The beautiful region of Burgundy lends itself perfectly to French river cruises. The wines produced in the endless rows of little provincial vineyards are unrivalled in quality and taste. Discovering Burgundy’s idyllic towns by barge, sipping a delicious tipple as you cruise along, will allow you to fully appreciate the atmosphere. |
These are some of the most beautiful towns and villages for you to look forward to exploring on French river cruises.
A tiny hamlet with a magical atmosphere, Blagny should certainly be on your list of hidden gems to discover during French river cruises. Comprising just several houses and a gorgeous old manor house, the little village enjoys a timeless appeal. Expect wildflowers and views of vineyards stretching in all directions as the setting for your picnic.
Cluny is a one of the smaller towns in the region with around just 5000 residents. Much of the architecture dates back to the Middle Ages, creating an enchanting atmosphere.
While here, don’t miss out on the chance to visit the fascinating Abbaye de Cluny. Founded in 910 by Duke William I of Aquitaine, the Abbey was the keystone of the town. The Revolution destroyed much of the building, but many interesting remnants remain, including the bell tower and granary.
The narrow medieval streets of Vezelay have remained unspoiled to this day. The incredibly pretty village has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status, and with its delightful courtyards, inviting cafes, and Basilique Sainte-Madeleine, it’s easy to see why. You won’t be short of things to do and see while here on during a stop off on French river cruises.
Irancy is home to one of France’s most jaw droppingly beautiful vineyards. The slopes are south-facing, so the vines catch the midday sun at the perfect angle. Bring your camera and amble down the rolling hills; start your trek in the forest for the best views, and then work your way down through blooming wildflowers and cherry trees.
The city of Auxerre lies tucked into a U-shaped stretch of the River Yonne. As you pull in on your French river cruise, on the waterside, you will be able to spot three of its nationally famed ecclesiastical buildings — the Abbey, the Cathedral, and a church dating back to the Renaissance.
From there, wander on to explore the city’s historical district. Highlights include museums, a fifteenth century clock tower, and pedestrian streets full of character and ambience.
Foodies looking for a more unusual attraction will love going on a mustard tasting tour in France’s capital of mustard. Dijon is one of Burgundy's largest cities, and its old town buildings sport beautiful timber-framed facades. The historic centre is in fact listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
These are just some of the highlights and hidden gems for you to discover in Burgundy. To make the most of French river cruises, don’t forget to book with a reputable tour operator. Putting your holiday in good hands will make the trip hassle-free and give you more time to explore these delightful villages.
Author Plate Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury French river cruises. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.
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