Your suggested itinerary in Champagne
Visit the EXPO Restaurant Le Cordon Bleu
- GETTING THERE:
Major cities-Reims, Epernay, Charleville-Mézières, Chalons-sur-Marne,
Chaumont, and Troyes-are accessible by train and by
autoroute or majop national roads. From Paris the A4 leads to Reims and
Chalons; the A26 continues to Troyes, the A5 goes on toward
The Champagne-Ardenne's climate is as variable as its terrain.
Winters tend to be cold, crisp and clear; summers are warm and
- SPORTS & LEISURE:
The region is laced with 450 miles of navigable waterways.
Houseboats can be rented in Reims, Sedan and Charleville-Mézières
at a cost of about 8000 FF a week for 4 to 6 people. The lakes of
Der-Chantecoq, du Temple and d'Orient provide boating, sailing,
swimming and fishing, and the regional forests are known for hunting
For the past few years the Regional Tourism Committee has made both
funds and an architect available for hotels to upgrade the quality of
their lodgings. Dozens of establishments have taken advantage of the
grants, with the result that accommodations in the region are
exceedingly comfortable. Many private châteaux now receive visitors, as do the
more modest homes offering chambres d'hôtes.
- FOOD & WINE:
Regional cuisine ranges from opulent, Champagne-based recipes to the
more rustic, and some say just as tasty, tripe sausage of Troyes.
Jambon des Ardennes is an exceptionally fine ham cured with juniper smoke.
Regional cheeses include the creamy Chaource, Langres and Rocroi.
- TOURS & VISITS:
Champagne-Ardenne has established various routes that allow the
visitor to seek out off-the-beaten-path attractions of special interest.
Among the six routes in the Ardenne is the Route des Fortifications. Two
circuits for those interested in Champagne-making: the Route
Touristique du Champagne, from Reims to Villenauxe-la-Grande via Epernay, and
the Route du Champagne dans l'Aube through the southernmost part of the
Most big Champagne houses in Reims, Epernay and along the Champagne
Route offer guided tours and tastings, almost always for a fee. To
arrange tastings it is best to telephone ahead.
- SPECIAL EVENTS:
Reims sponsors 120 free concerts during July and August, through the
Yehudi Menuhin Foundation. From July through September, sound-and-light shows
at Reims Cathedral, and in October a month-long rock
Mouzon has an Easter Passion Play. Epernay's annual carnival and
flower market is in May. Early October brings a choral festival in Troyes
and, every third year, the International Marionette Festival in
Charleville-Mézières (it's this year, Sept. 23 - Oct. 2, 1994);
and mid-October the food and cheese fair in Chaource.
- MAJOR SIGHTS:
Troyes has more 16th-century half-timbered houses than any other city
in Europe, a wealth of churches with superb stained glass and the
Modern Art Museum. In Epernay, the Avenue de Champagne. In Charleville-Mézières,
the 16th-century old town with the slate-roofed Place Ducal,
and the huge marionette clock next to the International Marionette
School. The new laser-guided train tour in Citadelle which brings war
history to life. In Reims, the Cathedral, the Basilica and Museum of St-Remi,
the Palais du Tau and the Art Deco buildings. Sedan, with the
largest château-fortress in Europe. And in l'Epine the Basilica of