Day 1 Dover
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your journey to the Ramada Dover (4T). Spend this afternoon easing into your holiday with time at leisure in the hotel; perhaps enjoy a cocktail in the stylish Octagon Bar before dinner this evening with your fellow travellers.
Day 2 Dover to Fontainebleau
We journey this morning by Eurotunnel or ferry to Calais and on to Fontainebleau south of Paris, stopping en route in Amiens, a city rebuilt following World War II with careful consideration to retain its original architectural charm. There should be time to visit the UNESCO-listed Cathedral of Nôtre-Dame and perhaps enjoy a bite to eat at one of the restaurants along the St Leu waterfront. Resuming our journey to Fontainebleau, we check in to the Mercure Château de Fontainebleau (4T), our base for the next seven nights, with dinner included each evening. A modern hotel just a few minutes’ walk from the Royal Palace, it is surrounded by a lush garden, with a newly-constructed outdoor pool.
Day 3 Montargis to Ferrières-en-Gâtinais
We begin our cruise itinerary in Tonnerre, a town of Roman and medieval history noted for its natural karst spring, the Fosse Dionne. Nowadays Tonnerre is one of Burgundy's mainstream wine-producing areas. From Tonnerre our spacious boat takes us westwards along the Canal de Bourgogne to today's disembarkation point at Flogny. After lunch on board we join our coach for a scenic drive just into the adjoining Côte d'Or departement where we visit Semur-en-Auxois, a picturesque town that attracts many artists with its magnificent citadel, the perfect picture to sketch with its extensive grand medieval exterior. Roam Semur-en-Auxois’ pleasant historic streets before our drive resumes to Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, a medieval fortified village which nowadays enjoys the accolade of being one of France's prestigious ‘Plus Beaux Villages’. Enter through one of the grand stone gateways, which have protected the settlement since medieval times, to embrace the extensive array of medieval and Renaissance houses with views of the lovely Auxois hills from the town’s elevated position.
Day 4 Ferrières-en-Gâtinais to Château-Landon
This morning we continue along the quiet and tree-lined Canal de Bourgogne between Flogny and Saint-Florentin. This particularly serene stretch of canal might be especially appealing to anyone keen on walking or cycling the towpath - there are 7 locks in the course of the morning so plenty of chances to stroll ahead. After lunch on board we will join the coach in Saint-Florentin for a guided visit to Château d'Ancy-le-Franc, a spectacular Renaissance castle. Renowned Italian architect Sébastiano Serlio is credited for the structure’s architectural design, with beautiful apartments, grand hallways, an extravagant chapel, historic King’s room, elegant marble floors and ornate galleries - all of which reveal five centuries of astounding history.
Day 5 Château-Landon to Nemours
Our scenic cruise continues from the superb, medieval fortified town of Château-Landon towards the waterways town of Nemours, notable for its wooden church spire and medieval castle alongside the River Loing. After lunch on board we return to Fontainebleau for our guided tour of Fontainebleau Palace, the UNESCO-listed medieval castle and the residence of many French monarchs including Louis VII and Napoleon III. One of the most attractive structures in France, the castle makes a splendid visit with its grand royal apartments, beautifully detailed Trinity Chapel, horseshoe staircase, Renaissance halls, and lavish gardens.
Day 6 Nemours to Moret-sur-Loing
Rejoining the boat in Nemours, we continue our gentle cruise north-eastwards, still following the Loing Valley as it drops towards the Seine. Mooring in the fine gated town of Moret-sur-Loing, we will share the same riverside vista as was so much loved here by Monet, Renoir and Sisley. Early afternoon we rejoin our coach, for a guided tour of the 17th century Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte - one of the country’s most famous and renowned for its architectural design, grand decorations and gardens. Constructed for King Louis XIV’s superintendent of finance, the lavish structure marks the beginning of Louis XIV’s expressive style which combined impressive exterior, detailed interior and landscape designs to create remarkable architectural masterpieces.
Day 7 Moret-sur-Loing to Cannes-Écluse
This morning we return quite early for more time to visit the picture-postcard medieval town of Moret-sur-Loing with its impressionist connections. Here you will be able to stroll the historic centre filled with fascinating attractions including the Musee du Sucre d’Orge, an excellent museum revealing the history of barley sugar production; the beautiful Nôtre Dame church; and a collection of old half-timbered houses. Rejoining the boat late morning, we continue our cruise, heading northwards to join the River Seine and upstream to Montereau-fault-Yonne where we turn south-eastwards onto the River Yonne as far as Cannes-Écluse. Disembarking here, we depart for Provins, a UNESCO World Heritage town famed for its medieval flair, and you can enjoy some time for independent sightseeing before returning to Fontainebleau.
Day 8 Cannes Écluse to Pont-sur-Yonne
Today we enjoy rural river scenery at its best as we follow the Yonne upstream for an all-day cruise from Cannes-Écluse to our final calling point at Pont-sur-Yonne. One of the major tributaries of the Seine, the Yonne rises in the Morvan Hills some 180 miles to the south, and it tracks through some of the prettiest scenery in western Burgundy with its mix of wooded hillsides, rich agricultural land, ancient settlements, medieval towns and sleepy villages. To make today all the more special our onboard guide will be on hand throughout the morning to recount some of the region's history and describe the key historical sites along this lovely stretch of waterway.
Day 9 Fontainebleau to Dover
After breakfast we begin the return journey home, aiming to pause in Senlis en route before crossing by Eurotunnel or ferry, to the Ramada Dover (or a similar stop). On arrival you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.