Champagne (Paris - Reims - Paris)
When you think of champagne you can hear the sparkling. But did you know it is a beautiful and easy cycling trip from Paris to Reims? You cycle through rural countryside via the region of Meaux famous for its Brie cheese, into the vineyards of the Champagne Region. At Epernay you cross the centre of the Champagne industry. After Reims the landscape is lightly sloping to Compiègne and Auvers sur l'Oise, where Vincent van Gogh lived and painted the last months of his life. Visit of the cemetery where Vincent and his brother Theo are buried.
Character of the tour
The tour along the Marne leads to Epernay and Reims while crossing the steeper slopes that suit the moderate biker. The tour from Reims to Auvers and back to Paris is easy to do for all cyclists. Daily average of the whole tour 45 Km or 4 hrs by bike.
This is a two week tour, of which you can join the Feniks for one week. You can hop on or off the Feniks in Reims, thus do the first or the second part of the whole tour.
Day 1 Saturday, Paris Arrival at the barge, cruise on the Seine upstream to the confluence of the rivers Seine and Marne.
Day 2 Sunday, Paris – Lagny leave Paris near the Bois and chateau of Vincennes.
Day 3 Monday, Lagny - Meaux - La Ferté sous Jouarre. The region of Brie today, famous around the world for its soft cheese. We ride into Meaux, with its unfinished Gothic cathedral.
Day 4 Tuesday, La Ferté sous Jouarre - Chateau Thierry. Countryside with some hills. First vineyards of the Champagne-region.Visit Chateau Thierry.
Day 5 Wednesday, Chateau Thierry – Dormans A ride along the river today with a few hills. Visit to park and memorial World War I.
Day 6 Thursday, Dormans – Isse. Through Champagne vineyards to Epernay, the center of the Champagne industry, and visit one of the many Champagne houses for a guided tour in the cellars.
Day 7 Friday, Isse – Reims. To the ancient town of Reims. Until 1825 the coronation of all kings took place in the cathedral of Reims.
Day 8 Saturday, Reims. Tour ends after breakfast for guests leaving. The others can visit the town. Afternoon bike ride.
Reims to Paris
Day 1 Saturday, Reims - Courcy. New guests arrive. Leaving Reims in the afternoon to the mooring place in or near Courcy, a little village not far from Reims.
Day 2 Sunday, Courcy – Bourg et Comin. Area with vineyards northwest of Reims. Passing picturesque villages and sloping hills covered with vines we gradually leave the Champagne region.
Day 3 Monday, Bourg et Comin - Soissons. Bourg-et-Comin into the Aisne valley, quiet country roads, hardly hills on our ride near the river Aisne and then to Soissons, a historic town with medieval church and abbey ruins.
Day 4 Tuesday, Soissons – Verberie. Visit of Pierrefonds, cosy town with an impressive castle. Through forest of Compiègne to historic site of Clairière de l'Armistice, used for the armistice signing ceremonies in 1918 and 1940. Then Compiègne, where Louis XVI and Napoleon Bonaparte used the palace as a summer residence. Joan of Arc was captured here before turned over to the English.
Day 5 Wednesday, Verberie - Creil - Pontoise. To Chantilly, center for horseracing or visit of the Chantilly castle. Then to Auvers sur Oise. Walk in the village in which the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh lived the last few, but very productive months of his life and where you will find many of the scenes he painted, as well as his grave.
Day 6 Thursday, Pontoise – Bougival. From Pontoise along the river past several spots which inspired many 19th century painters. Continue to St Germain-en-Laye (beautiful view over Paris) to Bougival. Possible visit to the lovely chateau and park of Malmaison, residence of Napoleon and Joshephine.
Day 7 Friday, Bougival - Paris. Visit to the park of Versailles. Beautiful river cruise along the Eiffel Tower, Musée d’Orsay, the Louvre museum and the Notre Dame, before entering the Port de l’Arsenal.
Day 8 Saturday, Tour ends in Paris after breakfast.