May 20th - 26th
For individual bookings
The itinerary blends guided walks through beautiful Burgundy countryside, daily excursions and cruising on the glorious Nivernais Canal with plenty of opportunities to swim.
For the fourth consecutive season we have teamed up with ‘The Walking Party’ to offer passengers a Walking Cruise on the Luciole.
Guided walks through woods and vineyards, along rivers, vary between 5 - 8 km (3 – 6 miles). Those choosing not to walk are most welcome to relax on board or take a meander closer to the mooring.
Rendezvous in Paris, at the hotel Mansart and transfer to the Luciole for a Champagne reception. The boat is moored for the evening in Clamecy
Morning cruise to Lucy-sur-Yonne, with time to find ones walking feet, strolling beside the barge.
We drive to Vézelay in the afternoon, for a tour of the UNESCO, hilltop basilica, before walking down the Eternal Hill to Saint-Père, a Burgundian village with an interesting 13th Century Gothic church, covered in strange gargoyles of grimacing heads. We head to Foissy-lès-Vézelay, climbing gently for views looking back to the basilica. Here ancient oak trunks hollowed out by the Romans and used for baths at this natural salt spring. The final part of the walk is through Vézelay vineyards before we are met by the bus for a ride back to the barge moored in Lucy-sur-Yonne (7 km/4.5 miles).
Non-walkers can take extra time to explore the town and many varied shops.
Early morning cruise towards our evening mooring in Mailly-le-Château.
The morning walk takes one away from the canal, up and over gentle hills to Châtel Censoir. Here we stop at the classic French village café in the town square, joining the locals for a coffee, chocolat chaud or even an early morning Cognac. We cross the canal and River Yonne, continuing through the beautiful the countryside and walk to the medieval village of Merry-sur-Yonne with views of Châtel Censoir’s hilltop church before joining the Luciole for gourmet buffet lunch (7 km/4.5 miles).
An afternoon visit is to the Château of Bazoches, once home of the Marquis of Vauban, France’s great military engineer.
We rise early for a walk through beech forests full of bird song, to a vantage point on limestone cliffs, with lovely views of the Nivernais Canal and river valley. Continuing along narrow forest paths to an isolated farmhouse - with a yard full of turkeys, guinea fowl and chickens. The walk then takes us across a plateau of fields to the Rochers du Saussois, allowing for extensive views west, over Merry-sur-Yonne and into the distance. We then meet the bus to return to the Luciole (8 km/5 miles).
We travel to Noyers-Sur-Serein for the morning weekly village market. Market stalls, boutique shops and classic cafes are hidden in the narrow medieval streets, Noyers is officially one of France’s prettiest villages and we dine in a restaurant here for lunch. Coming back to the barge to cruise to our night’s mooring in the sleepy town of Accolay.
A further walk for the keen is offered in the late afternoon from the Rochers du Saussois with their panoramic views, south towards our mooring.
We leave the barge at Accolay, to walk up through the village and along the River Cure - a pretty and bubbling river and a tributary of the Yonne. Crossing fields and through woods to a swimming spot beneath the 1790’s bridge in the village Bessy-sur-Cure. A short walk along a quiet lane leads to Arcy-sur-Cure, in time for drinks and a further swimming opportunity. The Luciole bus will be there to meet us and take us for lunch on the barge and the cruise to Vincelles (6 km/4 miles).
In the afternoon we visit the wine cellar of Brocard in Chablis, for wine tasting of pure Chardonnay wine.
For the final walk of the week from the barge, we cross the canal and climb towards the vineyards - with views of Vincelles and Vincelotte, straddling the River Yonne. Our walk continues to Irancy, a beautiful wine making village, nestling in a large amphitheatre of Pinot Noir and César vineyards. Descending into Irancy, there is an again the opportunity for a café or chocolat chaud, before a gentle climb out through the vines, up to a spectacular panorama of the viticultural village and Saint-Bris-le-Vineux to the north. Our final descent allows us to take in the far reaching views before we reach the Luciole for lunch and our last cruise into the city of Auxerre (7 km/4.5 miles).
In the afternoon we explore the old Roman city of Auxerre. The dramatic Cathedral of Saint Etienne and the Abbey of Saint Germain rise dramatically from the left bank, on which the Luciole is moored.
Captain’s Diner in the evening is hosted by James and the Luciole Captain, Francisco.
Morning departure at 9.30am, arriving in Paris at lunchtime.
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Hotel barge Luciole
Cruising since 1976
Phone: 00 44 1625 576880
From USA: 011 44 1625 576880
23 Adlington Road, Bollington
SK10 5JT England
1-2 Quai de la Republique, Auxerre