Champagne Cycling Break

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.

En-route in Champagne

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!

Champagne Cycling Break

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.

En-route in Champagne

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

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!

Day 1 : Arrive Reims

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

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

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

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 : Reims - end of trip

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

Bikes

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 21-24 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are provided on arrival.

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

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