Around 23km southeast of Chablis – you’ll need to drive, or take a taxi (about €35–40 from Tonnerre or Montbard train stations) – you come to the beautiful little town of Noyers-sur-Serein. Half-timbered and arcaded houses, ornamented with rustic carvings – particularly those on place de la Petite-Étape-aux-Vins and around place de l’Hôtel de Ville – are corralled inside a loop of the river and the town walls; you can pass a few pleasant hours wandering the path between the river and the irregular walls with their robust towers. The Serein here is as pretty as in Chablis, but Noyers, being remarkably free of commercialism, has more charm.

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