Morvan Regional Natural Park


 

A territory with a strong identity, the Morvan Regional Natural Park is made up of varied natural areas: sheer summits, rolling hills, forests and wooded countryside, pastures, lakes and pools and rivers and streams. The one we call "île morvandelle" (Morvan island) or "montagne de la Bourgogne" (mountain of Burgundy) has been able to preserve all its authenticity, combining a respect for farming practices, protection of the natural environment, promotion of historic and spiritual heritage and hospitality and conviviality, all of which is accessible to disabled people, which was recognised by the EDEN 2013 competition.

An "accessible" Regional Natural Park

Come and discover a territory which strives to make its natural and cultural heritage accessible to non-disabled and disabled people. Distinguished winner of the EDEN 2013 "Tourism and Accessibility" competition, the Morvan Regional Natural Park,  located to the north of the Massif Central, has been able to innovate and invent for equal access to all sports, monuments, natural sites, etc.

Morvan for all, is not just a challenge launched by the Morvan Regional Natural Park with the aim of developing and organising the territory for equal access to all, it is also a network of professionals committed to a quality approach, in favour of the accessibility of the tourist reception in Morvan. The service providers signing the tourism commitment contract for the "Morvan for all" approach commit to providing everyone with a suitable quality welcome (see the EDEN competition tab).

 

The green lung of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

The park offers a wide range of outdoor activities: hiking paths (GR 13, GR Pays, and small hikes), mountain bike routes (22 departure point stations, 137 routes) and 600km of equestrian paths (Tour Equestre du Morvan).  A white water country, the territory is also ideal for practising canoeing-kayaking and rafting.

Let us not forget the cultural riches of the region.  Allow yourself to be drawn to Vézelay, the starting point for one of the St. James' Way paths. The wonderful Roman basilica, an 11th century masterpiece which dominates the village, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Also, go through Bibracte, certified "Grand site de France", a former capital of the Gallic people of Eduens, which houses an international archaeological research centre and a museum. Morvan also has a network of very different museums and eco-museums around the "Exchanges and migrations" theme, with festivals, shows and events all year round.

All this tourist offer is brought together within three areas making up Morvan:

  • Le Morvan des Sommets which covers the southern part of the territory, with major sites like Bibracte, Autun, town certified as "d'Art et d'Histoire", and the spa resort of Saint Honoré les Bains.
  • Le Domaine des Grands Lacs du Morvan, the central part of Morvan, made up of 6 large lakes, ideal for all nautical activities.
  • Le Morvan des sites et vallées, crossing the limestone land starting in the north with Vezelay, passing through Saulieu to finish in Arnay le Duc.

Throughout the region, sites, natural environments, accommodation and restaurants are equipped to receive disabled people.

 

The Morvan Regional Natural Park offers a very wide choice of nature activities accessible to all. Thanks to its adapted equipment and its developed paths, you can wholeheartedly head off on a hike, go fishing, try a descent in an all-terrain wheelchair or have a go at sensory climbing.  So many outdoor activities freely accessible for all.

 

Developed infrastructure and innovative equipment

For hiking, you will have Lomos, Bomas, Trace Randos, Buggy bikes, Hand-bikes and many other vehicles available which allow everyone, depending on their disability, to freely discover the beautiful landscapes of the park. For example the Breuil descent, at Dun-Les-Places, an essential downhilling spot in the region, is accessible to all terrain wheelchairs (FTT).

In terms of the mountains, don’t hesitate to tackle the Rocher du chien climb, also in Dun-Les-Places, where two climbing routes have been developed for the visually impaired.  Thanks to an innovative system, No Eyes climbing, the climber is alerted of footholds and handholds via a sound. Thrills, yes, but in complete safely.

 

Maximum comfort and safety for all

Another accessible natural site, the lake Taureau discovery trail, has a sound guidance system which makes the journey of visually impaired people easier. The development also includes 800m of wooden pathway which allows people with reduced mobility to walk on the banks of the lake completely safely and therefore make the most of the calm and serenity of the sites.

In terms of bathing, it is possible to borrow or hire, for a nominal cost, a bathing chair or an Oxoon, a new electric device which combines safety and the joy of play. Nautical activities like sailing or canoeing are accompanied by trained sports leaders, attentive to the needs of each holidaymaker.

 

Raid Nature Dream, Raid d'automne

Thanks to the Dream association, practising sporting activities in the heart of nature has taken on a new dimension. The sporting events organised by the Morvan Natural Park aim to bring together non-disabled and disabled people around the same adventure, a trek.

