Saône-&-Loire has earned itself a reputation among touring cyclists and it's no accident: as the birthplace of France's Greenways movement, between Cluny and Givry, the department's bicycle touring itineraries are numerous, varied, bucolic and not at all intimidating. Among this multitude of possibilities, make your way onto the Great Southern Burgundy Loop.
Great Southern Burgundy Loop
From Chalon to Mâcon, this itinerary is legendary, stretching along where France 1st Greenway path was laid! A scenic 145-km, north-to-south loop, is punctuated by major sites amidst vineyards extending between the Côte Chalonnaise and Mâconnais growing regions. Lovers of authentic countryside will be overjoyed by the Bresse Path, an itinerary through fields and pasturelands in the grazing land made famous by the local poultry. Perhaps the Morvan hillsides and forests sound tempting to those in search of wide open spaces along the Autunois-Morvan Green Roaming Route!
For those eager to tackle longer distance itineraries, head out on some of the longer trails crossing Saône-&-Loire for the complete enjoyment of bike aficionados!
The Moselle-Saône Blue Bicycle Escape Route (V50)
This itinerary connects the city of Apach in Luxembourg with Lyon (along the viaRhôna way), covering a distance of some 700 km through the Moselle and Saône River Valleys. The 106-km stretch in Saône-&-Loire (from Mont-les-Seurre to Mâcon) parallels the Blueways towpaths along the Saône.
The EuroVelo 6 itinerary from Basel to the Atlantic
Over nearly 1,300 km of improved path, EuroVelo 6 is one of France's easiest and most pleasant cycling itineraries. It extends from Alsace to the Atlantic Ocean, via successively the Rhône-to-Rhine Canal, the Doubs and Saône River Valleys, the Canal du Centre through Burgundy, before connecting with the Loire à Vélo route, in following Europe's last wild-flowing river until reaching its mouth at Saint-Brevin-les-Pins. The portion of this itinerary running through Saône-&-Loire covers 228 km, from Mont-les-Seurre (in the east) to Cronat (western end), along the host Saône River and Canal du Centre.
The Destination Loire Roaming itinerary
The Loire crosses Saône-&-Loire for a 99-km stretch in the west from Cronat to Iguerande. In departing Paray-le-Monial, head south on the Greenways along the Loire's banks until Iguerande. The path runs by the spirited Loire waters before penetrating a wonderfully preserved nature, revealing a lush countryside dotted with remarkable Romanesque churches.
GTMC (Extended Massif Central Crossing) on Mountain Bike
A 1,360-km itinerary extending from Avallon in Burgundy to Cap d'Agde (Hérault) on the Mediterranean, an exceptional excursion for a real mountain biking experience immersed in nature. 172 km of the route run through Saône-&-Loire from Cussy-en-Morvan to Bourbon-Lancy. The path makes an incursion in the southern part of the Morvan Regional Park and is intended for tested mountain bikers.
For more information on the GTMC itinerary for mountain bikers: https://www.la-gtmc.com/