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6 night self guided bike tour in France
Every two seconds, a bottle of champagne is opened somewhere in the world! The very symbol of sophistication, graceful living and celebration, champagne is produced nowhere else in the world. All champagnes are made within a few miles of each other outside Reims and Epernay, near the Abbey of Saint-Pierre where the legendary Benedictine monk, Dom Pérignon, supposedly invented the bubbly by accident in the early 18th Century.
At the heart of the Champagne area, marked by French history, arts and culture, you will meet men and women, happy to share their passion, their love of the region and their knowledge. Exploring the Champagne region by bicycle is a journey rich in diversity.
Enjoy the shimmering countryside during your cycling tour between the Marne Valley and the Montagne de Reims Natural Park. The Champagne region also has a fabulous religious heritage, the Gothic Catherdral of Reims.
Welcome to Champagne!
- Champagne region's most charming villages
- UNESCO listed World Heritage monuments
- Champagne making process
Learn more about self-guided tours.
Day 1: Arrival to Reims
Participants arrive by their own means at their hotel in Reims in the afternoon. The hotel's reception will give them a tour package with instructions and the essentials to have a successful tour (road book, maps, tourist information).
Overnight in Reims.
Day 2: Reims – Matougues (30 miles/50 km)
After breakfast, you will leave by bike heading for Epernay via Tinqueux, going through traditional villages of the vineyards of the Montagne de Reims: Mailly Champagne, Verzenay, Bouzy, and others. Arriving at the end of the day in Matougues.
Overnight in Matougues.
Day 3: Matougues – Epernay (18 miles/29 km)
After breakfast, short and easy ride to Epernay, alongside the Marne canal. You will have time in the afternoon to discover the Capital of Champagne wines: Epernay and maybe start with some visits at of the most impressive cellars in Epernay.
Overnight in Epernay.
Day 4: Epernay – Loop ride in Marne Valley (22 miles/36 km)
Winding your way between vines and hillsides, the Champagne Trail in Marne Valley will introduce you to the rich viticultural heritage. Frequently overlooking the valley, this itinerary affords wonderful views.
Your trail snakes through the vines leading to Hautvillers, a charming village known for its Benedictine abbey. Then you will head to Cumières to stop for a lunch break for example in a restaurant sculpted in chalk. Continue to Damery, where you mustn't leave without visiting the 12th-13th century church that overlooks the village and houses a painting by Watteau of the Madonna and Child (18th century).
On the way to Venteuil, you can enjoy a view of Château de Boursault. The valley trail will take you through villages between vines, fields, and forests all the way to Reuil. Back to Epernay on the other side of the Marne.
Overnight in Epernay.
Day 5: Epernay – Loop ride in Cote de Blancs(19 miles/30 km)
Today you will visit the vineyards of The Côte des Blancs which is the homeland of the Chardonnay grape. Following Champagne Tourist Trail, descend towards Pierry –where you can visit its 18th century château, storeroom and cellars -and also Chavot-Courcourt church (12th c.), a solitary island of stone in an ocean of vines.
After Cuis and its fine Romanesque church the trail will take you close to cliffs to reach Cramant and its over-sized bottle (8.50 meters) and not far from there the small village of Avize decorated in frescoes (of which many can be found in Champagne). The brightly floral Oger is not surprisingly one of the "most beautiful villages in France."Here youu can visit a museum dedicated to traditions, love, and Champagne." Back to Epernay in the afternoon.
Overnight in Epernay.
Day 6: Epernay – Reims (22 miles/35 km)
After breakfast you will discover the national forest of Hautvillers by passing through Avenay Val d’Or, Germaine. You will then return to Reims via Ludes.
Overnight in Reims.
Day 7: Departure from Reims
Surface and terrain
The terrain is moderately hilly. It follows quiet roads for 75% of the route, and is on roads shared with traffic the remaining time.
These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.
The accommodations on this tour are 4-star or boutique guest houses; in Matougues a family-run 3-star hotel.
Grand Hotel Continental, Reims
Hotel Auberge des Moissons, Matougues
Les Berceaux, Epernay
Interested in visiting other areas before or after your tour? Visit our hotels page to learn more about lodging options.
How to get there
Tour start and end
Nearest airports: Paris airports
Nearest train station: TGVChampagne/Ardenne or Reims Centre
There is a fast train (TGV) from Paris Est to Reims every two hours, on average (it takes about 1 hour). The TGV train station is outside the city center (about 8km from Reims), but there is a tramway to get to the center. Or taxi is also possible.
You will need to take a taxi from the train station TGV Champagne/Ardenne to Reims. The cost is approximately €40 per transfer. Or you can take another local train/tramway to the station Reims Centre. The first hotel is located about 5 minutes walking distance from the station Reims Centre.
