With the development of the nation’s most extensive network of véloroutes, Burgundy will eventually possess a continuous loop of over 800 kilometres*, joining up four very different departments and showcasing their main attractions (châteaux and other historical buildings, little towns of character, villages, vineyards, etc.). The aim is to provide cyclists not only with suitable routes and tracks but also with a complete range of services (stopping places, restaurants, B&B accommodation, bicycles for hire, accompanied baggage facilities, etc.) under a single “itinerant tourism” heading.
The itinerary, partly made up of voies vertes where no motorised traffic is allowed, for the most part follows canal towpaths but also vineyard paths, disused railway lines and little country roads. The Cycling Tour of Burgundy is divided into five itineraries described in detail in the following pages. It will also be accessible via the Eurovéloroute, from the east via Switzerland and Chalon-sur-Saône, and from the west via Nantes and Nevers. The network is expanding with each succeeding year thanks to the combined financial contribution of the French State, the Burgundy Regional Council and the four General Councils of the Côte-d'Or, the Nièvre, the Saône-et-Loire and the Yonne.
A ‘Véloroute’ is a secure, sign-posted cycle track which uses different types of road/path: ‘Voies vertes’ (see below), cycle paths, cycle lanes and, in some cases, little country roads. It avoids steep ascents and descents.
A ‘Voie verte’ (literally ‘green road’) is reserved for non-motorised traffic: walking/hiking, cycling, roller skating, wheelchairs. Vehicles for canal maintenance however are allowed to drive along towpaths.
"At night or on days with poor visibility, all cyclists and cycle passengers, outside built-up areas, must wear a regulation high-visibility jacket, as described in the official decree of the Ministry of Transport."
Wearing a cycle helmet is not compulsory but is strongly recommended, especially for children and sports cyclists.