Burgundy Hols

Chateau de Chastellux

Whether you are in search of chateaux and Romanesque architecture or you prefer long country walks or dégustations of fine wines, our peaceful, rural part of Burgundy has much to offer.

If you are a sporty type or a parent who needs activities to keep lively children amused there are lots of options. Rock climbing, white water rafting, canoeing, balloon trips, hiking, riding and tennis are all within easy distance of Coutarnoux. It is an excellent area for cycling. If you are keen on fishing there are good fishing places (river, pond and lake) from 3 - 30 km away. Walks in the forests around Coutarnoux are marked out as nature trails. You can set off from the house on foot and join up with the signed walks in the forest nearby.

But perhaps you will just enjoy soaking up the atmosphere as you sip your coffee in our local café, Les Epées d’Or, down the hill in L’Isle sur Serein. Get the latest edition of the local paper, L’Yonne Republican, for news of fairs, Sunday village sales, concerts, boules matches and other local events. During the summer there are numerous "vide greniers" (village sales) in the local villages where all sorts of bargains can be found. In August a famous all night antiques fair completely takes over the streets of the village of Mezilles (30 minutes drive away) for one weekend.

Burgundy Hols

A vide grenier

Burgundy Hols

La Fosse Dionne, Tonnerre

Here are a few examples of places of interest:

For children

Playgrounds in the village. Next to our property there is a playing field with a seesaw, boules pitch and a goal post. There is aslo a playground for small children next to the Mairie with swings and a roundabout.

Le P’tit Train de L’Yonne is a miniature railway just five minutes drive away. 50 minutes ride through delightful countryside.

Le Sentier Botanique is five minutes drive away in the nearby forest. It is a nature trail in the forest that introduces 22 different kinds of trees.

Cardoland is a ‘prehistoric’ park that offers a journey through the land of the dinosaurs. Giant dinosaur models, caves decorated with reproductions of prehistoric cave paintings, a picnic area.

La Ferme du Chateau, a farm where children can visit the animals (cows, donkeys, sheep, horses, pigs, rabbits) and see how they are looked after. The farm workers demonstrate country skills.

Guédelon Chantier Médiéval is a medieval adventure! 45 workers dressed in 13th century clothes and using 13th century techniques are building a castle. You visit the castle and its surrounding workshops where the implements needed are crafted. There are also lots of hens and pigs.

A Day at Disneyland: to get to Disneyland, you drive to our nearest mainline station Montbard (a 40 minute drive) where there is free parking for the day and take the 7.16am TGV to Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy station which is just near the entrance to Disneyland. The journey takes an hour.

For Adults and Older Children

La Grotte de Champ Retard is an adventure centre is in a disused quarry five mins drive away from Coutarnoux where you can do rock climbing.

Grottes d’Arcy-sur-Cure is a major prehistoric cave complex, even more ancient than the better known caves of Lascaux. Wonderful formations of stalagmites and stalactites and prehistoric cave paintings of animals.

Centre Exposition du Costume is a private costume museum (includes costumes from the18th century to the present day) housed in a beautiful 17th century ‘hotel’ (grand town house).

Musée de L’Avallonais is a good eclectic regional museum with collections of local interest. Includes some early works by Rouault. Children like the prehistoric tools.

On the atmospheric hill of Mont-Beuvray is the 2000-year-old site of the Gallic capital, Bibracte, where in 50BC the Gallic tribes elected Vercingétorix their commander in an attempt to defeat the Romans.

Vercingétorix was defeated by Julius Caesar at the historic battlefield site of Alésia in 52BC. Gaul then remained under Roman rule for 400 years.

The walled medieval town of Noyers-sur-Serein is full of half-timbered and arcaded houses decorated with rustic carvings.

A gem of Romanesque architecture, the abbey church of Vézelay dominates this picturesque hilltop town whose steep winding streets are also well worth exploring. Vézelay is one of the two French starting points for pilgrims to Santiago de Compostella in Northern Spain.

The exquisite hilltop village of Montréal with its famous 16th century wood carvings in the church is worth a visit.

Burgundy Hols



Some of the finest chateaux in France are within easy distance:

Château de Bussy-Rabutin home of Roger de Rabutin who was exiled from the court of Louis X1V and had his walls covered with portraits of the court figures.

Château d’ Epoisses has double fortifications surrounding its 15th century buildings.

Le Chateau de Bazoches, a twelfth century chateau that was home to the Marshall de Vauban, the founder of civil engineering and architect of fortifications of all kinds.

Château d’Ancy-le-Franc, a superb Renaissance palace designed by Sebastiano Serlio for the brother-in-law of Diane de Poitiers.

Château de Tanlay. Cross a stone drawbridge over the moat to enter this 16th century chateau with a Grande Galerie covered with trompe-l’oeil frescoes.

Burgundy Hols

WWI Memorial at
Semur en Auxois

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Chateau de Meaulnes

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Chateau d'Ancy-le-Franc

Picnic Spot near Pontaubert

Burgundy Hols