Auxerre was once a flourishing Gallo-Roman centre called Antissiodorum. Set next to the river Yonne it has been an important centre for trade and industry over many centuries. Today it is the capital of the Yonne département of Burgundy and home of the government offices and administration for the region. With 40,000 inhabitants, the town has a gentle, relaxed atmosphere with interesting shops, fabulous architecture and buildings, a variety of restaurants and cafés, a beautiful cathedral and a successful football team (AJA) which is an institution in the town !
Auxerre is a good destination for older groups. It is just 45 minutes from either centre which makes it an ideal excursion for an afternoon, combining a cultural and historical experience with a bit of shopping and relaxation. More information can be found at the office du tourisme website - http://www.ot-auxerre.fr/en/index.php.