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Explore one of the greatest French treasures on a guided bicycle tour: the Champagne region located between Reims and Epernay. Do the names Piper-Heidsieck, Moët et Chandon, Laurent-Perrier, Dom Perignon ring a bell. In the spring, summer or fall, cycle through the region winding vineyards country roads, the picturesque villages, castles and churches that won’t let you indifferent. The tour takes you along the cote des blancs near Mesnil sur Oger, one of the 17 villages of Champagne, classified as Grand Cru, where the king of champagne, Krug harvest its grapes. Bike along the Marne Canal and at the foot of the Reims mountain, an area that accounts the largest number of Grand Cru villages. Cycle through Hautvillers a village that is nicknamed the Pearl of Champagne. This is where around 1687, Don Perignon gave birth to the first bubbles of this sparkling nectar. In Epernay, capital of the champagne region, Moët et Chandon welcomes you in its legendary cellars for a visit and tasting full of flavors. In the end and after a week of cycling you won’t enjoy your champagne the same way as before.
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Welcome to the Champagne region! Begin your tour by meeting at the Champagne-Ardenne TGV train station and transfer to your hotel, les Avises, for the next two nights.
After a light lunch on the beautiful terrace of the chateau, your leaders fit your bike before heading on your first ride of the week into the “cote de Blancs”. The area is known for producing some of the world’s most famous Champagne such as Moet & Chandon or Veuve Cliquot. On the way you cycle to Mesnil-sur-Oger for a one of a kind look at the world famous vineyards of Krug. The Clos du Mesnil is a single plot of Chardonnay, which each year produces one of the rarest and most expensive champagnes in the world.
Later that day, get together at the Domaine, which was founded in 1949, for a tasting. Each year, the domaine produces 57,000 bottles of Champagne.
Tonight’s dinner is served in the modern dining room of the hotel by famous Chef, Stéphane Rossillon who was the assistant of Anne Sophie Pic, one of France’s 3 Michelin Star Chefs, for 13 years. His cuisine is a combination of local produce and gourmet ingenuity.
Today’s Ride: 19 miles with 1,300 feet of climbing
Following breakfast, indulge in a morning ride to Epernay, the capital of Champagne. It lies fifteen miles south of Reims in the heart of “champagne country” and is home to a handful of the most famous champagne producers in the world such as Laurent Perrier, Perrier Jouet, Mercier and Moet & Chandon.
Later that morning, continue cycling towards the Reims Mountain before reaching the village of Hautvillers, famous home of Dom Perignon, the world-class and highly famous champagne, named after a Benedictine monk who was a pioneer for Champagne wine. Before lunch on your own, enjoy a visit of the town followed by a tasting of different cepages.
In the afternoon, you cycle across the Marne Valley, which lies south of Reims Mountain. It is known for offering some of the most stunning vineyard scenery in the region. Villages speckling the hillsides offer a multitude of places to stop off and take in the view.
Back at your hotel, enjoy some downtime and relax before dinner at a famous local restaurant.
Today’s Ride: 34 miles with 2,300 feet of climbing
Short Option: 22 miles with 1,200 feet of climbing
Long Option: 42 miles with 2,900 feet of climbing
Get an early start and shuttle to the Alsace region and the town of Rosheim where you take a break. Rosheim is notable for its beautiful 12th century church, a breathtaking landmark that is also quite the photo op.
Next, you make your way to neighboring Mont Sainte Odile before arriving the town of Ottrott. Ottrott’s major claim to fame is its signature red wine, Ottrott Rouge, as well as its view of the nearby convent Mont Sainte Odile dating back to the 8th century.
Later that day, you have a chance to stroll through Obernai’s charming cobblestone streets, while visiting the historical fortifications before dinner on your own.
Today’s Ride: 26 miles with 2,800 feet of climbing
Short Option: 20 miles with 2,200 feet of climbing
This morning you leave the hotel and follow the famed and beautiful Route des Vins. “Wine Route”, a winding and peaceful route through a region well known for its groundbreaking vintages.
You go thru numerous typical Alsatian villages and famous vineyards as you cycle along the edge of the Vosges Mountains. Take some time off at the foot of the Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg, a 12th century fortress.
In the afternoon, stop in the town of Ribeauville, widely considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in France. Ribeauville located at the foot of the ruins of the chateau Saint Ulirch comes complete with a variety of standout features, including astonishingly majestic Gothic churches, ancient walls, and even building dating back to Medieval times. You then stop again at one of the most famous villages on the way, Riquewhir, a village that hasn’t changed since the 16th century.
Later that afternoon arrive in Kaysersberg a town that was once the border between France and Germany and settle in your room for some downtime. In the evening, dinner is at the hotel restaurant.
Today’s Ride: 32 miles with 2,200 feet of climbing
Short Option: 22 miles with 1,300 feet of climbing
Long Option: 41 miles with 3,600 feet of climbing
You destination today is the town of Eguisheim, widely considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in France. Eguisheim located on the wine route was voted the favorite French village, an annual distinction that passes from town to town throughout France, in 2013.
Ride south of Kaysersberg, going thru the village of Turckheim a village well known for its Gewürztraminer wines and stunning surrounding scenery. It is also famous for its doors, the muster door, which leads to the muster valley, the door of the grand, which begins the wine route and the door of France, which leads to Colmar. Later that morning, arrive in Eguisheim for a tasting.
In the afternoon, keep cycling among endless vineyards before arriving back in the village of Kaysersberg.
In the evening you embark on a short drive to dinner at a local restaurant.
Today’s Ride: 31 miles with 3,200 feet of climbing
Short Option: 16 miles with 1,500 feet of climbing
Long Option: 44 miles with 3,900 feet of climbing
Enjoy breakfast in Alsace one last time before meeting up with your trip leaders. From here, a short drive to the train station of Colmar marks the end of the tour and of this unforgettable trip through the Champagne & Alsace regions.
Thank you for all that you did to make our trip amazing. We had a wonderful time.
Thank you for all the time & effort you put into making sure we had a great time in France. We wish you all the best.
I liked the snacks along the way. I loved the hotels. I ate great food. And I love the cycling. I thoroughly enjoyed both guides and thought they did a terrific job. Thank you for a wonderful trip.
Thank you for a wonderful cycling trip + all your attention. All the best for you.