Departure point: Mâcon
7 Days / 250 km
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Road-book(PDF - 82 Ko)
© Michelin - Itinéraire (texte, cartographie et road-book) issu du guide Escapade en Camping-car France 2011
Stroll around Tournus, browsing in the antique shops, stretch your legs with a climb up the Solutré rock, admire the noble remains of Cluny abbey, stop off to meditate at Taizé. You make prefer to spend time in the ceramics museum at Paray-le-Monial, then after Semur, drive through the Brionnais and get up very early in the morning to see the livestock market at St-Christophe-en-Brionnais... just some of things possible on this trip.
On leaving Mâcon, you could visit the Touroparc (zoo/amusement park). Then take the D54, through the famous vineyards of Saint-Vérand and Pouilly-Fuissé, to the Solutré rock. It's not a hard climb and the view from the top is truly wonderful. To find out more about the “Solutrean” period, visit the museum, partly carved out of the rock face. About ten kilometres (via Pierreclos) separate the Prehistoric from the Romantic, in the form of the poet Lamartine. Milly, the poet's favourite residence, is a poignant place to visit and devoted admirers of the author of Jocelyn, will be pleased to know that Saint-Point is not far away. Drive under the N79 to Berzé-la-Ville with its chapel, and Berzé-le-Châtel whose castle towers over the Voie Verte. Once known as the “light of the world”, Cluny and its sadly ruined abbey are already on the horizon.
Take time to explore Cluny, once home to the largest building in Europe, then follow the Grosne valley as far as the village of Taizé, whose ecumenical community has gained worldwide recognition. Take the D981 road to the château of Cormatin with its stunning and unique treasures from the 17th century.
Your route now centres on Romanesque art in Burgundy. The D14 road will take you to Chapaize, Brancion, then Tournus, all of them worth a visit. In Tournus there are antique and crafts shops as well as art galleries in the little streets around the abbey church of Saint Philibert. It's also renowned for its gastronomy. It's well worth taking your time to explore Tournus and amateur photographers will particularly want to linger..
In Chalon-sur-Saône you could leave the roads and take to the Voie Verte (see separate description) which goes as far as the outskirts of Mâcon. If not, after touring Chalon-sur-Saône, famous for its wines, carnival and Nicéphore-Niépce museum, head for Montceau-les-Mines on the D977, by way of the delightful little towns of Givry, Buxy, Saint-Gengoux-le-National, stopping at Mont Saint-Vincent (D980) to admire the panoramic view. A little further on, Montceau is home to a Fossil museum and Blanzy recalls its mining past with a 22m high pit-head frame from the old Saint-Claude mine shaft.
Go to Paray-le-Monial, driving alongside the Canal du Centre. Its basilica is a (smaller) replica of the abbey church of Cluny before it was destroyed. Further south, the Brionnais boasts some lovely churches with fine bell towers and sculptures: take the D34 then the D10 to Anzy-le-Duc, with a detour via Varenne-l'Arconce and its Romanesque gardens. From there, carry on to Semur-en-Brionnais to the east of Marcigny. Then the D8 and D20 roads will take you to Charlieu.
You are sure to appreciate the old town and beautiful abbey of Charlieu. Head north on the D987 and D985 to La Clayette where you can tour the lovely château of Drée standing beside a small lake. Then go west to Saint-Christophe-en-Brionnais, in the heart of Charolais cattle rearing country. As you come back towards Charolles, on the picturesque D20, you can get good photos of the rolling, hedge-trimmed farmland of the Charolais. Take time to explore Charolles and savour some delicious, marbled Charolais beef! The town also produces glazed earthenware.
Your tour ends on the N79 back to Mâcon where you can finish in style at the Maison de vins de Mâcon, the Lamartine museum or Ursulines museum.
Don't miss the spectacular livestock market held on Wednesdays at Saint-Christophe-en-Brionnais.