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Discover the region

Tourism & Champagne

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Reims & region

The 13th century cathedral of Reims has sanctified the coronation of most of the French kings. It is renowned for its pure Gothic architecture and ornate sculptures of which the most famous is undoubtedly the Smiling Angel. The Romanesque Basilica of Saint-Rémi is equally exceptional.

A cultural capital

Other monuments not to be missed include: the Porte Mars and the Gallo-Roman forum, the Palais du Tau, the Saint-Denis museum, the Saint-Remi museum, various 15th and 16th century dwellings and the Chapelle Foujita named after the celebrated Japanese artist who decorated it.

Close by, the Fort de la Pompelle and the Ferme de Navarin remind the visitor that the region was the scene of fierce fighting in the First World War. Outside Reims itself, you will find some very pretty side trips.

To the west lie the picturesque valleys of the Ardre and the Vesle with their rustic villages and impressive Romanesque and Gothic churches.

To the south, the route meanders in and out of the vineyards on the slopes of the Montagne de Reims. As you leave Gueux by way of Villedommange (fine church and magnificent view from the chapel of Saint-Lié), you reach Verzenay (wind-mill, museum of the ‘Phare’) and Verzy (forest of thousand year old twisted beech trees known locally as the ‘Faux de Verzy’; also the view from Mount Sinai).

Map of Reims & region

Cellar visits and Champagne tastings

Winegrowers, Champagne Houses of Reims & region

Meet the winemakers – Growers, Champagne Houses and Cooperatives – and learn first-hand what makes Champagne wines so special. Use the details here as the basis for your travel plan, so you visit different production areas in turn and taste the wines made by different wineries.

Pick your winery of Reims & region

Epernay & region

The town of Epernay is entirely surrounded by vines. Walk down the Avenue de Champagne, with its magnificent mansion façades and opulent middle-class homes occupied by famous Champagne Houses, and you can see why Epernay competes for the title of ‘Capital of Champagne’.

A rich history and heritage

The surrounding area offers a choice of routes. To the east lies Aÿ (high Gothic-style church and wood-frame houses, including one that is reputed to have served as Henri IV’s fermenting room; also Mutigny (view); Avenay-Val-d’Or (12th and 16th century church); Louvois (castle once owned by a minister of Louis XIV); and the rich, fashionable market towns of Bouzy and Ambonnay.

Several villages to the south deserve a mention: Pierry (for Frère Oudart cellar and its 18th century mansions including one formerly owned by Jacques Cazotte, a man of letters who regularly entertained some of the most famous writers, philosophers and artists of his time); Chavot (for its church and view); Brugny (for its castle); and Saint-Martin d’Ablois (for its strange steeple and Sourdon water source).

On the Côte des Blancs, you find villages that each combine a charming rural setting with an elegant church (Cuis, Cramant, Avize and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, home of Léon Bourgeois, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1920 and Founder of the League of Nations). In the neighbouring village of Vertus, birthplace of leading 14th century French poet Eustache Deschamps, the church features a crypt and is surrounded by ancient ramparts.

Near Bergères-les-Vertus, the view from the top of Mount Aimé is impressive. This enormous hill has been the site of prehistoric settlements, followed by a Gaul camp then a Roman camp, an immense fortress and a pyre on which the Champenois Cathares were burnt at the stake in 1239.

To the south, the Marne flows through Orbais-l’Abbaye (magnificent 13th century abbey church), Etoges (17th century castle), Villevenard and Coizard-Joches (menhirs, dolmens, caves and Neolithic tombs), the marshes of Saint-Gond (prehistoric site and 1914 battleground) and eventually reaches the busy town of Sézanne (impressive 15th and 16th century churches).

Nearby is the forest of La Traconne that extends to the south and west amidst tranquil countryside that was so dear to Marcel Proust. The region of Vitry-le-François is equally attractive, especially for its wooded countryside that is typical of northern France, its churches and wood-frame houses and the Lake of Der-Chantecoq. On the way, stop at Châlons-en-Champagne to visit its many churches, the museum of the cloister of Notre-Dame-en-Vaux, several 17th and 18th century mansions and, outside the town itself, the Basilica of L’Epine (dating from the 15th and 16th centuries).

Map of Epernay & region

Cellar visits and Champagne tastings

Winegrowers, Champagne Houses of Epernay & region

Meet the winemakers – Growers, Champagne Houses and Cooperatives – and learn first-hand what makes Champagne wines so special. Use the details here as the basis for your travel plan, so you visit different production areas in turn and taste the wines made by different wineries.

Pick your winery of Epernay & region

Greeters

Let a local host show you their region

These hosts – sometimes called ‘greeters’ – are local people passionate about the area where they live. It is their pleasure to share that passion with visiting tourists – to take them to their favourite places, show them the things they love best, and talk about them in convivial gatherings. All free of charge.

