Your rural getaway begins in Paray-le-Monial
Your visit will get off to a spiritual start with a guided tour of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and the radiating chapel over several levels, a very popular place for pilgrims. After taking some souvenir photos from the paved forecourt, take a stroll through the town to see the many colours of Paray-le-Monial, also known as the "City of Mosaic". Don't miss the Musée Paul Charnoz, dedicated to ceramics.Basilica of the Sacred Heart
Your artistic morning will continue at the Musée du Hiéron, where collections from several different periods are on display, including contemporary art collections. But the highlight of the tour is the National Treasure by master goldsmith and jeweller Joseph Chaumet, the Via Vitae.
Stop for lunch at the restaurant L’Apostrophe, where food lovers will be delighted by the elegant dishes, with superb flavours and textures.
A bike ride...
Stop by the Paray-le-Monial Tourist Office, where, as in most towns today, you can hire an electric bike. This is the perfect way to get to Digoin, then to Bourbon-Lancy, via the Greenway cycle path and the Véloroute alongside the Canal du Centre. There are two good reasons to stop off in Digoin: stop for a photo opportunity on the impressive aqueduct over the Loire and give your legs a rest by going on a 1.5-hour river cruise, through these perfect rural surroundings.
When you arrive in Bourbon-Lancy, you are in for a treat, with a relaxing experience at the CeltO for the spa or massages (or both!), now doesn't that sound appealing?
At La Grignotte du Vieux Bourbon, request a table out on the terrace if it's not raining. You'll be seated on a tiny little street, with a breathtaking view of the belfry. Then you might choose to go back to the Grand Hôtel to relax, or try your luck at the casino, on the water's edge at the Etang du Breuil.Relax in Bourbon-Lancy
Head to Charolles, home to the famous cattle breed,
around 50 minutes from Bourbon-Lancy
At the heart of the Charolais
Early in the morning, it is quiet all around and the ideal time for a short walk along the marked footpath "du bocage et des fours à chaux" (woodland and lime kilns), that departs from the Maison du Charolais. It feels so good to be out in the countryside. While you're there, make sure you visit the Maison du Charolais and, just 500m away, you can treat yourself at the Dufoux shop, and bring some chocolate back for the whole family!
Then it's time for lunch at the Ferme-Auberge des Collines in Amanzé where Marie-Christine will concoct a mouth-watering local meal, using products from the farm and the garden.
Greenery, greenery everywhere! And the oh so elegant sculpted shapes of the box trees in the gardens of the Château de Drée in Curbigny! This château is known as the "little Versailles of the Brionnais" thanks to its lavishly furnished interior. It is an enchanting experience visiting the French-style gardens and rose garden.Find out more about the Château de Drée
We recommend going to Saint-Germain-en-Brionnais to visit Mr. Doyen's glassware workshop, "La Verrerie du Prieuré". His lampworking demonstrations are always a great success. Then, head to La Clayette (pronounced "La Clette") to enjoy an ice cream on the outdoor terrace of the restaurant La Belle Epoque, with a view of the château.Mr. Doyen's glassware
The day is coming to a close. How do you fancy a Michelin-starred meal and overnight stay with Frédéric Doucet in Charolles? Unless you'd prefer a more atypical place to stay, such as the treehouses at the Ferme des Bassets in Vareilles? Or in one of the tipis at Les Cachettes du Dahut in Vauban?