Planning the perfect Champagne itinerary can seem a bit overwhelming when you think of what this iconic wine region has to offer. The Champagne region is known for golden sunshine, rolling vineyards and the world-famous sparkling wine of the same name.
This region in the northeastern corner of France is often visited as a day trip from Paris or as you are passing through on a France road trip. Still, you could easily spend 2 to 3 days in Champagne discovering the mediaeval cities and the glorious countryside surrounding them.
Use this Champagne itinerary to plan the ultimate getaway. From wine tastings to bike rides, there’s something for everyone.
How Many Days in Champagne?
Champagne is a relatively large area, but for the most part, visitors tend to stick to the central belt, mostly visiting Epernay and Reims and occasionally heading out of the cities to smaller towns such as Bouzy and Verzenay. With so much to see, you may be wondering how many days to spend in Champagne.
The most popular way to visit Champagne as a day trip from Paris. You can reach Reims by train in just over an hour, or if you plan to hire a car, it is just 90 miles to the east.
Whilst taking a day trip is convenient, you will have to decide between Reims and Epernay and may not have time to enjoy the champagne tours and tastings without worrying about timetables.
If you want to make the most of your time here, a weekend in Champagne is the perfect way to explore. Especially seeing as spending the night opens up a world of possibilities with wine tastings and delicious meals into the evening. 2 days in Champagne will give you enough time to visit Reims and Epernay without feeling rushed.
If you have a little longer, 3 days in Champagne allows you to really curate your stay. You could spend a long weekend visiting Champagne houses driving the ‘Champagne Route’ or visit some of the smaller towns and villages on the outskirts of the cities.
Getting To & Around Champagne
Chances are, if you are travelling using public transport, you will first need to visit Paris on your way to the Champagne region.
Reims has a very small airport, but for international flights, you will need to fly into Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport or Paris Orly Airport. From there, you can take a direct train to Reims or Epernay.
The high-speed trains (TGV) run directly through Paris and onto Reims and Epernay. You can easily travel from all four corners of France using this rail network.
If you have your own vehicle or have chosen to rent a car, arriving in the region of Champagne is a joy. No matter where you are driving from, a Champagne road trip is the ultimate way to explore – the roads are surrounded by beautiful rolling hills covered in vineyards. You can browse car hire options here.
You can access the main cities either by the motorways, which are tolled or by the more minor country roads, which are free to drive.
It is easy enough to park for free if you are willing to walk into the city centres, or if not, there are large car parks in the epicentres of both cities. Just make sure not to get behind the wheel if you want to enjoy more than a glass of Champagne!
2 to 3 Days in Champagne Itinerary
Day 1 – Explore Reims
We kick off our Champagne itinerary in the largest city, Reims. This bustling city is the centre of the Champagne region and makes the perfect first destination as it is easy to get to from nearby cities such as Paris.
Reims Cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, a captivating UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the stunning façade adorned with intricate sculptures. Inside, marvel at the rose windows, dazzling stained glass, and historical significance as the coronation site of 33 French kings.
You can enter the grand building free of charge, but if you are interested in the history, guided tours are also available.
Palais du Tau
You’ll find the Palais du Tau next to the Reims Cathedral. This former archbishop’s palace is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It houses a remarkable collection of artefacts and treasures, including royal regalia and religious relics, reflecting its deep ties to French history and coronation ceremonies.
Head into the heart of the city to the Place Drouet-d’Erlon. This vibrant square in the city centre is lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes. From authentic artisan producers to restaurants serving the best local produce. This is a one-stop shop for a quick bite to eat and a couple of souvenirs to remember your trip.
Of course, a trip to the Champagne region would only be complete with sampling the world-famous wine of the same name.
There are plenty of Champagne houses to choose from in Reims, including some of the big names such as Taittinger, Veuve Clicquot and Pommery, as well as the smaller, local houses.
If you are a wine enthusiast, you may already have a list of houses you’d like to visit, but if not, several guided tours are available such as this hour-long tour.
Les Faux de Verzy
The forest of Verzy may not usually be mentioned on a Champagne region itinerary, but it is one of those hidden gems that is well worth a detour as you head out of Reims.
Located in the Montagne de Reims Regional Natural Park near Verzy, it is a mysterious, enchanting forest that feels like it has been plucked straight out of a fairytale. It is renowned for its “Faux,” rare dwarf beech trees with twisted and contorted shapes that appear like fantastical creatures.
These naturally occurring deformities result from genetic mutations and make the forest an enchanting and otherworldly place to explore. The Faux de Verzy attracts hikers, nature lovers and photographers seeking to witness these ancient trees’ extraordinary beauty and peculiar charm.
Next, we head south to the picturesque village of Hautvillers. Surrounded by the Marne Valley, Hautvillers is a beautiful village with cobblestone streets and quaint houses surrounded by vineyards.
Steeped in Champagne history, this unassuming village is where Dom Pérignon, the famous Benedictine monk, first produced champagne. He is also buried here in the chancel of the Saint-Sindulphe Abbey.
Although this is a small village, it plays an important role in the creation of Champagne. There are several houses here where you can experience tours and tastings, but if you only have time to visit one, try Champagne Dominique Bliard Labeste. Here you can discover the Premier Cru-certified Champagne with a free tasting if you buy a bottle.
As the evening draws in, head further south to our final destination for day 1 of this Champagne itinerary, Epernay. This is the perfect place to stay for your first night before exploring properly in the morning. This city is often referred to as the Capital of Champagne, but it is much smaller than Reims and has a more relaxed ambience.
