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Mâcon tourism, what to do, what to see at Mâcon

Ville de Mâcon




Mâcon tourism, what to do and what to see at Mâcon


Mâcon is located in the south of Burgundy at the junction between the Beaujolais and Burgundy regions. It is therefore an ideal location to visit both regions, and Mâcon can be the central point of your excursions and tourism activities.

Surrounded by the vineyards of the Maconnais, on the banks of the Saône, it is a very pleasant town that offers many activities to the different types of tourists who come to visit the region.


I am going to show you the different activities that are offered in Mâcon itself as well as in the nearby surroundings. This may give you some ideas on how to organise your stay, so what to do and see at Mâcon for tourism.

Here are the themes that will be discussed

  • In Mâcon
    • What to see in Mâcon ?
      • Main monuments
      • Ursulines Museum
    • What to do in Mâcon?
      • Leisure activities
    • What to do around Mâcon ?
      • Cycling on the greenway
      • The Roche de Solutré
      • The castles
      • Caves
      • The vineyards
      • Cluny
      • Touroparc Zoo
      • Activities with children
      • The Dombes


I will start by explaining what you can do in Macon.

You can find all the documentation to support your visits and activities at the Tourist Office of Mâcon which is located at 1 place Saint Pierre.



What to visit at Mâcon ?


Cultural visit


If you want to be shown around the city, there are many guided tours. There are at least 8 different themes that allow you to see the city from a different perspective.

If you prefer to do the tour yourself, the best thing to do is to follow the signposting on the ground, the « tracé de la plume » in homage to Lamartine. This signposting, in the form of a metal triangle, is coupled with a telephone application that will give you information when you are in front of the main monuments of the city. Two tours are available, one of which can take 1 or 2 hours, depending on the time you have.

These tours will allow you to discover, among other things

  • the 19th century church of Saint Pierre with its 3 works of art classified as historical monuments,
  • the wooden house built between the 15th and 16th centuries, it must be the oldest house in Mâcon. Its façade is decorated with numerous statuettes,
  • the old Saint Vincent. Former cathedral of Mâcon, only 2 towers remain,
  • the Ursulines museum located in a former convent offers its collections on the history of art and antiquity, as well as a part dedicated to the work of Alphonse Lamartine,
  • the Saint Vincent cathedral,
  • beautiful private mansions,
  • the Saint Laurent bridge,
  • Château de Saint Point, Lamartine’s childhood home where he spent part of his life and wrote his most beautiful poems.


Fun tour


Mâcon is on the banks of the Saône and has a water sports centre where you can hire canoes, paddle boats, pedal boats and boats without a licence to enjoy a different view of the city and the coolness of the water.

You can also rent mountain bikes, pedal go-karts (adults and children) and rosalia at Mâcon on the water.

The nautical base is on the Esplanade Lamartine in the city centre.



What to visit around Mâcon?


It is probably outside of Macon that you will find the most activities. The town’s geographical location at the crossroads of two regions offers many activities to suit all tastes.



Cycling trips


Whatever the number of kilometres you wish to ride, whether you are a family or a seasoned cyclist, you will find what you are looking for among the various possibilities available to you.

If you did not come with your own bikes, you can rent them at the old station of Charnay les Mâcon. Cycle – train station

This station is located on the edge of the greenway that links Mâcon to Chalon sur Saône via Cluny. You can also choose to join Chalon sur Saône by following the banks of the Saône. The whole thing makes a 145 km loop.

It is on an old railway line that you can cycle in complete safety without having to worry about cars. Starting from Mâcon the route is relatively flat, so it is very suitable for children.

But it’s not just the greenway, you can combine a bike ride with a visit to the vineyards of the Mâconnais such as Fuissé, Pouilly, Loché and many others.

A Route 71 application allows you to organise your outings and will show you everything that needs to be seen or visited on your route: heritage, museums, châteaux, panoramas, vineyards, etc.



What to do at La Roche de Solutré ?


Roche de Solutré

View of la Roche de Solutré with vineyards, in Burgundy, France

The site has been awarded the Grand Site de France label, which guarantees a preserved environment. One of our former Presidents used to go there on a pilgrimage every year, which helped to make the site known.

The site is also recognised for the wealth of prehistoric remains that have been found there. It is one of the richest sites in Europe for the traces found of our ancestors.

A museum of prehistory will allow you to see the numerous remains that have been found.

