From Chalon-sur-Saône to Digoin
This narrow and winding, 112-km-long canal from Chalon-sur-Saône to Digoin is the ideal place to enjoy the peaceful autumn atmosphere in Burgundy. For cycling tourists, there is a picturesque cycle route between the Saône and the Loire, a path that is shared by the Tour of Burgundy by bike and the EuroVélo 6. This is a peaceful place, far from the crowds and your busy life back at work after the summer holidays. The only other people you're likely to run into are fishermen and lock keepers. An opportunity to recharge your batteries and just enjoy life on the water, whilst admiring the autumn colours all around you.
The Côte Chalonnaise vineyard
To admire the autumn colours, don't miss the flamboyant colours of the Côte Chalonnaise vines, in the northern section of the itinerary. In the midst of this field of gold, discover some superb châteaus such as the Château de Santenay with its Burgundy glazed tiles and the Château de Rully, a medieval fortress with a fantastic view.
Along your revitalising route, don't miss Villa Perrusson in Ecuisses, and the golden autumn colours. The village and this building are fabulous places that showcase the expertise of the ceramicists in Burgundy. You can also discover the historic and industrial heritage of Montceau-les-Mines and the château and Parc de la Verrerie in Le Creusot.
Some great places to eat and rest:
- Auberge du Manoir, on the banks of the canal in Saint-Julien-sur-Dheune
- The ABC (Amaryllis Bistro Culinaire), a chic bistro open all day, every day, with a menu that changes every two weeks, in Montceau-les-Mines
- The Hôtel-Restaurant Konine, in Montceau-les-Mines
- The Maison de Floréline, bed and breakfast on the banks of the Canal du Centre in Ciry-le-Noble
Explore the Charolais region and admire all the aquatic landscapes with the many small canals through the town of Charolles, renowned for its cattle breed and earthenware. This is where you can enjoy some local delicacies at the Michelin-starred Maison Doucet.
Don't miss the Paray-le-Monial Romanesque Basilica before carrying on to Digoin aqueduct that enables the Loire side canal to cross over the longest river in France.
To get the most out of the Indian summer in Burgundy, why not extend your stay here:
- in Paray-le-Monial, at the fine-dining establishment, the hotel-restaurant L'Apostrophe or the hotel-restaurant Aux Vendanges de Bourgogne, a stone's throw from the canal and the historic centre, to discover some traditional Burgundian dishes.
- in Digoin, if you have already cycled along the Canal du Centre, get a different experience by hiring a boat from Canalous or relax at the Village Toue du Domaine des Demoiselles, in one of the gypsy caravans or magical cabins.