The Moulin
Le Moulin

The Moulin du Merle does not go unnoticed in Burgundy. The villa is build on the fundaments of a former watermill from 1697. The picturesque balconies, the 1.7 hectares of land, set apart by a gentle river, its own water source, and an organic herb- and vegetable garden all come together to create a harmonious cinematic setting. It offers a quiet atmosphere, where concentration and relaxation can be alternated in order to reach thorough productivity.

The villa has a romantic and creative style, combined with Art Deco and modern elements. The wooden staircase brings you to six different rooms who are available for you. The Moulin can also serve as gite, with or without staff to tend to your every want and need.

It’s a good place for swimming in the river Beuvron, eating, and reading (in a hammock in the shade, on the balcony with a glass wine, or in front of the fireplace with a hot chocolate) and there is much to discover in the surrounding area.

We’ve had the pleasure to welcome many pilgrims, on their way to Santiago de Compostella, bikers, artists, school- and business trips, families who come to celebrate anniversaries, single guests who want a break from their routine, and even an event for fifty, amidst local catering and entertainment.

The name of the villa comes from the French word ‘ merle d’eau’ , which means ‘dipper’. Between 1730 and 1893 the mill was owned by the family Davous. One of their offspring contacted us. In 1999 the Moulin became our property.

This is, according to our guests, what makes the Moulin: freedom. Both isolation and integration can be obtained, which has encouraged many to visit again.

Table d'hote

Those who live in Burgundy are lovers of good food. When you arrive, it is possible to dine, so you don’t have to look for a restaurant anymore. Of course you can also have breakfast and lunch at the Moulin.

Chambre Grandes Fleurs, 1st floor

A remarkably spacious room (31m²). Original wallpaper with flowers, view on the Beuvron, a bookshelf and a table. The fireplace can be lit if requested. The bathroom and toilet are adjacent to the room, and a direct connection to the Chambre Bleue can be arranged as well.

Chambre Bleue, 1st floor

24m² room with three double doors to a balcony with a roof and with the length of the room. Art-deco furniture (double bed, wardrobe, desk and nightstand) and a fireplace. Bathroom and toilets adjacent to the room, and a direct connection to the Grandes Fleurs can be arranged.

Chambre Roses, 1st floor

21m² room, luminous and on the house front, wallpaper of roses and Aupin double bed, with an adjustable headrest. Bathroom and toilets adjacent to the room.

Chambre Santiago, 2nd floor

This room can accommodate up to four people. It is a peaceful room with grey and blue colors. View on the Beuvron. Toilet and washing table on the same floor, bathroom on the first floor.

Chambre de Bonne, 2nd floor

Small cozy room, double bed and original flower-wallpaper, small desk and nightstand. Toilet and washing table on the same floor, bathroom on the first floor.

Chambre Sol Vert, 2nd floor

Simple room with soft two person bed, one person bed and a high plateau with two places to sleep. Nice view on the front of the house. Toilet and washing table on the same floor, bathroom on the first floor.


Reservations can be made by:

*        E-mail:

*        Phone : +33 (0) 386 275 910   or   +33 (0) 677 298 345

*        With Airbnb:

Idyllic Watermill, Moulin du Merle

Saint-Germain-des-Bois, Burgandy, France

Relax, enjoy this beautiful watermill with us. Large rooms with high ceilings, beautifully decorated and the sound the water humming you to sleep at night. The burgundy is known for it's wines, and...




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Surroundings & Activities
A region of wines and markets

The region of the Nièvre is agrarian (inhabited by the famous Charrolais cows and sheep) as well as agricultural (oilseed rape, sunflowers and wheat), diverse and gently sloping. This makes it different from the adjacent region of the Morvan, which has essentially pine forests and more important difference of height.

Cultural cities are not too far away, Auxerre, Nevers, Avallon, Dijon, Beaunne and even Paris (at 2.5 hours) are all suitable day trips. There are interesting, mostly modern musea as well, both with old and new artwork, like the Collette Museum (the writer), and the Museum of Celtic Civilisation, with one of the most important libraries on the Celtic world, and an archeological depot (

The Moulin is also situated at the center of viniculture: nearby cities Sancerre, Pouilly-sur-Loire, Irancy, Côteau d’Auxerre , Bailly and Tannay are all known for their production of fine wines (Pinot noir, white Pouilly-Fumé). A bit further lies Beaune, known for its Chardonnay and Chablis.


