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Champagne, Epernay – Paris

Vineyards and cheesefarms

Epernay
Paris Charles de Gaulle

  • Start
  • Finish

Paris
Paris Charles de Gaulle

Thinking about champagne you can already hear the sparkling. Perhaps you never thought of combining a visit to this region with a bike and barge trip but here it is, a bike and barge tour from Epernay, the true capital of the Champagne region to Paris.

At the starting point, Epernay you are in the middle of the Champagne industry and can start your tour with the tasting of various sparkling wines. After the Champagne region follows the rural countryside of the Meaux region, famous for its Brie cheeses. You pass through country fought over heavily in WW1 and you will visit several monuments commemorating the men that fought here over 100 years ago. You ride into Paris via the Marne and its parallel, the Marne-Rhine canal. A very French tour centered around good wine and good cheese!

  • Type of tour Guided
  • Level 1
  • Duration 8
  • Distance 45
  • Champagne tasting in Epernay
  • Meaux region for Brie cheese
  • WW1 monuments at Château-Thierry and Dormans
  • Paris!

Daily Program

1 km = 0,62 miles
Day 1

Saturday: Epernay, embarkation

Arrival between 12 and 2 p.m. at the mooring place of the Clair de Lune near center of Epernay. In the evening the guide can take you on a guided city walk. Epernay is with Reims the major wine center of the Champagne region. Epernay has many town houses dating in neo-renaissance style or classical style dating from the 19th century, especially around the beautiful Avenue the Champagne where prestigious champagne houses, such as Moët & Chandon and Mercier, are situated.

Day 2

Sunday: Epernay, roundtrip

25KM

On this first cycling day we have not made it too hard for you in distance At first you ride along the quiet canal parallel to the Marne river to Ay and Mareuil-sur-Ay. After that you ride via the village of Dizy to reach Hautvillers. A bit of a challenging ascent brings you to this picturesque village. Hautvilliers on the southern slopes of the Montagne de Reims is the place where champagne was in fact invented. You will visit the chapel with the tomb of the monk Dom Pérignon (1638-1715). Dom Pérignon pioneered several techniques, and was the first to blend grapes to improve wines and make them of a better quality. Double fermentation, characteristic for the making of champagne, was introduced also by him. Upon you return you can take your time to visit the center of Epernay. Why not enjoy a Champagne tasting and take a tour in one of the major Champagne houses

Day 3

Monday: Epernay – Dormans - Château-Thierry

45KM

In the morning the first ride is to the Château de Boursault, a large castle built in 1848 by the widow of Mr. Cliquot, who gave her name (“Veuve Cliquot”) to a famous Champagne wine. A ride up the hill to the village of Châtillon-sur-Marne rewards you with a stunning panorama over the Marne valley and the Champagne vineyards. From here it is mostly downhill to Dormans, a quiet village on the Marne with a castle and chapel in memory of the battles of the Marne in WW1. In Domans the Clair de Lune is waiting for us and we sail downstream to Château-Thierry. This nice little town was the site of two important battles: the Battle of 1814 in the Napoleonic Wars and the Battle of 1918 at the end of World War I.

Day 4

Tuesday: Château-Thierry - La Ferté-sous-Jouarre

50KM

A long and somewhat challenging ride today from Château-Thierry to La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre. At first the cycling track leads you to the large WW1 American War Cemetery and Monument near Belleau. Later on you ride along the little stream Clignon. Still riding uphill you finally reach the plateau above the northern part of the Marne valley. This is an area with woods in the valleys and fields with wheat and other crops on the hills. Going down you will take a side valley and follow country roads through various small villages until you reach the Marne and eventually the charming village of La Ferte?-sous-Jouarre. Jouarre, is a center of Brie making and you will be able to find a place where you can enjoy a the tasting of the famous Brie de Meaux and Brie noir cheeses.

