The Morvan is loved for its vast nature, wooded granite hills, clean lakes and clear rivers. Here you will find peace and beauty. Nice farms and affordable houses with land. The park is centrally located in Burgundy and covers all four departments. Cities such as Chateau Chinon, Moulins Engilbert, Lormes, Luzy and Saulieu offer entertainment with the necessary activities, markets, shops and restaurants.
The Morvan has been a regional natural park since 1970 and covers around 290,000 hectares. The typical stone farms and houses are built with the granite hewn from the hills. White Charollais cows graze in the green meadows. The main sources of income are animal husbandry and timber. A quiet and authentic country life that hasn't changed much in the last 200 years. Ideal for those looking for peace and space.
Many of the original houses in the Morvan are built of granite stones and joints of loam with walls up to 60 cm thick and heavy oak beams. Where many roofs were still covered with straw until 100 years ago, now most houses have slate roofs. A part is also covered with black pans. The farms are often so-called "longeres", where the house, sheds and stables are built under one roof in a row. Ideal to convert into a spacious farmhouse.
Day laborers' homes have a fixed pattern and are reminiscent of the old Celtic houses. A square living space with a large fireplace, a French beamed ceiling and an attic above it. Originally the pigsty and the chicken coop. Ideally suited for conversion into a cozy holiday home.
The houses in the villages and towns are very diverse. From simple workers' houses to stately villas. In the cities you often do not realize that that large gate in the facade leads to a beautiful private garden, which makes you forget that you live in the city, close to all amenities. And then of course, often in the countryside, the castles and country houses. There is a home for everyone.
Because it is a national park, there is very little risk of new constructions in your back garden!
Great food and lots to do
Well-known culinary regional products are the raw ham and also the cooked ham served as a jambon persillé. The fresh goat cheeses that can be enjoyed in every restaurant. In the fall the chestnuts and the large variety of mushrooms. In Saulieu you will also find the famous three Michelin star restaurant Bernard Loiseau. In every village you can enjoy a four-course "menu du jour" for the same price as a main course in your home country.
Walking everywhere and lots of opportunities for canoeing. Sailing on the lakes. Rafting on the Chalaux river. Mountain biking. All activities that you can do alone or in a group. There are many companies that want to guide you in this
Apart from Gallo-Roman buildings, cathedrals such as those of Vezelay and Autun and churches from days gone by, there is much more to see and experience for the culture lover. The Celtic museum on Mont Beuvray not only gives access to the excavations of the city of Bibracte, but often presents large exhibitions.
In Larochemillay is the annual Jazz festival, preceded for months by concerts in the villages around it. In the church of Millay, the now very renowned classical festival "le Vent sur l’Arbre" takes place, with a program of top quality for a week.
The Maison de Beuvray offers space for a large number of national and international cultural groups, choirs and orchestras, who often organize a final concert. But churches and chapels in the villages and towns are also frequently used for exhibitions and concerts. Every village has its own village festival, often with traditional music and you are not a commité de fête if you do not organize at least one flea market in your village every year. In short, if you want you can go out every weekend.
The Buddhist temple Dashang Kagyu Ling, is seen as the center of Buddhism in France and can be visited. You will also find a Serbian orthodox church community in Uchon.
The city of Autun is full of history and charm and has a clear regional function. The old streets run around the historic center, at the foot of a hill and overlooking a beautiful lake. This lake offers water sports activities such as sailing, swimming and windsurfing. Much Roman heritage is still visible inside and outside the city, including the largest Roman theater in ancient Gaul.
To the north of Autun you will find lovely rolling valleys, with gurgling streams and small villages such as Lucenay l'Evèque and Curgy. Worth a visit is the Châteaux de Sully: the largest Renaissance castle in southern Burgundy.
To the east of Autun lies Couches with its medieval castle with many activities for children during the school holidays. Very convenient is the TGV station Le Creusot Montchanin with fast train connections to Paris and Lyon.
The South Morvan
The image of the South Morvan is partly determined by the highest peaks of Burgundy, the Haut Folin and the Mont Beuvray. The Haut Folin, with 901 meters, is partly overgrown with pine forests and is regularly covered with a thick layer of snow in the winter. There is a slope for skiing. The Mont Beuvray, at 821 meters, is also not to be missed and is mainly overgrown with oak, beech and sweet chestnut. Bribracte located there was once the seat and the largest city of Celtic France where Julius Caesar, after defeating Vercingetorix and conquering Gaule, wintered in 52 BC and wrote his famous book Bello Gallico. One of his successor Emperor Augustus later built the Roman city of Augustodunum near Bibracte, now known as Autun. The entire area is still littered with Gallo-Roman monuments.
The South Morvan frequently attracts the attention of nature and outdoor sports enthusiasts. It is a great walking area with an extensive network of walking routes, mountain bike routes and bridleways. The meadows are often enclosed with hedges, consisting of hawthorn and blackthorn, hazelnut and here and there a sweet chestnut, walnut or wild cherry. Plant and bird lovers can indulge themselves. In the spring, the verges are littered with primroses and orchids, relieved by forest anemones and much more. Birds of prey, including the dwarf eagle, red and black kite, buzzard, kestrel, tree falcon and wasp thief circling above your head. Closer by you see the hops, the golden oriole, the gray shrike and the robin tapuit and you can hear the cheerful singing of the many wells. At dusk the ghostly nightjar sounds and when darkness has fallen you can easily recognize 5 different types of owls
Luzy is the capital of the region. This lively town is very popular with the many international visitors and residents of South Burgundy. Luzy is an active place where a lot is organized such as markets, concerts and walks. All facilities are available.
Most people come to the South Morvan for nature. And to move! Hiking, water sports, horse riding, hunting and fishing. The South Morvan is ideal for unwinding. A crackling fire, a hearty meal and a glass of wine are all you need.
Lakes area on the north side of the morvan, including the lakes Lac de Panneciere and Lac de Settons.
The Lac de Settons is 367Ha in size and suitable for swimming with children due to its gently sloping beaches. It has very clear water and various water activities are possible such as waterbikes, sailing or a little cruise. A cycle path has been created around the lake so that you can explore the beautiful landscape while cycling.
Lac de Panneciere is with 520Ha and a length of 7.5 km, the largest lake in the Morvan.
It is one of the cleanest lakes in France. The reservoir is used for generating electricity. You can sail (non-motorized) and swim or fish there.
The forests in the Haut Morvan are a delight for walkers, with or without a dog.
You can wander for hours without encountering anyone and you will find yourself alone in the world. Certainly deciduous tree forests are very old and reflect the atmosphere of the past. The small streams of water feed life in the forests and you can find various types of game there. Deer, wild boar and foxes are widely represented and give the walk an extra cachet. In the fall, with its beautiful colors and huge diversity of mushrooms, a great place to wander for hours. A GPS or very good map is definitely recommended because getting lost in these forests can easily happen.
After a brisk walk, enjoy a delicious lunch in one of the cozy restaurants, where you will be served a great meal for almost pre-war prices. The icing on the cake!
In the many villages various activities are offered in the summer months and you can scour the different flea markets for gadgets for your home or for your second home in the Morvan!