Explore Paris before embarking on a cruise along the Marne River to the Champagne Region. Disembark each day for leisurely cycle rides through glorious countryside, discovering elegant castles and charming towns. Cycle the champagne vineyards and learn more about the history and heritage of this world-famous wine.
Your tour starts in Paris, the City of Lights. Your barge, the Zwaantje, is moored on the Seine at Quai d’Austerlitz and after dinner the crew and tour guide will welcome everyone and provide a detailed briefing of the week ahead. The next day your cycling adventure begins as you leave Paris by bike, following an old Canal out of the city to the charming town of Lagny sur Marne.
The Marne Valley is green and fertile with some wonderful, historic towns and villages dotted along its length. The town of Meaux and surrounding villages have a well-deserved reputation for producing some award winning Brie Cheeses and there will be plenty of opportunities to sample them during your overnight stay in this charming old town.
You’ll also spend a night moored in Chateau Thierry, scene of some major battles during World War I. At Dormans you enter the Champagne Region and close by you’ll find the elegant home of the Veuve (widow) Clicquot who inherited her dead husband’s business and turned it into a world famous Champagne brand.
Cycling through a sea of Champagne vineyards is an unforgettable experience as is visiting the village of Hautvillers where the monk, Dom Perignon first created champagne. A fitting finale to the trip is a tour of a major Champagne House in Epernay which will of course include a tasting session .
You can opt to accompany the bike guide each day or, on some of the shorter days, you can use the maps and route notes available on board to navigate yourself.
You will need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy this cycling holiday. The daily rides range between 19 and 32 miles in length. In general, the terrain is level with only the odd, short climb to contend with. On day four you will encounter a few more hills but these are also mercifully short. E-bikes are available on this tour, albeit in limited numbers so we advise booking early if this mode of transport appeals.