Vezelay – a reunion

PictureVezelay – Abbey of La Madeleine

Vezelay is a town which is not usually high on the regular tourist trail, but instead is high on the list for Christian pilgrims. Vezelay is on one of the routes that lead from France to Santiago de Compostella in Spain which adds to its significance.  It is located in the north of the Burgundy region and on the edge of the Morvan Regional Park.   It is another hilltop town (hmm I sense a theme here of hill-top towns ie San Gimignano also saw Gordes in Provence) and is a UNESCO world heritage site –  The gorgeous town of Vezelay is dominated by the Basilique Ste Madeleine, small streets, alleyways and a few great open green spaces.  (My French uncle assures me, that the Basilique has the best acoustics, as his choir often sing there – he lives in the region.  He was pretty impressed that I had chosen Vezelay for  a pit stop en-route to Paris).

Vezelay was picked for being a small town on the map heading from the South of France and then onto Paris – it was where, we the  Frenchies planned to catch up with our dear Australian friends who were also travelling in Europe and making their way from Paris to Switzerland – we had one day where outr itinerary allowed for a catch up/reunion… and so this is how we came to visit Vezelay it.

Vezelay was another great memory , especially for the kids. It was wonderful to see  the kids run loose in the parks and the trail that surrounds the town but most of all they could hang out with their Aussie friends –  The kids had a great time running around town and kicking an australian football at one of the Parks.

We arrived a night before our friends to had  two nights in Vezelay which is plenty of time to relax and also to explore this hill-top town. Vezelay  is a really gorgeous place to just walk around and take it all in.

Here are some suggestions to keep yourself /the family occupied:

  • Basilique St. Madeleine
  • Park near the Basilique de St. Madeleine – perfect free play ground (we took our Australian rules football everywhere with case we ever found a spot to kick it around)
  • Maison Jules Roy -great gardens to run around in or just to relax
  • Promenade des Fossees – a large walking track that surrounds Vezelay’s medieval ramparts. Great to get a feel of the size of the town, perfect area for picnic lunch and take in the views of the valley – Walked it several times it was so relaxing.
  • If you have more time in the area and have your own car a drive through the Parc Regional du Morvan is a wonderful area to explore. We stopped and had a picnic lunch on the shores of the Lac des Settons (lake).

Nitty Gritty:


  • Hotel Le Compostelle:
  • This hotel is located at the entrance of the historic town and has easy parking facilities. The rooms either face the valley or the town/gardens. We choose it as not only was it perfectly located at the entrance of the town, it had family rooms within our budget.  The hotel serves breakfast in their dining area which has amazing views across the valley.  We did not eat as it was at the time 10EUR each, we felt it was cheaper to grab a coffee and a croissant at a local cafe and bakery.  


  •  Le Bougainville –  We walked past this lovely little restaurant with rustic table and chairs on the footpath.  I just remember having a gorgeous creme brûlée….need I say more.
  • La Dent Creuse – the restaurant was located less than a 5 minute walk from the hotel and had a lovely terraced dining area. The reviews for the restaurant are mixed, however we had no issues, pizzas were the main choice  and a few drinks for the grown ups.  It was also an ideal location to handle 4 kids and 5 adults without too much of a fuss.

Ultimately for the Frenchies the hotels and the restaurants are of less importance, the memories are what we take home  with us. That is not to say I don’t research my hotels for the Travelling Frenchies holidays  (but in the nearly 5 months that we were on the road, there was only one place I stayed in that I just hated and I wanted to run out of as fast as possible)

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