Holidays in Yonne, Burgundy, France
The Yonne region of France is located just an hour away from Paris and is home to some of the world's most famous wines and other gastronomic specialities. It is also home to many chateaux, historic churches and the town of Auxerre.
Auxerre is itself an attractive town on the banks of the River Yonne. A boat trip is a good way to see the riverside half-timbered houses and churches or explore the narrow winding streets on foot. Auxerre is also home to the Abbaye St Germain founded in the fifth century, but most of the building still visible today dates from the ninth century. There have been additions to the building over the years, making it a fascinating example of different architectural styles. The town's Cathedrale St Etienne is famous for its intricate stained glass windows and took an impressive three centuries to be completed. If you prefer your cathedrals to be of the sporting variety, Auxerre's football team play in top division and regularly qualify for European competition. Check before you travel if there's going to be a game on while you're there.
Exploring the Region
Auxerre is in the centre of Yonne, making the town a practical base for exploring the area. Vezelay Abbey was added to UNESCO's World Heritage Sites list in 1979 to protect the beautiful carved exterior of the church. More religious history can be found in the nearby town of Pontigny, where the abbey was founded in 1114. This impressive building is the biggest Cisetrcian church in the whole of France and features some impressive sculptures and art work.
Yonne is home to one of France's most famous white wines, Chablis, named after the town where it was first made. There are plenty of vineyard tours and tastings for visitors to enjoy or you can take an organised tour of several vineyards to make sure you research carefully which one is your favourite!
Keep the Kids Happy
If you're travelling with children, historic buildings and damp wine cellars will probably not be their thing, so why not tire them out with an adventure day including canoeing, mountain-biking and a hike through the mountains. There is also a company that has organised paintballing in the serenity and calm of the Morvan National Park. Don't worry; they keep to their own restricted area so you can still enjoy a peaceful walk in the countryside while they have their fun.
The Author writes for Holiday Home Rentals who have a selection of Gites in Yonne and Villas in France which can be rented direct from their owners.
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