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Barging in Burgundy France

Video Overview of Burgundy, The Heart of Rural France

Burgundy boasts some of the world's finest wines with around 60,000 acres of sunlit vines and arguably the prettiest canals in France. The Burgundy Canal (canal de bourgogne) winds its way in smooth curves through the heart of renowned wine growing areas such as Chablis, Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits, or rises steeply through a flight of locks that appear like staircases.

The Nivernais Canal meanders alongside the picturesque River Yonne, through a largely undiscovered region near the Morvan Hills, passing sleepy villages and Charolais cattle grazing in the lush pastures. This is the original home of hotel barging with its hand-swung bridges and old logging sites, and where time seems to have stood still for centuries.

The landscape around the Burgundy Canal is one of rolling hills eroded over the centuries and covered in forests of oak, maple and pine and where spring, summer and autumn each leave a unique signature. Medieval towns are surrounded by unspoiled countryside and the wonderful markets have stalls brimming with fresh local products cultivated on the fertile plains.

This is a region with a vast variety of cheeses, in all shapes, sizes and colors, strong in character or mild and fresh and all can be enjoyed with full-bodied red Burgundies, or perhaps with lighter white Chablis wines. Burgundy's gastronomic tradition is certainly rich and diverse and a sedate cruise on a hotel barge along one of its delightful waterways will allow you to indulge in good food and wine, two of the real pleasures in life.

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