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The River Cousin

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River Cousin Burgundy France

This is a small river by Burgundian standards but there are two particularly special sections in the life of the Cousin. One is in the lake district in the Morvan, the other in the valley beneath Avallon.

Lake St Agnan Burgundy France
Lac St Agnan

Rising in the granite highlands of the Morvan Natural Park in the region of the lakes, the river Cousin feeds into Lac de Chamboux, the smallest of all the reservoirs. This is a bird lover’s paradise with kingfishers, grebes and herons, feasting on the fish. In winter, the woodcocks and cormorants take up residence. From this reservoir, the river passes through several smaller lakes before arriving at the reservoir Lac St-Agnan.

Leaving this spectacular scenery, it winds its way down through the forest to Avallon – picking up the waters of such pretty-sounding streams as the Trinquelin and the Romanée.

The Valley of the Cousin is a particularly scenic stretch of river skirting the south side of Avallon, popular with trout fishermen.

Bluebell woods in the Cousin Valley Avallon BurgundyDrive through the old part of town, past the ramparts to the river valley. In spring you will find cowslips and violets, bluebells and wild lily-of-the-valley. Then in summer, the leafy glades along the banks are idyllic. Waterfalls and bridges complete the scene. The mills along the river gave rise to the prosperity of Avallon in the 19th C and have long since been turned into attractive hotels and gîtes for a perfect sojourn. Stop off at the Moulin des Ruats for lunch or dinner on the riverside terrace.

River Cousin Burgundy FrancePassing Pontaubert, the river passes through the pretty village of Vault-de-Lugny with its moated Château Hotel and Givry, then joins the river Cure at Sermizelles.
Right: The river Cousin at Givry, Yonne