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Paris-Auxerre 8-day Bike & Barge Tour (ZW)
There is a very good reason why Northern Burgundy is referred to as “The Land of Good Living”, and if nothing else, once you complete this memorable bike and barge tour, we hope you understand why.
If you’ve never seen Northern Burgundy you are in for a sensual overload of divinely beautiful countryside, ancient medieval villages, serene, meandering rivers and of course, some of the best wines, cheeses, honey and ciders the world!
Burgundy is known throughout the world for its laid-back pace of life, friendliness and mild climate. Both the cultural experiences of visiting wonders such as the gothic cathedral of Sens or the cities of art and culture of Auxerre and Joigny and the biking itself which alternates between easy stretches of free-wheeling alongside the river Yonne and more challenging uphill sections that lead to spectacular views, will leave you feeling enriched, enlightened and recharged.
A newly built passenger barge with Martijn as your captain on board; he grew up in a family in a hospitality business and is also a licensed chef. The sympathetic and very motivated owners have restyled the interior of the barge in winter 2014-2015 and have created a warm and cosy atmosphere. On the lower deck are twelve comfortable guest cabins. Ten twins (7 m² – 75 sq.ft.) with two separate single beds and two doubles (6 m² – 65 sq.ft.) with one double bed. Each cabin has a private shower, toilet and basin. All cabins have ventilation, central heating, air-conditioning and a window; the windows in the doubles can be opened, the windows in the twins are fixed for safety reasons. Furthermore, in each cabin you will find a mini safe and hairdryer. On the upper deck you will find the nice and cosy salon with heating, air conditioning, large panoramic windows, a restaurant area, lounge corner and a small bar. Wi-Fi is available. There is a very spacious sun deck with chairs and tables where you can relax, enjoy the scenery while sailing or join the skipper in the wheelhouse.
If you would like to rent a bike, incl. helmet and water bottle (95 EUR) or e-bike, incl. helmet and water bottle (210 EUR), please contact our office when booking: [email protected]
(2023 bike prices 100 EUR or e-bikes 220 EUR)
Slow Tours offers other Bike & Barge tours in Europe
The first day of your tour begins with embarkation and check-in at 2 p.m. After a warm welcome by the captain, crew and tour leader, you’ll be fitted with a bike for the tour. Dinner will be served on board, after which you can enjoy a moonlit stroll through Moret-sur-Loing, a charming medieval fortified town, situated on the banks of the Loing, where the painter Sisley found inspiration for his beautiful impressionist paintings.
Moret – Montereau – Pont sur Yonne 33km or 40km
Today begins with a leisurely breakfast while sailing to the town of Montereau-fault-Yonne, situated at the confluence of the Yonne and the Seine rivers. In Montereau you’ll have an opportunity to visit the Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Loup collegiate church. Built between the 12th and 14th centuries, this church has been officially classified as a Historic Monument. From Montereau you will follow the canals of the river Yonne to Pont-sur-Yonne, a quaint, friendly town where we will dock for the night.
Pont sur Yonne – Sens 20km or 42km
Today you have the option to follow the river valley to the town of Sens or take a longer ride into the countryside and visit a local honey producer. Sens is one of the oldest towns in France where you’ll visit the first of the greater gothic cathedrals, Cathedral Saint-Etienne. There will be plenty of time afterwards to shop, stroll through the marketplace or wander around town. Near the town you’ll find the 10-hectare Parc du Moulin a Tan, through which the Vanne and the Lingue run. The Parc du Moulin a Tan is a precursor of the town’s project for a green belt, which should ultimately go right around Sens. It’s named after an obscure type of mill that dates back to 1887 and was used to grind oak bark to make tanbark, a powder used in leather tanning. The Parc du Moulin a Tan includes a rose garden, an animal enclosure, an arboretum, and a playground.
Sens – Villeneuve sur Yonne 28km or 52km
Once more, your day begins with two cycling options. The shorter one stays closer to the river, where the longer one takes you through the hills to the museum ‘de Pomme et de cidre’ where you’ll be rewarded with a taste of the fine cider they produce there. We dock for the night in the lovely, lesser-known French town of Villeneuve where you are free to explore the medieval gate towers and romantic string of gardens as the sun sets over the countryside.
Villeneuve sur Yonne – Joigny 21km or 42km
Today you’ll start the morning with a beautiful bike tour to the town of Saint-Julien-du-Sault where you can visit the 13th-century Saint-Pierre church with its magnificent stained-glass windows. You’ll then continue to Joigny where you’ll follow a lazy loop through the local vineyards in the afternoon sunshine. Then, one of the highlights of the tour for wine-lovers!, the tour leader will show you some places to taste the fine Burgundy wines. Joigny, a picturesque little town with a very long and successful wine history, has several sights worth visiting, including numerous historical monuments, unique townhouses from the 16th-17th centuries, with carved renaissance facades, and ancient churches.
Joigny – Auxerre 25km or 38km
Another leisurely breakfast aboard as we sail to Migennes at the junction of the Burgundy canal, once a centre of shipping industry. You’ll hop back on your bike at Migennes to follow the beautiful Burgundy canal as you head south to Auxerre with her majestic church spires, streets lined with 16th-century timber houses and cathedral of Saint-Etienne, a true masterpiece of Gothic art. You can also stroll along the old port or visit the 15th-century clock tower. Today there is no dinner on board, so you are free to choose one of the local restaurants for dinner.
Auxerre 30km or 42km
Today you are spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding how to spend your day. If you’d like to spend a lazy day strolling around Auxerre, feel free to enjoy this beautiful city however you choose! If you’re itching to get back in the saddle, then explore the area of Auxerre together with your guide. Cycle along the Yonne to visit ‘Caves be Bailly’, a vineyard is famous for its sparkling Cremant de Bourgogne and limestone caves. The nearby vineyards of St Bris and Irancy are also well worth a visit, as are the paintings of George Hosotte in the Chapelle de Bailly.
The final day of this memorable trip begins with a farewell breakfast on board after which disembarkation continues until 9:30 am.
Tours marked with are special prices.
If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.
Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote
Shows in English in Paris: Paris offers a wide variety of shows accessible to English-speakers. One-man shows, classic & modern theatre, musicals, cabarets and more are all performed in the city every night. You can get the full programme of shows in Paris to fit your city break dates by emailing [email protected]