Burgundy Canal ~ Ouche Valley ~ Dijon
The construction of the Canal de Bourgogne in eastern central France was completed in 1832 and follows the course of first the River Armancon and then the River Ouche. Located close to its summit, the pretty rural village of Vandenesse-en-Auxois marks the start of the southern reaches of one of France’s loveliest waterways, gliding through perhaps the most highly-regarded winemaking region in the country. The celebrated Burgundy Route des Vins offers arguably the best of French reds from the Cotes de Nuits to the Cote de Beaune and all stops in between.
The fairytale Chateau de Longecourt has a romantic moat and dreaming spires to enchant the eye, but it is the Ducal Palace in Dijon that provides the historical and architectural highlights of the area. Once the official residence of the Dukes of Burgundy, it now houses the Musee des Beaux Arts, one of the largest museums in France, which features masterpieces by the likes of Titian, Veronese, Brueghel, Rubens, the list goes on…In the 17th century Dijon was granted exclusive rights to produce mustard, a skill that locals have honed down the years and nowadays the famous Dijon mustard adds a piquant note to the cuisine for which the Burgundy region is so well known.
Look out for the distinctive glazed tiles that colour the roofscapes of so many of the region’s towns and villages: from the 12th century onwards these richly coloured tiles, arranged in intricate patterns, were intended to confer status on the owners of the houses that they graced.
Wonderful Ouche Valley Places
– [below] In the region: Vandenesse-en-Auxois, Canal de Bourgogne, Longecourt, Burgundy Route des Vins, Dijon –
Getting to Dijon and the Ouche Valley
Hotel barges often collect and return guests to a pre-agreed Paris or Dijon hotel. The primary French international airport is at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and there is a European-flight airport at Dole. There are also TGV express train stations at Montbard, Dijon, near Dole and Le Cruesot (near Montchanin); and many other towns in the region have railway connections.
River Saone ~ Chalon-sur-Saone ~ River Doubs ~ Canal du Centre
The Saone is one of the most attractive rivers in France: wide, sleepy and unhurried, it wends its way from the mountains of the Vosges to the Rhone, linking up with the Burgundy Canal, the River Doubs and the Rhone au Rhine Canal and passing through delightful countryside replete with wildlife – herons, kites and the pale Charolais cattle that come down to the waterside to drink. Macon offers an ideal base for discovering the Beaujolais – a rolling crest of hills famous for the production of light red wine, or if you prefer fuller Burgundy reds then a rendezvous at Clos Vougeot will provide ample opportunity for tasting. Beaune is another major centre for viticulture and the town’s ancient hospital with its dazzling glazed tiled roof is an unmissable attraction.
Formerly an outpost on the border between the historic kingdoms of France and Burgundy, Verdun sur le Doubs is now better known for the delicious stew made from locally caught river fish – Pochouse. Also on the River Doubs, Dole retains much of its medieval character and Besancon, with its spectacular citadel designed by the French military architect Vaubun, is worth the journey further upstream.
Fans of photography will be keen to visit Chalon-sur-Saone, the home of Nicéphore Niepce and thus regarded as the birthplace of this popular art form: the colourful Sunday market offers perfect opportunities for taking vivid holiday snaps.
Wonderful South Burgundy Places
– [below] In the region: Besancon, Dole, Verdun sur le Doubs, Chalon-sur-Saone, Macon, Clos Vougeot, Beaune, Germolles –
Getting to South Burgundy
Hotel barges often collect and return guests to a pre-agreed Paris or Dijon hotel. The primary French international airport is at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and there are European-flight airports at Dole and Lyon. There are also TGV express train stations at Dijon, near Dole, Macon, Le Cruesot (near Montchanin) and Lyon; and many other towns in the region have railway connections.
Grand CruOwner Operated
Although cruising deep within Burgundy’s lush landscapes and ancient canals, Grand Cru’s modern design provides the clean lines and open... Read more
Timeless cruising on tree-lined canals...wine-tasting in the Cote d'Or....an idyllically beautiful route aboard one of the finest hotel barges in... Read more
Belmond Lilas offers a wonderful route in southern Burgundy. Her cruise carries you along the calm and dreamy waters of the Saône river, through... Read more
Belmond Amaryllis is luxury personified - a delightful combination of traditional decor and contemporary comfort to cosset 8 lucky guests in true... Read more
Fleur de LysBelmond
Elegant, graceful, superbly appointed and super-spacious, the Belmond Fleur de Lys cruises the classic Burgundy route through France's Cote d'Or -... Read more
La Reine PedauqueOwner Operated
La Reine Pedauque, newly refurbished and sailing once more in the heart of Burgundy, offers an exceptional barge cruise for just 8 guests. Take a... Read more
FinesseE W Fleet
Finesse: the name says it all. She is the perfect vessel on which to meander through the lush undulating countryside of southern Burgundy. Enjoy... Read more
Après ToutOwner Operated
An exceptionally smart and elegant barge offering the very best of luxury cruising for the discerning traveller in central Burgundy. With two... Read more
L’ImpressionnisteE W Fleet
A beautiful barge for up to 12 guests cruising in glorious southern Burgundy. She is richly decorated, with a wood-panelled saloon, comfy leather... Read more
La Vie en RoseOwner Operated
La Vie en Rose, a classic cargo barge from the 1930's, previously operating as a hotel barge under the name of Who Knows, is re-born, completely... Read more
Hotel Barge Rendez-Vous offers high quality accommodation and cruising on the famous Burgundy canal. With fresh and tidy decor she provides 6 guests... Read more
Grand VictoriaOwner Operated
Grand Victoria carries six fortunate guests on a luxuriously relaxing cruise through the Burgundy region. She offers a choice of itineraries,... Read more
Wine & WaterOwner Operated
A superb cruise, especially if you are a wine enthusiast, in glorious southern Burgundy, the heart of the world renowned wine-making country. Wine... Read more
Saroche is a classic barge with those graceful lines that make hotel barge cruising superbly elegant and stylish. As one on the largest hotel... Read more
Savoir VivreOwner Operated
The clue is in the name - Savoir Vivre lives life to the full; she knows how to provide eight guests with a wonderful vacation that's 'chic,... Read more
Discover the richness of Burgundy and its unique landscapes along the meandering canal of Burgundy and its picturesque Ouche valley. Choose a ... Read more
We feature information about 50 wonderful hotel barges, of various sizes and price/style levels, more than 100 individual cruises to choose from every week of the season, in 8 regions across France. Some book flexibly by the cabin, others exclusively charter the entire hotel barge. Quite a choice!
Every one of our hotel barge information pages has been carefully crafted and written by us, from our own unique first hand-hand experience – but we also understand that there’s nothing like speaking to a friendly expert to help see the wood for the trees and make the best possible decision about the vacation cruise of a lifetime.
So please, send us a Booking Enquiry form (click on the orange tab above) or just pick up the phone and give us a call.
We love France, we love the rivers and canals of France, we love hotel barging – and we love talking about all three!
+33 609 740 064 -or- +44 7590 287 178
We have been cruising and exploring France
aboard our own river boat since 2003.