5 days/ 4 nights
Get on your bike for a cycling trip on a loop from Chalon to Mâcon via the blue route along the Saône, then a return trip via Cluny on the green route of the Chalonnaise coast to Chalon sur Saône. Gastronomy, oenology and heritage will be on the agenda of this easy and pleasant cycling trip.
This tour in Southern Burgundy is perfect for those who enjoy a quiet ride. The gentle itinerary is simply a pretext for discovering the local gastronomy and Burgundy wines. Without stress and without crowds of tourists, completely out of the mass tourism, you will be spoiled by South Burgundy and its beautiful landscapes.
You will discover the hidden treasures of Burgundy: the cities of Chalon sur Saône, Tournus, Mâcon, Cluny. Romanesque art is omnipresent even in the smallest villages. The towns you will pass through have some beautiful discoveries in store for you: Mâcon with the cathedral of Vieux-Saint-Vincent, Chalon-sur-Saône and its remarkable museums, Tournus and Cluny for their abbeys.
Don't hesitate to extend your journey to take the vineyard route by bike which will lead you to Beaune through authentic villages with strong wine-making traditions. Finally, Beaune and its famous Hôtel-Dieu (or Hospices de Beaune). A must if you haven't visited it yet! Option available on request.
This tour is suitable for children, as most of the routes are on cycle paths.
DAY 1 Arrival
Arrival of the participants, by their own means, in Chalon sur Saône. Settling in at the hotel, handing over of the tourist documentation, maps and itinerary as well as the bikes. Dinner is on your own, but we will provide you with suggestions. Overnight stay at the hotel.
DAY 2 Chalon sur Saône - Tournus ~33km
After breakfast you will go for a nice ride south of Chalon in the plain.
This stage in southern Burgundy follows a "provisional", unofficial "blue route" that will be developed very soon. The route follows the small flat roads of the alluvial plain of the Chalonnais region.
In Tournus, you will ride along the quai de la Marine and follow the rustic towpath to your hotel.
DAY 3 Tournus - Mâcon ~33km
This stage follows the "blue route" between Tournus and Mâcon, lined with charming villages built around Romanesque churches. A fairly easy cycling stage, placed under the sign of the river navigation which has animated the Saône since the dawn of time. Arrival in Mâcon via the quays of the Saône to the marina north of Mâcon. Arrival at the hotel located in the centre of Mâcon.
DAY 4 Mâcon - Cluny ~28km
After breakfast, you will say "goodbye" to the charming town of Mâcon and the river that has accompanied you for the last two days. From now on, you will enjoy the bucolic landscapes of the countryside. Gradually you will approach the Côte Chalonnaise, climbing towards the Bois Clair tunnel, the longest tunnel in Europe open to cyclists.
Today the Voie Verte starts in Charnay-lès-Mâcon, with some surprisingly hilly stretches formed by karstic rocks such as the Roche de Vergisson and the Roche de Solutré.
Several optional cycling routes will be signposted along the greenway. You will be able to modulate your route with the maps that we will give you on the first day.
The arrival in Cluny is smooth in the heart of a remarkable village, with its three abbey towers standing out against the green hills. The inevitable visit of the Abbey of Cluny awaits you. But also beautiful residences, the museum of Art and Archaeology, a national stud farm. If you travel in summer (July/August), you will have the opportunity to participate in the musical festival Les Grandes Heures de Cluny.
DAY 5 Cluny - Chalon sur Saône ~51km
Depart Cluny in the morning, heading north. Today you will have a thousand opportunities to discover a rich heritage of Romanesque churches and timeless villages. To begin with, you will reach the elegant renaissance castle of Cormatin. A visit to its dazzlingly rich gardens and flats is a must for a short break.
Then, the stage continues to follow the old railway line which winds at the foot of the vineyards of the Côte Chalonnaise.
Arrival in Chalon sur Saône and end of the route.
Or, if you wish, we can extend your tour with an extra night in Chalon sur Saône and the continuation of the cycle route northwards to the town of Beaune, along the Voie des Vignes which winds through the vineyards of the Côte de Beaune, a UNESCO world heritage site.
Option: cycle to Beaune on the Voie des Vignes itinerary, with an extra night in Beaune
Almost the entire route is on easy to follow cycle paths.
A real playground for family cycling trips.
You will start on the banks of the Saône, on the "Voie bleue" cycle path, heading south. Then from Mâcon, you can cycle up a former railway line that has been converted into a Voie Verte. (The first greenway in France!)
Attention: Bois Clair tunnel closed from 15/10 to 31/03, alternative route via circuit n°14
Chalon sur Saône, the gateway town to the route, is served by numerous trains that accept bicycles to and from Paris and Lyon.
It is possible to take the TGV East to Dijon, Montbard, Beaune, Chalon-sur-Saône, Le Creusot/ Montchanin/ Montceau-les-Mines, Mâcon-Loché. All these stations then provide TER connections to Chalon sur Saône.
Dijon also has direct TGV connections to Disneyland-Paris, Paris-Roissy airport and Lille (with Eurostar connections to London and Thalys to Brussels).
There are direct TGV links to the South of France: Marseille/Montpellier-Dijon: 3 hours.
There are also TGV connections from Switzerland: Zurich, Bern, Lausanne, Geneva.
If you come by car, we can reserve a parking space at your hotel. Or an outdoor car park located in the immediate vicinity of your hotel.