Yonne Guide - the Central France Bike Trip


Yonne overview 

What is the archetypal France bike trip?  There are trips to the Loire or riding through Alsace but in our minds there is one perfect, relatively flat, central French area which is great for bike riding and that is the Yonne.  The Yonne department combines touring through some of the great wine areas of Burgundy, past ancient cathedrals, abbeys and fortified buildings, along rivers and quiet country lanes.

This area is easy to get to from Paris (less than 1.5 hours by train) and still relatively close to the Channel ports.  It has good road and local train support.

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Estimated costs

Bicycle holidays in the Yonne are not generally offered by travel agents or tour operators.  But it is perfectly possible to use the web to book bike tours offered by local operators.  Accommodation and other costs are generally low for France. Our estimate of the cost of a reasonably comfortable holiday (ie staying in medium quality hotels, and eating and drinking moderately well) and assuming you rent a bike, based on riding for 7 days and two people sharing a room for 6 nights is:

 Item Calculation  Cost in Euros 
 Bike hire    €10/day per bike for 7 days  140
 Hotels  €75/night for 6 nights  350
 Food and drink  €40 per person per day, for 7 days  560
 Public transport    20
 Extras  say €20 per person  40
      

 

 

 

 

 

 

making €1,110 in total, or €555 per person.  This would require you to travel 30km per day, if you do the whole figure of eight route.

topauxerre tour horloge

Yonne bike route

The bike route is a figure of eight with Auxerre, the largest town on the route, at the centre.  The local railway system follows three quarters of the route.  The major part of the tour follows beautiful rivers and canals (and so is reasonably flat) before going up into the hills between Auxerre and Chablis past a number of specialist wineries until you reach the world famous Chablis wine region.

Accommodation is plentiful but, given the popularity of this area, finding somewhere to stay at short notice can be difficult in high summer. The accommodation column below provides an indication of the number of hotels or similar in each village/town.  The first column in the table shows the main route in blue to the west, green south east and red to the north east and is the same as the coloured route on the Yonne Map .

  • None: 0
  • Few: 1 or 2
  • Some: 3 to 6
  • Many: 7 or more
Place of Interest
 Kms

Service

Accommodation

 Auxerre 0
StationVineyardCathedralAbbey Many
 Champs sur Yonne (-St Bris)  7 Request StopVineyard Few
 Vincelles  12 Request Stop Some
 Cravant  18 Station Few
 Mailly la Ville 29
Request Stop Few
Chatel Censoir  40 Request Stop Few
 Coulanges sur Yonne  49 Request Stop Few
 Clamecy  58 StationChurch Some
 Vezelay 81
BasiliqueWalled TownVineyard Some
Sermizelles
 92 Request Stop None
Voutenay sur Cure  96 Request Stop None
Saint-Moré 98
  Few
Arcy sur Cure  104 Station Few
Lucy sur Cure 108
Request StopN6 None
Vermenton  112 Request StopN6  
Accolay
 114 Request Stop  
Cravant  122 Station  
Vincelles  127 Request Stop  
Champs sur Yonne 132
Request Stop
 
St Bris  136 Vineyard
Few
Chitry 140
Vineyard Few
Chablis 152  VineyardWalled Town Some
Ligny le Châtel  163 AbbeyViticulture Few
Pontigny  168 Abbey Few
Migennes (Laroche-)  187 Station Few
Chemilly 189 Request Stop Some
Moneteau  196 Request Stop Many
Auxerre  205 StationAbbeyCathedralVineyard Many
       
Detour from Vincelles      
Irancy
  Vineyard  
       
Burgundy Tourist
  Pretty but hard to use website
 
Yonne Tourist
  Very useful regional website  
Morvan Parc   Morvan Natural Park
 
Joigny      

Information on each village can be obtained from its web site by clicking on the village name in the table above.  For those that do not provide an English version, see the advice on web translation below.   

Key

  • walledcityWalled City
  • churchAbbey, Cathedral or other major church
  • vinyardVineyard
  • trainStation
  • Request stop trainRequest stop station
  • N6    small stretches on the Route Nationale 6

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Web translation

A lot of the smaller tourist web sites are written in French only.  This should be no barrier to you using or them as Google offers a number of translation solutions.  Our preferred option is the Google toolbar which can be downloaded, as the quality of translation is reasonable and in most cases the web page will appear in English as you read down it.  This means it is always up to date and integrated with the website.

 
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