The Champagne wine region in northeast France, famous for its rolling vineyards and quaint towns, is home to the world’s most famous sparkling wine. The region starts less than a two-hour drive from Paris, and the best way to get around is and get the most out of your trip is by hiring a car.
Planting grape vines in the chalky hills of Champagne goes back to the Roman days in the 5th century. Following the endorsement of King Hugh Capet and Pope Urban II, Champagne maintained its popularity amongst the French nobility. So for a taste of the real thing, and the process of its making, take a flight from London to Reims where you can begin your trip by hiring a car with a debit card through us.
What to See in Reims
The cathedral, a major tourist destination, receives about one million visitors annually. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991. With a west facade that welcomes royalty and three west portals aimed back in the day to bring to faith the illiterate masses, the north transept presents some magnificent sculpture with flying buttresses supporting the walls. The choir is particularly impressive with a small organ replacing the previously destroyed original.
Elsewhere in Reims, you will find the Porte de Mars, dating back to the 3rd century with its decorative magnificence. For a mix of Romanesque and early Gothic architecture, there is Basilique St Rémi, a Benedictine abbey church. And for culture vultures the Musée des Beaux-Arts contains portraits by Cranachs and landscapes by Corot.
On to Moet Et Chandon
Moet et Chandon is only 25kms from Reims. If you have had enough of culture vulture stuff there is ample opportunity to quaff a serving of champagne at Moet et Chandon. This is an opportunity of a lifetime to see the cycle from vine to glass in this hugely important heritage site.
Learn the secrets of the second fermentation and be decadent and proud of it (after designating a dry driver of course). Other champagnes are available of course: including Mumm, Pommery, Joseph Perrier and Tassinger.
Langres – The Land of Springs
Just over 200kms onwards south from Moet et Chandon, Langres boasts to be the land of springs with waters that revive life and reinvigorate (you may need this after your Champagne indulgence!). On top of this, there are panoramic views across the Marne Valley, Langres plateau, the Vosges and even, on a clear day, Mont Blanc itself. In the summer season Langres also boasts of historical re-enactments, theatre and firework displays.
Finishing up in Troyes & Sedan
Troyes is appropriately shaped like a champagne cork (a must have for this road trip) and boasts gorgeous Gothic churches and 16th houses half made of timber.
Sedan’s main feature is the largest fortified castle in Europe with a vivid history all of its own. It has survived the defeat of Napoleon in the Franco-Prussian war as well as the 1940 Nazi invasion.
After this, you can drive back to Reims and catch a flight home, or drive onwards through France to your heart’s content! We at Debit Card Car Hire offer car hire in France without a credit card at numerous locations across the country. If you’re flying in or out from a location other than Reims, take a look at where you can hire a car with a debit card in France.
La Rochelle Airport