Today sees the high spot of the cruise for wine lovers as, after mooring in the quaint little port of Pont d’Ouche, we drive through the glorious vineyards of the Côte d’Or to Beaune. After a restaurant lunch we’ll visit one of the world’s medieval ‘must sees’ – the fabulous Hospice built by Nicolas Rolin, Chancellor of Burgundy, in 1443. Now a spectacular museum, it is some of the most fantastic medieval architecture in France and, amazingly, was still a working hospital until the late 1970’s. All this culture is thirst-making but luckily we’re right next door to the spectacular cellars of the Marché aux Vins for a ‘must taste’ moment or several, trying some of the most famous wines in the world.
You’ll have been delighted with the food and wine so far but today is a feast for the eyes as we visit Chateauneuf-en-Auxois. Rated as one of the most beautiful places in France the stunningly restored village offers some wonderful vistas – walk into the bar in the square and you would not be surprised to see Gaston from Beauty and the Beast drinking in the corner. Once back on board we climb a flight of locks to the summit of the canal then, after lunch, there is the option to visit the Château of Commarin or the amazing Grand Basilica at Vézelay, a major historic site and still an important stop for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. Before dinner we cruise through one of the wonders of the French waterways – the two-mile long tunnel leading to Pouilly-en-Auxois.
A laid-back morning cruising to sleepy Pont Royal, where we moor-up for lunch. Then we take to the road to visit the beautiful village of Flavigny, recently elevated by Hollywood and Johnny Depp as the location for the movie Chocolat. We also include the UNESCO World Heritage Cistercian abbey at Fontenay and the little-known medieval town of Semur-en-Auxois with its old fortifications and cobbled streets. You’ll have an appetite for your final fabulous dinner!
After breakfast we wave you off on your way back to Paris.