Headwater - Chablis Vineyard Walk

Loading...
Trip code: 
W08BU
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
8

A region where Renaissance chateaux, mediaeval villages and castles stand proudly amongst the vineyards, Burgundy is steeped in history and offers a tradition of exceptional wines and fine foods. It's an area rich in birdlife and wildlife enthusiasts are in for a real treat!

Starting in mediaeval Auxerre, one of the prettiest riverside cities in France, this gentle-paced ramble takes you through picture-postcard Burgundy. You'll walk along towpaths, river valleys and wheat fields alive with bright red poppies, as you head via the wine capital of Chablis, to the fortified mediaeval town of Vezelay, an important stopping-off point for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Vespers are still held here daily at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Basilica of Mary Magdalene. En route, you'll pass through world-famous vineyards with plenty of degustation opportunities and flower-filled hillsides crowned with woods and pretty riverside villages.

Highlights

  • Relaxed walking following the Grand Randonnee, part of St Jacques' route to Compostela
  • Gentle rolling landscapes, forests, farms, poppies, sunflowers and vines
  • World-famous wines including Chablis, Irancy, Aligote and Cremant
  • Steeped in historic interest: ancient Auxerre, Mediaeval Cravant and UNESCO basilica at Vezelay
  • Masses of flora and fauna, roe deer, hen harriers, hoopoe and wildflowers

Key information

  • 8 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • Continental breakfast and 6 evening meals
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • Headwater Wine Collection Service
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All Breakfasts
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • Headwater Wine Collection Service
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (compulsory supplement)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Supplement for single traveller (includes single accommodation supplement)
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

4

Days of Walking & Trekking
Terrain:

Moderately easy walking following the well-marked GR13, with just the odd short, steepish climb. Towpaths, wooded slopes, hilltops and vineyards.

Day by day breakdown
Day 215.0km/10.0miles
Day 416.0km/10.0miles
Day 617.0km/11.0miles
Day 814.0km/9.0miles

Responsive Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Arrive at Auxerre

    Your hotel is ideally situated just a few minutes' walk from Auxerre's historic centre.(Staying at Hotel Normandie, Breakfast only)

  • Day 2

    Auxerre to Chablis

    We give you a lift to Venoy where you join the 'Wine and Cheese route' ambling gently through vineyards until you reach the lakeside wine village of Beine. After a leisurely lunch, you stroll along the lake beneath the Premier Cru vineyards into the village of Poinchy where you will find some of our favourite Chablis caves. Your final stretch follows the River Serein into the town of Chablis and on to your hotel, a gastronomic jewel nestled in the heart of the town. (Staying at Hostellerie des Clos, Half board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    At Chablis

    The entire town of Chablis is almost completely devoted to the production of some of the world's finest white wines, and there are a plethora of cellars to visit and taste. You can follow the popular 8km circular walk around the celebrated Grand Crus vineyards with panoramic views of Chablis town. (Staying at Hostellerie des Clos, Half board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Chablis to Vermenton

    We take you to the panoramic viewpoint at Courgis, the starting point for today's walk. Your path leads you through the vines to the village of St-Cyr-les-Colons, fortified in the C16. Continue, passing through forest and farmland, to Cravant, nestled in the valley of the River Yonne from where you follow the ancient Route Napoleon to your charming chambre d'hotes at Vermenton. (Staying at 15 Place Voltaire, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    At Vermenton

    Maybe take the train to Arcy, a village steeped in Roman history where you can visit the prehistoric caves. Alternatively, there are plenty of lovely relaxing spots in Vermenton such as the Parc des Iles, a shady park made up of small islands connected by bridges on the River Cure. (Staying at 15 Place Voltaire, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Vermenton to Vezelay

    Catch the train from Vermenton to Sermizelles (20 mins) to start your walk across the wooded slopes of Montmartre, following the classic GR13, the famous pilgrims' path to Santiago de Compostela in north west Spain. Birdlife here is prolific; look out for hoopoe or even the rare corncrake and red-backed shrike. You emerge from the forest to see Vezelay's magnificent Basilica of Mary Magdalene standing proudly on the hill above you. Your hotel enjoys an enviable position near the Basilica.(Staying at Hotel SY Les Glycines, Half board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    At Vezelay

    The C12 basilica is a masterpiece of sacred art and a UNESCO world heritage site and is definitely worth exploring. It is the largest church in France, and was the launching point for two Crusades. A short walk takes you to the village of St Pere-sous-Vezelay and its ornate Gothic church, or you can visit the nearby Roman Baths or Fontaines Salees. (Staying at Hotel SY Les Glycines, Half board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Vezelay to Auzerre

    It's a great walk today for bird-spotting and seeing wild animals. As you leave Vezelay behind and head into the forest, look out for roe deer and stags, or pairs of jays darting in front of you. As you approach the pretty village of Chatel-Censoir take time to explore the chateau, church and the busy little port, before returning to Auxerre. (Staying at Hotel Normandie, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Leave Auxerre

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

France

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

France

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

“La Bourgogne est bien dans son assiette”. This is very much cuisine du terroir, a traditional gastronomy with its roots deep in the soil. The fantastic wines of the region play an important part in many dishes: boeuf bourguignon, coq au vin, saupiquet de jambon, oeufs sauce meurette, smelly wine washed cheeses like the popular Epoisses - the list could go on indefinitely! St Florentin, Soumaintrain, Chaource and Crottin de Chavignol are the other main Burgundian cheeses. Before dinner, you may also try the typical Kir drink, made with white Bourgogne Aligoté and the regional Crême de Cassis.

The Auxerre vineyards have been renowned since the Middle Ages, when the wine was transported to Paris and beyond along the River Yonne. At the end of C19 the Yonne had more vineyards than all of Burgundy and Beaujolais together but sadly, like all of Europe’s vineyards, these were ravaged by phylloxera.

Weather

Burgundy is situated in the heart of France and usually has warm or hot summers with a continental feel to them. Generally the summer months are warm and dry, with rainfall averaging 6cm per month in July and August. The climate in Spring and Autumn is a mixture of sun and scattered showers with temperatures in the mid 20's (degrees celcius).

Is this trip for you?

Walking Conditions
Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)
Average daily distance: 16km (10 miles). Please note that this is the average of the shortest distances, on day 4 there is the option to extend the walk.
No. of days walking: 4
Terrain and route: Moderately easy walking following the well-marked GR13, with just the odd short, steepish climb. Towpaths, wooded slopes, hilltops and vineyards.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can walk at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The routes notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotels are normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

You'll stay in hotels hand-picked for their perfect location, warm welcome and superb regional cuisine. In Auxerre you'll stay in a family-run hotel that was converted from a maison bourgeoise, and the Hostellerie des Clos is a gastronomic boutique hotel, nestled in the heart of Chablis. Louis Philippe, the French King (1830- 1848) is reputed to have stayed in your next hotel at Vermenton and the Hotel Les Glycines in Vezelay is just a few steps from the Basilica.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

Be the first to post your review! If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then simply use the link below to post your holiday review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 020 8772 3936