Champagne Day Trips from Paris
Enjoy the quintessential sparkling wine in the places where its grapes are harvested. The region is located a short distance from the capital and is the perfect getaway at all times of the year.
Located east of the Paris region, Champagne is one of France's historic provinces. It is visited every year by thousands of tourists attracted by the vineyards, the cellars and of course the best champagne houses.
There are endless things to see and do in Paris and yet, if you plan to stay five or more days, an excursion to the Champagne region should be on your agenda. Below are the best one-day guided tours.
1. Excursion to the Champagne region with a visit to some wineries
These tours are popular for three reasons: they include tastings of the quintessential sparkling beverage, they can be done in a day and they allow you to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the capital. The bus usually leaves Paris around 7:00 am and arrives in the Champagne region in just over 2 hours.
Depending on the offers of each agency, you can stop in Épernay (where the famous Moët & Chandon is harvested), in Hautvillers (famous for having hosted the monk and cellar master Dom Pérignon) or other towns in the region.
Normally, the excursions include the tasting of four glasses and an expert guide who will explain both the characteristics of the wine and some pills of local history.
By the way, if you want to repeat the gastronomic experience when you return to the capital, I recommend you to read the post about the best wine and cheese tastings in Paris.
- Duration: between 10 and 12 hours
- Price: between 200 € and 250 €.
2. Day tour to the Champagne region with visit to Reims
The second route shares several of the visits of the previous option. A bus will pick you up in Paris and take you to the Champagne region. Again, the tour includes an expert guide and the tasting of three or four glasses of the famous sparkling wine.
It is worth booking this tour to learn how champagne is produced. Each bottle is made according to the Champenoise method, which consists of a second fermentation of the wine in the same bottle.
You will also learn the difference between Grand Cru, Premier Cru and Cru and the other characteristics that make it possible to produce this delicacy appreciated all over the world.
After the cellars, the bus will take you to the Saint-Pierre Abbey in Hautvillers (where the tomb of Dom Pérignon is located) and then to Reims, the capital of kings. 25 monarchs of the Gallic country were crowned in its splendid Gothic cathedral that has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
You will have time to stroll through the old town splendidly preserved and dotted with jewels such as the Episcopal Palace, the Basilica of Saint-Remi or the splendid modernist residence Villa Demoiselle.
By the way, if you have a weakness for Art Nouveau, I recommend a visit to the Musée d'Orsay (a collection of Art Nouveau furniture, Rue de la Légion d'Honneur 1) or Maxim's Museum (Rue Royale 3) when you return to Paris.
- Duration: about 11 hours
- Price: about 200 €.
3. Tour of the Champagne region in a vintage car
Are you passionate about the cars of yesteryear? In this case, I recommend you to book an excursion in a Citroën 2 CV. This car is a little jewel of the Gallic manufacturer: despite its age, it surprises both for its spaciousness and its unbeatable comfort.
This is no coincidence. Before being launched, the drivers subjected the car to a tough test: the 2CV had to be able to cross a plowed field carrying two people, a basket of eggs, fifty kilos of potatoes or a barrel of wine and without breaking an egg. All you have to do is sit in the back seat and enjoy the view.
The tour includes a stop at a local winery with Champagne tasting included. Unlike the previous ones, the tour does not start in Paris but in Reims. Therefore, you will have to reach this city on your own. For more information, I recommend you to read the post about the best tours you can do from Paris.
- Duration: about 3 hours
- Price: about 200 €.
When is the best time to visit the Champagne region?
It would be easy to answer "in spring or summer" but the real experts have no doubts: autumn is the best time. If you travel to Paris in September, I recommend booking an excursion to the Champagne region. The grape harvest begins at the end of this month and ends in the first half of October.
What are the must-see villages in the Champagne region?
The Champagne region is located east of Paris and consists of the departments of Aube, Marne, Haute-Marne and Ardennes. There are dozens of charming towns and the list below brings together my top 5:
- Reims, the capital of Champagne. Its most important monument is the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, a Gothic temple with its characteristic central rose window and stained glass windows that will take your breath away. Its old town is beautifully preserved and is dotted with numerous bars with terraces. I recommend trying the characteristic pink macarons. Locals claim that the best are found at Douceurs Macarons (40 Rue Chanzy)
- Sedan, a medieval village crossed by the Meuse River. You can rent a pedalo or canoe and enjoy the panorama of the waters. The main attraction is its castle-fortress which is the largest in Europe. You can visit it every day except January 1 and December 25. A standard ticket costs about 9,5 €. For more info, I recommend you to consult the official website
- Chaumont, the former residence of the Counts of Champagne. Its old town houses the church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste and some elegant Renaissance houses. In December, the Musée de la Crèche (Museum of the Na tivity) exhibits Neapolitan nativity scenes from the 18th century. By the way, if you travel in the last month of the year, I recommend reading the post on the 10 things to do in Paris at Christmas
- Langres, a walled village with a history dating back to Roman times. Being surrounded by forests and lakes is the ideal destination for hiking or mountain biking
- Epernay, a peaceful town about 30 kilometers from Reims. Its leisure and cultural offer is linked to the famous sparkling wine: under its streets are hidden several cellars where bottles of Dom Pérignon, Moët & Chandon and other brands are kept.
What are the advantages of taking a guided tour vs. visiting the Champagne region on my own?
As you have seen in the previous point, the area where the famous sparkling wine is produced can be easily reached from the capital. Still, if you travel by train you can see only one locality and if you rent a car you will have to drive in Parisian traffic and pay both highway and gas.
A guided tour is a recommended option: the total amount includes both travel and entrance fees to the cellars with a Champagne tasting (usually three or four glasses). You will have the opportunity to visit more than one village and estate at a price that, normally, is around 200 €.
Although it may seem expensive, if you had to pay separately, the amount would be higher. The only thing left out is food, but there is no lack of restaurants in the area. For these reasons, a day tour in this region is undoubtedly among the top 10 tours and excursions from Paris.
What do I need to bring on an excursion to the Champagne region from Paris?
First of all, you have to be aware that these routes run in the middle of the countryside and include the entrance to the farms where the grapes are harvested. Wear comfortable shoes because you will pass through cobblestone paths and cellars of the wineries.
Another must in your suitcase is an umbrella or a raincoat, as it rains frequently.
Is an excursion to the Champagne region suitable for children?
Most (if not all)guided tours allow visits with children. If they are very young, you should indicate in advance if you need a child seat. In case you are not convinced, I recommend you to read the post about what to see and do in Paris with children. You will find other alternatives in and around the capital.
Is it worth taking a trip to the Champagne region in winter?
It is not the best season but this does not mean it is not worth it. At this time of year, temperatures often drop below zero and it is not uncommon to see the countryside shrouded in a layer of fog or frost. The landscapes take on a magical touch, especially with a glass of Champagne in your hands.
You should wear warm and comfortable clothes but don't worry, if you are not convinced you can stay in the capital and fight the cold by doing an indoor activity. Personally, I always recommend a visit to the Invalides Museum and Napoleon's tomb or a cruise on the Seine River.