Carried out in teams with disabled and non-disabled people, the trek consists of a series of sporting trials, like rafting and tree climbing in a superb natural setting. For participants, it is an incredible experience of solidarity and meeting one another. A challenge with human values, which sets the example of surpassing yourself, while remaining fun and open to all. The trek often takes place in September and is for everyone from 12 years of age.

 

Raid Nature Dream spécial jeunes

In spring another version of the trek takes place, the Raid Nature Dream spécial jeunes. The competition takes place in Bibracte, on Mont-Beuvray. With over 150 participants from the Burgundy region, it is experiencing growing success. Orienteering, archery and blowgunning, zip-lines, mountain biking, all-terrain wheelchair riding, equestrian activities and tree climbing are all activities which young people throw themselves into during a day which is dedicated to them. School students and disabled children get together around sporting activities, but also cultural and artistic ones. Via workshops, they will explore, for example, the magic of the circus or discover the tales and oral traditions of the region.

 

In the heart of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Morvan is a verdant and rolling region ideal for outdoor activities.  Cross the wonderful landscapes on foot or by bike, sail on its rivers or fish in its lakes. The region has an incredible, well preserved natural heritage, which is ripe for exploration.

 

Walking on the Morvan trails

What could be better than walking to discover, at your own pace, the landscapes of the Morvan Regional Natural Park? The park is crossed by numerous small hiking trails and Grande Randonnée trails which will delight both holidaymakers out for a walk and experienced walkers on a ramble. Fans of new technologies and families will enjoy the e-trails  for their fun side: the maps are freely provided for smartphones and you just need to follow the track and listen to the stories of the places encountered being told. As for adventurers, they will discover one of the forests of the region, like the heritage forest of the lower valley of Cousin or that of Morvan montagnard.

Moreover, special attention to people with reduced mobility and the visually impaired is provided on the routes like the Discovery walk of the Domaine des Grands Prés, the Maison du Parc Herbularium, as well as on the lake Taureau discovery trail, thanks to a site layout which makes accessing them easier.

All the information and maps are available at the Maison du Tourisme du Parc du Morvan tourist office in Saint-Brisson.

 

Thrills for active holidays

Morvan is made up of a mountainous massif and forests which offer an exceptional setting for numerous outdoor activities like cycling, climbing and even horse riding. A tranquil walk for fans of calm, but also a GTM circuit (Grande traversée du Morvan), DH (descent) and enduros (cross) for thrill seekers are all dynamic and energising activities.

On site you can rent mountain bikes, hybrid bikes,  as well as electric bikes for example, in Saint-Brisson, Lac des Settons or Avallon. Fans of equestrian activities, have a go at the equestrian tour of Morban, a large circuit crossing wonderful landscapes. Or head off for the day to explore one of the hiking trails on your mount with one of the professionals listed by the park.

 

Nautical and waterside activities

And to refresh yourself, dive into one of the rivers or lakes of the region. As a family or among friends, relax on the water's edge in the peace and quiet. Make the most of the wide choice of nautical activities like rafting, diving, sailing, canoeing and even fishing. You can, for example, learn all about fly fishing thanks to the services from instructors and professional guides, who will stimulate the curiosity of children and adults in this discipline. The park lists professionals who will be able to support you in this discovery.

 

Family châteaux, a museum dedicated to Vauban, a native of the region, and a Roman basilica, the residents of Morvan are particularly fond of their historic heritage and carefully preserve their legacy. It is a chance to admire the grandeur of the superb archaeological sites or the beauty of a particular architectural style. And also to share some moments of creative expression during the festivals which take place all year round.

 

Re-immerse yourself in Gallo-Roman history

To discover the richness of Morvan heritage, don’t miss the site of Bibracte  at the summit of Mont-Beuvray, listed as a “Grand Site de France”.  Former Gaulish capital dating back to the 2nd century B.C., it attracts researchers from all over Europe, as well as holidaymakers who come to admire the remains of this ancient civilisation. Open to all and developed for all disabled people, the Musée de la Civilisation celtique (Celtic Civilisation Museum) is a model in terms of accessibility and adapted equipment.

Interested in archaeology? Visit the site of Les Fontaines Salées. You will discover a former thermal complex dating back to the Gallo-Roman times. And don’t forget to visit one of the leading museums of the region like the Maison Vauban, an eco-museum dedicated to this military architect from 17th century, or the Musée de la Résistance  supplied by the work from the Association pour la recherche sur l’occupation et la résistance (Association for research on the Occupation and the Resistance) in Morvan.

