We love cool and soothing waterfront views, whether they are overlooking lakes, rivers or that fabulous Mediterranean Sea. That’s why Auxerre is so appealing, a town of about 40,000 situated on the River Yonne in the Burgundy region, just an hour-and-a-half from Paris.
Originally Auxerre prospered as an active port on the wine route, but today holiday boaters and hotel barges provide easy enjoyment of the Yonne and the Nivernais Canal. Much of the activity in Auxerre centers on the water with joggers, cyclists and boaters ever present. A relaxing boat tour is a favorite, but we tend toward lazy times under shaded café terraces along the quay.
Ironically, we live in Orlando, where so many lakes dot the landscape, but you have to work very hard to find a waterfront café. Very few such restaurants are in the area, and some even choose to build their parking lot overlooking the water rather than the restaurant! Absolutely senseless!
Tucked behind the quay, we wind up cobbled streets past half-timbered houses to the lovely, restored Cathedral Saint-Etienne. The magnificent cathedral transformed over time from its’ initial 11th-century structure to the 18th century. Just around the corner from the cathedral, we were fortunate to know about Le Petite Monde d’Edith, a wonderful little home-like restaurant; where potluck reigns and hospitality is natural!
Beyond tranquil waterways, the area is famous for vineyards and sprawling orchards of apple and cherry trees. Yes, as you can imagine, the wine and the regional cuisine are inspired!
Auxerre is an excellent base from which to explore this vast and beautiful region of France.