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France Regions : Morvan : Burgundy’s green heart

France Regions > Burgundy > Morvan : Burgundy’s green heart

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Burgundy Tourist Board
5, Avenue Garibaldi
21006 DIJON
Tel: 33 (0) 3 80 280 280

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Morvan : Burgundy’s green heart

Dominating the ‘nature’ of Burgundy is the Morvan.

This extensive natural park of half a million acres in the centre of the region is stunningly beautiful... huge forests, rolling hills and lakes.

This was a Celtic land and here you will find huge mysterious granite stones from this age.



Morvan encourages visitors to walk on well-marked trails, ride horse or mountain bike through the countryside
Morvan encourages visitors to walk on well-marked trails

Morvan in Celtic literally means ‘Black Mountain’ and though it could hardly be called mountainous, the highest point being around 3000 feet, these dark hills are outstanding and, perhaps, just a little forbidding.

There are many traces of Morvan’s Celtic past with the city of Bibracte quite outstanding. Here the resistance to the Roman  occupation was forged and, in much later times, resistance to another occupation was equally active.

There’s even a museum dedicated to the resistance fighters of the last war at Maison du Parc, St. Brisson.

But, it is the overpowering size of Morvan that encourages  visitors to ‘lose themselves’ each year. Here you can walk on well-marked trails, ride horse or mountain bike through the countryside stopping at small village ‘fermes auberges’ along the way. You can just do nothing and enjoy being ‘lost’ or maybe fish or, even take part in more action packed water sports.

Saut du Gouloux Morvan, Burgundy, France
Saut du Gouloux Morvan

While Morvan is the dominating area in ‘natural Burgundy’, it must be said that throughout the region there are wonderful ways to enjoy the outdoors.

The walking opportunities are impressive whether through forest, vineyards or rural farmland. Or, enjoy these opportunities more leisurely and just drive along small back roads where the stress of daily life seems light years away.

Bodies can even be ‘toned-up’ by spending a day or two ‘taking the natural waters’ at the spa towns of Bourbon-Lancy and Saint-Honoré-les-Bains where fine mineral waters and treatments can be enjoyed.

The interesting point of holidaying in Burgundy is, probably, variety. Culturally, historically, gastronomically the region is so rich. But, it is also rich in natural pursuits so that you can choose specific holiday interests or, should you wish, take a little of each.

Bourbon-Lancy Modern timber industry... for use in wine barrels...
Bourbon-Lancy Modern timber industry...

Earlier, we recalled the importance of the timber from Morvan in keeping Paris warm. Today, the timber industry continues to flourish under strict controls and one use of the fine oak is barrels for the winemakers.

In the forests the night time wailing and moaning call of the Cerf (the stag) in search for partners
The call of the Cerf...

In September the ‘Cerf ’ (the stag) begin to search for  partners. In the forests the night time wailing and moaning call of the Cerf echoes for miles and miles. It is a great attraction for humans too and each night forest car parks are full of visitors and locals alike waiting for the ‘call’.

credits : Burgundy Tourist Board

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