Must-See Attractions in Champagne

The Champagne region is a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts, history buffs, and lovers of picturesque landscapes. Here are the essential highlights not to miss during your visit to Champagne.

1. Mareuil-sur-Aÿ: The Heart of Champagne

Mareuil-sur-Aÿ is a charming wine village offering an authentic Champagne experience.

  • The Gruguet Statue: Erected in 1946, this statue commemorates the promise made to the Virgin Mary during World War II and offers panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards.
  • The Port of Mareuil: An ideal spot for a peaceful walk along the Marne Canal, where you can observe pleasure boats and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.
  • Walks in the Vineyards: Explore the trails through the vineyards for a full immersion in the natural beauty and serenity of the region.
Le clos des Goisses - Philipponnat
Hautvillers

2. Hautvillers: The Birthplace of Champagne

Hautvillers is often considered the birthplace of champagne, thanks to Dom Pérignon, the monk who perfected the champagne method. As you stroll through this picturesque village, you will discover:

  • The Abbey of Saint-Pierre d’Hautvillers: It is here that Dom Pérignon lived and worked. The abbey is steeped in history and offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding vineyards.
  • Wrought Iron Signs: The village is dotted with charming wrought iron signs, each representing the craft or trade of a former resident.
  • Panoramic Views: Enjoy magnificent views of the vineyards from the heights of the village.

3. The Avenue de Champagne in Épernay

The Avenue de Champagne in Épernay is often described as the most expensive avenue in the world, not for its luxury boutiques, but for the millions of bottles of champagne resting in the underground cellars.

  • The Great Champagne Houses: Visit famous houses like Moët & Chandon, Perrier-Jouët, and Pol Roger. Many offer guided tours of their cellars and tastings.
  • Elegant Architecture: Admire the magnificent mansions and buildings lining the avenue, built by champagne trading families.
Avenue de Champagne Epernay
shutterstock 2258450153

4. The Cathedral of Reims

The Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is here that most of the kings of France were crowned.

  • The Stained Glass Windows: The cathedral’s stained glass windows, some designed by Marc Chagall, are exceptionally beautiful.
  • The Smiling Angel: One of the cathedral’s most famous sculptures, symbolizing the city of Reims.
  • Royal History: Discover the history of the coronations of the kings of France and the role of the cathedral in French history.

5. The Vineyards of the Côte des Blancs

The Côte des Blancs is renowned for its Chardonnay vineyards, which produce some of the finest and most elegant champagnes.

  • Grand Cru Villages: Visit renowned villages such as Avize, Cramant, and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, where you can taste exceptional champagnes.
  • Scenic Vineyards: Stroll through the vineyards and discover the picturesque landscapes of the region, with its gentle slopes and chalky soils.

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Vignoble cote des blancs au sud de Epernay
Vignoble Montagne de Reims

6. The Vineyards of the Montagne de Reims

The Montagne de Reims is another key wine region, known for its robust and complex Pinot Noir.

  • Forests and Vineyards: Explore the unique combination of dense forests and well-tended vineyards that characterize this region.
  • Typical Villages: Discover villages such as Verzy, Verzenay, and Ambonnay, famous for their Grand Cru champagnes.
  • The Montagne de Reims Regional Natural Park: Enjoy the hiking trails and bike paths through this natural park, offering stunning views of the vineyards.

7. The Vineyards of the Vallée de la Marne

The Vallée de la Marne is known for its Pinot Meunier vines and offers numerous historical attractions.

  • The Statue of Pope Urban II in Châtillon-sur-Marne: This imposing statue of Pope Urban II, a native of the region, overlooks the valley and offers spectacular views of the surrounding vineyards.
  • The Château de Boursault: This magnificent 19th-century castle, built by Veuve Clicquot, is surrounded by vineyards and offers a fascinating tour of the history and production of champagne.
Vignoble vallée de la Marne

Conclusion

Champagne offers an unforgettable experience with its stunning landscapes, renowned wines, and rich historical heritage. Whether you are a wine lover or simply in search of beauty and culture, these must-see attractions in the Champagne region will captivate you. Enjoy every moment and be enchanted by the unique charm of this exceptional wine region.

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