Wildlife watching in Burgundy

We’ve teamed up with Backwaters cruises to help you discover the wildlife and waterways of France this autumn.

Kingfisher

Enjoy a nature-themed week of cruising and exploration on the wonderfully scenic and secluded Canal du Nivernais, in the heart of Burgundy, France.

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During the trip, you’ll explore the full 70km of the Canal du Nivernais and River Yonne between the spectacular city of Auxerre and the medieval town of Clamecy, in the company of nature and birdwatching guide Jason Mitchell and a colleague from one of the local conservation and nature-watch groups. There’ll be three full days of cruising and three more days of relaxed exploration of the natural world surrounding you.

Cruise

Holiday details

  • Dates: 28 September to 5 October
  • Costs: £1,395 per person for eight days. Non-refundable deposit £50. Full payment required eight weeks before departure. 
  • To book or enquire: e-mail info@buzzlines.co.uk or phone 01303 261870 and quote BBC Wildlife reader holiday.
  • Please note: The trip requires a minimum of 20 persons to run. Your deposit will not be taken until the trip is confirmed. A maxmium of 40 spaces are available for this trip. Payments are held in Trust Account guaranteed by TrustmyTravel. 
  • Organised by BBC Wildlife Magazine in partnership with Backwaters cruises. Exact details of the reader holiday may be subject to change.

Burgundy is a paradise for nature lovers. Its jewel in the crown, the Morvan Forest, is a national park covering nearly a quarter of a million hectares. There are deep valleys and faults crossed by rapids, peaks covered with forest and mountainsides dotted with bogs and broom-covered heaths. 

The rivers Yonne, Cousin and Cure weave their way through the region forming picturesque valleys with wildlife and spectacular viewpoints, and these rivers have numerous tributaries with waterfalls, lakes and reservoirs. 

Your hotel: The Logis Saint-François

Located in the village of Vermenton, the hotel has been recently fully renovated and is ideally situated for cruising the Canal Du Nivernais betwen Auxerre and Clamecy.

This groups-only hotel is operated by the family who own the nearby Abbaye de Reigny, where you’ll be dining on one of the evenings.

This is a comfortable and quiet hotel that has an appeal all of its own in its simplicity, generosity of space and warmth of welcome. 

 

Over 150 species of birds have been sighted in the Morvan alone, and wild boar, deer, badgers, polecats and bats all have their home there.

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The waterways and lakes provide habitat for lots of fish, such as carp, perch, pike and trout – accompanied by predatory birds, including herons and kingfishers, which should be regular sightings as you journey along the canal.

Cruise

What’s included

  • Buzzlines executive coach travel picking up from Ashford International Hotel, Kent (preferential hotel rates and parking can be arranged in addition, subject to availability)
  • Eurotunnel or ferry crossings
  • Hotel stay at the Logis St François in Vermenton
  • All meals except lunches on outbound and return travel days
  • Wine with all lunches and evening meales
  • Three full days of cruising on the Canal du Nivernais between Auxerre and Clamecy
  • Local nature-themed coach excursions and visit programme on non-cruise days
  • Advance luggage/travel independently options

What’s not included

  • Travel to Ashford
  • Food and drink apart from those specified above
  • Travel insurance
  • Other incidental expenses
  • Gratuities

Buffet Style Lunches Onboard