Finally, you can simply hike to the top of the Roche de Solutré. It takes about an hour’s walk to reach the summit where, from an altitude of 493m, you will have a magnificent view over the Mâconnais. It will be simply the occasion of a walk in nature. The path is well laid out and reading tables along the way will give you information on what you can see.

The site is situated partly in the middle of the vineyards which occupy one third of the Grand Site. This is the historical kingdom of the Chardonnay grape variety, whose reputation is well established. Two great Burgundy wines use this white grape variety, Saint Véran and Pouilly Fuissé.



Which castle to visit around Mâcon ?


There are many castles in the region with different configurations.

  • Castle of Cormatin
    This was the residence of the Marquis d’Huxelle, built in the 17th century. You can see the richest Louis XIII flat preserved in France. You will see the furniture and paintings of the period which give an idea of what life was like in the castle.

Don’t miss the park with its labyrinth, vegetable garden and flowerbed.


  • . Brancion Castle
    The first construction of the 10th century, it was the most important stronghold in southern Burgundy.


  • . Château de Pierreclos
    This historic wine-producing château, which produces organic wines, is also a bed and breakfast.


  • . Château de Corcelles
    Built between the 11th and 15th centuries on the basis of a stronghold, it has kept its square keep topped with machicolations, its round path, and its lacy woodwork. It is also a wine château.



Which caves to visit around Macon ?


With global warming becoming more and more prevalent, visiting caves can be an opportunity to find some coolness. It is also a popular outing for young and old alike.

Near Mâcon, there are two sites that offer caves to visit.

  • The caves and the village of Blanot
    Situated to the north-west of Macon, these caves will take you down to a depth of 80m. You will pass through several rooms and it takes about an hour to visit.

Before or after the visit of the cave, you can take advantage of being there to visit the village of Blanot with its 13th century Cluniac Priory and its Merovingian tombs from the 6th and 7th centuries.


  • Caves of Azé
    Not far from the caves of Blanot are the caves of Azé.

These offer 750m of galleries, an underground river, stalagmites and a prehistoric cave that was inhabited by bears and man.

The visit takes about 1h30.



What to do at Cluny Abbey?

Abbaye de Cluny
Founded in 910, this Abbey under the protection of Rome has played an important role in the region with nearly 10,000 monks depending on the Abbey in various monasteries. You can visit the largest vaults in the Roman world, the 18th century monastery, the transepts of the church…

There is also a museum of art and archaeology built in the palace of the abbot Jean de Bourbon which dates from the 15th century.




What to do at Touroparc Zoo ?


You will find Touroparc Zoo in Romanèche Thorins in the Beaujolais.

The zoological park presents nearly 700 animals belonging to 140 different species. The animals are spread over a 12-hectare natural park.

Especially for children, a small water park with 3 slides and a river ride in a buoy will allow them to cool off after the visit of the zoo.

Finally, a leisure area with soft attractions such as a carousel, monorail and a tree climbing course will allow you to finish the day.



What activities can I do with my children around Macon ?


In the area around Mâcon you will find activities specially designed for children.

In addition to the activities already mentioned in the article, you can, for example, do the following

  • Discovering horses at the national stud farm in Cluny
  • Discover the time of the knights at the fortress of Berzé le Châtel,
  • Pottery workshop at the Margotte in Bourg Vilain,
  • Water skiing and wake boarding with the water ski lift in Crèches sur Saône
  • Visit of the castle of Brancion dressed in period costumes to discover who stole the lord’s armour
  • Pony club in Laizé
  • Accro branches in the forest of Lugny
  • Investigation game to find the treasure in Matour


What to do in the Dombes ?


la Dombes vue du ciel

©Dombes Tourisme

At 30 minutes from Macon you can visit the Dombes. Composed of more than 1000 ponds and numerous species of birds, it could be the object of marked out walks in the middle of these spaces of preserved nature.

We have written an article on this subject which you can find on our website : What to do, what to see in the Dombes


At the Tourist Office in Châtillon sur Chalaronne you will find all the information you need for your outings in this natural area with maps and itineraries to discover these wetlands.





I hope this article has given you some ideas for outings or activities in and around Mâcon. It aims to give you an overview of what you can do or see in and around Mâcon without being exhaustive.


Our flat in Mâcon can accommodate 6 people if you are looking for accommodation for your stay. You have the possibility to book our flat by clicking here.

Do not hesitate to consult our website:


séjour Macon


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