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Boat cruising on a lake
10 March 2016

Our departure bases are reopening for the start of the season!

March is here, and that’s the cue for Locaboat’s departure bases to reopen. It’s time to start going for barge holidays again, to feast your eyes on the countryside in France and further afield.

During March, activities are gradually starting up again all over France. You’ll find all kinds of things to do as you cruise the canals and rivers. But you do need to check, because not all the visitor attractions are up and running yet. To avoid disappointment, contact the tourist offices in the areas you’re planning to visit to find out when restaurants and châteaux, for example, reopen for the season.

However, plenty of places are open, and early Spring is an excellent time to visit them. Whether you like heritage, fine food or discovering nature, you’ll find something to suit you. And best of all, at this time of year you’ll have the canals pretty much to yourself.

Spotlight on the Saint-Léger-Sur-Dheune departure base

The Saint-Léger-Sur-Dheun base is in the province of Burgundy Franche-Comté. Very close to Chalon-sur-Saône and not far from the city of Tournus, you can explore the region’s gastronomy, visit vineyards and tour heritage sites to your heart’s content.

Allow around an hour and a half cruising time to reach Santenay and its vineyards. There, you can discover the wine cellars of Burgundy, and visit wine producers who will be delighted to tell you all about their vineyards and let you taste the best of the region’s offerings.

In terms of heritage, there are local towns and cities such as Chalon-sur-Saône, Tournus and Mâcon to discover. They’re all full of historical interest and monuments to visit. The abbey church of Saint-Philibert, Tournus is a Romanesque masterpiece. In Mâcon’s historic town centre you’ll find the cathedral of Saint-Vincent, the church of Saint-Pierre and two museums. So there’s no shortage of historical and cultural sites to visit with your friends or family this Spring!

If you’re a foodie, you should go for a meal at the Maison Lameloise restaurant, one of Burgundy’s gourmet dining establishments, open from Thursday to Monday. It’s been handed down the generations since 1921, and is currently in the hands of Eric Pras and Frédéric Lamy, who serve dishes to please the most discriminating palates. And of course, this is the departure base of choice for wine lovers. Your travels will take you close to Santenay, Rully, Bouzeron and many other local appellations.

For nature lovers, the banks of the river Seille are a real piece of paradise. The old-fashioned manual locks, the totally unspoilt setting and the peace and quiet of nature make this trip a real tonic!

You may find that not everything is open at the start of the season. In fact, many restaurants only operate during high season. However, during low season you’ll find plenty of places in the area where you can eat, stock up on provisions and visit sites of interest, and best of all, as you cruise along, it’ll be just you, surrounded by the new growth of nature.

To get the most from your holidays in this region, please read the top tips from the manager of our base or look through our pick of the activities for you to enjoy in Burgundy.

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