The 16 must-do things to do in the Morvan Regional Natural Park

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Elia Tabuenca García
@eliatabuencagarcia
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Summary
  • 1. Lake Settons
  • 2. The Basilica of Vézelay
  • 3. The Castle of Bazoches
  • 4. The Abbey of the Stone that Turns
  • 5. Narvau Gorge
  • 6. The Castle of Chastellux
  • 7. The Zervos Museum
  • 8. The Domaine de la Croix Montjoie
  • 9. The Fortress of Thil
  • 10. Lake Chamboux
  • 11. Cardoland
  • 12. AB Leisure
  • 13. Bibracte
  • 14. The Museum of Resistance in Morvan
  • 15. The Basilica of Saint Andoche
  • 16. Discovery of Morvandelle gastronomy
  • Also to be seen in the Parc Naturel Régional du Morvan
  • How to get to the Parc Naturel Régional du Morvan?
  • - By plane
  • - By car
  • Where to stay in the Parc Naturel Régional du Morvan?

Burgundy is a territory with a rich cultural and historical heritage. For your summer stay, here are 16 must-see places to visit in the Morvan Regional Nature Park!

On the borders of the Côte d'Or and the Nièvre, tourists come to visit the Morvan Regional Nature Park, the smallest mountainous area in France. This massif is made up of the same geological properties as the Massif Central, with ancient volcanic rocks. Rising to more than nine hundred metres, its relief is considered mountainous, as is its particular climate.


This regional reserve covers more than 290,000 hectares and welcomes many visitors every year. Indeed, it is strong of its extraordinary vegetation, its atypical relief and its varied fauna. Moreover, it has the advantage of offering a small green setting to its visitors, free of any pollution. The inhabitants of the massif even say that in summer, the Milky Way can be seen from its summits.


Still not convinced? We take you to discover 16 unusual and unmissable things to do in the Morvan Regional Nature Park!

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1. Lake Settons

Discovering the lakes is one of the must-do activities in the Morvan Regional Natural Park. The one of Settons is located at the border of the department of Nièvre, at more than five hundred meters of altitude.

It is an artificial water point, created after the Cure dam. During the summer season, it attracts many visitors from the region thanks to the many leisure activities it offers. Pedal boats, sailing boats, canoes and many others. Your day by the lake promises to be a lot of fun!

2. The Basilica of Vézelay

The Sainte-Marie-Madeleine Basilica in Vézelay is an old abbey church, located in the town of the same name. Its construction, in the 12th century, is said to have lasted only about thirty years according to the archives. However, its Romanesque architecture makes it a magnificent monument to visit in the Morvan Regional Natural Park.

Also, it has the particularity of mixing two very particular styles. In fact, its structure was entirely inspired by Romanesque art, but its choir is of Gothic inspiration. Its discovery will therefore be most interesting for those who are interested in history and culture!

3. The Castle of Bazoches

The fortress of Bazoches is a visit not to be missed in the Morvan Regional Natural Park. It is located in the town of the same name, and has been overlooking the relief since the 12th century. Over the ages, the building has been renovated and its layout has been modernized.


At the beginning of its construction, it was indeed a medieval building. However, when it was bought back in the 17th century, its structure was naturally updated. Today, it is a true architectural jewel, which will invite you to live an authentic moment of History.

4. The Abbey of the Stone that Turns

This Benedictine abbey with its amusing name is a fascinating discovery to make in the Morvan Regional Natural Park. It was built in the 19th century, according to Romanesque art, in reference to the place where it is located.

The legend of the Pierre-qui-Vire, however, is much older. It is an enormous stone balanced on a rock, which is now sealed with cement. But the myth explains that the stone used to turn three times every noon when the sun hit the dolmen. An amusing story to accompany your visit to this exceptional building!

5. Narvau Gorge

Close to Lormes, the Narvau Gorges are a must-see in the Morvan Regional Nature Park. This exceptional place has been classified for more than twenty years as a protected historical site.

It was dug by the runoff of the Auxois in the granite of the Morvan. Its hiking trails and its unusual landscape will easily seduce nature lovers. In addition, thrill-seekers will be able to try their hand at climbing on one of the many spots in the park!

6. The Castle of Chastellux

Visiting the Morvan Regional Natural Park is a unique opportunity to discover this unique region. Between history and nature, the site invites its travellers to discover its fabulous secrets. Dating from the 11th century, the Château de Chastellux is one of the major monuments of the park. Indeed, its structure has the advantage of having been constantly restored over time.


During your visit, you will be able to admire its medieval towers, its Renaissance-style rooms, as well as its classicist structure. This building will invite you to travel through the ages and take a real leap back in time.

7. The Zervos Museum

The Zervos museum is one of the most atypical visits to be made in the Morvan Regional Natural Park. It is located in the former mansion of the writer Romain Rolland, in Vézelay.

However, the establishment houses the magnificent works bequeathed by the critic Christian Zervos, at his death in 1970. Within its atypical walls, you can admire fabulous paintings by Picasso, Gonzalès, Kandinsky and Ernst. But you can also discover sculptures by Calder and Giacometti. It is therefore an obligatory stop for lovers of art and culture!

8. The Domaine de la Croix Montjoie

If Burgundy is a historical territory, it is also strong of its exceptional terroir. Also, there are many vineyards to visit in the Morvan Regional Nature Park.

One of the most famous is the Domaine de la Croix Montjoie, which is home to wonderful Chardonnay grapes. The 19th century building traces more than a century of winegrowing and traditions. During your visit, you will be able to discover the secrets of this exceptional drink and its culture.