Here you will find plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from, serving local produce. Browse the menus to discover classics such as Coq au Vin, a traditional dish of chicken cooked in red wine, mushrooms, onions, and bacon or the more adventurous among you may want to try Escargots de Bourgogne, Burgundy snails cooked with garlic butter, a classic French delicacy.
Day 2 – Explore Epernay
Day 2 is primarily based around Epernay, also known as the Champagne capital. Beyond its effervescent reputation, Epernay is home to picturesque streets weaving through historic architecture and enchanting views of the Marne River.
Start the day by taking a stroll through the mediaeval city streets, soaking in the French sunshine whilst shopping for local produce (don’t miss the artisan boulangerie or the cheesemongers).
There are several cafes where you can pick up a croissant and a coffee for breakfast in the city centre, but if you want to escape the hustle and bustle, opt to take your breakfast with you and find a bench in the gardens where you can sit and enjoy nature whilst you prepare for the day ahead.
Museum of Champagne, Wine and Regional Archaeology
Before starting the tour of Champagne Avenue, it’s worth taking a short detour to the Museum of Champagne, Wine and Regional Archaeology.
Housed in the magnificent 19th century Château Perrier, here you will experience a fully immersive walkthrough of the ingredients and processes of Champagne creation and its history. Entry to the museum includes an audio tour and access to the beautifully kept gardens in the rear.
Avenue de Champagne
Epernay is home to the iconic Champagne Avenue, an opulent street renowned for its prestigious champagne houses and a must-visit stop on any trip to Champagne. Lined with elegant mansions and historic cellars, it showcases the finest sparkling wines in the world.
Discover some of the 68 miles of wine cellars below the city streets. Several full or half-day guided tours are available, or you could decide to visit one or two houses of your choosing.
Champagne houses offer tours and tastings including the titans such as Mercier, Perrier-Jouët, and Moët & Chandon all year round. Bear in mind that the tastings at these larger Champagne houses often require reservations and can feel slightly more formal than those at the smaller, boutique houses in the countryside.
If you are only going to visit one, the Mercier tour offers a truly unique cellar experience that includes a ride on their underground train.
Chigny les Roses
Chigny les Roses is a charming village nestled in the heart of the Champagne region. Surrounded by scenic vineyards, it offers a peaceful retreat for those who are seeking tranquillity. The village is home to several esteemed champagne producers known for their exceptional cuvées and traditional winemaking techniques.
The Champagne houses in this quaint village have a more ‘homegrown’ feel to them than those in Epernay. They tend to be on the informal side, and the tours are often led by the owner, which is an additional bonus. The area is well known for its high-quality Pinot Noir grapes, which can be found growing on endless rolling hills surrounding the village.
The village itself is beautiful and is worth exploring whether you are interested in Champagne or not. The picturesque architecture is complimented by the vibrant cherry blossom trees, narrow streets and historical monuments such as the Saint-Lié Church.
Day 3 – Dig Deeper in the Champagne Region
There are several day trip options around the Champagne region, and many of these options could be incorporated into 2 days in Champagne if you wanted to, but you may feel too rushed.
Explore this town’s historic centre with its canals and attractive public gardens. Stroll through the historic centre and admire its well-preserved medieval architecture, including the stunning Notre-Dame-en-Vaux Cathedral, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city’s waterways, such as the Mau and Nau canals, add to its charm, providing plenty of spots for leisurely walks and picnics.
Parc Naturel Régional de la Montagne de Reims
Discover the 120,000 acres of natural haven in the national park of Reims. Stretching from Reims to Epernay, this park is full of hiking trails, bike tracks and incredible picnic spots.
It offers a paradise for nature enthusiasts, covering lush forests, rolling hills, and vine-covered landscapes. The park is also home to diverse flora and fauna, including rare orchids and protected bird species. Discover ancient chalk caves and historical sites dating back to the Gallo-Roman period.
Visit Bouzy to savour world-class champagne at local wineries, mainly known for their Pinot Noir grapes. Explore scenic vineyards, visit historic landmarks like the Church of Saint-Rémi, and immerse yourself in the authentic charm of this countryside gem.
Verzenay is another lovely village in the Champagne region. Ascend the iconic Lighthouse of Verzenay for panoramic vineyard views.
Explore the Champagne Museum showcasing the winemaking heritage or sip exceptional champagne at family-owned cellars and enjoy leisurely walks amidst picturesque landscapes.
Where to Stay in Champagne
B&B Hotel Epernay – Mid-range visitors to the Champagne region will love this cosy bed and breakfast in Epernay. They have a great location in the city, an array of lovely rooms to choose from along with a fab breakfast each morning. Click here to check availability
Les Suites du 33 – Luxury visitors to the Champagne region will swoon over this modern hotel located in the centre of Epernay. Offering a range of chic rooms, they also have an array of plush amenities to ensure you have an amazing stay. Click here to check availability
Villa des Arts – These apartments are an excellent choice for those looking for a self-catering option on their visit to the Champagne region. Located in cool Epernay, they have a number of fully furnished flats to choose from equipped with everything you may need. Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Epernay hotels!
Taking a Champagne road trip is an unforgettable experience. From the golden hills blanketed with vineyards to the iconic Champagne houses in Epernay. Whether you hope to pack the weekend with wine tastings or simply enjoy the surrounding countryside, there’s something for everyone in this charming region.
Are you planning to visit the Champagne region? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!