The Champagne Trail
A must for discovering the secrets of the most precious wine!
To explore Champagne and its unique terroir, simply follow the Champagne Trail and let it guide you through 5 discovery tours.
Signposted from beginning to end, the trail winds its way through vineyards and across patchwork hillsides dotted with traditional villages, chateaux and churches. Make a stop along the way at a winegrower or a Champagne house to find out the secrets of how this wine is produced.
Nearly 250 miles of signposted ways cross the Champagne region. Needless to say, there are many opportunities to experience the wine heritage.
To understand what makes this beverage so unique, there is nothing like getting stuck in the vines, go through picturesque villages, admire the rural heritage and make a stop at a winegrower’s place to enjoy this precious wine.
Massif de Saint-Thierry
Vallée de l'Ardre
The winegrowing region of Massif de Saint-Thierry is a wonderfully green landscape of vineyards and forests surrounding a collection of villages whose histories date back to the coronations of the kings of France and even further back. From Reims, exit at Tinqueux and follow the trail along picturesque footpaths.
- The itinerary starts with a visit of the Reims Cathedral and, close by, the Palais du Tau, home to the Cathedral’s treasures and a selection of the original statues.
Walk around the village of Saint-Thierry and admire the 12th century community chapel, a former charter house with beautifully sculpted capitals.
Back in Reims, don’t forget to visit the magnificent basilica of Saint-Remi and its museum, protected by UNESCO’s world heritage list, as is the city’s Cathedral and the Palais du Tau.
Montagne de Reims
The harmonious hillsides make this region one of France's finest for winegrowing.
Leaving Reims or Epernay (the itinerary is signposted in both directions), the 45-mile trail crosses right through the heart of a regional nature reserve.
- Delve into the history of Reims where the city’s three-century-old vines, underground tunnels, Le Vergeur Museum and fine arts museum are the first sights on your itinerary before you head off to explore the more reserved and intimate side of Champagne, with a first stop at the village of Gueux.
- Further along you will be able to spot Saint-Lié Chapel on the brow of a hill.
- The path that winds around the hill affords a superb view of the whole region of the plain of Reims. This road will take you to Epernay, the capital of Champagne, whose busy overground wine industry greatly contrasts with the peace and quiet along the miles and miles of cellars where millions of bottles rest in waiting. This is another world to discover…
Hills of Vitry
This route through the hills in and around Vitry is a great new way for visitors to discover the vineyards in the region of Vitry and the Lake Der.
Zigzagging along small roads amidst hills, mountains and fields, the circuit is around 37 miles long and runs through 15 villages typical of the region's hedged farmland.
The route starts in Vitry-le-François, named after François I and nicknamed the Pink Town - don't miss the collegiate church of Notre-Dame, a lovely example of classical architecture. Pass the 18th century Porte du Pont and head towards Châlons-en-Champagne.
You'll start seeing vineyards near Couvrot and on the slopes around Gravelines.
You will also discover :
- The Romanesque church and the museum of horse-drawn vehicles in Saint-Amand-sur-Fion
- Vavray-le-Grand and its retaining wall embellished with imposing arches
- Bassuet and its winemakers on the village's main street
- the Mont de Fourche in Vitry-en-Perthois
Vallée de la Marne
Frequently overlooking the valley, this itinerary affords wonderful views and introduces walkers to the region’s rich heritage.
Leaving from Epernay, follow the right bank of the Marne river and return via the left bank.
The Pinot Meunier vines stretch as far as the eye can see and villages, châteaux and churches are the many milestones to be reached along the tourist trails around the Marne. Leaving Epernay and heading in the direction of Reims you will take higher ground towards Champillon and its unspoilt view over the start of the Côte des Blancs’ hilly landscape.
The last stop before you return to Epernay is Pierry, a village that has preserved a wonderful collection of properties and stately homes from the 18th century.
You will also discover :
- Hautvillers, with its Benedictine abbey and 140 wrought iron signs
- The view of the Boursault Castle on the way to Venteuil
- The view of the valley from the village of Châtillon-sur-Marne
- The Louis XIII Castle and its Marne War Memorial in Dormans
- Oeuilly, whose unusual atmosphere is like stepping back in time
- The Parc du Sourdon (open April to October) in Saint-Martin-d'Ablois
Côte des Blancs : the homeland of the Chardonnay grape
Its villages, built in the style of amphitheatres on the hillsides, are famous worldwide.
The hillsides around Sézanne combine the charm of the countryside with the appeal of the local winegrowing trade. This trail, starting from Epernay or Villenauxe-la-Grande, offers plenty of fascinating reminders of the past along the way.
Between Epernay and Vertus, the north-south facing Côte des Blancs is set on the edges of the Plateau de Brie. Your journey begins in Epernay as you ascend the famous Avenue de Champagne where you will spot in succession many of the industry’s most prestigious names. Bypassing Mont Bernon via Chouilly, descend towards Pierry – where you can visit its 18th century castle, storeroom and cellars - and also Chavot-Courcourt church (12th century), a solitary island of stone in an ocean of vines.
Finally continue along the trail to Chantemerle and then Villenauxe-la-Grande, known for its ceramics and earthenware. The traditional houses in the old town and the churches dedicated to Saint Pierre and Saint Paul, with their majestic chancels, make the perfect conclusion to your tour of the Côte des Blancs.
You will also discover:
- The over-sized bottle (8,50 m) in Cramant
- The small village of Avize decorated in frescoes
- Oger and its museum dedicated to "traditions, love and Champagne" or the "museum of the vine and wine” in Mesnil-sur-Oger
- The narrow streets, fountains and Saint-Martin church in Vertus
- the Marne National War Monument in Mondement
- Sézanne, medieval town
- The forêt de la Traconne
Find some ideas to discover the Champagne Trail !
Avenue de Champagne
Marcher sur la très célèbre Avenue de Champagne, c’est un peu comme descendre les Champs-Élysées à Paris. Longue de près d’un kilomètre,...
La Villa Demoiselle, symbole architectural de la ville de Reims, est le fleuron de l'Art Nouveau et de l'Art Déco mélés. Elle fut...
Château de Pierry
Ce château du 18ème, à vocation viti-vinicole, a une histoire liée à la naissance du Champagne. Edifiée en 1734 par Mgr de Choiseul-...
Un village hors du temps : suivez le guide pendant 75 minutes sur trois espaces thématiques La maison champenoise - bâtiment du XVIIème...
Phare de Verzenay
Un phare au milieu d’un océan de vignes, quoi de mieux pour partir à la découverte de la Champagne ? Érigé en 1909 par Joseph Goulet,...
Visites guidées d'Hautvillers - "Sur les pas de Dom Pérignon"
Venez découvrir Hautvillers, le Berceau du Champage, qui doit une grande partie de sa notoriété au moine Dom Pérignon, père spirituel du...