Champagne: what to do, what to see...


ChampagneFood and WineNature and Outdoor ActivitiesVillages and Countryside

En rangs serrés, les vignobles de Cramant en Champagne
© Alphotographic / Istockphoto - En rangs serrés, les vignobles de Cramant en Champagne

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 4 January 2024, updated on 20 April 2024

For those who don’t know, champagne comes only from Champagne. From wine tours to historic memory, people come here for its eponymous nectar, its captivating cellars, its famous dishes and simply to be swept up in its devotion to good living. This introduction to the land of champagne is much more than just a checklist, it's an introduction into the lifestyle champenoise! 

Visits you cannot miss in Champagne

Parmi les visites incontournables de la Champagne : Reims, et sa cathédrale.
© Rh2010 - AdobeStock - Parmi les visites incontournables de la Champagne : Reims, et sa cathédrale.

• Hillsides, houses and wineries classified as World Heritage by Unesco In 2015, 14 cellars, hillsides and sites were registered by UNESCO in the category "cultural landscape". This shows the universality of heritage in Champagne. It's up to you to discover the gentle hills of Hautvillers, Haÿ, Mareuil, Saint-Nicaise, or even the cellars of prestigious brands such as Pommery, Veuve-Clicquot, Ruinart, Taittinger, without forgetting the institute Fort Chabrol, wine and oenological research.

• The Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral Gothic style, it served as a showcase for the coronation of many kings of France. Listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, you'll love its high interior luminosity, Chagall's contemporary stained glass windows, and its smiling angel, among the 2,000 statues adorning the facade.

• Roc-la-Tour These two rock masses dominate the valley of the Semois at 400 meters above sea level and form the castle of the Devil ... According to a legend; it is the ruins of a castle destroyed by an angry Satan. Stay calm.

• The Champagne Houses They are a hundred or so to vinify their own selection of grapes and vintages, according to a demanding traditional process. Some twenty of them organize visits to cellars; Ayala to Aÿ, Mercier to Epernay, Duchêne Canard to the castle of Ludes, Taittinger in the crypts of the former Abbey St Nicaise, Ruinart in the crayers of Reims ... what makes you sparkle your eyes?

• The sites of the War of 14-18 Due to its geographical location, the Champagne-Ardenne region was the scene of many battles during the First World War. Thirty sites, cemeteries and monuments remind you of these decisive moments in history.

• The castle of Sedan It is the largest in Europe, with seven floors, 35,000 m² of floor space and walls 7 meters thick. At once a fortress and a princely residence, it overlooks the city with its impressive silhouette.

• The ramparts of Langres From the top of these ramparts, the view goes far to the Vosges and Jura! The walkway tells you 2000 years of history, with 7 doors and 12 laps to go.

• Reims No time to be bored in Reims! We give you some ideas: the Gallo-Roman remains of the Mars Gate, the Roman-Gothic St Remi basilica, the Palace of Tau, the Byzantine basilica Sainte-Clotilde, the Carnegie Art Deco library but also the modern chapel designed by the painter Japanese Foujita, the halls of Boulingrin,...

• Mont Malgré-Tout Do you want to go for a nice walk? Climb to the top of Mont Malgré-Tout (450 meters), on the heights of Revin, in the valley of the Meuse. The writer George Sand, devoted his novel Malgré-Tout to this site.

• The historic heart of Troyes The city has managed to preserve an astonishing heritage of half-timbered, brightly colored houses dating from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, inhabited by rich merchants. At the bend of the cobblestone streets, raise your nose towards the mansions of noble families.

To know more about: Champagne

Essential activities in Champagne

Avec ses 4800 hectares et ses 6 plages, le lac du Der est un paradis pour les sportifs.
© Gilles Oster - AdobeStock - Avec ses 4800 hectares et ses 6 plages, le lac du Der est un paradis pour les sportifs.

• Bathing on one of the 6 beaches of Lake Der An inland sea in Champagne! The Der artificial lake was created to regulate the waters of the Marne and occupies 4,800 hectares in the heart of nature. In addition to the six beaches, it is a paradise for sports: sailing, water skiing, rowing, canoeing ...

• Combine champagne and contemporary art at Maison Pommery When secular tradition meets the avant-garde, it is a successful challenge of Domaine Pommery, which exhibits works by contemporary artists in the heart of its cellars. Maisons Ruinart and Louis Roederer also give carte blanche to renowned artists or young talents.

• To meet winemakers Many wine growers open their doors to share their passion, from the vineyard to the flute, through fermentation. Champagne will have no secrets for you after these informative and tasteful encounters.

• Prepare a country basket to enjoy in the vineyards Take advantage of the grape harvests to walk through the vineyards, enjoy a packed lunch in the vineyards, visit a farm, and enjoy a grand cru. An unforgettable behind the scenes experience of Champagne ...

• Go to Hautvillers to pay tribute to Dom Pérignon It is here that the legend of Champagne was born thanks to the Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon. It is said that he invented the effervescence of wine at the end of the 17th century. It rests in the abbey of Hautvillers, and left its name to a vintage produced by Moët and Chandon.

• Shopping outings in Troyes, cradle of brand factories A hundred stores are waiting for you in three major brand centers, which sell discount sporting goods, crockery, leather goods and ready-to-wear. Great shopping guaranteed!

• Walk on the Avenue de Champagne in Epernay On more than one kilometer, this chic avenue is lined with champagne houses and mansions. Below, more than 100 kilometers of cellars hide more than 200 million bottles ... A dream for lovers of the fine bubbles!

• Take a tour of the Episcopal Palace of Troyes It houses the Museum of Modern Art of the city. A beautiful setting of the 16th century for 3,500 various works, signed Bonnard, Braque, Rodin, Van Dongen ...

• Immerse yourself in history at the Battle Memorial of the Marne at Dormans The place symbolizes the two battles of the Marne of 1914 and 1918. The crypt, the chapel, the cloister, the ossuary and the museum are works of memory.

• Take your binoculars and observe the birds at the pond of Horre Throughout the year, the pond is home to various species, such as hawks, gray hawks, cranes, swans. A beautiful show for wildlife lovers in a nature reserve.

• Be tempted by the andouillette Troyes andouillette consists of large intestines and stomachs of pigs, seasoned with onions and spices. A real treat at the charcutiers who carry the label AAAAA (Association Amicale des Amateurs d'Andouillettes Authentiques)!

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