Regal Reims and Champagne Dreams
Enjoy some sparkling moments in the City of Champagne
The historic city of Reims is situated in the heart of France’s Champagne region beholding Reims a special place in the French history and not just for Champagne! For more than 1,000 years, French kings were crowned at its Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims. Larger than Notre-Dame de Paris, an architectural jewel, the beauty of which is acclaimed unanimously. The grand cathedral is known for its stained-glass windows and Gothic carved portals, including the Smiling Angel. What’s more the beauty of which is not to be missed.
Additionally, Reims is home to a lavish former archbishop’s residence, the Palais du Tau, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Known for hosting sumptuous banquets, the extravagance can be seen in every corner of every room. Now a museum, it displays truly exceptional statuary, liturgical objects and tapestries from the nearby cathedral. Treasures worth seeking out include the 9th-century talisman of Charlemagne and St Rémi’s golden, gem-encrusted chalice, which dates from the 12th century. Be sure not to miss this incredible insight into the history of Europe’s most powerful monarchies.
To the south is the delightful Épernay, a bustling, leafy town, often described as the Capital of Champagne. In this tour we visit both to find out more about the famous champagne houses on the ‘Avenue de Champagne’. Home to champagne houses including Taittinger, Lanson, Mumm and Moët & Chandon. It is said to be the most expensive avenue in the world, more so than the Champs-Élysées in Paris, because of the millions of bottles of champagne stored in the kilometres of chalk cellars beneath it. There will be plenty of time to explore both Reims & Épernay. There’s also time for a tasting, or two!
11th May 2020, 20th July 2020
Travel to France
Having crossed the Channel to Calais, arrive in France and travel to your hotel in the Reims area.
Reims Sightseeing & Taittinger
This morning, enjoy the sights of the historic town of Reims, or perhaps you’d like to take an optional half day sightseeing tour that reveals the stories and secrets of Reims. The undoubted highlight is the imposing and altogether magnificent Gothic Cathédrale Notre Dame, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the place where the kings of France were crowned from the 11th century. The Palais du Tau, the lavish former archbishop’s residence, is now a museum.
In the afternoon there’s an opportunity to visit one of the major champagne houses, perhaps Tattinger, for a tour of the cellars and a tasting. Here, go back in time, through the ruins of the Saint-Nicaise Abbey (dating back to the 13th century). Visitors go down 18 metres below ground level into the breath-taking Gallo-Roman chalk quarries, which are part of the ‘Coteaux, Maisons et Caves de Champagne’ (hillsides, Champagne houses and cellars in Champagne) included on UNESCO’s list of Cultural Heritage.
*As the cellars are underground, a number of steps are involved.
Épernay and more Champagne
Today we drive the 25km or so south through the picturesque countryside to visit Épernay, a bustling, leafy town often described as the ‘Capital’ of Champagne. The ‘Avenue de Champagne’ home to champagne houses including Moët & Chandon, is said to be the most expensive avenue in the world, more so than the Champs-Élysées in Paris, because of the millions of bottles of champagne stored in the kilometres of chalk cellars beneath it.
Leaving Épernay we drive along the Champagne Route through vineyards and gently rolling hills to see the village of Hauvillers where the monk Dom Perignon is said to have created the first champagne bubbles around 1681. Visits can be arranged to vineyards and champagne houses.
Return to the UK
It’s time to leave France, travel to Calais for the return to the UK.
Ibis Reims Tinqueux ***
The Ibis Reims Tinqueux hotel is 5 km from both the central Reims train station and the 13th-century Reims Cathedral and 8 km from the Abbey of St-Remi. The modern rooms feature work desks and TVs. Free wifi is also available. There is also a barbecue restaurant, a bar and a business centre. Onsite coach parking
Mercure Reims Parc des Expositions ***
The Mercure Reims Parc des Expositions is located 2.5 miles from the centre of Reims and a 10-minute drive from the Reims Champagne TGV Station. The rooms feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screens with satellite channels and garden or pool views. The property has a seasonal outdoor pool, a restaurant serving French cuisine, a bar and a business centre. Onsite coach parking
Ibis Reims Centre ***
This hotel is located in the heart of Reims, just 400 yards from Reims Train Station and 0.6 miles from Reims Cathedral. The hotel has a bar and offers free Wi-Fi internet access. The air-conditioned bedrooms include a flat-screen TV, cable and satellite channels and a telephone. They each have a private bathroom with a hairdryer and free toiletries. Coach parking available in the city
If sparkling isn’t your tipple, you may also be interested in:
|Hotel||Date||4 days||Single supplement|
|Mercure Reims Parc des Expositions||11th May 2020 or 20th July 2020||from £195.00 per person||from £97.00 supplement per person|
|Ibis Reims Tinqueux||20th July 2020||from £175.00 per person||from £103.00 supplement per person|