A region where Renaissance chateaux, mediaeval villages and castles stand proudly amongst the vineyards, Burgundy is steeped in history and offers a tradition of exceptional wines and fine foods. It's an area rich in birdlife and wildlife enthusiasts are in for a real treat!
Starting in mediaeval Auxerre, one of the prettiest riverside cities in France, this gentle-paced ramble takes you through picture-postcard Burgundy. You'll walk along towpaths, river valleys and wheat fields alive with bright red poppies, as you head via the wine capital of Chablis, to the fortified mediaeval town of Vezelay, an important stopping-off point for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Vespers are still held here daily at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Basilica of Mary Magdalene. En route, you'll pass through world-famous vineyards with plenty of degustation opportunities and flower-filled hillsides crowned with woods and pretty riverside villages.
You'll stay in hotels hand-picked for their perfect location, warm welcome and superb regional cuisine. In Auxerre you'll stay in a family-run hotel that was converted from a maison bourgeoise, and the Hostellerie des Clos is a gastronomic boutique hotel, nestled in the heart of Chablis. Louis Philippe, the French King (1830- 1848) is reputed to have stayed in your next hotel at Vermenton and the Hotel Les Glycines in Vezelay is just a few steps from the Basilica.
Moderately easy walking following the well-marked GR13, with just the odd short, steepish climb. Towpaths, wooded slopes, hilltops and vineyards.
Your hotel is ideally situated just a few minutes' walk from Auxerre's historic centre.(Staying at Hotel Normandie, Breakfast only)
We give you a lift to Venoy where you join the 'Wine and Cheese route' ambling gently through vineyards until you reach the lakeside wine village of Beine. After a leisurely lunch, you stroll along the lake beneath the Premier Cru vineyards into the village of Poinchy where you will find some of our favourite Chablis caves. Your final stretch follows the River Serein into the town of Chablis and on to your hotel, a gastronomic jewel nestled in the heart of the town. (Staying at Hostellerie des Clos, Half board)
The entire town of Chablis is almost completely devoted to the production of some of the world's finest white wines, and there are a plethora of cellars to visit and taste. You can follow the popular 8km circular walk around the celebrated Grand Crus vineyards with panoramic views of Chablis town. (Staying at Hostellerie des Clos, Half board)
From the viewpoint at Courgis, head through the vines to the village of St-Cyr-les-Colons. Continue through forest and farmland to Cravant, with its 18th-century donjon. We transfer you to the Moulin des Ruats in Pontaubert, your hotel for the next 2 nights. (Staying at Moulin des Ruats, Half board)
Take a walk in the beautiful Vallee du Cousin or visit nearby Avallon with its cobbled streets and impressive town houses. (Staying at Moulin des Ruats, Half board)
Follow part of the Camino de Santiago, keeping your eyes peeled for rare birdlife. Th ere are wonderful views of the magnifi cent hilltop basilica as you approach Vezelay. You stay at the Hotel SY les Glycines for two nights, with dinner included. (Staying at Hotel SY Les Glycines, Half board)
The C12 basilica is a masterpiece of sacred art and a UNESCO world heritage site and is definitely worth exploring. It is the largest church in France, and was the launching point for two Crusades. A short walk takes you to the village of St Pere-sous-Vezelay and its ornate Gothic church, or you can visit the nearby Roman Baths or Fontaines Salees. (Staying at Hotel SY Les Glycines, Half board)
It's a great walk today for bird-spotting and seeing wild animals. As you leave Vezelay behind and head into the forest, look out for roe deer and stags, or pairs of jays darting in front of you. As you approach the pretty village of Chatel-Censoir take time to explore the chateau, church and the busy little port, before returning to Auxerre. (Staying at Hotel Normandie, Breakfast only)
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.
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 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.
Located just 4km from Avallon, the Moulin des Ruats is full of character, it's a former 18th-century watermill offering 25 comfortable bedrooms that mix elegance and refinement with modern decoration. The restaurant has a large picture window opening onto the forest and the mill wheel so you can watch the river flow as you enjor the fine local cuisine.
NEARBY:Hotel Les Glycines is situated just 50m from the basilica and has been recently renovated from a C18 townhouse to create a charming hotel with 13 individually decorated well equipped rooms. Breakfast and a la carte evening meals are taken at the sister hotel La Terrasse, just 50m up the hill beside the basilica.
Room upgrades: Superior room or Suite.
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.
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.
NEARBY: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.
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.
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 an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
An excellent holiday!
A really enjoyable walking holiday in the Chablis area. We got the timing to perfection as the wine harvesting was just beginning and were able to walk through and around Chablis on our ‘spare day’. The scenery may not compare with say, The Dordogne or the Alps but there was lots of interest in this part of rural France.
Headwater looked after us from beginning to end! The hiking was varied and interesting. The accommodation was equally varied and of a high standard. A special mention should go to the delightful staff at Rue Voltaire. The food was amazing. Helen and Mike went out of their way to assist us or point us in the right direction. They were professional but made everything seem like it was no trouble. They provided extra touches such as helping us get our hikes started earlier than planned and having a back up plan to deal with French trains. The only stress in our holiday was choosing the wine!
