Most of the best things to do in the city of Reims have to do with exploring the surrounding wine fields. And the fact is that this town is an important tourist destination because it is considered the cultural capital of the Champagne region, where the world famous sparkling wine is produced.
So in this post I will briefly explain how some of the best excursions departing from the center of this city work. That while I also present you the main alternatives so that you have the possibility to choose some of them understanding their benefits and conditions.
1. A champagne day trip to Moët & Chandon headquarters and winery
One of the most recommended excursions for tourists arriving in the city of Reims is to take part in a tour that leads to the headquarters where the main cellars of Moët & Chandon are located. If you have not heard this name you have to know that it is a world reference when it comes to quality champagne. Therefore, this type of tourist experiences are oriented to learn about the history of this company as well as the process behind the production of this alcoholic beverage.
The tour as such is usually reserved for a limited group of people that usually does not exceed 10 participants. From the outset, it is also a guided event because a specialist in the history of champagne as a beverage is always available. As well as in the history of the companies that made this type of wine a world reference of quality.
It is definitely an exclusive experience in which the comfort of the participants is always taken care of and you also have to know that the tourist service includes the tasting of about 10 different types of champagne that belong to the cellar of Moët & Chandon.
In addition, it is also common to include a traditional lunch of typical gastronomy of the region. For these reasons it is a highly recommended plan for those who are having a three-day visit to the city of Reims.
Details of interest
- Price: these excursions usually cost about 250 euros per person, which is an understandable amount knowing that it is a luxury experience.
- Duration: the approximate duration of such an excursion is about nine hours in total.
- Means of transportation: it is almost always a minivan that includes all the comforts such as air conditioning, Wi-Fi on board and reclining seats.
- Advantages of this option: this alternative is highly recommended for true lovers of this brand of champagne and especially for those who wish to explore other corners of this wine region.
- Disadvantages of this option: it is definitely not a very economical experience and, therefore, may be unaffordable for the budget of some travelers.
2. A full-day trip from Reims to the Veuve Clicquot headquarters
If the idea of seeing the headquarters of Moët & Chandon doesn't appeal to you simply because it's not your favorite champagne brand, then you should know that Veuve Clicquot is the final destination for other highly recommended tours departing from the city of Reims. The itinerary of these tours is a bit different, as it is usual that a tour through the Notre Dame de Reims cathedral is also included. As well as a tour of some other village near this city.
Definitely the visit to the Veuve Clicquot winery is the main protagonist of the itinerary, but that does not mean that the lunch that is accompanied with a wine tasting class is not a good entertainment. The visit to the company's subway cellar also includes a tasting of other types of champagnes.
So this itinerary is much more appropriate for those who do not consider themselves lovers of a specific champagne brand and prefer to learn a little more about another company that is also world famous. This while having the possibility to visit other family wineries and enjoy the tour of a beautiful rural locality.
You should also know that this kind of excursion is one of the best things to do in Reims during Christmas. This is because the tour service dinner or lunch is usually geared towards you enjoying a themed event inspired by Christmas traditions.
Details of interest
- Price: this type of excursions usually cost about 280 euros per person.
- Duration: the approximate duration is usually about eight hours in total or a little more, depending on the season and the weather.
- Means of transportation: it is usually a minivan, as they are reserved for very limited groups of people.
- Advantages of this option: it is definitely a more favorable option for those who want the excursion to focus a little more on the beauty of the region instead of revolving around the champagne producing company to be visited.
- Disadvantages of this option: it is still an expensive experience that does not fit the economic possibilities of all tourists.
3. A bike tour through the Champagne countryside with lunch and wine tasting.
If you are interested in touring the countryside around the city of Reims in a slightly less conventional way then you have to opt for a guided tour given on an electric bike.
Clearly this is a favorable alternative for those who are used to pedaling quite a few kilometers, but it is undoubtedly a highly recommended way to get in direct contact with nature as well as to entertain yourself during a visit to the Champagne region, which is declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
The meeting point is always somewhere in the center of the city of Reims and from there you start a bus ride through the woods near the city to reach the village of Epernay. This is where the bike tour begins, as the small group of participants head to one of the villages to get a close-up view of the vineyards where champagne is produced.
The electric bike ride also includes a visit to some family wineries and a stop for lunch at a traditional French restaurant. The church where Dom Pérignon is buried is also part of the tour itinerary. So all in all it is a much more diverse and interesting tour. Especially for those who prefer to enjoy the landscape being directly in contact with it.
Both wine tastings and lunch are usually included in the price of the experience along with the accompaniment of the local guide who usually speaks English. Just like in the rest of the excursions. Therefore, this is an excellent way to accelerate your sightseeing exploration on a two-day visit to Reims where it becomes essential to experience up close the beauty that characterizes this rural part of the country.
Details of interest
- Price: an electric bike ride with the characteristics I have mentioned usually costs about 175 euros per person.
