Starting in medieval Auxerre, one of the prettiest riverside cities in France, this gentle-paced ramble takes you through picture-postcard Burgundy. You'll walk along towpaths, river valleys and wheat fields alive with bright red poppies, as you head via the wine capital of Chablis, to the fortified medieval town of Vezelay, an important stopping-off point for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Vespers are still held here daily at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Basilica of Mary Magdalene. En route, you'll pass through world-famous vineyards with plenty of /degustation/ opportunities and flower-filled hillsides crowned with woods and pretty riverside villages.
“La Bourgogne est bien dans son assiette”. This is very much cuisine du terroir, a traditional gastronomy with its roots deep in the soil. The fantastic wines of the region play an important part in many dishes: boeuf bourguignon, coq au vin, saupiquet de jambon, oeufs sauce meurette, smelly wine washed cheeses like the popular Epoisses - the list could go on indefinitely! St Florentin, Soumaintrain, Chaource and Crottin de Chavignol are the other main Burgundian cheeses. Before dinner, you may also try the typical Kir drink, made with white Bourgogne Aligoté and the regional Crême de Cassis. The Auxerre vineyards have been renowned since the Middle Ages, when the wine was transported to Paris and beyond along the River Yonne. At the end of 19th century the Yonne had more vineyards than all of Burgundy and Beaujolais together but sadly, like all of Europe’s vineyards, these were ravaged by phylloxera.
Your hotel is ideally situated just a few minutes' walk from Auxerre's historic centre.*(Staying at Hotel Normandie)*
We give you a lift to Venoy where you join the 'Wine and Cheese route' ambling gently through vineyards until you reach the lakeside wine village of Beine. After a leisurely lunch, you stroll along the lake beneath the /Premier Cru/ vineyards into the village of Poinchy where you will find some of our favourite Chablis /caves/. Your final stretch follows the River Serein into the town of Chablis and on to your hotel, a gastronomic jewel nestled in the heart of the town. *(Staying at Hostellerie des Clos)*
The entire town of Chablis is almost completely devoted to the production of some of the world's finest white wines, and there are a plethora of cellars to visit and taste. You can follow the popular 8km circular walk around the celebrated /Grand Crus/ vineyards with panoramic views of Chablis town. *(Staying at Hostellerie des Clos)*
We take you to the panoramic viewpoint at Courgis, the starting point for today's walk. Your path leads you through the vines to the village of St-Cyr-les-Colons, fortified in the 16th century. Continue, passing through forest and farmland, to Cravant, nestled in the valley of the River Yonne from where we transfer you to Pontaubert, your home for the next 2 nights. *(Staying at Moulin des Ruats)* Optional shorter walk: 4hrs, distance 13km/8mi
Take a walk in the beautiful Vallee du Cousin or visit nearby Avallon with its cobbled streets and impressive town houses. *(Staying at Moulin des Ruats)*
Follow part of the Camino de Santiago, keeping your eyes peeled for rare birdlife. There are wonderful views of the magnifi cent hilltop basilica as you approach Vezelay. You stay at the Hotel SY les Glycines for two nights. *(Staying at Hotel SY Les Glycines)*
The 12th century basilica is a masterpiece of sacred art and a UNESCO world heritage site and is definitely worth exploring. It is the largest church in France, and was the launching point for two Crusades. A short walk takes you to the village of St Pere-sous-Vezelay and its ornate Gothic church, or you can visit the nearby Roman Baths or Fontaines Salees. *(Staying at Hotel SY Les Glycines)*
It's a great walk today for bird-spotting and seeing wild animals. As you leave Vezelay behind and head into the forest, look out for roe deer and stags, or pairs of jays darting in front of you. As you approach the pretty village of Chatel-Censoir take time to explore the chateau, church and the busy little port, before returning to Auxerre. *(Staying at Hotel Normandie)*
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
With over 45 years’ experience of taking people on amazing adventure holidays, Exodus can help you reach some of the most incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across more than 90 countries around the world. All staff at Exodus have a passion for travel and adventure, and some team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus. But that’s not all. This reputable company is a Which? recommended escorted tour provider and has won many prestigious awards, including Best Activity and Sports Holiday Company at the 2018 British Travel Awards.
Exodus is all about adventure and helping others to achieve their travel dreams by offering a fantastic range of guided group holidays, self-guided trips, tailor-made getaways and escorted tours. So, if you’re looking to discover different countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts or even jungles, the expert team at Exodus can help you plan an unforgettable solo, group or family adventure.
Each tour and adventure has been created to give you maximum value for money, often including authentic activities, as well as flights, accommodation and a tour guide. And as the team has developed one of the very best and most exciting collections of guided-group tours and self-guided holidays, you’re guaranteed the adventure holiday of a lifetime, no matter which one you pick. Trips include everything from family adventure holidays and walking and cycling tours to mixed-activity tours and seasonal getaways. You can also ask Exodus to plan a tailored itinerary from scratch or tweak an existing one, which means you can book a bespoke holiday that is designed just for you.
Need some inspiration? You can enjoy varied walks in the stunning Spanish mountains, experience the magic of Italy in Tuscany or explore the rich Sri Lankan history and culture by bike. Try a host of different activities in glorious Turkish surroundings, ski through the magnificent Norwegian wilderness or embark on a journey through India’s tropical south. Visit Iceland and East Greenland, see the spectacular marine wildlife in the Maldives or cruise along the mighty Amazon River in Peru – the options are endless!
When it comes to travelling together as a family with Exodus, all family holidays are specifically designed to offer a mix of education and exploration, with plenty of downtime. Each adventure and tour has been created with one of three age ranges in mind, but children outside of the 5-8, 9-12 and 13-16 age bracket are welcome to travel too. Plus, the price for children up to the age of 16 is 25% lower than the adult cost for Exodus guided holidays to help make your trip more affordable. From canoeing and cycling in the Dordogne to safari tours in Africa and dolphin watching in Costa Rica, Exodus offer family adventures all over the world.
Something that makes this adventure holiday and escorted tour operator unique is the loyalty scheme, the Exodus Collective. When you book your second trip, you’ll join the Collective and be given access to exclusive discounts, sales previews and special travel benefits. The more you travel with Exodus the more you’ll be entitled to, and your membership also grants you special access to exclusive travel content.
At Exodus, they make sure that everyone travels respectfully and courteously in a small group to minimise their impact and to ensure each holiday is a beneficial experience for all those involved. Where possible, they believe in putting money directly into the communities they visit by eating locally produced food and using locally owned and run accommodation. They also strive to provide as much flexibility and choice as possible to make it simple for you to experience a memorable holiday, your way.