Burgundy banks on the EuroVelo 6 route
Cycling from Nevers to Dole, along the EuroVelo 6 route, means crossing the Burgundy region by following the River Loire, the Centre Canal then the River Saône. This cycle tourist route covers several greenways and goes through some interesting towns: the spa town of Bourbon-Lancy, the harbour in Digoin, producer of ceramic, the place of pilgrimage in Paray-le-Monial, the town of Chalon-sur-Saône, homeland of Nicephore Niepce, the inventor of photography. At the level of Chagny, the cycle route runs alongside the Burgundy ‘grands crus’ vineyards (possible detour towards the cycle path of the Burgundy wines).
Description of the stage
Southern Burgundy offers varied countryside and a wide range of local products. The region’s canals, and the Rivers Loire and Saône take you through towns and villages of unsuspected charm. Your breaks will give you the opportunity to enjoy the area’s great food and friendly restaurants, and to taste superb wines at some of Burgundy’s numerous wineries.
The stage from Nevers to Dôle takes in a wide variety of watercourses, landscapes and eras. From Nevers, we follow the lateral canal to the port of Digoin and the junction with the Canal du Centre. Near the Canal du Centre bridge, we take a final break beside the great River Loire at the Observatoire de la Loire (fascinating insight into the local flora and fauna), before joining a modern canal where automation allows the lock keepers to look after several locks at once. From Digoin, the cycle route follows the towpath to the “sanctuary-town” of Paray-le Monial, home to Cluny monks and a popular Christian pilgrimage centre.
The route continues alongside the Canal du Centre, through the industrial landscape of Montceau-les-Mines and Le Creusot. Old factories, sometimes abandoned, sometimes redeveloped, bear witness to the importance of this watercourse to the transport of coal, iron, and clay: all the materials needed to make steel and ceramics. Once past Cluny, we reach the great vineyards of Burgundy: Chassagne, Puligny, Meursault and Pommard, after which we rejoin the towpath, which is now a cycleway that continues to Chalon-sur-Saône: a new river, new countryside and magnificent villages, such as Gergy, Verdun-sur-le-Doubs and Seurre.
From Saint-Jean-de-Losne, an attractive small town at the intersection of the River Saône, the Canal de Bourgogne and the Rhone-Rhine Canal, our route follows minor roads and the banks of the Rhone-Rhine Canal to Dôle.
The stage is divided into several sections
Nature is all around you between the Loire and Burgundy. We'll travel away from Nevers, the City of Dukes and then the Capital of Nivernais, dominating the Loire, to go deeper into Burgundy, dotted with well-preserved villages nestling among the green hillsides.
Following the course of the Loire, we are travelling away from western France, towards the shores of Burgundy. This is a beautiful route, winding between green hillsides overlooking the valley.
We are gradually leaving behind the banks of the Loire along the Canal du Centre, our constant companion of this stage. The 112km-long waterway, bordered by three ports, bridges the gap between the Saône and the Loire, between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.
Still riding alongside the Canal du Centre, we are now heading east of Burgundy, surrounded by greenery and the region's famous vineyards.
Steering into the Doubs valley! Cycle paths follow the twists and turns of the Saône and the Doubs, to the delight of anyone who loves trips along the waterways. At the end of the stage awaits Dole, the former capital city of Franche-Comté and classed as a City of Art and History.