I’m desperately in need for escape, calm and nature. And in the direction of Burgundy, in the Morvan Regional Nature Park, we leave for a weekend to discover this region of France that is unknown to us.
Just 3 hours drive from Paris, we arrive Friday night in the small village of Mont-Saint-Jean. Small medieval village whose castle, perched on a rocky spur, dominates the valley of the Serein, Mont-Saint-Jean knew to charm me with its stone houses of the 15th and 16th centuries. I fell in love with its narrow streets where the rays of sunshine, the gates of colors, its stone houses adorned with a multitude of flowers mingle. (Honey can we move out there?)
It was in the charming little caravan of Anna that we put down our suitcases. A Gypsy caravan decorated with taste, authenticity and simplicity. Very little network and a clear view on the surrounding hills. What a joy to be able to wake up by opening the window of the room and contemplating the sunny view while still being half in the arms of Morpheus. What more ? Perhaps a little coffee at the foot of the trailer, amidst the aromatics caressed by the first rays of the sun to wake up? No need to ask, that’s what we did. (To discover Anna’s roulotte : https://www.airbnb.fr/rooms/1761024 ! Anna is the owner of this roulotte if you go for a ride in the middle of the valley. The Regional Park of the Morvan and you need to recharge your batteries in peace).
It is by taking time to discover the surroundings that we pass through the town of Saulieu only 15 minutes by car from Mont-Saint-Jean. Capital of the Morvan, Saulieu welcomes every Saturday morning, a market where the inhabitants of the surrounding communes mingle. Between mirabelles and flax bread, it is possible to stop to taste a glass of Burgundy wine in the shade of poplars.
In the heart of the city, the charming little Parisian café proudly stands proudly. We stopped to eat a pavement of charolais. (That I dreamed since our arrival in Burgundy). I was a little disappointed with the dish which was still 16 €, with a cobblestone cooking a bit too bleeding for my taste and non-homemade fries. But the setting is very nice and the staff lovely).
Following the « footsteps of the bear », (a circuit marked on the ground) we pass the door of the cheese factory La Fouchale reputed to be the most beautiful cheese shop in Saulieu. And we were not disappointed. A warm welcome and a tomme from the Morvan who knew how to feast our taste buds throughout the weekend.
The town of Saulieu is also known to be a renowned gastronomic city. Since the century of the lights the great chiefs have succeeded one another. Today there is the well-known La Côte d’Or restaurant and Bernard Loiseau’s establishment. I tried to invite my darling but without much success.
The Morvan Regional Nature Park is full of preserved natural sites for discovery and escape. Among the 299,000 hectares of the park, we have chosen to discover the following places:
- La Maison du Parc
- Le Saut du Gouloux
- Le lac des Settons
La Maison du Parc
Located in Saint Brisson within the Morvan regional park, the Maison du parc is a historic site. The administrative center is a huge building with a red shutter that overlooks Etang Taureau. A trail of a small kilometer allows to walk through the tail of the pond while discovering the natural ecosystem of this very rich environment. A nice digestive walk that even allows to see a few deer and hinds.
Le Saut du Gouloux
A 15 minute drive from the Maison du Parc, a lovely discovery with the waterfall of the Gouloux jump. Arriving in the parking lot, a sign indicates the path to the waterfall, located in the depths of the forest. Two paths are proposed: a quick loop of 30 minutes and a little longer that allows access to the waterfall by the heights of the forest. It is the long loop that we choose. Huge conifers adorn the road, giving the forest a mysterious charm. The silence is golden and only the sound of the water that flows along the rock walls serves as a guide to access the famous waterfall. One would think oneself almost gold of time. And finally it appears. A waterfall 10 meters high in a small corner of paradise. Some ruins of ancient mills blend into the shaded landscape to bring what gives this place an authentic character.
Le Lac des Settons
A little further south of the jump of Gouloux, is the famous lake of Settons. Immense artificial lake, it takes about 4 hours of walk to go around its 14km of shore. On the way, we juggle between renting pedal boats and small artificial beach more or less accessible. Superb houses adorn the lake and many boats are moored all along. The place is perfect for family walks. For us, the lake of the Settons was the ideal place to carry out our long exit of 2h40 of the preparation Marathon. And what a pleasure to be able to discover a magical place while galloping between the roots to the shelter of the pines.
This is how it ended a superb weekend in the Morvan Regional Park. Two days conducive to escape in an exceptional place full of charm between forest, lake and gastronomy.
And you, what is the corner of the natural regional park of Morvan that you prefer?
Good day to all