Chalon-sur-Saône to Mâcon70 km
Practical InformationMap(PDF - 419 Ko)
© Michelin - Itinéraire (texte, cartographie et road-book) issu du guide Escapade en Camping-car France 2011
Don't miss this! France's first genuine 'Voie Verte', from Chalon to Mâcon, is the BEST example of its type.... Over 70 km long, running past the loveliest sloping vineyards, châteaux and scenery of the Saône-et-Loire, secure and flat – it follows the course of an old railway line! And to top it all, there's a 1,600m tunnel with lighting, which opens onto the heart of the famous Val Lamartinien.
This outing is suitable for everyone, repeat everyone. Whether you choose to leave from Chalon-sur-Saône in the north or from Mâcon in the south, the Voie Verte runs close to a large part of your camper-van route. You just need to decide where to start the day's outing: from the heart of the Côte Chalonnaise with its vineyards or perhaps from one of the many “converted” railway stations along the way. Those at Givry and Cluny have a parking/service area with full facilities.
The northern section of the track runs almost exclusively through wine-growing country. After Saint-Gengoux-le-National, it passes close to Cormatin (a gem of a château, definitely worth the trip). After this there are two major centres of Christianity: Taizé with its famous ecumenical community and Cluny whose Benedictine abbey influenced the entire Middle Ages. Stop and visit if interested. Perhaps the climate has something to do with it? The route itself seems to be in a state of grace! It rolls along so smoothly that you pass rollerbladers in seventh heaven and are surprised at your own seemingly effortless progress, kilometre after kilometre...
In the southern section of the Burgundian Voie Verte (22 km from Cluny to Mâcon) the going is a bit tougher. You need to pedal harder to get to the mouth of the tunnel, that's all. Still flanked by long rows of vines, the track emerges into the poetic regions of the famous Val Lamartinien, a series of houses and places which marked the life and works of Lamartine, author the Le Lac. You need to leave the Voie Verte if you want to see the châteaux and residences at Milly, Saint-Point, Pierreclos and Monceau. Not so for the photogenic castle of Berzé-le-Châtel which towers directly over the track as it emerges from the Bois Clair tunnel. The castle itself and its fine views over the Monts du Mâconnais are well worth the climb!
As you go down towards the river Saône, enjoy the superb panoramic views of the Roche de Vergisson (485?m) and its very famous 'opposite number', the Roche de Solutré. If you are being met by someone in a car, arrange to meet at Charnay-lès-Mâcon, the end of the track.