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Morvan Regional Park visitor guide

Photo of Morvan Regional Park

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.

Exploring Morvan

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...

lake panneciere, Morvan regional parc
Lake Panneciere

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.

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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.

You can find more travel ideas in the Nievre guide and the Burgundy guide.

See also: 

Map of Morvan Regional Park and places nearby

 
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Visit near Morvan Regional Park with France This Way reviews

Saulieu

Saulieu

Saulieu is quite a small town, visited because of the Basilica Saint-Andoche

Saulieu guide
Semur-en-Auxois

Semur-en-Auxois

One of the prettiest of the Burgundy villages, Semur-en-Auxois has a very lively and extensive historic centre and a pretty riverside setting

Semur-en-Auxois guide
Chateauneuf-en-Auxois

Chateauneuf-en-Auxois

The village of Chateauneuf-sur-Auxois, one of the 'most beautiful villages in France', also has an interesting castle

Chateauneuf-en-Auxois guide
Montreal

Montreal

Behind its fortified entrance, the small village of Montreal is a very unspoiled medieval village

Montreal guide
Avallon

Avallon

Avallon is a very pleasant town to explore with some very imposing medieval buildings, and the countryside of the Morvan Regional Park is very close by

Avallon guide
Flavigny

Flavigny

The village of Flavigny retains an ancient centre surrounded by fortified walls, and a very authentic historic atmoshere

Flavigny guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Nievre

The French version of this page is at Morvan Regional Park (Francais)

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