Pick up your car in Paris
(downtown or at CDG airport) and travel to Reims (about 1 1/2 hour drive). Once you have
checked in to your hotel, take your time to explore this historic city.
Many monuments and museums
bear witness to Reims’ place in French history, including the Gothic
cathedral of Notre Dame and the Romanesque Basilica of St. Rémi.
Since the early 19th
century, Reims, an excellent starting point for exploring La Route
touristique du Champagne, is also known for its Champagne houses and
their hundreds of subterranean chalk cellars, some of them in former
You will have much
to choose from to entertain yourselves in the evening. For example, in
summer, you can attend one of the 100 concerts offered to you during the
"Flâneries Musicales d'Eté" (Summer Promenade Festival).
After breakfast in Reims take a leisurely journey to Epernay, the
capital of Champagne wine. La Route touristique du Champagne
meanders through nearby vineyards and villages, providing an opportunity
to discover the unique landscapes and picturesque Romanesque churches of
From Reims or Epernay
there are 70km of Natural Park, the tranquil hillsides of this part of
the region form one of the richest wine-growing areas in France.
The quiet town of
Epernay lies by the River Marne and is surrounded by vineyards. The
tourism office at the beginning of the Avenue de Champagne is as good a
place as any to start. The avenue is one famous name after another with
the maisons de champagne standing proudly above their labyrinthine
cellars - said to hold more than 90 million bottles!
The houses, most of
which are 19th century in classical or neo-renaissance style, welcome
visitors and for a small price will happily do a tour and furnish you
with a flute to taste afterwards. The larger houses have organized tours
with trains in the tunnels underground. Mercier, Moët et Chandon and De
Castellane all provide guided visits throughout the day in season, and
each has a different story to tell about the history of their own
particular champagne. Mercier's train ride gives an idea of the
kilometres (yes, kilometres!) of galleries storing champagne under the
streets of Epernay.
The De Castellane museum
has exhibits from every part of the champagne making process. Climbing
the tower's steep steps is a good way to work up an appetite.
Driving distance: Reims to Epernay 29km (18 miles).
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast, check out of the hotel and start your journey
back to Paris. For one final treat, take a trip out to the charming
village of Hautvillers. Of share Dom Pérignon the inventor of the
Champagne elaboration, famous occupant of the Abbey, you will be able to
visit the Saint-Sindulphe church where it is his burial. The village is
charming, and we advise you to stroll the nose on air to inhale the
perfumes which are exhale from cellars and to admire the original signs
of them and polychrome which overhangs each threshold.