Two-day unaccompanied hike with a donkey

Hiking with a donkey


Hiking with a donkey


Brionnais in Burgundy


2 days of hike / 1 night




B&B or unusual accomodation


From 2 people

From 160 / Person


Discover the Brionnais region in Burgundy, the land of the 7 hills, on a 2-day family hike, accompanied by an adorable, big-eared companion. Set off with a donkey to discover a magnificent bocage with the Loire as a backdrop.

This 2-day walk with a donkey is a unique adventure, combining discovery, complicity and breathtaking scenery.



Day 1
  • From Melay to Saint-Bonnet-de-Cray :

    Meet at 9am at the Bougres d'ânes farm in Melay for a two-hour donkey trekking course (if you're coming from a long way away, we recommend you arrive the day before, as the course will then take place at 5pm).

    Your adventure gets off to a gentle start along the towpath of the canal from Roanne to Digoin, providing the perfect introduction to this unique experience. Cross the majestic Loire and venture out onto the narrow lanes lined with hedgerows typical of the Brionnais bocage. From here, begin your ascent gently but surely, following a picturesque path that will lead you to exceptional views over the bocage.

    The descent finally takes you to the charming village of Saint-Bonnet-de-Cray, where you will receive a warm welcome from Marie Christine. A day full of discovery and breathtaking scenery awaits you.

    Get ready for a memorable experience on your first day of donkey trekking in Burgundy!


Day 2
  • From Saint-Bonnet-de-Cray to Melay :

    Today, set off to conquer the crest of the Mailly hill on your second day of donkey trekking. Admire the magnificent views over the bocage countryside and, in the distance, the majestic Madeleine mountains. Your route will then take you to the heart of the old village of Iguerande, perched high above the plain of the Loire. Explore its thousand-year-old Romanesque church, which offers a splendid view of the valley and river. If you're lucky, Lili will welcome you to the nearby museum to share the fascinating history of this region! A day full of discovery, history and breathtaking views awaits you.


Useful information

Embark on an exceptional two-day adventure with a donkey trek, an escapade that brings together the simple and authentic pleasures of a family vacation. The donkey will be the link that will bring you closer together, away from screens and stress. A nature stay for a total disconnection from everyday life.

Reconnect with simple things, share precious moments, and experience an adventure that will remain among your beautifullest holidays memories.

Before leaving, benefit from complete training with a donkey trekking professional. Learn how to take care of this gentle and patient animal – brushing, cleaning the feet, putting on the carrying pack – and receive all the necessary explanations to guide your donkey with ease. With your new walking companion, set off peacefully to explore Brionnais.

The donkey, faithful carrier of your luggage and the youngest children, becomes a precious ally for parents. It motivates the little ones, revealing their incredible ability to walk.

During these two days, explore the Romanesque garden of Burgundy, the Brionnais, an authentic bocage where the breeding of Charolais cows, the most famous in the world, has been perpetuated for centuries. Travel hundreds of kilometers of paths lined with preserved hedgerows, a delight for nature lovers.

Every evening, the family, tired but relaxed, will find refuge with the locals, welcomed like friends. At the generous table, enjoy meals concocted with local Burgundian products.

A ride with a donkey is slow tourism par excellence: a regular pace of 3 km per hour, time to savor the landscape, take a nap in the shade of an oak tree, and meet chatty farmers.

Time seems to stand still, providing a peaceful and memorable experience.

The level of walking required for this hike: Medium 


12,5 km - 4h30 of walking / D+ : 271 m et D- : 167 m

DAY 2 :

12,5 km - 4h30 of walking /  D+ : 174 m et D- : 403 m

Please note, this program is given for information only, it can be modified depending on weather conditions, group level and / or availability of accommodation.

The walking times are given for information only, without the break times and depend on your walking level.

NB : D +: ascent, D-: descent.

The French Federation of hiking has designed a practical tool for estimating the difficulty of hikes.

A simple tool that we used to give you an idea of ​​the level required for this hike.

The rating of the federation is a true reflection of the difficulty of a hike expressed according to 3 criteria:


General level of the hike: NOT VERY DIFFICULT



RISK : Level 2/5: ENOUGH LOW

We offer bed and breakfast accommodation (private bathroom) OR unusual accommodation : wigwam or Maloka (private dry toilets / private showers and toilets in a common sanitary block). 

In bed and breakfast you will eat on the spot in "table d'hôtes" and in unusual accommodation, evening meals will be served at the village restaurant 3 minutes away on foot.
Picnics are prepared daily by the accommodation where you sleep.

What you don't need :

  • you do not need towels, sheets or sleeping bags.
  • You do not need picnic material, everything will be provided with pic nic of the first day.
  • games for children (there is everything you need for accommodation).
  • additional food (including for the donkey), meals, breakfasts and pic nic are very plentiful, do not worry.

How many donkeys?

