bikes for this holiday at a supplement of £100 per person. As these are available on a first come first served basis, we recommend early booking to avoid disappointment. Please call us for further details.
Between July 21 and Aug 6 you will stay in the 3* Hostellerie du Clos in Chablis rather than the 3* Relais de Saint Vincent in Ligny-Le-Chatel. This holiday may be adapted into a 4 night version - just deduct £ per person from the prices above.
Transfers included from Auxerre train station at 14:20 and back to Auxerre train station at 11:15.
Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for . 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 an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.
Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 to discuss your requirements in more detail.
We've been creating high-quality relaxed activity holidays since 1985 and our wealth of experience means we're able to build the perfect tailor-made tour for you. Our 'Gold Trusted' rating on Feefo, the independent review site, underlines our exceptional levels of customer service, and our ATOL bonding and ABTA membership guarantees your holiday is safe with us.