Champagne Cycling Break

  • 5.0
    (1 review)
  • Category

    Cycle Touring
    Self Guided
  • Grade

    Leisurely to Moderate
  • Duration/s

    4 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Reims / Reims
  • Distance

    75 miles/120 kms
  • Themes

    EbikeGastronomicWine Lovers
  • Accommodation

    Comfort
  • Tour code

    001-101CFR
Price From £596

Overview

Cycling holidays through the heart of Champagne country, admiring the sloping landscapes, vineyards and quaint, charming villages. Stop off at a renowned champagne house for a guided tour and a wine-tasting session and enjoy stays in the champagne cities of Reims and Epernay.

As you cycle along, feel the dedication and the passion of the winegrowers whose know-how is passed on from generation to generation and which is an integral part of their lives. During your wine tasting you will find out how the wine of kings has become the king of wines.

 

Champagne region - France

Champagne region – France

Champagne is a wonderful region to explore on a leisurely cycling holiday. There are more than 15,000 winegrowers cultivating the land, 5,000 small champagne producers, over 100 well-known Houses, 319 villages, 3 grape varieties, (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier), 17 Grand Cru and 41 Premier Cru parcels of land in the AOC vineyards of champagne.

This is a trip for those who have a reasonable level of fitness. To make the best champagnes, the grapes have to be grown on slopes, so be prepared for some hills along the way! Santé et bonne route!

Itinerary & Map

This is a trip for those who have a reasonable level of fitness. To make the best champagnes, the grapes have to be grown on slopes, so be prepared for some hills along the way! Santé et bonne route!

View larger map

Day 1: Arrive Reims

Reims - Cathedral

Reims – Cathedral

On arriving in Reims make your way to your hotel, which is located right in the heart of this historical city. After check-in you are free to relax or explore some of the sights. As it’s very close to your hotel, we suggest you visit the 13th century masterpiece of gothic architecture, the cathedral of Notre Dame de Reims, now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Clovis was baptised here in 496 AD by St. Rémi and this is also where the coronations of most of the French kings took place. Make sure you see the stained glass windows in the chapel behind the altar, created by Chagall in 1974. Truly impressive! Here’s a good tip. If it’s a very hot day outside you’ll not find a better place than the cathedral in which to keep cool! Time permitting, you could also visit the Palais du Tau, the Palace Museum, which is adjacent to the cathedral and worth seeing for the crowns, the robes, the tapestries, the chalices from the coronations, the original statues from the cathedral, the banqueting rooms and much more. Once you’ve done that, stroll along to the shaded cathedral-quarter brasserie/café and contemplate this magnificent edifice over a chilled glass of bubbly. Bliss! Afterwards, enjoy a stroll around the city with its café culture and great choice of places to eat, and for any budget. If you’re there on a Saturday morning then the bustling covered market at Le Boulingrin is a must see, along with all the typically stylish French restaurants in this lively quarter.

Day 2: Reims – Epernay, 32 miles/50 kms

Verzenay - Champagne - France

Verzenay vineyard

Cycle out of the city and into the countryside, touring through the vineyards of the Montagne de Reims where you’ll see predominantly Pinot Noir grapes. The first few kilometres are on slightly busier roads, which is necessary to exit the town. You’ll pass through picturesque villages, along small narrow streets with a small winegrower’s house at every turn of the road. A lot of the houses have signs indicating whether they’re open for visits even without a booking – just drop in. If you happen to be there during the harvest then you’ll enjoy the camaraderie of the local grape-pickers. The  ‘Route de Champagne’ leads you through the pretty villages of St Léonard, Taissy and Sillery. Then it’s on to the vineyards of Mailly Champagne, 14 kms south-east of Reims and the landmark windmill overlooking the gently rolling slopes of Verzenay. You can stop at the wine museum located within the Verzenay lighthouse before riding on to Verzy with its twisted, century-old beech trees. The village of Bouzy is also famous for it’s red wine as well as its Champagne. Arrive in Epernay, France’s champagne capital and home to some of its most famous champagne houses. Moët & Chandon, Perrier-Jouët, Mercier, Pol Roger, De Castellane, De Venoge to name but a few. Take a leisurely walk along the Champs Elysées of Epernay, the Avenue de Champagne, with its 110 kms of underground cellars.