Tips on getting to and from your tour
Daily: Apr 1-Oct 31, 2022
Per person, double occupancy € 994 Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room) € 575 Optional evening dinner package € 344 Additional champagne house tour € 25
Hybrid touring bike, 24-speed € 155 Electrically assisted bike € 255
Extra Nights, Epernay
Per person, double occupancy € 107
Extra Nights, Reims
Per person, double occupancy € 122
- 6 nights accommodations in 3- and 4-star boutique hotels and charming B&B's
- Luggage transfer
- Road book, route maps, and tourist information
- On-call assistance in case of problems
- Personal welcome briefing with glass of Champagne
- 2 Champagne house tours
Bikes available to be rented (in advance at the time of booking) include:
- Hybrid touring bike, 24-speed
- Electrically assisted bike*
*More about electrically-assisted bikes >
All above bike rentals will be equipped with the following at no additional charge:
- Tire repair kit (with extra inner tube)
- Rear carrier (for standard saddle bags)
- Removable handlebar bag with map case
- Tag-alongs (hooks to adult bike)
- Child carriers: Kiddy Van, capacity 2 children (maximum weight: 65 lbs/30 kg)
- Children's bikes: 20’’ (6 – 8 year old) or 24’’ (8-10 year old), gears Shimano TY22
The bikes will have flat pedals. If you want to bring your own pedals, please bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals.
Helmets are included with bike rental (please reserve at time of booking). We recommend, for safety and hygiene reasons, that you bring your own bicycle helmet. Please let us know if you will be bringing your own helmet.
Maps are for information purposes only and reflect typical routes between overnight locations. They may not reflect your actual route.
★★★★★ Celina October 13, 2018
Gorgeous and Delicious! (but not for the faint of heart)
WOW was this ever a gorgeous trip! We pedaled through beautiful forests and along serene rivers. The food along every stop was OUTSTANDING. I loved that the Champagne region is a popular destination for French and European tourists, but you rarely see Americans. I felt truly immersed.
The tour starts in beautiful Reims, which is the most bustling of the cities you will visit. Check-in was simple, and the hotel had a beautiful view of a park and excellent air conditioning. There are plenty of great restaurant options nearby, and it's fun to wander the nearby city streets. Of course champagne is plentiful wherever you go!
The first day's ride is a long one, but gorgeous. Prepare for some uphill climbs. I also recommend buying snacks and even lunch food in Reims, because restaurants become scarce in the second half of the day. If you run slow, you may miss the meal altogether! (We did...). The hotel in Matouges is in the tiniest town with only a few blocks and no stores or restaurants to be found. You'll be eating in the hotel restaurant if you didn't grab food elsewhere. The hotel restaurant is delightful, though, so you won't be disappointed. There is also a POOL! It was great to take a dip after a long day's ride and cap of the night with a delicious meal.
The next day you ride to Epernay, which is a piece of cake compared to day 1. Epernay is an AWESOME city. You must make a stop in the town along the way for lunch (you'll see it in the guide book). Really, take the rides as slowly as you want. The point is to savor and enjoy! You may want to book tastings ahead of time, as it was difficult to figure out how to access some of the smaller champagne houses along the way.
You're in Epernay for a few days, and the rides out are loops. We chose to take one day off and just relax in Epernay, since we definitely did not train enough, and our legs had become a bit jello-y by day 3. There is plenty to do and see in Epernay, and we were very fortunate that the city was hosting a block party one of the nights we were there.
The ride up to the champagne tasting in Hautvillers is also steep! But WOW Is it ever a gorgeous view. And the steep ride down is also a treat. Definitely sign up for the optional tasting--the town and view and tasting room are all not to be missed.
The return to Reims is challenging but doable, and mostly beautiful. Navigating the city roads leading back to the hotel can be a bit annoying, but the map app is incredibly helpful. Treat yourself to a last night of delicious food before heading off. You could even catch a train out to Paris that night if you wanted to see it before heading home. The ride is quick and almost too easy.
Minor downsides were that the hotels did not have air conditioning, which made sleeping a bit uncomfortable. Also, the uphills climbs are TOUGH. If you are not training for this type of cycling, it may be quite the shock.
This trip made me fall in LOVE with cycle touring. The pace is perfect for seeing little stops you would never get from a car or see from a major city. Every turn was a new adventure. Be brave! Try it! This was hands down one of the best experiences of my life.
- What was the date of your tour?
- June 26, 2018
- How many tours have you completed?
- Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
- Somewhat harder
- Who is this tour suitable for?
- Solo travelers
- Do you recommend this tour?