Discoveries and tourism on the water. Burgundy may be the wine country, but water also plays a crucial role there. The dense network of canals and rivers contributed to the region's economic development in the seventeenth century. Today pleasure boating, hiking and other leisure activities punctuate the life on Burgundy's shores
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Escape on the rivers and canals
With some 1000 km of waterways, Burgundy is the joy of amateur sailors.
Explore the Nivernais canal on board a charter boat departing from Baye or Auxerre (where it finishes its route), for a weekend or a week. You'll discover the "Echelle de Sardy", a spectacular row of 16 locks in Sardy-les-Epiny and les voûtes de la Collancelle.
For a relaxing time, let yourself be guided by a sightseeing boat. La Billebaude will take you on in Pouilly-en-Auxois for a calm trip along the waters of the Burgundy Canal. The Seille, a nice river flowing between Tournus and Louhans, also offers cruising opportunities.
Enjoy original accommodation packages. Hotel barges welcome you on the Burgundy Canal, in the valley of the Ouche, or the Canal du Centre, while river liners traverse the river Saône.
Lovers of water sports can choose higher paced activities. You can try out water-skiing, sailing or rowing. The developed areas invite swimming on sunny days, in leisure centres in Auxerre or Decize . In this way, you can enjoy the tranquillity of the waterway by trying out fishing on the region's canals or lakes. You can also have a go at big game fishing on the Saône, accompanied by a qualified instructor.
Outdoor activities along the banks
If you prefer walks along the water, the developed banks are open to cyclists. The bicycle, indeed, deserves its nickname of the "little queen" in Burgundy! The towpaths along the canals and rivers are perfect for cyclists of all levels, thanks to its low grade.
There is no shortage in choice of routes; the region is full of marked trails. The Tour of Burgundy by bike runs along the canals of Nivernais and Burgundy, as well as the Canal du Centre. The latter is, moreover, a section of the EuroVelo6. By taking these paths, you will travel through the region's most beautiful landscapes. Cross vineyards, groves and forests, and pass by historic monuments and charming residences...
"And in case of a breakdown, you can easily repair your bike along the way!"
Fun and relaxation by the water
The charming canals and rivers of Burgundy will seduce you during your stay. Don't hesitate to call at the towns and villages along the water..
Explore the small streets of the city of Clamecy and the medieval village of Cravant on the Nivernais Canal. Do not hesitate to get a few kilometres away from the Burgundy Canal to visit the pretty little town of Semur-en-Auxois and admire its treasures such as the Tour de l'Orle d'Or or the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame. Major cities are not left out: The banks of the Yonne in Auxerre are particularly lively and the Dijon rmarina has come back to life, especially since the opening of the Péniche Cancale, a boat converted into a floating gourmet bistro and cabaret that hosts concerts, exhibitions, dance performances and theatre.
For an introduction to, or to deepen your knowledge of fine wines, visit the cellars of the vineyards of Auxerrois, Tonnerrois, Maranges or Santenay. Here you can taste some of the best wines of Burgundy.
At mealtime, drop in on one of the charming restaurants along the canals. From open-air cafés to bistros, there's something for everyone. Gourmets will stop in a gastronomic restaurant, such as the Restaurant de l'Hostellerie de la Poste in Clamecy .
A region criss-crossed by waterways, every year Burgundy celebrates water with various events. Music, demonstrations, tournaments and tastings punctuate the shorelines all summer long: you can choose from the Pardon des mariniers in Saint-Jean de Losne, the Fête du Flottage in Clamecy or the Halles en eaux in Decize.