Home > Essential Champagne - Reims and Marne Valley
Ah, Champagne -- the beverage of kings! Its birthplace lies just east of Paris, in a beautiful region full of historic royal glory and a robust legacy of wine production that dates back to the early Middle Ages and shows no sign of stopping. On your bike, you’ll discover UNESCO World Heritage monuments which once housed the coronations and banquets of the Kings of France, and enjoy your own tastes of luxury at prestigious Champagne houses from Pommery to Moët et Chandon.
Your bases on this exploration are the cities of Reims and Epernay, the latter often referred to as the Champagne Capital. From here, leisurely daily rides will immerse you fully in the region, introducing you to smaller Champagne villages like Aÿ, Cumieres, Avenay Val d’Or, and Hautviller, which the celebrated monk Dom Perignon once called home. Above ground, you’ll pedal along quiet roads through the gently rolling countryside, surrounded by lush woods and vineyards; below, it’s time to appreciate the fruits of the region’s labour, as you visit underground cellars filled with row upon row of sparkling bottles. At the end of each day, you can feel justified in celebrating with a glass of Champagne -- after all, you’re following in the footsteps of royalty.
Welcome to Reims, a beautiful city with a fascinating history! There’s plenty to explore, including the Musee Saint-Remi housed in a former abbey, the grand Palace of Tau, and the 13th-century Gothic Cathedral, which has hosted the anointing of many a French king (all three are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites). Reims is also a main centre of Champagne production, and home to many of the largest champagne-producing houses, where you can enjoy a tour and tasting. Back at your hotel, you’ll meet with our local representative, who will give you everything you need to be ready to ride in the morning.
Yesterday’s taste of champagne was just the beginning! After breakfast, you’ll make your way to Epernay, the self-proclaimed Capital of Champagne. An eastward curve will lead you through the vine-covered slopes and valleys in the Montagne de Reims region. At around 15 kilometers (9 miles), you’ll start the climb up towards some typical villages, encountering Mailly Champagne, Verzenay, Bouzy, Tours sur Marne, and Aÿ, just to name a few. Stop for a tasting or two of the vineyards’ crisp and fragrant wines before making your (careful) descent into Epernay.
In Epernay, take your bikes for a memorable roll along the Avenue de Champagne -- more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) of Champagne houses and cellars hiding over 200 million bottles of bubbly!
The first point of interest on today’s loop from Epernay is the town of Hautvillers. The name might not ring a bell, but you’ll probably recognize that of its most famous historic resident: the benectine monk, Dom Perignon, who played a key role in the development of Champagne. Pay your respects before pedalling off, following the path of the Marne River on quiet roads through charming Champagne villages like Cumieres and Damery and flanked by lush vineyards whichever way you turn.
Your final day of riding begins with a peaceful pedal through the forests around Hautvillers, as you cycle
northwards back towards Reims. Pass through lovely champagne villages including Avenay Val d’Or and
Germaine on your way, and reflect on all the precious vines and wines you’ve explored over the past few
days, before coasting into Reims on a nice descent. A glass of champagne accompanied by some of
Reims' famous pink biscuits might be the perfect way to celebrate and cap off your trip in France’s
After breakfast, depart Reims at your leisure. From Reims, it’s just a one-hour train ride to Paris.
4 nights accommodation in a mix of 3- and 4-star hotels and guesthouses