·        Clamecy (10 km): indoor market, every Saturday morning

·        Corbigny (20 km): every Tuesday morning, with an outdoor animal market every second Tuesday of the month

·        Châtel -Censoir, Thursday morning

·        Varzy (10 km): every Thursday, as well as Sunday, quite small

·        Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire (51 km): big, every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, 8:00-13:00

·        Toucy (55 km): every Saturday

·        Autun (100 km): every Friday, biological indoor market

 You can also look at:

In all seasons, but especially from April untill September, there are flee markets in the surrounding.

  • Brinon-Sur-Beuvron (16km): ‘ Les petites reveries’ , first weekend of June
  • Thurigny/St-Germain-des-Bois: in the beginning of August
  • Mezilles (45km): second weekend of August
  • Corbigny (20km): seond weekend of August
Biking and hiking

The Nièvre is the perfect place to hike thanks to its modest hills, refreshing forests and attractive paths interconnecting villages. We have various hiking maps, and many more hiking trails can be suggested at the Syndicat d’Initiatives.

For those who prefer discovering the diversified landscape at a faster pace, the bike offers many more possibilities. The Canal du Nivernais for instance (laid in the 18th century to aid the floating of timber to Paris) offers a relaxing trail past typical French locks and lock-keepers’ cottages. For more information and suggestions about bike-trails, you can go to

Also for motorcycling is the Moulin a good base.

Or bringt your pile of unread books!


Fauna and flora


With some patience and a bit of luck, one might see a dipper (merle d’eau) or Kingfisher dive underwater and come back up with a fish. In spring and fall, the Nièvre also sees impressive flocks of migratory birds fly by, of which the unique sound will stay with you for some time.


The water is not only deep enough to swim (up to 2 meters), but also a good spot to fish. The Lac Pannecière and Lac des Settons are also lovely lakes to spend a day at.

Camino de Santiago de Compostella

Vézelay is one of the main places to start the pilgrim’s journey (23km. if you follow the Camino de Santiago de Compostella). The most complete guide is the “Guide Jaune” by Mme. Chassain.

Pilgrims from France, Canada, Germany, New-Zeeland, the States, Italy… All nationalities have walked the same path and many had the chance to meet and mingle at the Moulin. Whether this leads to serious conversation or a hilarious baloney with such a variety of age, background and ambition can’t be predicted, but every encounter leaves a pleasant memory.

If need be we can pick up luggage, with or without pilgrim. Contact us for more information.


Sometimes, and on demand, there are workshops at Moulin du Merle. Ask us for more information and tell us about your wishes. These are some of the possibilities:

  • Seeking mushrooms
  • Making leaded windows
  • Making bags
  • Learn how to use essential oils
  • Making aperitif wine (Marquis in february/march; nut wine in july/august)
  • Furniture renovation with supervision of an expert
  • Furnish furniture (you can bring your own chair, you can get one from us or buy it a flee market)
  • Making lampshades
  • Meditation days or weeks, with a group or alone, with professional coaching

Your hostess in the Moulin is Gilberthe Akkermans.

Whereabouts: 18 years in Zevenaar, 14 years Groningen, 14 years Amsterdam, 13 years in Saint-Germain-des-Bois.

Two sons: Rolf (1993) and Roemer (1995).


  • Art school in Groningen and Arnhem, fashion
  • Own bag label 'Gilberthe Akkermans' with sellings at 30 shops (international) and annual sale at the Chelsea Crafts Fair in Londen
  • In 2000 participated at Couture Locale, Amsterdams fashion 1950-2000, in the Amsterdam Historic Museum
  • Started with chambres d' hotes in the Moulin, with special attention for pilgrims
  • In 2012 a new version of the bag 'the shopper'

By car:
Auxerre / Vezelay > Clamecy > Brinon-sur-Beuvron>Ouagne> Saint-Germain-des-Bois. You can find the Moulin on the D23/D6, after the village Ouagne, 3 kilometers further on the right side, right after the auction Tanny/Saint-Germain-des-Bois. Don't take the auction, but drive a bit further and than you can see the Moulin. 

By train:
You can ride with a train to Clamecy, wich is a town 10 kilometers from the Moulin. Take from Paris the train to Auxerre and than to Clamecy. We can pick you up there. Another way is from Paris to Cosnes-sur-Loire, which is on 45 kilometers from here. 

For a cheap and easy way, you can also choose busses, like Flixbus (to Auxerre) or Eurolines.