The Champagne and Burgundy regions have a lot in common. Both produce prestigious wines based on their terroir and have a similar climate. They also boast a rich history and architecture.
Many people imagine that the vineyards that produce these regions’ great wines cover large territories but this isn’t the case. Most of the great Champagnes are found on either side of a small forest massif called the Montagne de Reims, with the city of Reims on its northern flank and the city of Épernay to the south.
Visiting the cellars of Reims and the avenue of Champagne in Épernay, it’s impossible not to be amazed by the splendour and prestige of the great Champagne houses. These iconic sites are unmissable, but they’re far from being the real Champagne. This region keeps its secrets well hidden and offers them generously only to those who take the trouble to go exploring.
This Collection offers you the opportunity to discover some of the region’s wonders. As you travel the roads around and through the Montagne de Reims, you’ll discover unique trees, exotic beaches dating back more than 55 million years, and little-known Champagnes that surpass the greatest names in quality. This Collection also takes you to the unique city of Reims and its cathedral, the most beautiful and important in France.
If you explore a little further east from the mountain you’ll experience an authentic and deeply human experience by visiting trenches dating from the First World War.
To complete your adventure, you can go on a Tour of the Marne Valley following its canals, river and charming villages. With a total of approximately 350 kilometres (217 mi) spread over six stages, this itinerary is accessible to all bike touring adventurers. Some sections are on roads and some are perfectly suited to gravel riding.
The Champagne region is located in the north of the country, so cycling during the winter months is quite challenging. Spring, summer and especially autumn are the best times to see the grape harvest, the magnificent beech forests of the Montagne de Reims and the golden vineyards.
This Collection starts and ends at the SNCF train station in Épernay. Because of its proximity to Paris, this small town is very well served by rail.
The gastronomy of the Champagne region and particularly that of Reims is very refined and won’t disappoint. You’ll find plenty of gîtes and campsites at the end of each stage, so you can rest in comfort for the next day.
A final tip: many winegrowers also offer table d'hôtes. This can be a good way to taste excellent Champagnes and learn more about this particular wine making process.
I wish you good health, good travels and good Champagne!
Ready to get going? Create and customize your own version of this adventure using the full Tour below as a template.
Last updated: December 13, 2021
For your first day in this region, you will pass through the historic places of this small plot of France, which owes its prestige to this famous sparkling wine called champagne.
When leaving the Épernay SNCF station, I will take you on a small detour through the historic city center and the famous Avenue…
It is a rich and extremely diverse day that awaits you. The route first passes through the Montagne de Reims regional natural park. You will appreciate the tranquility of its forests and will also have a good time discovering beautiful valleys.
Once the mountain is crossed, a stop around 40 kilometers…
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It is a very short day without technical difficulties that I propose to you, which will leave you time to explore the splendid city of Reims.
To do this you will enter in the most beautiful way possible in the capital of Champagne, by taking the green belt (a cycle path which partly follows the canal…
This is the longest day of the entire route of this Collection, with just over 90 kilometers to cover.
The paths and trails are also a little more numerous than the previous days. You will leave Reims the same way you entered it, following the green corridor.
After twenty kilometers you will evolve among…
Today you will take several small valleys and follow rivers, starting with the Tourbe, then the Aisne, and ending with the Vesle and the Marne. After about 30 kilometers without any difficulty, you will arrive in the city of Sainte-Menehould. This will be a perfect place for a coffee break by the river…
This last stage will be really easy, because to reach Épernay, you will ride almost without any elevation gain for around 35 kilometers.
This section along the Canal Lateral à la Marne is interspersed with possible visits to charming villages which are scattered along the river and the canal.
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