As a first time Headwatwe customer I was very impressed with the local reps, nothing was too much trouble.
An interesting holiday with relatively easy walking. Vineyards and Vezelay walk were highlights
The Chablis Vineyard Walk was a fantastic holiday in a beautiful area of France. The route notes for three of the day's were excellent, although a little confusing on the fourth walk. The additional vineyard walk at Chablis on our 'day off' recommended by Helen was well worth doing. The walking was varied and interesting and coming out of the forest to get a first look at Vezeley was breathtaking. The accommodation varies considerably and whilst all was good the move from a 4* to a B&B was quite a 'shock'. The restaurant staff at Hotel del Clos were formal and we found them a little intimidating at first, it would be better if they were a little more welcoming to the restaurant but the food was amazing. When staying at Vermenton the restaurant used on two nights was very friendly and the food good but with only two choices on an unchanged menu both nights we felt little option but to pay a supplement on the second night for the slightly dearer set menu - this should be the pre-paid option in our opinion (different set menu on each night). The breakfast at Hotel SY Les Glycines was disappointing, no explanation, coffee machines that did not always dispense the coffee chosen and coffee was not great, orange juicer very 'cute' but messy and took ages. Helen and Mike were great, sending us a card before we arrived asking if we needed anything before we arrived was such a nice touch and serving us drinks in the garden as our walk took us close by was also above and beyond - but much appreciated; it was great to have someone there to offer advice and make us feel like we could relax because we knew they were there for us. This has been one of our best ever holidays (and we do holiday regularly) we got home relaxed and eager to book our next holiday (possibly with Headwater)!
An excellent walking holiday in an area of France not known to us. We chose a more relaxed holiday this time - with four days of walking interspersed with days off to explore. The countryside was beautiful and the walks full of interest. Walking routes as ever were terrific. Accommodation of high standard. And to add to our pleasure we had in Mike and Helen two of the best reps we have had on our various Headwater holidays. Thank you Headwater (again) and well done.
This is a 1boot holiday for the walkers but a 3*boot marathon for the reps. The walking notes were straightforward but the logistics of being dropped off each morning for the start of the walk plus sometimes picked up at the end then delivered & collected for evening meals away from our hotels was an added complexity. Helen & Mike performed this feat with unfailing grace fun & total commitment. Their care & attention even extended to a welcome cup of tea in their shady back garden one day en route & suggestions of approptiate alternative routes. Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Another faultless holiday with Headwater. Everything is arranged for you and nothing left to chance. Mike and Helen were exemplary reps and could not do enough for us.
A simply wonderful holiday, varied scenery and walking terrain. Fantastic reps who couldn't do enough to help real ambassadors for Headwater. Three amazing hotels with superb cuisine! Just wonderful!!
Dear Mrs Webster,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire. It was great to read you had such a memorable holiday. We also pleased you found the Reps fantastic. We have passed on your comments to them; they were delighted to hear they helped enhance your holiday.
We would like to thank you for your continued loyalty and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
Despite our shaky start (Air France cancelled our flight last minute) it was a truly fabulous holiday. I've travelled quite a lot in France and this time I found being able to explore the La Bourgogne region with Headwater a welcome, stress free, change. Our reps Helen & Mike were marvellously friendly and helpful, and we appreciated their collecting us on our arrival several hours later than expected, and one day rescuing us when heat exhaustion was beginning to set in !
The walks were nice and varied, through picturesque vineyards and crop fields at the start of the week to more wooded/ forest areas at the end. All of the locations through which we passed were typical picture-postcard pretty French villages and even the bigger town of Auxerre with its quaint old vieille ville and cathédrales were delightful. We particularly enjoyed staying in the walled hilltop village of Vézeley with it's impressive Basilica and views over the surrounding countryside. The food and wine were excellent, if not slightly too plentiful !
Pleasant walking through pretty villages and surrounding countryside.
We had a wonderful walking holiday in Bourgogne. The walks were excellent, varied and well described in the notes. Our reps Mike and Helen were very helpful and knowledgeable, nothing was too much trouble. It felt as if we were the only guests they had to look after. The hotels were also very varied and the evening meals were certainly 'gastronomique'!
We have enjoyed many walking holidays in France but this must rate as one of the very best: delightful route, superb accommodation and meals, and reps Helen and Mike who went way beyond the call of duty to welcome, help and transport us and our luggage.
A very simple booking process. Quickly confirmed. Our times for crossing via tunnel/rail were good. An excellent local guide/rep. Hotels were of a good standard, food arrangements were excellent.
Well planned walks with great backup from notes and rep.
A very enjoyable break - excellent support from the Headwater rep, fabulous walking supported by excellent notes and lovely hotels in beautiful countryside to recover and recuperate in - who could ask for more?
