Classical Burgundy Canal Barge Cruise
|Escommes to Longecourt-en-Plaine (Cruise runs Sunday to Saturday)|
Highlights: The Burgundy Canal - Dijon & its markets - The beautiful village of Chateauneuf plus options for a vineyard tour, wine tasting and fine dining in restaurants and chateaux.
canal du Bourgogne or Burgundy canal is one of the most beautiful
navigations in France. Combine this with Burgundy's reputation for
fine wines and cuisine, it's no wonder that this area is a magnet to
visitors worldwide. Dijon has great rail connections with Paris with
superfast TGV trains taking less than two hours, even on a Sunday. This
weeks cruise runs from Sunday to Saturday rather than the normal Saturday to Friday so that we can take advantage of some exciting options and be in
Dijon for market day.
Take a taxi from the station in Dijon and join the barge in the small village of Escommes. I'll be cooking you a hearty welcome aboard dinner and seeing as we are in Burgundy, I think my rich slow cooked Boeuf Bourguignon would be most appropriate. On Monday morning the barge descends eight locks and moors in Vandenesse-en-Auxois.
In the afternoon you can either walk, cycle or take a taxi the two or three kilometres up to the magnificent fortified hamlet of Chateauneuf which crowns a nearby hilltop. The village contains some magnificent 14-17th century merchants houses, a few shops and the 'Hostellerie du Chateau'. You might choose to return to Chateauneuf for a meal in the evening or alternatively dine out at another gorgeous location. L'Hostellerie du Chateau de Sainte Sabine is a short taxi ride away in a neighbouring village. Menus run at somewhere between 35 and 65 Euros per head excluding wine. There are also restaurants in Vandenesse.
Tuesday is a full cruising day through to our mooring which is about a kilometres walk from 12th Century Cistercian 'Abbaye de la Bussiere'. If we arrive in time, you can explore its beautiful grounds and either self cater aboard or treat yourself to another fine dining opportunity in the Abbaye itself?
During Wednesday, the barge follows the picturesque Canal du Bourgogne through peaceful Dijonnaise countryside along the Ouche valley. In places the canal is lined by poplar trees and the fields alongside, full with grazing Charolais cattle. Our entire weeks route has the benefit of an excellent towpath for cycling or walking should you feel the urge to get a bit of exercise. Tonight we moor in the village of Fleury-sur-Ouche. There is a small local restaurant in the village or you can self cater aboard.
On Thursday morning we'll be up at the crack of dawn and take breakfast on the hoof while we cruise into central Dijon. We should arrive by mid afternoon and after the light lunch aboard, you have plenty of time to explore all the city has to offer. I have details of a self guided walking tour if you are interested. Dijon's centre is a tangle of small streets like as Rue Verrerie and beg further exploration, as do the 13th century Notre-Dame and St-Michel's churches. Art lovers shouldn't miss the 'Musee des Beaux Arts' located inside the imposing 'Palais des Ducs' in Dijon's Place de la Liberation. Dijon offers terrific opportunities for fine dining, so my suggestion is that you budget to do just that.
On Friday morning you have a choice. Friday is market day in Dijon. You have the chance to explore it early or take a 60 Euro per person option for a 3 hour tour of the famous winemaking villages of the Cote de Nuits. This vineyard tour is followed by two cellar visits and comprehensive wine tasting.
the barge cruises out of Dijon mid afternoon and heads toward the village of Longecourt-en-Plaine. You might wish to take a wander to view the villages magnificent privately owned Chateau. It's not possible to go inside but the exterior is beautiful. In the evening you can self cater aboard or if the weathers nice we might enjoy a BBQ on the canal side.
You are due to leave the barge after Breakfast on Saturday by taking a taxi into Dijon. If you missed yesterdays market by taking the wine tour, Saturday is another market day in Dijon and you can have a look round before taking your train.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Unforeseen circumstances sometimes affect our cruising schedule. These can include, but are not limited to: illness, floods, weather, canal closures, canal maintenance, lack of moorings, bureaucracy, strikes, civil disturbance, acts of god, the engine, and whims and fancies of both skipper, guests and crew. All of these things might cause last minute changes to the above and cruise routes. Although rare, we reserve the right to alter any and all routes accordingly. Flexibility is the name of the game and any such changes cannot be considered grounds for cancellation of the cruise.