Morvan Regional Park, Nievre: visitors guide
Visit Morvan Regional Park, France
The Regional Parc du Morvan is found in central Burgundy south of Avallon and Semur-en-Auxois, east of Corbigny and west of Autun, and is a landscape of hills and low mountains, woodland and small scale agriculture, crossed by streams, rivers and waterfalls, and hiding numerous traditional villages.
The park was created in 1970 to preserve this natural environment that covers approximately 2,800 square kilometres of rolling Burgundy countryside and falls within four different departments: Cote d'Or, Nievre, Saone-et-Loire and Yonne.
Above all this is a destination to explore at a slow pace, absorbing the atmosphere and appreciating the little things that make Morvan so special - walking through the woodlands, finding a path that comes across a small waterfall, that little village clustered around a village church...
The official visitor centre is the Maison du Parc Naturel Régional de Morvan at Saint-Brisson, where you can find lots of information about hiking, waymarked trails, cycling and touring in the region. This visitor centre also has a small cafe, a herb garden and two museums (the Ecomuseum and the Museum of the Resistance in Morvan) so is also a visitor attraction in itself.
You will find various places in the park that offer leisure activities, such as several important lakes: the most popular is Setton Lake right in the heart of the region and surrounded by forests, and others include Chaumecon Lake (our personal favourite) and Panneciere Lake.
The lakes in Morvan Natural Park are artificial, having been built in the 19th century to control the flow in the Cure and Yonne rivers.
Certain scenic highlights in the park also deserve particular attention, including the torrents of the Gouloux Waterfall, the dolmen at Chevresse (at Saint Brisson - actually a natural rock formation not a prehistoric structure despite the name), the Cure river at Pierre-Perthuis and the viewpoint at Rochers du Carnaval (Uchon). There are lots of other lovely viewpoints so be sure to get information from the Maison du Parc before exploring!
Hiking (either on one of the Grandes Randonnées that cross the region or one of the many shorter trails), canoeing and fishing are among the most popular ways to enjoy the peaceful countryside.
Morvan towns and villages
At Saint-Léger-Vauban you can visit the Abbey of Sainte-Marie de la Pierre qui Vire and at Vezelay the basilica is one of the most visited monuments in Burgundy (and the village is also charming). Although these and other pretty villages are scattered throughout the rolling countryside, there are few major towns within the parc itself - Saulieu is the most important.
Most visitors explore from one of the towns around the Morvan borders that are considered to be 'gateway' towns well placed for exploring the region. These include the larger towns of Autun (to the south-east), Avallon (to the north) and Corbigny (to the west) along with Luzy (south), the thermal spa town of Saint-Honoré-les-Bains (south-west) and others.
Map of Morvan Regional Park and places nearby
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Basilique de Saint Andoche (Saulieu): religious monument
- Parc de Saint-Léger: remarkable garden (7 km)
- Jardin de la Chaux: remarkable garden (10 km)
- Morvan: regional natural parc (10 km)
- Potager du château de Lantilly: remarkable garden (31 km)
- Flavigny: most beautiful village (34 km)
- Alesia: grand site of france (35 km)
- Siège d'Alésia: site of natural beauty (35 km)
The French version of this page is at Morvan Regional Park (Francais)