If you are looking for a flat, easy walk with almost no chance of getting lost, canal towpaths offer a glimpse into rural France most commonly viewed from a boat. And if you’re reluctant to commit to a 240-kilometre (150-mile) walk and like the idea of cycling some (or all) sections, the Burgundy Canal is the perfect choice.
Less busy than the Midi Canal, which is one of the most popular holiday destinations in France, the Burgundy Canal cuts a romantic path through some of the prettiest countryside imaginable.
Save this post to Pinterest to read later.
Between Migennes and Pouilly-en-Auxois, you’ll find yourself within walking distance, or a shuttle bus ride, of seven châteaux, eleven churches, one abbey and the ‘most beautiful villages’ of Noyers-sur-Serein and Flavigny-sur-Ozerain.
Continue on from Pouilly-en-Auxois to Saint-Jean-de-Losne and you’ll pass through the canal tunnel (dug by Spanish and English prisoners in the nineteenth century) and visit the fortified castle at Châteauneuf-en-Auxois—another of France’s ‘most beautiful villages’.
During the summer months, you’ll find yourself surrounded by sunflowers and the quaint lock-houses dotted along the canal will have you reaching for your camera every few minutes.
Thirty kilometres (19 miles) before the end of the canal, you’ll arrive in the historic city of Dijon. This is the ideal place to stop for a few days, explore the local wineries towards Beaune and Chablis and perhaps celebrate your walk with a meal at one of the four Michelin-starred restaurants.
Visit Dijon and the châteaux of Ancy-le-Franc and Tanlay…
You’ll find everything you need to plan an itinerary, book accommodation and much more in the I Love Walking in France – Burgundy Canal guidebooks.
Some of the information is also available here on the website—
- What to expect on this walk
- Map of the path and its location in France
- My suggested itinerary, including tips for sightseeing and market days
- A list of all the towns and villages where you’ll find accommodation and the distances between them
- Practical tips for walking safely and considerately
Inside the guidebook, you’ll also find—
- A complete packing list covering all the essential items you’ll need to take and a few optional extras
- Useful French phrases to help you book a taxi, book a room, ask about breakfast, order dinner, buy a train ticket and understand directions
- Dozens of photos
Each village has a dedicated section covering—
- Population (because a village of 35 will not have an ATM not matter how badly you need one)
- Accommodation—what will you find, hotels, chambre d’hôtes, gîtes or campgrounds… including website links
- Available services—cafés, bakeries, grocery stores, doctors, pharmacies, banks and ATMs
- Train and bus services, including website links to check or download timetables
- Taxi phone numbers
- Tourist Office location and website
- Market days and other festivals
- A brief history of the village and details of museums, churches and other attractions
- Directions to and from the canal (if the village is not located on the canal)
Visit Abbaye de Fontenay and the ‘most beautiful villages’ of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain and Châteauneuf-en-Auxois…
I Love Walking in France digital guidebooks are provided in PDF format, allowing you easy access to all website links or, if you prefer a paper copy, print only those pages you want to carry.
Download the updated 2018 edition of the Burgundy Canal guidebooks now and start planning!
Or purchase the set and save US$5.99
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
“We have lived in France, visited regularly over 35 years and done a lot of independent walking along roads and trails generally using local maps. What has been lacking is a publication in English that combined sensible general advice on walking in France with detailed instructions on routes and facilities on interesting off-road trails.
I think Melinda Lusmore has achieved this in her website and publications. She has compiled a series of practicable and beautiful walks combined with geographical instructions and a wealth of good advice. She has been very helpful too in our direct email contact.
We are already planning one of her walks later this year and will report on our experience. We have always loved France and know it has unlimited, small, unsung wonders in the rural areas. Go and find them!” Coral Hoggett
“As an experienced walker in both England and France, I gave up hill walking a while back in favor of walks along waterways. They have the advantages of less strenuous walking, the near impossibility of getting lost, and the beauty of being in sight of water every day. My last walk in France was along the Burgundy Canal, between Pouilly-en-Auxois and Dijon. I enjoyed it so much I wanted to walk more of the canal and that’s when I discovered Melinda’s website and her guide for the route I was about to plan for myself.
I know how many planning elements must come together for a successful long-distance walk and after reading Melinda’s guide, it’s clear she knows, too. It will benefit both novice and experienced walkers, is well-organized with all the bases covered and beautifully illustrated for inspiration.
You’ve saved me a great deal of work, Melinda, and done it so much better than I could have myself. Many thanks.” Joanna Yates
“Melinda is my #1 source for walking tours in France. Before I found her, I didn’t know what GR paths were. We’re a family of New Yorkers, and love a good long walk. These walking paths are now, on our must-do list in France, thanks to Melinda. Although, we may cycle parts of this walk, it’s great to know, especially traveling with our 11 year old daughter, what exactly to expect.
Melinda details everything one may need to start this amazing walking tour of the Burgundy Canals: Distances, Village population and history, rest stops, luggage drop off and pick up, hotels, gites, restaurants and much more.
I very much appreciate all the distances listed between the villages. It helps me time my walk/cycle and make sure my daughter is hydrated and fed. Melinda thoroughly details what to expect and how to match every family members’ expectations. I also appreciate the history she teaches us about the region so I can make the walk into a fun education for all three of us.” Brenda Tolentino (Dish our Town)
Terms and Conditions – Each I Love Walking in France – Burgundy Canal guidebook is produced in digital PDF format to give you the best possible viewing experience and to allow easy access to the links within it.
Refund Policy – If you are not completely happy with your I Love Walking in France – Burgundy Canal guidebook, please email me at the address below within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.
Contact – email email@example.com
Revisions to the Burgundy Canal guidebook – 2018 edition
Argentenay – Auberge au Bord de l’Eau is no longer offering accommodation
Châteauneuf-en-Auxois – Au Bois Dormant (link updated)
Pont-de-Pany/Sainte-Marie website (link corrected)
Dijon – Holiday Inn Toison d’Or (link updated)
Dijon – Hôtel le Thurot (link updated)
Saint-Jean-de-Losne – Vagabondo (link updated)