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A day in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne

10 minutes away from Sens by car or train, Villeneuve-sur-Yonne is very much geared around its river. The town is famous for its beach and nautical sports. Here is a selection of activities to discover in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne.

 

9.30am: Follow the town discovery trail

You have passed through the Porte de Sens. Head for the Tourist Information Office to hire a tablet and, using the sightseeing app, discover this pretty little town which has charmed many an artist, especially at the end of the 19th century, but also, more recently Leslie Caron or Kristin Scott Thomas

 

La porte de Sens à Villeneuve-sur-Yonne à l'entrée nord de la ville. - Photo Adeline Gauthier

The North fortified gate of Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, called ''Porte de Sens' - Photo Adeline Gauthier

 

11am: Visit Carnot Museum and Art Gallery

In premises that have very recently been attractively renovated, you will discover the works of artists who have frequented Villeneuve as well as some lovely temporary exhibitions. Next door, in the Porte de Joigny, you will find thematic collections, one dedicated to the history of the town and the other to uniforms of the gendarmerie (military police) over two centuries.

 

Une toile du peintre Théodore Balké représentant Villeneuve-sur-Yonne exposée au musée-galerie Carnot.

Théodore Balké painting representing Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, to be seen in Carnot Museum.

 

Lunch break

Several restaurants welcome you in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, with a variety of styles among them. We have a bit of a soft spot for the one created by Leslie Caron, the Lucarne aux Chouettes. Its setting is very pleasant and romantic in all seasons. In summer, you can enjoy the sunny terrace and view of the bridge and the Île d’Amour. In autumn and winter, it’s very warm with its nice Alsatian stove and fire burning in the fireplace. We also recommend the Au Vieux Tilleul, located in the old water house. It serves simple cuisine with a touch of originality along with a careful selection of wine.

 

Le restaurant La Lucarne aux chouettes à Villeneuve-sur-Yonne : une cuisine raffinée et un superbe cadre au bord de l'eau. - Photo La Lucarne aux Chouettes

The restaurant "La Lucarne aux chouettes" in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne :fine food and a wonderful setting, along the river Yonne  - Photo La Lucarne aux Chouettes

 

2pm: All to starboard!

Board now with Laurent, skipper of the Flipper Nautic, on his new boat, to sample the joys of boating. Alternative: you can also opt for a bike ride on the banks of the Yonne (bikes can be hired at the Tourist Office). Our advice is to head north, as it is less practical to the south.

 

Le pont Saint-Nicolas à Villeneuve-sur-Yonne. - Photo Adeline Gauthier

Saint-Nicolas Bridge in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne. - Photo Adeline Gauthier

 

3pm: Walk the heights of Villeneuve

Put on your hiking boots for a short 5.6km walk towards Beaudemont (length: 1 hour 40 min, height difference 118 metres approx.). Don't forget your camera for the fantastic views of the Yonne and Villeneuve. Along the way, you will notice the vineyard plot tended by the local association "Le Clos de Crève-Coeur". The Sénonais vineyard had disappeared, but they are bringing it back to life!

 

La porte de Sens à Villeneuve-sur-Yonne à l'entrée nord de la ville. - Photo Adeline Gauthier

The South fortified gate of Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, called "Porte de Sens". - Photo Adeline Gauthier

 

5pm: A session of window-shopping

Villeneuve town centre is quite lively and has some very attractive shops; we never miss an opportunity to take a look in the milliner’s shop window, while others will stop at the well-stocked decoration shop and florist or shoe shop. Yet others will set their sights on the shop run by the Wilm couple (he, a cabinetmaker, she, a painter-decorator). For foodies, take an obligatory detour via the confectioner Dosnon (its gingerbread is a delight!).

 

la Tour Bonneville et les quais à Villeneuve-sur-Yonne. - Photo Adeline Gauthier

Bonneville Tower and the docks in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne. - Photo Adeline Gauthier

 

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