Champagne is one of the most iconic areas of France, renowned across the globe for its oenological prowess. To explore the region comprehensively, we recommend following the Champagne Tourist Road, which provides six key routes covering characterful vineyards, cities, and villages.
And now there are even more brilliant ways to experience the region. Speed through the vineyards on bicycles and electric scooters or take things slow with a stroll through the vineyards. Plus, if you don’t have a car or simply don’t fancy driving, it’s not a problem — you can easily get to the region by taking the train (TGV) from Paris to Reims or from Paris (TER) to Troyes.
The Champagne Tourist Road (La Route Touristique du Champagne)
The Champagne Tourist Road, or Route Touristique du Champagne, distils the Champagne experience into six curated itineraries designed to give you a thorough champagne education as well as gorgeous views of vine-covered hillsides. If it is your first time visiting, this is a great way to explore the region by car — all the planning is done for you!
You have probably heard of Reims, Épernay, and Troyes — the major urban centres of the Champagne area and the perfect place to start discovering the beautiful vineyards in the area. Épernay, the capital of the Champagne region, hides an astonishing secret — 100 km of cellars below the surface. In Reims, France’s 12th most populous city, we particularly recommend that you visit the stunning sixth-century Abbey of Saint-Remi and its museum, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Troyes, the capital of the Aube department, also has a rich history that can be seen today in its narrow, cobbled streets and 16th-century half-timbered houses. Its name harks back to the Gallic Tricasses tribe, who called it home during the Roman Empire.
Experience champagne using all five of your senses at Maison Pommery’s old pressing centre, which has been transformed by Pressoria into somewhere perfect for all ages to learn about the complexities of the wine-making process via smell, touch, sight, etc.
In the Air or On the Ground?
Eager to take to the skies? Take your Champagne experience to the next level, literally, by heading up in a plane to discover la Côte des Bar from on high. On your flight, learn all about the history and oenological knowledge behind Champagne Lionel Carreau.
Alternatively, stay close to the ground and relax with an indulgent picnic organised by the Domaine Vollereaux in the charming village of Pierry. Combine your love of champagne with a few rounds of golf at Domaine de la Forêt d’Orient, Natur’hôtel— bubbles and balls, the perfect combination!
Jump on the saddle for an e-bike tour on the Montagne de Reims, which lies between two rivers: Marne and Vesle. But don’t worry if you are not in the mood for intense pedalling, you can just let the motor take over and enjoy smooth, low effort cycling with stellar views.
For an even more modern mode of transport, hop onto an electric scooter and take your time discovering the vineyards of the Domaine de Mondeville, which produces bio and biodynamic wine. The Domaine de Mondeville is surrounded by the mysterious Clairvaux forest, which is said to be the haunt of fairies…
As the sun sets on your day in Champagne, tour the vineyards near Reims on a Renault Estafette Alouette accompanied by an expert chauffeur. After a long day, relax at Au Clos du Lac — a converted old farmhouse near Reims that is now a guest house complete with an infrared sauna and heated indoor swimming pool.
The next article in our Champagne series will look at the outstanding gastronomy of the region, from truffles to extravagant brunches, which pairs so well with the delicious champagne that abounds in the area.
Lead photo credit : Savour some champagne © Le Bonheur des Gens
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