Day 3: Epernay roundtrip, 22 miles/35 kms

Champagne region - France

Hautvillers

Start cycling early today, as the climb to the pretty village of Hautvillers will certainly get your heart racing! Don’t worry though as you can free wheel all the way down on the return trip. The panoramic views overlooking Epernay and the Marne River are stunning with vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see. Hautvillers is said to be the cradle of champagne, the home of Dom Perignon, the master-blender of champagne. You can cycle along the cobbled streets and up to the church to visit his tombstone. Appreciate the quite unique and colourful wrought-iron signage above shops and houses. One of our favourites here is to pop into the very interesting antique shop, Entre Cave et Jardin, a place where you’ll find everything related to champagne. While you browse around you can also enjoy a fine class champagne! Or you could spoil yourself with a glass of bubbly at the Bistrot right in the centre of the village just before you head downhill. Take direction Damery, with its pretty 12th century St. George’s church, and then on back to Epernay for your last evening.

Day 4: Epernay – Reims, 22 miles/35 kms

Vineyard - Champagne region - France

Champagne region

It is time to cycle back to Reims for your last evening. Perhaps enjoy some last minute shopping in Epernay and then pedal through Ludes, home to Canard Duchêne Champagne House before arriving back into Reims for your last evening.

Day 5: End of trip

After breakfast it’s time to check-out and head for home or your next adventure.

Dates & Prices

2019 Arrival Dates
Arrivals daily from 01 May to 30 September

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2019 Prices
001-101CFR
Per person
01 May
to
30 Sep
Comfort category
Double/twin £596                    
Single £900                    
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Deposit per person £100

Price Includes

4 nights accommodation. See practical information
4 x Breakfast
Welcome meeting on arrival
Luggage transfer
Maps & route information
Local assistance

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire (see supplements)

Supplements

Half board (£201)
Extra night Reims, double/twin, comfort (£96)
Extra night Epernay, double/twin, comfort (£85)
Champagne tasting (£27)
Bike with pannier & lock. See practical information (£106)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£159)

Practical Information

Bikes

Hybrid bike - 001

Example bike used on this tour

The bikes provided on this tour are modern alloy framed, hybrid models with 24 speeds and comfortable saddle with upright riding position.

The bikes also come equipped with rear pannier, handlebar bag, lock and repair kit.

Electric bikes are also available.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are provided on arrival. Children under the age of 12 are required to wear a helmet in France and we always advocate their use for riders of all ages.

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the types of accommodation typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Comfort: Comfortable hotels and charming B&B’s.

Reims: Grand Hotel Continental
Epernay: Charming B&B Parva Domus

Local taxes
Some hotels in some countries have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.

Getting There

Fly or take the Eurostar to Paris then take the train from Paris Est directly to Reims

Research flights from the UK here

Research trains in France

 

Gallery

Reviews from Flexitreks

By: Derek MacMillan - September 2014

We were very happy with this holiday, it was our first cycle holiday and definitely something we’ll look at doing again. We could have used some more champagne tastings organised, potentially with the smaller growers as there are 5,000 of them in the region, a small boutique one on the route would have been nice.

We arrived the day before, the lady from the french travel company was very good and went through everything in great detail

Reims hotel was great and Epernay was ok. I appreciate it is hard finding places with a garage for the bikes though.

We felt we covered a good distance each day, and the time spent cycling on each day was sufficient.

Great to go through all the grand cru and premier cru vineyards.

Overall we are very happy though, thanks!

 

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