For a relaxing holiday, in a perfect climate, with space, beauty, romance and sophistication in abundance, choose a barge holiday in France. If you enjoy the finer things in life, including wonderful food and excellent wine, a cruise down the Burgundy Canal is for you. The canal winds its way through the eastern part of France taking in some fascinating medieval towns, magnificent castles, extensive vineyards.
You can choose to relax on board where you can watch life pass you by, or step on to land and take guided tours to discover some of the local attractions. The pace is leisurely, the focus is on relaxation and the service provided is of the utmost quality.
On a barge holiday in France comfort is never compromised, with cabins on the vessels being spacious and providing all the little luxuries you would expect in a hotel room. Every vessel has its own dining room and chef so you can dine in style and take the opportunity to sample some of the region's finest gastronomy. All meals are justly complemented with the local wines of the area. Nothing is left to chance and this will truly be an experience of a lifetime.
As you cruise, you will stop and visit the pretty town of Beaune - where wine is of prime importance. You cannot escape the constant chat about wine, the wine sellers and the abundant opportunity to taste - and indeed who would want to? Join the locals in the bars and cafes and let them guide you in the etiquette of Burgundian wine.
When visiting Beaune, don't forgo the chance to visit its most attractive building. The 15th century Hotel Dieu was once a hospice and is famous for its multi-coloured tiled roofs and the polyptych of The Last Judgement.
For art lovers, Auxerre is a delightful addition on the itinerary of a barge holiday in France. The architecture here is extremely well-preserved and contributes to the allure of this small city. The Gothic cathedral is well-known for its bas-reliefs dominating the doorways, the stained glass windows and the elegant apsidal chapel. Also in the city is the famous Abbey of Saint-Germain, which houses some of the oldest murals in the country displayed alongside the tomb of the bishops of Auxerre.
Cruising further on you can visit Vezelay, the famous starting point of the Crusades. This quaint medieval village is home to the Basilca de Saint Madeleine, which is considered to be one of the most stunning pieces of Romanesque art in France.
Burgundy offers many historical gems but is also rightly visited for its culinary attributes. A hotel barge holiday in France is particularly appealing if food and wine are high on your priority list. The full-bodied reds or the lighter Chablis all complement at least one of the huge array of cheeses produced here. The abundance of cows and goats in the region has made the creamy cheeses an essential part of the gastronomy. Including Epoisse and Bouton du Culotte, to name just two, they are a delight to the palate. You can pick these up from local producers who sell at the small markets in Avallon or Beaune, and you will not be disappointed.