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France

 

Champagne - a day trip away from Paris

 

Is there a more magical name in wine than Champagne? The whole world celebrates with champagne, whether it’s the birth of a child, the launch of a boat, a contract secured or a race won. Champagne is the international symbol of luxury, wealth and success.

Only wine that comes from the Champagne region of France can legally be called champagne and the region is one that anyone who loves wine must visit. The producers are household names all over the world—Louis Roederer, Laurent-Perrier, Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Duval-Leroy, Pol Roger and so many more.

And the Champagne region of France offers so much to do for everyone. Tour by foot, by bicycle, on horseback or even on quad bike, balloon or helicopter! The countryside is beautiful at all times of the year whichever way you choose to travel.

Champagne has no sea of course, but it still offers all the water sport you could wish for. The Lac du Der, Lacs de la Forêt d’Orient, Lac des Vieilles Forges, or the Lac de la Liez means there are over 10,000 hectares of lakes and reservoirs to enjoy.

The breezes make windsurfing and other wind-driven sports perfect. Or take out a canoe or get very active on a jetski.

For those that love golf, the area has eight challenging golf courses to enjoy, with the knowledge that in the evening you can celebrate victory or defeat with a glass of champagne that tastes so much better when you drink it in its home region.

See too the fortified towns of the region such as Langres or Rocroi—Champagne-Ardenne has plenty of châteaux that invite you to step back in time.

The taste pleasures of the region aren’t just limited to champagne though. The Champagne-Ardenne region has centuries of gastronomic tradition too. The names of famous foods are as well known to gourmets as the names of the champagne producers: Jambon  (ham) des Ardennes, Boudin Blanc (white sausage), Pieds de Porc à la Sainte-Ménehould (pigs’ trotters) Andouillettes de Troyes (the famous sausage), Truffles from Haute-Marne, cheeses from Langres, Chaource et Rocroi, Biscuit rose de Reims. All are delicious.

And there is a rich choice of places to eat too, from grand restaurants to small farm restaurants, from corner cafés to small bistros. In Champagne-Ardenne there’s always a reason to raise your glass.

Getting there

A TGV High Speed train Paris / Reims takes 45 minutes. Many Paris tour companies offer guided trips by train or bus.

 

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