The Champagne region of France is marked by the world famous vineyards that produce the vintage that is made there and rightfully claims the name of the region. During cycle tours, there will be plenty of opportunities to taste the delicious Brie cheese that also comes from the area as well as visit some small and large champagne producers, who will be proud to let you taste their best Champagne wines.
- Spend 2 nights in Paris. Explore the “City Of Light” then cruise its’ waterways past famous landmarks
- Visit the chapel with the tomb of the monk Dom Pérignon
- Epernay – major wine centre of the Champagne region
- World War relics and monuments
Day 1 (Sat) Paris embarkation:
Embarkation after 2.00 pm at the Quai de Bercy on the Seine in Paris. Overnight in Paris
Day 2 (Sun) Paris - Lagny-sur-Marne (35km)
Cycle along the Canal de l'Ourca via a bike path. This canal was built by order of Napoleon and played an important par tin transportation of goods and water to the city. Overnight Marne.
Day 3 Lagny-sur-Marne - Meaux (20 or 27 km)
From Lagny-sur-Marne, ride, mainly along the Marne River and its parallel canal. Today’s destination is the city of Meaux, famous for its “Brie de Meaux” cheeses and the magnificent Cathedral St Etienne.
Day 4 (Tue) Meaux – La Ferté-sous-Jouarre (30 or 52 km)
Cycle over the hills and slopes of the Marne valley and through forests and small villages. On the way pass the 16th C Château de Montceau. During the day enjoy a tasting of the famous Brie de Meaux and Brie noir cheeses.
Day 5 (Wed) La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre – Château-Thierry (Cycling: ca. 50 km/32 miles):
It’s a somewhat challenging cycle tour today that takes you on country roads beside a small river then through small villages and hamlets. Continue riding uphill to reach the plateau above the Marne valley. En route you can visit the large WW1 American War Cemetery and Monument near Belleau. Descend to Château-Thierry and your waiting barge.
Day 6 (Thu) Château-Thierry – Dormans – Epernay (50 km)
Château-Thierrry was the site of two important battles: the Battle of 1814 in the Napoleonic Wars between France and Prussia, and the Battle of 1918 at the end of World War I. Today we will enter the official Champagne region. Choice of short route to the village of Dormans, a castle and chapel in memory of the battle of the Marne during World War I, and longer route up the northern valley slope to the village of Châtillon-sur-Marne for panoramic views over the Marne valley and the Champagne vineyards.
Day 7 (Fri) Epernay tour - afternoon: visit Epernay & Champagne houses (25 km)
The last day’s cycle tour is to Ay and Mareuil-sur-Ay. Return via Dizy to visit Hautvillers. After a challenging ascent reach the picturesque village of Champagne wine growers on the southern slopes of the Montagne de Reims. Highlight is a visit to the chapel with the tomb of the monk Dom Pérignon. Return to Epernay by bike. Visit the centre of Epernay, the major wine centre of the Champagne region. Epernay has many houses in neo-renaissance style or classical style from the 19th century, especially around the beautiful Avenue de Champagne where prestigious champagne houses such as Moët & Chandon are situated. Champagne tasting and tour in one of the major Champagne houses.
Day 8 (Sat) Epernay disembarkation:
Moderate to demanding - cycle small country roads as well as unpaved and/or semi-paved roads and tracks on the undulating slopes of the wide river valley, through the hills and the Champagne vineyards.