With the maximum weight that can carry a donkey (30 to 35 kilos maximum per donkey, weight of luggage and children includ), we recommend to book one donkey for 3 to 4 people; this rule can change according to the age of the children and their ability to.

walk the whole hike or not : we advise you to evaluate the weight that the donkey will have to carry during the hike and possibly take an extra donkey.

If necessary, donkeys can carry young children (under your responsibility) for short distances several times a day when they are tired or if you need to move more quickly.

If you want to do this trek with very young children under 3 years, it is quite possible but they will have to be carry by an adult (scarf of portage, baby carrier).


Can I come with my dog ?

Some accommodations do not accept dogs, so it is imperative to notify us if you wish to be accompanied by a dog, so that we offer you a suitable circuit. Your dog must be gentle : he must accept other animals : donkeys, cats, dogs, rabbits, pigs that he will.

meet in the different accommodations where you will stay. Your dog must be on a leash on arrival at the accommodation and if the owner asks for it, you must let it hang. Is your dog trained enough to hike? Remember to do a small preventive treatment two weeks before the hike to harden the pads (ask your veterinarian for advice).


Problems during the hike?

In case of problems with your donkey during the hike: problem of health, hooves... not detected at the start of the hike, the donkey will be replaced very quickly If you decide to stop the hike on your own without good reason, you can be repatriated on the basis of 1 € by km (maximum 50 €).


In the month preceding your departure, you will receive:

  • The list of accommodation.
  • The hiking book and all useful information (variants, distances, walking time, etc.).
  • Hiking maps in pdf (but no need to print them, you will be provided in A4 laminated format upon arrival).
  • The itinerary in .gpx format for GPS (sending on request by internet).

It seems obvious to us that a minimum knowledge of reading IGN maps is important. We have only french web site or youtube video, but I'm sure you'll find some really good one in your langage : it can be a good idea if you're not a map specialist.

Saône et Loire is served by the A6, A39 and A40 motorways and by the national road Center Europe Atlantic.

By road, Melay is 9 hours south of London, 7 hours south of Brussels and Bruges, 3 hours west of Geneva, 4 hours south of Paris, 2 hours south west of Dijon, 1 hour 30 minutes south west of Chalon sur saône , 1h30 north-west of Lyon, 1h west of Mâcon, and 20 mins north of Roanne. On Google Map, enter the destination "bougres d'ânes".

By train, enter as arrival destination: MARCIGNY.

If you come from the North of France or Europe, you can stop at Le Creusot - Montchanin TGV station where you will take a bus which will drop you off an hour later at the Marcigny stop where a taxi that we can book take you to your destination. If you come from the south of France or Europe, you must reach Roanne station where we will pick you up where a bus will drop you off at the Pouilly sous Charlieu stop where a taxi that we can book take you to your destination.


SNCF information: 00 33 (0) 8 92 35 35 35 -

Bus company for the shuttle train station Le Creusot - Montchanin to Roanne: +33 (0) 4 77 68 30 00 - Timetables in pdf format provided by email at your request

The luggage is transported by donkeys. We recommend a donkey for 3 to 4 people with a MAXIMUM of 30 or 35 kg, weight of luggage AND young children that can ride the donkey.


€95 per adult in a double room with full board.
€65 per child from 12 years old in full board.
€55 per child under 12 full board.
25 to 35 € per child under 4 years old full board.
€10 per child sleeping in a cot.

130 € per rented donkey (one donkey for 3 to 4 people)

These rates are for a minimum of 2 adults participating and staying in the same room.
For families of more than 5 people, for people wishing separate rooms, a supplement will be indicated during the quote.

For people traveling alone or for single-parent families with children under 12, a supplement will be indicated to you during the quote.

In all cases, these rates are given as an indication, depending on your requests, an estimate will be established before booking.

These prices include:

  • A single donkey, its hiking equipment (packsaddle and panniers) and its food.
  • The complete organization of your hike.
  • Accommodation during the hike with full board from the picnic on day 1 to the picnic on day 2.
  • The departure briefing: advice for leading a donkey, itinerary.
  • The routes on the IGN map for each day of hiking, as well as a detailed roadmap.
  • The GPX tracks of each hiking day can be downloaded before your arrival.

These prices do not include:

  • Drinks excluding meals and personal expenses.
  • Accommodation the day before and the last day of the hike :
    • From €62.50 per adult in a double room with full board.
    • From €45 per child from 12 years old full board.
    • From €30 per child under 12 full board.
    • From €20 per child under 4 years old full board.
    • From €10 per child sleeping in a cot.
  • Transportation to the starting point of the hike and back.
  • The repatriation of the donkey and hikers to the starting point in case of abandonment on your part.
  • Epidemic multi-risk insurance

This hike is accessible all year round.

Options disponibles

  • An additional night with half board the day before the hike
  • An additional night with half board on the last day of hiking
  • An additional donkey
  • Taxi transport from the train station to Melay
  • Epidemic multi-risk insurance