 

Admire the preserved monuments in Morvan

Imagine the château life by visiting one of the illustrious châteaux of the region. Start with the Château of Chastellux  which has belonged to the same family for 28 generations! Overlooking the valley of La Cure, the construction of this château began in the 13th century and was then continued up to the 19th century.  The architecture of the building is a testament to this story by combining styles from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and even the industrial era. Continue with the Château de Bazoches, with a Gothic and traditional style, which was the residence of Vauban in the 17th century.

Stroll towards the Sainte Marie de la Pierre qui Vire Abbey, the Saint-Lazare d'Autun Cathedral and all the way to Vézelay. The Sainte-Marie-Madeleine-de-Vézelay Basilica, a masterpiece of Roman architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site, overlooks the village from atop a hill. A place of pilgrimage, it is the starting point for one of the main routes of the St. James' Way. Stop at Vézelay, walk on the 12th century ramparts and in the numerous churches of the village.

 

Take part in the cultural festivals of the region

The year is interspersed with cultural events, exhibitions and festivals.  Music, cinema, heritage, the numerous themes promise a rich and intense experience. If you come in summer, attend the Festival de la Chanson française (French song festival) and the Festival du Film court (short film festival). Unless you would prefer autumn with the La Transverse street festival. And finally, winter has not been left out with the Fête du Violon (violin festival) in February.

 

Where to sleep

One of the major assets of Morvan is the quality and variety of the choice of accommodation. Whether you are a couple, a family or among friends, you will find something to please you: charming hotels, traditional houses, gites in the heart of nature and a lot more. Many of these options are accessible to people with different disabilities. A quality offer which responds to an adapted demand.

 

  • Camping de Saulieu, in Saulieu: in the heart of the Natural Park, this campsite with a pool offers pitches, mobile-homes and chalets. It is possible to rent bikes on site. www.aquadis-loisirs.com/camping-de-saulieu - Route de Paris, 21210 Saulieu - +33 (0)3 80 64 16 19

 

  • La Maison des Roseaux, in Moux-en-Morvan: 800m on foot from the Lac des Settons, 5 guestrooms in a vast modern house and 1 gite able to accommodate up to 15 people. Accessible to disabled people. From €85 per night - www.maisondesroseaux.com - Lac des Settons, 58230 Moux-en-Morvan - +33 (0)3 86 76 01 92

 

  • La Renaissance, in Etang-sur-Arroux: in a house full of character, these guestrooms for 2 to 4 people offer a breath-taking view of the countryside of the Natural Park. 1 room accessible to disabled people. From €48 per night - www.la-renaissance.fr - Velet, 71190 Etang-sur-Arroux - +33 (0)3 85 82 36 97

 

  • Hostellerie de la Tour d’Auxois, in Saulieu: a charming hotel and a gourmet restaurant in a wonderful old building built on the old ramparts of Saulieu. Terrace and heated pool. From €85 per night - www.tourdauxois.com - 1 rue Sallier, 21210 Saulieu - +33 (0)3 80 64 36 19

 

Where to eat

A gourmet break, a fine meal or a local snack, enjoy the local specialities prepared in Morvan. Numerous restaurants provide access for people with reduced mobility. In the establishments of Morvan, local produce takes pride of place. Beef and poultry are produced locally. And it is not unusual for the organic vegetables on your plate to come directly from a neighbouring producer. Inns with rustic charm and gourmet restaurants, the specialities of the region combine tradition and innovation. Treat yourself to a snail croustade or a Morvan salad. Not forgetting the vegetarian options. For an extraordinary experience, enjoy a "Gaulish" menu with historic inspiration.

 

  • Les Grillons du Morvan, in Montsauche-les-Settons : on the edge of the Lac des Settons, a quality restaurant which gives pride of place to local produce like Morvan ham, rustic andouillette and Burgundian snails. Gluten free menu upon request. There is also a hotel on site. www.lesgrillonsdumorvan.com - Les Settons, 58230 Montsauche-les-Settons - +33 (0)3 86 84 51 43

 

  • Auberge de l’Atre, in Quarre-les-Tombes:  in this former farm, the menu varies depending on the seasons and the atmosphere is warm. There is also accommodation. http://auberge-de-latre.com - Les Lavaults, 89630 Quarre-les-Tombes - +33 (0)3 86 32 20 79

 

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