‘Slow Tourism’ Gems to look out for in Burgundy-Franche-Comté in 2019
The undisputed champion of ‘Slow Tourism’ in Burgundy-Franche-Comté has unveiled its latest news and little gems for 2019… From April to October, whether aboard a houseboat, sailing it yourself at your own pace in perfect safety, or staying on a barge-hotel that offers a complete range of services that are usually very high-end, the region invites all to take it easy as you enjoy discoveries and encounters along the waterways. And don’t forget a new way to explore the region dreamed up by Backwaters Tours!
It probably isn’t necessary to remind you that, with 1,300km of waterways, Burgundy-Franche-Comté boasts the largest network of navigable rivers and canals in France – but it’s worth remembering nonetheless!
Its five canals: the Canal de Bourgogne, Canal du Nivernais, Canal du Rhône au Rhin, Loire Lateral Canal and Canal du Centre and four main rivers: the Doubs, the Saône, the Seille and the Yonne, allow pleasure boaters to explore the unique natural, historic and architectural heritage. Not to mention the wines and the gastronomy…
Boat hire companies offer vessels that are becoming more and more innovative: comfortable, ecological and easy to operate
Nicols, a boat building and rental firm, unveils its new craft: The “Sixto-Green”, the very first river boat with 100% electric propulsion, is non-polluting and ultra silent. Also, the “Octo Fly”, the largest in the fleet at 15m long, is perfect for groups of 8 to 10 people and boasts a large terrace so you can really enjoy the scenery.
Aboard the barge-hotels and floating gîtes you can enjoy a total cocooning experience…
Usually offering full-board, these cruises include visits to sites and markets, as well as tastings of wines and local products during stop-offs.
New: The « La vie en Rose » is a beautiful barge from the 1930s that offers total comfort as it sails along the Canal du Centre: an unfortgettable cruise. From 6 250 €/week breakfast included.
Backwaters Tours : a new concept in river tourism… from the UK!
‘Natalia’ is a purpose-built, eco-friendly, 40-seat, electric hybrid boat, best described as a floating observation lounge. Launched in June 2018 to tour the hidden canals and rivers of France, the vessel has been developed by UK-based Backwaters Tours. ‘Natalia’ operates on the River Yonne and allows the discovery of historical places such as the UNESCO-listed Basilica at Vézelay and the Abbaye de Fontenay; the spectacular cities of Sens and Auxerre; and the iconic vineyards of Chablis. The slow pace of travel means the same hotel can be used all week. Guests enjoy a morning cruise and lunch supplied by a local boulangerie, before travelling by coach to visit local chateaux, vineyards and historic towns and cities.
Save the dates!
Along the River Doubs and Canal du Rhône au Rhin in July-August and September
- The ‘Mardis des Rives’ invites you to enjoy a variety of concerts all along the River Doubs
- The Estivales du Pré La Rose summer festival (Montbéliard)
- The Chat Perché gastonomic weekend (Dole)
Along the River Yonne, Canal du Nivernais and Loire Lateral Canal in July-August
- Garçon La Note, concerts at the pavement cafés (Sens, Auxerre, Cosne-sur-Loire, Nevers)
- The Festiv’Hall, sailor’s festival ( Decize)
- July, the Joutes Nautiques festival (Clamecy)
Images: Alain Doire, Borgogne-Franche-Comte Tourisme