Day 5

Wednesday: La Ferte?-sous-Jouarre - Meaux

40KM

After breakfast you hop on your bikes and will have to climb a few challenging hills, leaving the valley in the direction of Meaux. In the afternoon you stay in the valley of the river with a ride through Lizy-sur-Ourcq and Trilport. Today’s destination is the city of Meaux, famous for its “Brie de Meaux” cheeses and the magnificent Cathedral St.-Etienne.

Day 6

Thursday: Meaux - Lagny-sur-Marne

45KM

From Meaux you will first follow the small Canal de l’Ourq and the road will be mostly flat. The next part of the day is quite hilly, because you have to leave the valley of the Marne. Later on you again ride down to the river and follow the Marne river and its parallel canal to Lagny-sur-Marne.

Day 7

Friday: Lagny-sur-Marne - Paris

35KM

This last cycling day takes you along the banks of the Marne until you reach the canal de l’Ourcq. This canal was built by order of Emperor Napoleon and provided the city of Paris with water. It also played an important role in the transportation of goods to and from Paris. A separate bike path along the canal takes to the mooring spot of the Clair de Lune in the Basin de la Vilette or the Bassin de l’ Arsenal in the center of Paris.

Day 8

Saturday: Paris, departure

After breakfast: debarkation before 10 AM

Travel Dates

Date Availability Departure Accomodation Category  
8/1/2020 - 8/8/2020 Fully Booked Epernay Clair de Lune Comfort Plus

Tour prices

Accommodation Room Price Children 0-2 years Children 3-11 years
Prices are per cabin 0 0
Clair de Lune Split level bed cabin € 2058,- 0 0
Clair de Lune Double bed cabin € 2058,- 0 0
Clair de Lune Single cabin € 1190,- 0 0

Rent a bike

Image Name Type Price per week
Hybrid bicycle, 24-gears Hybrid bicycle, 24-gears Batavus Boulevard, incl. bike helmet €92.50
Electric bicycle, unisex Electric bicycle, unisex Batavus, step-through bicycle incl. bike helmet €175
Cycletours bicycle insurance Cycletours bicycle insurance No own-risk €20
Cycletours bicycle insurance E-bike Cycletours bicycle insurance E-bike No own-risk €40

Included

  • All nights on board
  • Breakfast and dinner on board
  • Lunch packages when on the road
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide cycles with group
  • Route information
  • Ferry fares on the route
  • Bike helmet

Not included

  • Reservation fee of € 20,- per booking
  • Bicycle rent
  • Bicycle insurance (optional) € 15,- per bicycle
  • Bicycle insurance electric bike (optional) € 40,- per bicycle
  • (non) alcoholic beverages aboard and ashore
  • Personal and cancellation insurance (optional)
  • Entrance fees

Special details

  • Please take good notice of our Terms & Conditions.
  • If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best  to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.
  • Cycletours Holidays reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure.
  • The program is subject to change without notice.

Arrival info

You are expected at the barge on Saturday afternoon, between 12.00 AM and 14.00 PM. You can bring your luggage earlier to the barge, but not
before 11.00 AM. We are busy cleaning the barge, but we can provide you with suggestions to have a nice walk into town.

The mooring place of the barge in Epernay is near the city center.

Airport

The nearest airport to the embarkation point of the barge is Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG). From the airport you can take a train to Epernay. You have to change trains in Reims (TGV station Champagne/Ardennes) and the travel time is about 2,5 hours.

Train

The nearest train station to the embarkation point of the barge is the station of Epernay, about 1,5 km away. From there you can take a taxi to the embarkation spot or you can walk.

Car

Should you arrive by car, we strongly advise to arrive earlier to unload your luggage. More information on parking in Epernay: https://www.epernay.fr/article/les-parkings-depernay

End of the tour

The tour ends one week later in Paris on Saturday morning after breakfast at 10 AM. You will spend the night from Friday to Saturday on board in Paris. The mooring place of the barge in Paris: Bassin La Vilette or Bassin de l’ Arsenal.

