Bike Tour Reviews: Champagne Getaway  Charming Villages & Regional Wine Cellars


Champagne Getaway: Charming Villages & Regional Wine Cellars

COUNTRY: France

6 nights
5/5 (2)
Rider Level: Active Electric bike tours
Rider Level: Active Electric bike tours

5/5 (2)
6 nights

Self guided from EUR € 1095

Self-guided:
Daily: Mar 1 - Oct 31, 2024 (Saturdays on request only)

Description:
Every two seconds, a bottle of champagne is opened somewhere in the world! The very symbol of sophistication, graceful living, and celebration, champagne is only produced in this serenely beautiful region of France. All champagne varieties are made…

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  • Champagne Getaway
    (5/5) 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.  SHOW MORE 

    What was the date of your tour?
    June 26, 2018
    How many tours have you completed?
    1
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Somewhat harder
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • View from the top of one of our rides. (photo by Celina)
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 4/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • (5/5) Robyn Larkin 11 months ago

    A great week of biking & enjoying champagne!

    We have done several bike tours in Europe, with varying experiences. This was among our favourite trips, and we recommend this for anyone interested in cycling, chmpagne or visiting France!

    First, the not so great part of the review: it is a challenging route! We did not use electric bikes, and that made it feel like every hill was a hard won accomplishment.

    Also, having a specific map earlier in the planning process would have helped to make tasting reservations at wineries since many of them require advance bookings.

    The things we loved about this:
    - bags were always on time when we arrived
    - accommodations where great with extremely helpful staff (although it helps at the Epernay chambre d’hotes if you speak French as the hosts do not speak English - but are super friendly)
    - we did the dinner package & while we would have preferred choosing off the regular menu most nights, all but one place was a fabulous recommendation of where to dine each night (the Brasserie la Banque in Epernay was the place we didn’t enjoy at all)
    - bike drop off in Reims was smooth - and the operator was there early to give us our initial briefing

    I guess my one idea for improvement was to offer additional bookings of champagne house tours/tastings/visits as it is not easy to research ahead of time. Early morning or late afternoon would allow for easier planning and there are options for both almost every day. I certainly would pay for that. At the very least, a list of some places that are friendly to tours/visits would be helpful if we need to plan our own.

    But overall, it was a lovely, relaxing, and champagne filled experience - exactly what we wanted when booking this trip!

    What was the date of your tour?
    June 2023
    How many tours have you completed?
    5
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Somewhat harder
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • Cycling day 1 (photo by Robyn Larkin)
    • Tasting in Hautvilliers (photo by Robyn Larkin)
    • Tasting at Venoge in Epernay (photo by Robyn Larkin)
    • Tour of the limestone caves at Vollereaux (photo by Robyn Larkin)
    • Parva Domus Chambres d'Hotes (photo by Robyn Larkin)
    • Vineyards near Hautvilliers (photo by Robyn Larkin)
    • 4/5 Value
    • 4/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 4/5 Route selection