a VirtualTourist member
While on a trip to Paris, my wife and I wish to make a one day's trip to see the wine county. Can anyone suggest how we can go to a nearby area by train, visit one / two vineyards and be back the same day. From the internet, it seems one can go to Rheims / Epernay for the purpose. Please suggest train connections etc and how to get around from the railway station (s). The idea is to not get into a 'tourist' trip (trap?), but to experience the French countryside and way of life as well. Thats why we plan to do it by ourselves. Thanks in advance for your help.
Of course Reims and Epernay are centre of the the champagne region, along with Ludès. Trains to Reims start at at about 7h15 in the morning and costs between 15€ and 34€ pp depending on the train you take. The trains from Epernay start just after 6h00 and cost around 24/25€ pp. These prices are for one way tickets. Both towns are serviced from Paris-Gare de l'Est.
Here is the link in English for the cellars that do tours.
You would need to hire a car to get out to the vineyards or take one of the tours offered by the Tourist Offices in either town. One day is going to be a little short to experience the French way of life, I've been here 42 years and I'm still doing it.
You can find train times, details and fares in French on the official Frech railway website
If you choose the English version it will take you to Raileurope, a ticketing agency which does not list all departures and charges admin fees.
Or you can find just times and details in English on the reliable
which carries data for almost all European trains.
If your trip is several months ahead you may not find the data for your specific dates. Just look at the same day of (assuming it's this year!).
Your one day trip to Champagne will of course be a precursor to a longer visit in the future. I agree that Epernay is probably the more convenient town to visit and there are details on getting there supplied by posters above. Once you get out of the train, there is a 400 metre walk to the start of the Avenue du Champagne. The Avenue has quite a few of the major Champagne Houses strung along about one kilometre of its length. So walking is possible. Taxi from station if you think 1 km too far.
The tourist office is located close to the start of the Ave. on northern side of the street.
Moet and Chandon is probably the closest big name house to the railway end of the Ave. If you have mobility problems, I suggest Mercier (details on an Epernay Intro page : [original VT link] ) This has links to a couple of tips which may be usefull. also to pedro's take on the region on an Intro page -Champagne/Ardenne. Enjoy visiting the region. bubbles speak all languages!
Yes Pedro, but the OP wants to visit a couple of vineyards, not just the Champagne houses tourist shops along Main Street.
Paul, I understood the question & you are right. Ever the pessimist, I figured that the day trip did not allow the OP's major objectives to be economically fulfilled in such a short time.
Here is my alternative Plan. Do it yourself = car! Have a hire car pre-booked. Pick up at station Epernay on a day suitable for making visits to Champagne Houses (non public holiday). Drive 4.5 kms north to Cumieres on the Marne. Visit Vadin Plateau (130 Rue de la Coopérative, 51480 Cumières, France +33 9 75 74 87 86 - champagne-et-croisiere.com). House is eastern side of town on the D1. approx Lat & Long: 49º04'22.70"N - 03º55'53.50"E. Have always been made welcome there and there are vines in the back yard. If Monsieur is present he may give the full run down on the method traditional. There are other small houses in the township if more visiting is required.
From VP continue 4.5 kms north east from Cumieres up the hill to Hautvillers. There is a wonderful view of the surrounding region from there. It has history: Dom Pérignon was cellarmaster of the Abbey there from 1668 to 1715. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dom_P%....
Drive back into Epernay via a different route. Photograph the vineyard "head-stones" along the way...they indicate the names of major houses using grapes from vines they mark. At the right time of year, a photo opportunity of red roses blooming at the end of rows of vines may present itself.
Lunch at Café / Tarbac /Brasserie Le Khédive in place Auban-Moët (350 metres west of roundabout at start of Ave de Champagne). Check out the other customers. Buy a Lotto ticket! (There's a bit of local culture for visitors).
Take a visit to one of the major houses on AveChamp. Despite the "touristy" nature of such a visit, the experience is very worthwhile!! You get to taste some more wine. Drop car at station and head back to Paris.
Well done Pedro, good round trip. I agree a day out will not allow for a lot.