A superb tourist region near to Hôtel Bristol and Châlons-en-Champagne
If you are a lover of Nature, Culture, Heritage, Gastronomy or Champagne, here there are endless opportunities to find relaxation, rejuvenation and well-being!
This region covers an area of 25 600km² and includes 4 ‘départements’: les Ardennes, la Meuse, l’Aube and ALCA or ACAL, including Alsace and la Lorraine, and therefore, Champagne-Ardenne is the ideal region for discovering different flavours of bubbly, exploring a protected nature and finding out more about France’s history. The Champagne region is already globally famous and boasts a reputation which is second to none, but when you experience first-hand the deep forests, the expanses of grain fields, the hills and valleys covered in vines, the great lakes or the passion for History and Heritage, it really never fails to impress.
Tourist Office in Châlons-en-Champagne
In the heart of the Champagne area, Châlons-en-Champagne stretches along the length of the Marne. Having been a market town for more than ten centuries, Châlons-en-Champagne has a remarkable architectural heritage and is now a town of Art and History which offers a life sweet enough to seduce you at a glance. In the surrounding areas there are several sites which commemorate the battles which took place between 1870 and 1945. The Marne Prefecture, the town and the ancient ‘Catalauni oppidum’ are home to nearly 50,000 people. It is also the location of a major hub where road, rail and waterways meet, thus joining up the most active regions of France and the European Union. If you take a trip on a boat on the Mau and the Nau you can get a unique view of the town where such renowned men as Pierre Bayen, Nicolas Appert, Pierre Dac and even Jean Cabu (alias Cabu) were born.
Montagne de Reims
This is a wooded area containing several geographical features, situated between Reims and Épernay and bordered in the North, South and East by vine-covered hills. A large part of this area is made up of the Montagne de Reims Regional Natural Park, which is particularly famous for its abundance of ‘faux de Verzy’, dwarf beech trees, of which there are over 800 in this area. The term ‘mountain’ is justified locally by the stark difference in altitude between the morne plaine champenoise, which is 80 metres tall, and the cuesta, which harbours the champagne vines and is 200 metres taller. The highest point of the Montagne de Reims is the Mont Sinaï which stands at 286 metres tall. The climate is continental, very similar to that of la Lorraine, with defined winters. In this area there are a number of wine-making villages, which include (amongst others): Ludes, Mailly-Champagne, Verzenay, Verzy, Ambonnay, Bouzy which mainly use the Pinot Noir grape.
Côte des Blancs
From Epernay to Vertus, the Côte des Blancs runs North-South, resting on the edges of the Brie plateau. It is planted almost exclusively with Chardonnay grapes (a mature white grape and thus very sensitive to the spring frosts). The hills on the Côte des Blancs face east. The vines planted on the side of the hills are therefore sheltered from the dominant winds. Here you can try a champagne which is both delicate and elegant: the famous Blanc de Blanc. The villages that are most renowned for it and are classed as 100% Grand Cru are Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger and Oiry. The group of hills is dominated by forest. Limestone shows through all over this area and forms reservoirs of water and heat in the soil below. It reaches its peak in Avize at a height of 248 metres and stretches over an area of nearly 100km, ending at the Coteaux du Sézannais, having passed through the Marais de Saint Gond, famous for the Monument National de la Victoire de la Marne, on the Mondement viewpoint.
The Valley of the Marne
Over an area of nearly 40km, you can discover the land which favours the Pinot Meunier, a grape which gives the champagne a fruity flavour. The vines stretch out as far as the eye can see in the direction of Paris on the famous jagged hills on which villages, castles and churches also cling. Between Epernay and Dormans, you come across Hautvillers (and its panoramic views), the birthplace of champagne, which was invented by Don Pérignon in the 18th century. En route to this area, you can pass through ‘Le Champagne Vallée’ (starting at Cumières) for a cruise on the Marne which takes you through the locks and ends at the Château de Boursault. In Dormans, in the park of the Louis XIII castle, stands the imposing Mémorial des Batailles de la Marne (Battles of the Marne Memorial). On the left bank, you can travel to Oeuilly, a timeless village housing éco-museums, and then on to Châtillons-sur-Marne and its huge statue of Pope Urban II (who was a native of this village and the initiator of the first crusade), to finally reach Epernay again via the village of Pierry.
From Châlons-en-Champagne to the Lac du Der
By following the tourist route lined with timber-framed churches with 16th century stained glass windows, you get to the Bocage Champenois, which is an area that is typical of the humid part of the Champagne region; here water rules supreme! Here you can discover the Lac du Der-Chantecoq, the largest artificial lake in Europe, made up of 4800 hectares of water. Its forests, which are a prime location for discovering nature whether you are on your holidays or just taking a weekend trip, are also a national hunting and wildlife reserve, a migration route for nearly 45000 cranes twice per year, a base for nautical sports and provide fresh air for camping and lazing around on the beaches in summer.
Videos on Champagne region