- Duration: the approximate duration of this type of excursion is seven or eight hours in total and you have to take into account that during this period you pedal for about 3 hours.
- Means of transportation: the transfer from Reims to Épernay usually takes place in a minibus and the rest of the experience is on a state-of-the-art electric bicycle.
- Advantages of this option: it is definitely the best alternative for those who are looking to incorporate a bit of fun exercise to the experience of touring the countryside of the Champagne region.
- Disadvantages of this option: it is an experience that is only available to people who are able to pedal for 3 hours.
4. A tour of the Verdun battlefield with guide and entrance fees included
One of the longest and deadliest battles in modern history occurred in the vicinity of Reims. It is the Battle of Verdun and was an uninterrupted conflict between France and Germany that took place over 303 days of World War I
Today the field where the trenches were located has become a tourist destination for people to understand how these battles unfolded. That while there are also different monuments commemorating this event in which so many people died.
So this site is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in the city of Reims and is part of its main historical attractions. The price of the excursion includes private transportation as well as the entrance to the field and to the two existing memorials. There is also the payment of the guide who is available so that the group does not miss any important detail about the history of this event.
Anyway, this is an excursion that does not occupy your whole day and, therefore, you can complement it if you are interested in knowing how to visit the cathedral of Notre Dame de Reims, which is a very important church that is known for having been the coronation center of the French Kings for several centuries. So if you complement these two activities in the same day you would be getting a lot of information about one of the most important regions of the French northeast.
Details of interest
- Price: this kind of excursions usually cost around 380 euros per person although young people under 17 years old pay more favorable rates.
- Duration: a tour with these characteristics usually lasts six hours in total of which a good part is dedicated to the transfer from Reims to the field where the battle took place.
- Means of transport: most often it is a minibus because it is an excursion reserved for a limited group of people from the same family group.
- Advantages of this option: this activity is one of the most interesting for those who are interested in the history of the First World War as well as for those who want to know an attraction that is a little different from the world of champagne production.
- Disadvantages of this option: this is the most expensive excursion of all, even without lunch and wine tasting.
How to book an excursion from Reims?
You have different alternatives at your disposal if you want to book any of these excursions from Reims. The best of them is through an online purchase of the service. This is because this way you can pay by credit card and you may have the alternative to cancel the experience for free if you notify us well in advance. In addition, you can also find out the opinions of other people who have already experienced that particular excursion.
You could also access this type of excursion if you visit one of the tourist agencies that are located in the city center of Reims. The problem with this idea is that there is no guarantee that you will find the possibility of joining these experiences for the exact time of your visit. Especially if your trip occurs during peak tourist season.
Duration of the excursions from Reims
The average duration of all excursions from Reims usually varies between six and eight hours. This is logical knowing that many of the wine fields are not so close to the city center.
That's while at the same time wine tastings and lunches are included in the itinerary, which are events that last quite a long time, and this is in addition to the time it takes to transfer from one place to another.
Anyway, you have to know that these durations are extremely favorable within the logistics of most trips. Especially because the city of Reims itself does not have as many tourist attractions outside of the sites visited on these tours. So it is logical and advisable to focus a large part of the trip to visit the natural region within which Reims is located.
Tips for an excursion from Reims
There are several tips I can give you to enjoy the excursions from Rains, but the best of all has to do with your clothing. It is essential that you wear appropriate clothing for the weather at the time of your trip. For the truth is that during the summer the humidity is significantly high while the rest of the year rain, wind and cold can be a reality of everyday life.
Why is it advisable to take an excursion from Reims?
These excursions are a recommended plan because the wineries and wine fields are the real reason why the city of Reims is a major tourist destination.
The cathedral and two other buildings are declared World Heritage Sites by Unesco, but the city as such stands out for being the honorary capital of the Champagne region. This has an appellation of origin that means that this name can only be used if it is a sparkling wine that comes from this part of France.
So if you spend 48 or 72 hours in the region it is important that you take advantage of your time to visit the sites that have given it worldwide fame, among which are the cellars of large companies and small families that are dedicated to producing champagne that has an undisputed quality.
The same goes for the excursion that takes you to the battlefield of Verdun. For many years, this site was one of the main centers of commemoration for the misfortunes that occurred during the First World War.
What are the advantages of taking a guided tour vs. visiting the area on my own?
A guided tour is definitely a more recommendable option than touring the region on your own, since the price includes transportation and access to the wineries you will visit. In addition, it includes the accompaniment of a guide who will not let you return home with important doubts about the places you have known.
So if you compare, the experience saves money, because the truth is that between what it would cost to rent a car and what would be spent on fuel going from one place to another already goes a large part of the budget. To which would be added the payment of additional tickets for the guided tour of the place.
In addition, the simple fact that you only worry about enjoying and not having to worry about any logistical details makes the price of a guided tour is recommended for those who want to fully live their vacation break.