Now that the new Locaboat base at Mâcon is open, canal cruises along the river Saône to Lyon given you the chance to enjoy nature, gourmet foods, relaxation and culture, thanks to a calendar of events that shouldn’t be missed.
Once the good weather arrives, Burgundy starts hosting more and more festivals, and your barge holiday aboard a Pénichette® will have the added bonus of cultural discoveries. From 19 to 29 March, Dijon celebrates the arrival of spring with Florissomo, an outstanding flower show. Then, on 17, 18 and 19 April, wine is in the spotlight. Vinestival, an annual festival at Mâcon, is your chance to discover the greatest wines and vineyards of the region and from all over France, as well as the small local producers. And since this is the land of gourmet food, you can also enjoy many farmers markets and organic markets, such as the one held every Saturday morning in Tournus, in the Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville. Make sure you look up the local tourist office websites as well, to find details of themed daytime or evening events like An Evening at Dijon Museum of Fine Arts on 29 April, with fancy dress and juggling acts for the whole family, or the live relay of Mozart’s The Abduction from the Harem, to be broadcast from the Paris Opera on 3 May and screened at a cinema in Saulieu! And keep your eye out for tours and special events in the region’s many privately-owned châteaux, such as Chasselas and Germolles.
Of course, your diary will fill up even faster once you get to Lyon, where the many festivals to enjoy include the week-long celebration of French Language and Expression (la Semaine de la langue française et de la francophonie), the European Spring Festival, the Fourvière Nights and the ‘Croix-Rousse en Fête’ (www.en.lyon-france.com). But the biggest event of 2105 will definitely be the 13th Lyon Biennial Contemporary Art Festival which will be spread over sites across the whole town between 10 September 2015 and 3 January 2016.