Our ship, your hotel

Imagine a floating hotel sailing to the next stage, while you are calmly pedaling along. No lugging of luggage: that is exactly what Bike & Barge is all about! In the pleasant atmosphere on board you can have a chat, go through the day with the others, and enjoy the meals prepared specially for cyclists. In the evenings you can enjoy a drink in the salon or admire the setting sun on deck. Do not expect a cruise ship with its passive luxury. The Bike & Barge Holidays are for people who really enjoy the physical activity of cycling and who value sociability more than wholesale luxury. Free WiFi is (limited and subject to availability of connections) available in lounge and on deck.

What are the cabins like?

Your barge has can hold a maximum of 17 passengers and has 9 cabins. 3 with a 2-persons bed, 5 with a split level bed and 1 with a single bed. All cabins have their own private shower, toilet & sink, 220 voltage, central heating and air-conditioning. There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed.

The team, hospitality comes first

The captain/skipper, the chef and your tour guide all welcome you warmly. They are prepared specifically for these trips and will provide good and safe passage, good meals, and a friendly, pleasant atmosphere. They will, of course, also give you a great deal of interesting information during and after the cycling and sailing.
The skipper is responsible for the smooth running of things on board; the cook is in charge of the catering. A tour leader accompanies you during the bike ride and can assist in case of breakdowns. He/She will be your guide to point out the things of interest along the way and is multi-lingual (Dutch/English/French, some speak German and/or Spanish).

The meals

Your chef is used to cook delicious meals for hungry cyclists. Besides an extensive breakfast, you will also be offered a packed lunch for on the road. It consists of different types of bread and sandwich fillings, juice, a snack and a piece of fruit. Lunch package needs to be prepared by yourself after breakfast. Dinner is different every day. There is a first course, main course and dessert The meals on board are included in the price, as are coffee and tea. Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks can be obtained at a reasonable charge. When you return on board after the day’s cycling, a cup of tea or coffee with a biscuit will be waiting for you.
If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.

You and the group, new friends from around the world!

One of the most attractive aspects of the Bike & Barge holidays is that you encounter an international company on board, including people from e.g. USA, Canada, Australia, France and United Kingdom. It’s a great opportunity for you to get to know various cultures at the same time! We have people of all ages, solo travelers, couples and also families with children (during the school holidays).

The most beautiful cycling routes

Our carefully selected routes will lead you along the most beautiful spots of the country. The average daily distance is around 40/45 kilometers. Most participants prefer riding in a group with the cycling guide, but you can also ride individually. A road book is included (1x per cabin). Bike maps can be purchased when booking and will be handed over to you on board.

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Frequently asked questions

  • Can I bring along my own bicycle?

    Yes, you may. On most tours this has no bearing on the total cost of the trip, however, please mention this at time of booking. Sometimes an additional charge may be requested for the bicycle when transferring from one place to another.

  • Can you choose your own itinerary without a guide?

    Cyclists can choose a longer route than the group takes. The guide will gladly advise you on the choice of an alternative route.

  • Can you rejoin the barge before the end of a stage?

    No, the ship doesn’t take the same route that the cyclists do. Sometimes the route may be altered because of weather conditions or repairs to bridges or locks and then the guests and the guide can arrange with the skipper to be met at a different place. Naturally you can always stay on board for one or more days.

  • Does a guide accompany us?

    On our guided tours a tour guide will accompany the group during their cycling route.

    When mentioned ‘self-guided’, the tours are on an individual basis and no guides are provided. We will provide you with a thoroughly detailed and comprehensive description of the routes, enabling you to follow the route correctly without problems. Furthermore, these route descriptions are frequently accompanied with information on the main tourist attractions that you will come across.

  • Which countries do the participants come from?

    The main countries represented by our cycling guests are: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and France. However we regularly welcome South Africans and Japanese guests.

    The common language on board is English.

  • What languages do the guides speak?

    All tour guides speak English. Some of the the tour guides speak German and/ or French. We also have a few guides who speak Spanish and/or Italian. We try to match the guide’s linguistic abilities with the nationalities in the group.
    The common language on board is English.

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