The department consists of several natural regions. The western border is formed by the broad Loire Valley, where the Allier joins the Loire at Nevers. In the northwest lie the damp plateaux of the Puisaye, rich in lakes and forests. The center of the department is formed by the limestone hills of the Nivernais. These Collines du Nivernais are characterized by an alternation of farmland and deciduous forests, such as the vast oak forests of the Forêt des Bertranges. To the east lies the mixed forest of the Morvan. The sloping Bazois is situated on the southwestern foothills of the Morvan. Parallel to the rivers Aron and Yonne, the Canal du Nivernais runs from south to north.

In addition to a department in the Burgundy-Franche-Comté region, the Jura is also a lesser known low mountain range, the western half of which is in France and the other side in Switzerland. It is an old mountain area, the peaks of which extend parallel to each other from north to south. To the west the Jura is terraced, on the east side the mountains descend with a high, steep wall to the Swiss Plateau. In the south, the highest peaks are: Crête de la Neige (1718 m) in France, and Mont Tendre (1678.8 m) in Switzerland. The mountains get lower to the northeast. In addition to mountain passes, the longitudinal valleys are connected by cliffs. You can make excellent, medium mountain walks in the region.

The Saône runs from north to south through the department. The Loire runs through the western part of the department. The Loire and Saône are connected by the Canal du Centre. The department is a mix of watercourses, forests, hedgerows, vineyards and mountains. Hikers will certainly get their money's worth here. In addition to these assets, there is also a rich cultural heritage with beautiful Romanesque churches, beautiful castles, ancient remains and art and history cities.