Previously the domain of self-drive holidaymakers, the recent arrival of the TGV Est high-speed line connecting the Champagne region with the French capital in under an hour makes it an excellent short break destination. Whether you wish to base yourself in the fortified town of Epernay or the ancient city of Reims, or in a fine country house hotel amongst the vineyards, it is the perfect place for a special occasion and a glass or two of bubbly! Epernay Although founded in the 5th century, the town of Epernay has really flourished since the techniques of Champagne production were mastered in the 18th century. Beneath the elegant streets are 100 kilometres of subterranean cellars and walkways; guided tours including tastings are a must for anyone staying in the region. Epernay is 30 minutes by train from Reims and one hour 15 minutes from Paris. Reims Just 45 minutes by train from Paris, Reims is the gateway to the Champagne region. A fascinating and historic city, visitors can explore the magnificent cathedral (which has held over 30 coronations), the Musée des Beaux Arts, the Palace of Tau and les grand marques and the elegant champagne-producing houses that line the main streets. Recommended Excursions in Champagne Prices include English-speaking driver/guide, entrance fees, wine tasting sessions and lunch. Small group tours from £203 per person, private tours from £461 per person, based on 2 people sharing. Épernay and Champagne (Full Day Tour) The Route du Champagne meanders through the Marne valley passing the vines in famous towns and estates such as Cumières and Hautvillers, where you will visit the tomb of Dom Pérignon, the father of the world’s most famous sparkling wine. Épernay has become the region’s heartland, with the Avenue du Champagne showcasing many of the famous houses, such as Moët & Chandon, Perrier-Jouet and Mercier, one of which you will visit to sample the latest production. Leaving Épernay you will taste a range of local champagnes and culinary delicacies in a boutique winery and a family estate. Reims and Champagne (Full Day Tour) The former regional capital, Reims, with its magnificent cathedrals, was known as the city of coronation. Now better known for its effervescent drink, a visit to Reims must include one of the great Champagne houses: Veuve-Cliquot, Pommery or Mumm, where you will learn about the unique methods of production. Heading into the Marne Valley you will visit a vineyard and local estate for a delicious lunch and further tasting sessions. Champagne and Reims - Five Night Kirker Cultural Tours Our Cultural Tours programme will appeal to clients who enjoy travelling with like-minded companions. Our three night tour to the Champagne region is based in Reims and led by wine-expert Tim Clarke. We visit the caves of prestigious marques including Bollinger and Taittinger, as well as smaller growers and producers where we will enjoy behind-the-scenes tours and exclusive tastings. Departs 8 December 2024, price from £2,425 per person. For further details or to request a copy of our Cultural Tours & Music Holidays brochure, call 020 7593 2284.

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