Randonnées Epernay et sa région

Marne Valley

The most attractive part of the Marne river, which is 525kms long, is without a doubt the point at which it flows through the Champagne vineyards. The town of Château-Thierry (home of ]ean de la Fontaine who has inspired a museum and an annual festival) is surrounded by welcoming villages: Crouttes, Charly, Nogent-l’Artaud, Romeny-sur-Marne (visited by countless impressionist painters), Condé-en-Brie (castle of the princes of Condé), Mézy-Moulins (fine church) and many more.

Discover this trail

Leaving Dormans (13th century church, Louis XIII castle and chapel commemorating the battles of the Marne) going towards Epernay, there are two routes that wind their way through the hillside vineyards.

The one on the left bank goes through Troissy, Mareuil-le-Port and Oeuilly (interesting churches), Boursault (19th century Renaissance style church) and Vauciennes (fine church).

The road on the right bank takes you to Châtillon-sur-Marne (view and impressive statue of Pope Urbain II who was born in Champagne and summoned the faithful to the first crusade in 1095), Damery (birthplace of the early 18th century actress Adrienne Lecouvreur who played the heroines in Racine’s tragedies) and Hautvillers (splendid view and abbey church where Dom Pérignon is buried).

Map of Marne Valley

Cellar visits and Champagne tastings

Winegrowers, Champagne Houses of the Marne valley

Meet the winemakers – Growers, Champagne Houses and Cooperatives – and learn first-hand what makes Champagne wines so special. Use the details here as the basis for your travel plan, so you visit different production areas in turn and taste the wines made by different wineries.

Pick your winery of Marne Valley

Côte des Bar

The pleasant, rolling landscape around Bar-sur-Seine (church and ancient lanes) is dotted with typical villages: Essoyes (home of the painter Auguste Renoir), Les Riceys (old houses), Mussy-sur-Seine (church and castle), Noë-les-Mallets (spectacular view).

A trail composed of villages

To the north, Bar-sur-Aube (churches and 16th century wooden gallery) is within easy reach of bucolic countryside that is home to peaceful villages such as Arrentières, Arconville and Lignol-le-Château.

At the boundary of the departments of the Aube and the Haute-Marne, the village of Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises attracts crowds of visitors every year who come to spend some quiet moments at General de Gaulle’s graveside.

Before reaching the vineyards, take a stroll or relax by the lake in the forest of Orient. The town of Troyes, while outside the wine-growing area proper, is still worth a visit. Wander down ancient lanes lined with half-timbered houses. Admire imposing 14th and 15th century dwellings. Visit rich museums and numerous churches decorated with statues and stained glass windows of memorable beauty.

Map of Côte des bar

Cellar visits and Champagne tastings

Winegrowers, Champagne Houses of Côte des Bar

Meet the winemakers – Growers, Champagne Houses and Cooperatives – and learn first-hand what makes Champagne wines so special. Use the details here as the basis for your travel plan, so you visit different production areas in turn and taste the wines made by different wineries.

Pick your winery of Côte des Bar

Coteaux Vitryats

This route through the hills in and around Vitry is a great new way for visitors to Champagne to discover the vineyards in the region of Vitry and the Lac du Der.

The bocage champenois

Zigzagging along small roads amidst hills, mountains and fields, the circuit is around 37 miles long and runs through 15 villages typical of the region's hedged farmland. The route links 15 towns in and around Vitry: Vitry-le-François, Saint-Amand-sur-Fion, Saint-Lumier-en-Champagne, Lisse-en-Champagne, Bassu, Vanault-le-Chatel, Vanault-les-Dames, Rosay, Val-de-Vière, Doucey, Vavray-le-Petit, Vavray-le-Grand, Bassuet, Changy and Vitry-en-Perthois. 

Map of Côteaux Vitryats

Cellar visits and Champagne tastings

Winegrowers, Champagne Houses of Côteaux Vitryats

Meet the winemakers – Growers, Champagne Houses and Cooperatives – and learn first-hand what makes Champagne wines so special. Use the details here as the basis for your travel plan, so you visit different production areas in turn and taste the wines made by different wineries.

Pick your winery of Côteaux Vitryats

Greeters

Let a local host show you their region

These hosts – sometimes called ‘greeters’ – are local people passionate about the area where they live. It is their pleasure to share that passion with visiting tourists – to take them to their favourite places, show them the things they love best, and talk about them in convivial gatherings. All free of charge.
 

Randonnées Epernay et sa région
  • Choosing a host:

    Jean-Philippe MENU is one host who would be delighted to show you Changy


  • The greeters.com website greeters.com offers you a range of themes to choose from: history and heritage, architecture, gastronomy