Last weekend we left the traffic jams of Paris for the beautiful autumn colours of Bourgogne. Sylvain does tours to this region and had wanted to show me some special places and also had noted others that he wanted to visit. I was not fussed what we did, all I knew was that I always enjoy our visits to this region and I wanted to see autumn leaves!
First stop Tonnerre. Tonnerre means thunder in French. This gorgeous little town is home to a mysterious water supply, called la Fosse Dionne. The water coming from this sinkhole gushes at an amazing 300 litres per second! It’s so deep and is thought to be linked to a hydrological systems perhaps some 40kms away. Exploration by divers has been attempted but after several never returned, exploring the grotto was banned. The construction that surrounded la Fosse Dionne dated from Roman and Medieval times. What you can see today is the village laundry, from the 18th century. Of course, being a place of mystery, there are many legends surrounding this natural site. It’s believed that the Virgin created it whilst saving a young girl from the devil and that the name comes from the Greek water spirit Dione or Divona, the Latin water goddess. I was fascinated with this spot and also surprised that there are not more tourists visiting this gorgeous quaint town.
From here we passed the Château d’Ancy-le-Franc, another remarkable 16th century Renaissance château, famous for containing some of the most beautiful collections of wall pantings from the 16th and 17th century.
We entered the Office de Tourisme just before lunch here in Ancy-le-Franc where we were able to hire bikes and obtain helpful information from a member of staff. They have a great program set up between tourisme offices along the route where you can hire a bike from one and return it to another office along your way so you don’t have to backtrack. They will provide you with a map (marking places to see, where to stop for a sip of wine) and plenty of other information. The bikes were in great condition and a pleasure to ride. We rode along the Canal de Bourgogne and the colours were just remarkable! We barely crossed another person and it was wonderful to be able to breath in fresh air and enjoy the beautiful weather.
This region sticks with us as one of the best regions to visit in Autumn. The beautiful colours we experienced along the canal stay in our memories, add this to your visits for Autumn !
For more information on Bourgogne Tourism here
Information on bike hire in the Bourgogne region here