Greenways of France # 3: The greenway of Southern Burgundy

Cycling, heritage, gastronomy and wine tourism are in the spotlight on the green route of Southern Burgundy. An enchanted parenthesis in the heart of Burgundy's riches while pedaling, tasting and marveling.

De Châlon-sur-Saône in Cluny, the 55 kilometers of green way of southern Burgundy offer walkers and cyclists a discovery of exceptional cultural and natural sites. This "star of the greenways" is one of the busiest in France. No wonder, given the quality of its green tourism. At the confluence of gastronomy, history and the art of living, the course won the first European prize for greenways in 2003.

Built along the old railway line from Cluny to Châlon-sur-Saône, the green route of southern Burgundy is accessible to all. It offers athletes and strollers in search of discovery no less than 13 signposted loops at the start of the route. These routes lead them to meet Romanesque art, castles, vineyards and unspoiled nature. The portion between Givry and Cluny was the first greenway created in France in 1997. This would make it almost a must for all lovers of cycling and heritage.

The green route of southern Burgundy, a spectacular itinerary

From the starting point to Châlon-sur-Saone, heritage invites itself with the sumptuous half-timbered houses, the Saint-Vincent cathedral and the remarkable cloister. In the heart of the historic centers of the medieval towns of Buxy et Saint-Gengous-le-National, treat yourself to a beneficial break under the plane trees. A little further, it is the castle of Cormatin which deserves a long halt. Its monumental facades, its moats, its park, its sumptuous apartments indeed constitute a journey into the past. And what about its 21-meter-high empty cage staircase. It is "the oldest and the largest" staircase made with this technique.

Arrival at Cluny also offers cyclists a dive into history. The abbey, founded in 910 by William the Pious, is the seat of the largest medieval monastic order in the West, the Order of Cluny. This building is a true masterpiece of Romanesque art,

A pleasure for the taste buds

Labeled Vélo & Fromages, this Burgundy route also gives pride of place to gastronomy. Discovery of markets and meeting of dairy producers stupid on the program. No less than seven local products labeled AOP and AOC can be tasted in Saône-et-Loire. It is also impossible to leave this exceptional terroir without discovering the Route des Grands Vins de la Côte Chalonnaise. The tastings of the fleshy and fruity red wines, as well as the subtle white wines of Burgundy, will satisfy the most informed consumers *.

Cluny vineyard
Cluny vineyard

Want to see a little more?

After having traveled the green route of Southern Burgundy, if you have been conquered by your journey, and if you still have some under the pedal, do not hesitate to continue your escapade until crossing the tunnel leading from Bois Clair to Berzé-le-Châtel. This work, carved out of the rock, constitutes an experience outside of space and time. In the past, only trains crossed the Bois Clair hill. But now cyclists, rollerbladers and walkers have access to it for a few minutes through the rock. The temperature is 11 ° C whatever the season ...

Inside the tunnel you will meet the locals, a small bat population who lives there all year round. The entrance is also closed from October to May so as not to disturb their hibernation. You then have to get around the obstacle via a slightly longer and more sporty route! And if you don't have enough yet, feel free to continue. the great loop of the Tour de Bourgogne going up to Châlon-sur-Saône by the blue route. To make sure you don't miss anything on this sporting and gourmet journey, don't forget to download the Voie Verte 71 application before your departure. She will guide you to the essentials of the route.

*Alcohol abuse is dangerous for health. To consume with moderation.