Visit Yonne, France
With the castles at Tanlay and Ancy-le-Franc and the important abbeys at Vezelay and Pontigny the Yonne is rich in historical monuments - but don't forget to allow time to visit some of the very attractive towns and villages here such as Noyers and Avallon, and to try some famous wine in the Chablis vineyards
Selected places to visit in Yonne
Yonne, Burgundy highlights
Yonne occupies the north-western part of Burgundy, and contains many of the highlights that the region has to offer. The capital of Yonne is Auxerre.
The landscape of the Yonne is is one of hedgerows and small fields, of vineyards and forests, and small scale agriculture on the undulating landscape. There are numerous rivers and small lakes to enhance the Yonne landscape and to provide opportunities for swimming, fishing etc.
Northern and Central Yonne
Perhaps a little less known than its two more famous near-neighbours at Fontenay and Vezelay, Pontigny Abbey is in the centre of Yonne, to the north-east of Auxerre. Wine enthusiasts will also want to visit the pretty town of Chablis, to the south of Pontigny.
Heading east from Auxerre, the castles at Ancy-le-Franc and Tanlay castle are well worth the trip, and located to the south-east of Tonnerre along the Burgundy Canal (Canal de Bourgogne). The lovely village at Noyers is another highlight of this part of Yonne.
After seeing the ancient castles, don't miss the 'old meets new' castle building project at Guedelon , where an entire middle-ages castle is being constructed using only authentic medieval matrerials and techniques.
To the west of the central region, the town of Toucy has some interesting medieval houses to admire, and also some grander buildings from the 17th-19th centuries.
The towns of Avallon and Vezelay (a classified most beautiful village, and home to the UNESCO listed Vezelay Abbey) are among the most interesting towns to visit, and see also Clamecy to the west of Vezelay, and Montréal (8 km east of Avallon).
North of Vezelay visit the pretty village of Arcy-sur-Cure and its ruined castle, before heading underground into the reputed caves here, which contain some of the oldest cave paintings known.
Heading west see the remains of the thermal baths and the gothic church at Saint-Pere. Continue west to the chateau and gardens at Saint-Fargeau (south-west Yonne), perhaps stopping to enjoy one of their 'summer evening spectacles'.
See a list of all Yonne communes
Map of Yonne
French version: Yonne (Francais)