9. The Fortress of Thil

The Château de Thil is another unusual historical site to visit in the Morvan Regional Natural Park. The remains of this medieval fortress have been classified as a Historic Monument in France since 1905.

Nowadays, it is possible to explore its impressive fortifications and admire its keep. Almost out of time, it has been overlooking the region for almost a millennium. Thus, its exploration is sure to seduce young and old alike!

10. Lake Chamboux

Lake Chamboux is one of the largest lakes in the Morvan massif. It is located at an altitude of more than 500 m, in Saint-Martin-de-la-Mer. However, it does not resemble other regional water points as it is divided into three separate reservoirs. Its peaceful atmosphere and the paths that surround it are therefore a natural invitation to take a walk.

On your way, you can admire the surrounding landscapes and discover their fabulous vegetation. In the heart of the massif, this lake is certainly a must to visit in the Morvan Regional Natural Park.

11. Cardoland

Families won't have to think long about what to do in the Morvan Regional Nature Park. Indeed, the site of Cardoland is a fun activity for young and old alike.

This prehistoric park invites you to discover nature as you have never seen it before! Between dinosaur reconstructions, decorated caves and fossils, you will never get bored. Cardoland invites you to live an authentic moment of history and adventure!

12. AB Leisure

On the banks of the river Cure, AB Loisirs offers you many activities to do in the Morvan Regional Natural Park. This base specializes in outdoor and water sports. Thrill-seekers can try their hand at rafting, tree climbing, quad biking or caving.

Nature lovers will opt for mountain biking, hiking or canoeing. But for the more adventurous, there is a real survival course through the woods. No doubt you'll find something to enjoy!

13. Bibracte

The Bibracte site is a must for history buffs. Indeed, it is one of the most beautiful sites to visit in the Morvan Regional Natural Park. This former Gallic capital has preserved many vestiges of its past.

Since its discovery, the site houses a museum of Celtic civilization and is classified among the Historical Monuments of the country. During your visit, you will be able to admire the ramparts, houses, as well as former places of worship. As our country has very few ruins of our ancestors, this site is a real archaeological jewel.

14. The Museum of Resistance in Morvan

If the massif is strongly marked by medieval and prehistoric times, it has also been the scene of recent conflicts. Thus, this museum is one of the most interesting places to visit in the Morvan Regional Natural Park. The region indeed had an essential role in the resistance movements during the Second World War.

In 1944, it was the actions of the maquisards who forced the German troops to liberate it. Today, the site invites you to discover the history of these Morvan people and their struggle against the Nazi occupation.

15. The Basilica of Saint Andoche

The Basilica of the commune of Saulieu is an inevitable visit to make in the Morvan Regional Natural Park. This church built in the 11th century is an authentic treasure of Romanesque architecture. Its atypical structure has fortunately been able to cross the centuries, and preserve all its splendour.

Inside, you will be able to admire its imposing 17th century organ and its exceptional frescoes.

16. Discovery of Morvandelle gastronomy

The Morvan is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful regions of France. Also, it does not only hold its reputation for its exceptional landscapes. This land of legends is also at the origin of many culinary traditions.

During your trip, you could make a stop at a delicious specialty restaurant. The local chefs will invite you to enjoy blueberry pies, delicatessen dishes or even the succulent morvandelle grated cheese. Among the best restaurants in the Natural Park, one thinks in particular of the unmissable "Au Vieux Morvan". But the curious can also try the traditional cuisine of "L'auberge du Goupil".

Also to be seen in the Parc Naturel Régional du Morvan

There are of course many other activities to do in the Morvan Regional Nature Park. You can visit other historical sites such as the Salt Fountains, the Castle of Lantilly or the Maison Jules-Roy. In the same way, nature lovers will be able to go on various hikes. They can, for example, try to reach the Haut Folin peak, or discover the Gorges de la Canche. This extraordinary natural site is just waiting to be discovered!

How to get to the Parc Naturel Régional du Morvan?

By plane

If you wish to visit the Morvan Regional Natural Park, you could choose to go by air. However, the towns in the massif do not have any airports. You will therefore have to land in Lyon to reach the site. In order to find the best flight at low cost, we recommend you to visit the website of our partner, Skyscanner. You will be sure to find the best route for your trip!

However, you will need to rent a car on site to get to the park.

By car

As it is a natural site, it is preferable to take the car to visit the Morvan Regional Natural Park. Indeed, this will allow you to move more easily through its various places. Travellers from the South or the West should then take theA6 or theA71.

For their part, people from the East and North of France will have to take theA5 orA31.

Where to stay in the Parc Naturel Régional du Morvan?

Before booking your holiday, it is important to use a hotel comparator. This is the best way to find exceptional accommodation for your stay, at a low price. If you wish to visit the Morvan Regional Natural Park, you can rent a room in a hotel or a gîte. Indeed, the different communes of the region abound in interesting rentals for travellers. In summer, an accommodation in the park costs between 60 and 150€ for one night.

However, you could opt for a more atypical rental for your stay in Burgundy. With sites such as Abracadaroom or Airbnb, you will indeed be able to choose an unusual habitat. In cabins, chalets or bubbles, you will then fully enjoy the wild setting of this regional park. We bet your holidays will be unforgettable!

Vézelay remains the most beautiful place to stay in the Morvan. However, Saulieu is an interesting alternative. It all depends on what you are looking for!

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