Day 1 Arrival
It is possible to arrive in Montbard by TGV. This pretty town on the banks of the Canal de Bourgogne is the home of Buffon, the 18th century naturalist and mathematician. If you arrive by car, be sure to visit the Abbaye de Fontenay, a Cistercian abbey located 6 kms from Montbard and classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 2 Montbard - Tonnerre 60 km
This first stage takes you along the romantic Canal de Bourgogne and you will discover two superb Renaissance castles: first the Château d'Ancy le Franc built by the architect Seclio in the 17th century, then the Château de Tanlay. Arrival in Tonnerre.
Day 3 Tonnerre - Joigny 55 km
Don't leave Tonnerre, home of the Chevalier d'Eon, without visiting the Hôtel-Dieu, a former hospital dating from the 13th century, as well as the wash house and the famous Fosse Dionne. Back on the towpath, different landscapes of vineyards and pastures alternate until Joigny. Your day's journey ends in Joigny, a Town of Art and History which has preserved its many half-timbered houses and its superb churches.
Day 4 Joigny - Auxerre 35 km
This short stage takes you to Auxerre, a magnificent town with a rich historical quarter classified as a "protected site".
"protected site". Auxerre, a town of Art and History, has preserved an exceptional architectural heritage through the ages: St Etienne's Cathedral, a model of Gothic elegance, St Germain's Abbey, a virtually intact monastic complex with its 9th century crypts, one of which contains one of the oldest wall paintings discovered in France.
Day 5 Auxerre - Clamecy 64 km
Continue along the banks of the Canal du Nivernais and stop at the Caves de Bailly where the famous Crémant de Bourgogne is made. Along the Canal du Nivernais, you will follow the route of the "Bois de Flottage": in the Middle Ages, the Morvan forest produced wood for the inhabitants of Paris. This was transported to the capital by floating. You will enjoy this charming, multi-faceted itinerary, passing through Mailly-le-Château, the Rochers du Saussois, a major climbing spot, and on to Clamecy.
Day 6 Clamecy - Vézelay 31 km
You leave the banks of the canal to follow a pleasant road through small villages to Vézelay, where the Romanesque basilica of Sainte Madeleine stands majestically on the Eternal Hill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since the Middle Ages, Vézelay has been a place of pilgrimage and a stopover on the Pilgrim's Way to Santiago de Compostela.
Day 7 Departure
Transfer back to Montbard.