Not-to-be-missed in the Auxois region

Must-sees along the Canal

  • Fontenay Abbey, listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO,
  • The medieval towns of Semur-en-Auxois, Flavigny-sur-Ozerain and Châteauneuf-en-Auxois (among the Most Beautiful Villages of France), Montbard
  • Musée Buffon & grounds, the Great Forge of Buffon,
  • Château de Bussy-Rabutin, Château de Commarin
  • MuséoParc Alésia... All these great places are on the banks of Burgundy Canal and are superb additions to this idea for a stay.

Further into the Auxois region

Day 1 along Burgundy Canal

Back in time

Côte-d'Or Tourisme - Rozenn Krebel

The Château de Mâlain

Mâlain is an authentic place to visit, where the locals will always welcome you with a smile.

The renovated château and archaeological site are worth the detour, and don't miss the Fête des Sorcières (witches celebration), that takes place every other year!

Château de Mâlain
Côte-d_Or Tourisme
- F.Bonnard

The Château de Barbirey gardens and grounds

This 8-hectare English-style landscaped garden was designed in the 19th century, and has been classified a "Remarkable Garden" since 2004 (label from the French Ministry of Culture).

It still has the classic appearance of a landscaped garden, with a vast terraced vegetable garden from the 18th century, orchard, wetland, meadow, viewpoint and a quarry hidden in the undergrowth.

Château de Barbirey gardens and grounds
Paul Billet

Tourist Railway of Ouche Valley

Leave the ancient Bligny-sur-Ouche train station on a journey to Pont-d'Ouche, aboard an ancient steam train.

The journey lasts 30 minutes there and back, through Ouche Valley, one one of France's very first railway tracks. Choo Choo!!

Tourist Railway of Ouche Valley (CFVO)
Day 2 along Burgundy Canal

Beautiful châteaus, cruise and a refreshing break

Alain Doire - BFC Tourisme

Châteauneuf-en-Auxois and the château

This hilltop village is one of the"most beautiful villages of France" with a view of the beautiful country hills of the Auxois region, Burgundy Canal, and Morvan Regional Natural Park.

There are often flea markets held along the cobbled streets and it is very pleasant strolling through the landscaped gardens. Finally, don't miss a tour of the château overlooking the village which was one of the very first settlements of the powerful Dukes of Burgundy.

Château de Châteauneuf
Côte-d'Or Tourisme - Marion Abrial

Lake Panthier

Lake Panthier is a wonderful natural place, ideal for swimming and watersports in the calm waters, such as sailing, canoeing and paddle boarding.

There is a campsite, a watersports centre and a restaurant, as well as a big beach on the shores of this lake of Burgundy Canal.

Find out more
Côte-d'Or Tourisme - Rozenn Krebel

Château de Commarin

The elegance and diversity of the harmonious façades, and the extraordinary preservation of a family legacy over seven centuries make this château a superb witness of some great eras through history...  In the village where author from Burgundy, Henri Vincenot, resided in the 20th century.

Château de Commarin
Auxois Côte-d'Or Tourisme - Rozenn Krebel

Cruise along the canal on an electric boat

Come for a unique commented boat trip aboard the Billebaude electric boat, along Burgundy canal's upstream section and learn about life of the sailors.

Pass under the famous Arch, a lit-up tunnel 3,333 m long, and a number of colourful locks surrounded by flowers.

Then visit the Halle du Toueur on the port of Pouilly-en-Auxois, with its contemporary architecture and a former river tow boat from 1893.

In the summer, you'll be able to take a small tourist train back, along Burgundy Canal.

La Billebaude boat trip
Day 3 along Burgundy Canal

Monastic life and the Age of Enlightenment

UNESCO World Heritage

Fontenay Abbey

Fontenay Abbey was founded in 1118 by Saint Bernard, it is in perfect condition and is one of the most ancient Cistercian monasteries in Europe.

The Roman architecture provides all the 12th century buildings with a remarkable homogeneity, and they have all remained intact over eight centuries.

The gardens are also remarkable and give the place a calming atmosphere. This was one of the very first French monuments to be listed as a World Heritage site by Unesco.

Visit Fontenay

Musée Buffon and grounds in Montbard

For inquiring minds, the Musée Buffon, devoted to the famous naturalist from the 18th century and his cloest partner Daubenton, offers a visitor's tour centred around natural history and the Lumières movement.

From the grounds, there is a breath-taking view of Montbard and the surrounding area, especially from the two 14th-century towers.

Musée Buffon and grounds
Marion Abrial

The Great Forge of Buffon

This factory is a prestigious witness of the steel industry during the Age of Enlightenment, where 300 labourers once worked. On this same site, all production operations were carried out, the labourers lived and the owner's residence was also here.

It was built in 1768 by the famous naturalist Buffon who used the factory to put into practice his welding experience. In the 18th century, the Forge produced 450 tonnes of steel bars.

It was renovated thanks to the Heritage Mission by French TV presenter Stéphane Bern and the brand-new big wheel is used to demonstrate metal casting!

Great Forge of Buffon
En résumé