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Places to Visit

Discover the riches of Burgundy.

Chateau Les Arcis is in the village of Hauterive in northern Burgundy (the Yonne Département) about 100 miles south of Paris. It borders the River Serein and is surrounded by farmland. It is a charming, friendly village with a church, small Mairie and Auberge.

Places to Visit

Seignelay is the nearest town (approx. 5 minutes drive)

A pretty town with an 18th Century covered market. Here you will find everything you need: A pharmacy, boulangerie (bakery – the best in the area), Saturday morning market (food only), Cave (wine shop), supermarket, petrol station, eateries (basic), bar/tobacco shop, car wash, church, post office and police station.

Pontigny (approx. 10 minutes drive)

The stunning 12th Century Abbey, steeped in history, is one of the great Cistercian monasteries of France. The monks from the Abbey de Pontigny were the first to plant Chardonnay vines on these slopes surrounding the River Serein. The Abbey is a stopping point on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Concerts are held here throughout the year and the acoustics are incredible. Check their website for details.

Joigny (approx. 15 minutes drive)

A pretty medieval town on the banks of the Yonne River with many historical buildings and half-timbered facades of old town houses. A lovely town to explore with excellent restaurants, all the usual amenities and a great street market twice a week. As well as the river, Joigny has two canals, along which wine was originally shipped to Paris. There are some lovely walks along the canals and barge and boat trips are available.

Auxerre (approx. 15 minutes drive)

The protected Historic Town of France of Auxerre, on the Yonne River, was once an important trade route between the Mediterranean and the North Sea. Its lovely cobbled centre ville, on the hill that runs up from the west bank of the river, is towered over by the cathedral, abbey and several churches. It’s well worth walking around. The tourist office is located in the very centre and can provide walking maps of the town where visitors can follow historical, numbered markers (there is a copy in our leaflet folder too). The centre is mostly pedestrianised and has some great little boutiques and cafés. There are also lovely walks along the river with a variety of restaurants and cafés.

Chablis wine bottles by Michal Osmenda

Chablis (approx. 20 minutes drive)

Chablis is a beautiful medieval town, surrounded by the most famous vineyards of the region. The wine domains, boutiques and specialist shops, along with the luxurious hotels and restaurants, attract visitors all year round. Wine tastings (degustations) are available in the town, as well as at the wineries surrounding it. On Sunday mornings there is a great street market. Chablis is celebrated not only for its famous white wines, but also for being the point of departure for La Route des Grands Crus: the wine-lover’s pilgrimage towards Beaune, passing through some of the greatest wine-producing areas in the world.

Irancy (approx. 30 minutes drive)

Famous for its Pinot Noir, this lovely old village lies in the centre of a horse-shoe of hills covered in vines. There is a great walk along its edge and a wonderful picnic spot at the top of the horse-shoe with breath-taking views over the valley of Irancy. A favourite local restaurant, Le Soufflot, is in this village.

Grottes d'Arcy-sur-Cure (approx. 40 minutes drive)

The Grottoes of Arcy-sur-Cure feature some incredible limestone caves formed by the River Cure. In 1990, dozens of wall paintings from the middle and late Palaeolithic period were discovered, including hand prints and depictions of bears, mammoths and ibexes believed to be the second-oldest in the world after those of the Chauvet Grotto. Well worth a visit!

Noyers-sur-Serein (approx. 45 minutes drive)

A very attractive village with a well-preserved 15th century medieval centre. Entering the village through one of the original fortified gates, you can have the impression that you have walked into another era. Inside the walled village, wander along the cobbled streets among the traditional colombage and stone houses with their half-timbered facades. There are cafés and gift shops and no less than 78 classified historic monuments!

Vezelay (approx. 45 minutes drive)

This medieval hilltop town, (only 500 inhabitants), overlooking the Cure valley, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dominated by the impressive Basilique Sainte Marie Madeleine, it has been a great centre for pilgrims for centuries, and is another stopping point on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, with golden scallop shells in the pavement marking the way. Climb to the top of the hill, past boutiques and galleries, restaurants and cafés, and explore the alleyways and courtyards, and wander around the ramparts of ‘the most visited cultural site in Burgundy’.

St Fargeau (approx. 55 minutes drive)

St Fargeau has a stunning 17th century chateau. Fun to wander around by day and at night there are candlelit tours. In the summer, they put on a famous Son et Lumiere show: the history of France presented by about 600 actors, horses, fireworks, etc.

Avallon (approx. 57 minutes drive)

Ideally situated for forays into the Morvan, Avallon is a fortified town lying between two ravines. From the ramparts you can look across the rooftops to the Valley of the Cousin.

Guedelon (approx. 60 minutes drive)

A medieval castle being built with only the techniques and materials used in the Middle Ages. Fascinating for all ages.

The Regional National park of Morvan (approx. 60 minutes drive)

A protected area of woodlands, lakes and traditional farmland located in the heart of Burgundy, stretching from Vezelay and Avallon in the north to Autun in the south. It’s an excellent place for outdoor activities, including cycling, mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, swimming, pedaloes, white water rafting, fishing and horse riding.

Le Fôret d’Othe (approx. 10 minutes drive)

A vast forest, perfect for biking and long walks.

Beaune (approx. 1h15 minutes drive)

This beautiful town of Beaune is is the wine capital of Burgundy in the Côte d'Or department. Standing at its heart is the famous Hotel-Dieu, the town’s 15th-century hospital and symbol of the town’s history. With its cobbled streets and historic buildings, Beaune is best explored on foot, and there are plenty of convivial bars and brasseries where you can taste the local wine.

Additional Suggestions

Le Petit Train de l'Yonne ; an old, reconstructed train line (Massangis), Abbaye de Vauluisant (Courgenay), Cardoland Dinosaur Sculpture Park (Chamoux).
We have more tourist information, as well as maps, in our leaflet folder.