Great for a relaxing experience of every day France. Our sixth Headwater vacation in six years! The food was fantastic - even though two of us are vegetarians - every restaurant was really outstanding! The hotels have a lot of character - with the exception of Normandie, which was very good too just not as exciting. Sadly, the local train/bus issues make getting places less carefree - especially on stay-put days. Our rep, Stephen, did the best he could of making up for the trains/buses. Enjoyed meeting the local French people a lot -- they were very friendly. This hike is good for meeting the locals. The country side and villages were beautiful. We did two walking excursions not on the trip notes that were outstanding: The first made the hike 2 hours longer, but we hiked to the Notre Dame D'Orient at the top of a hill in Semizelles - this was a highlight of the day!! The regional notes have this suggestion. Absolutely worth the climb! The other was to an organic brewery just outside of St. Pere (Near Vezelay) - also a highlight of the day! Try the white beer! The Grotto near Vermenton was a lot of fun! Vezeley was the highlight of the trip - do not miss morning 7:00 prayers in the basilica!!!! The singing of angels!! Can't wait to plan our next Headwater vacation!
Interesting area; good length of walks; very helpful rep.
This is a holiday of variety. In walks, from vineyards, open country and woodland. And in the towns too, from small hamlets to busy Auxerre. There is a lot to listen to and look at along the way - and we found Burgundy deserted - but that may just have been May.
Stephen Miles is newish to this post, but is thoughtful and showed great care. We presume that the instructions about the train back to Auxerre on the last walking day will now have been changed to 'Stephen picks you up opposite The Mairie'.
Note that our comment about food at Vermenton relates to the breakfast. The evening meals - both at La Fontaine for us, were excellent. No-one could have been more helpful than Mark and Alison at Vermenton. The meals at Chablis had the Bistrot BEFORE the hotel, and both were very good indeed.
The combination of good walks, comfortable accommodation and good quality evening meals provided us with a relaxing and enjoyable weeks holiday . Knowing that our Headwater rep was available on the end of the phone if we did needed anything was a bonus.
Excellent. From our arrival to departure our Rep Ross tailored our stay to suit what WE wanted. He really went the extra mile to sort any issues created by rail strikes and unusually hot weather. He was always on time ( in fact early). There was never a feeling of being rushed or hurried which made our holiday really great. He had also ensured that our directions for the walks were totally up to date and accurate.
The accomodation was always excellent as were the meals provided.
The highlight has to be our stay at Vermenton! Such attention to detail...amazing.
We will do another one next year.
A very interesting walk through small villages in Burgundy with the highlight being Vezelay. Auxerre is a lovely old town worthy of an extra day there.
We had a fabulous trip in perfect weather. Ross the Rep was first class. He goes the extra mile , is particular on detail and plans ahead.
The rating for the walks is right, not as testing as our usual 2 boot but with gentle climbs to give interest and the spectacular views. Thank you and thank Ross.
Well put together holiday ensuring something of interest every day. The half board element can be a bit restrictive although most places were ok with making changes for a supplement. The only place we had a problem with this was Hostellerie de Clos where we were basically told what we were to eat with no choice given at all. As it happens we were ok but foie fras to start and pigeon to follow might not be to everyone's choice. The hotels were quite varied but generally good or better. Our least favourite was Hotel de la Poste in Vezelay. It's pretty tired and we had a poor room (102) which was at the front of the hotel and directly over the Bistro. You might think Vezelay would be quiet but the lorries are relentless from about 4.30am.
Our rep Ross could not be bettered. He put his heart and soul into making sure we had a good holiday and was endlessly patient - as well as very good company.
Smoothly organised and unstressed providing an enjoyable holiday
This was a lovely walk in beautiful gentle countryside. For us the highlight was Vezelay which we might otherwise not have discovered .We used the wine service for the first time & found it really useful
Overall a good holiday in a pleasant region of France - thanks
The flexibility of start date, route and accommodation type with planned rest days between walking days suited us very well. The wine pick-up service is brilliant!
The holiday surpassed our expectations! We feel as though we have experienced France at its best, able to take time to enjoy the important things in life. The walks were long enough to provide a sense of achievement at the end of each day but left us looking forward to the next one. Each of the villages where we stopped were packed with culture and history. The food and wine were excellent and guilt free due to the miles walked. We have often passed by this area of France within a matter of minutes on the motorway but in future we will definitely be making it a stopping off point. Thank you Headwater for organising a great holiday.
Very enjoyable holiday walking through Burgundy in early summer. Glorious views, mainly clear tracks/paths. Good background information in booklet. Precise and easy to follow route instructions [in conjunction with maps and compass.] Generally high standard of accommodation and meals, especially Hostellerie des Clos in Chablis, where the hotel staff were particularly helpful in finding a dentist. Very useful to have a pleasant and helpful English speaking rep on the ground.
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 walking Managed locally by Headwater appointed rep.
Every two days from 3rd May 2019 to 12th Oct 2019, for 8 nights.
Continental breakfast and 6 evening meals
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 Chablis Vineyards Walk. 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.