Tourist information on Champagne Ardenne region in France
The Champagne Ardenne region has a very varied landscape and offers plenty of tourist attractions and places to visit along with activities to enjoy, yet it is probably most famous for the production of Champagne, often said to be the wine of kings, and therefore this region is an absolute must to visit for any wine connoisseur, but also offers so much more for a family camping holiday in France.
About the Champagne Ardenne Region
Lying to the East of Paris and the Ile de France region, the Champagne-Ardenne is one of the historic provinces with a rich history and the city of Reims, which was the original capital of this region, is also home to a beautiful Gothic cathedral where well over 20 Kings of France have been crowned.
Unfortunately because this area is in a strategic location , this region has often been invaded in the past, as it is bordered by Belgium in the North, the Lorraine region to the East, the Franche-Comte and Burgundy regions to the South and by Paris and the Picardy region to the west. And as a consequence it has suffered great damage over the years, but luckily many fabulous buildings such as a Romanesque basilica still remain for all to enjoy today.
You will also find lovely half-timbered houses and the old fortified town of Troyes, plus historical leaders like Joan of Arc are embedded within the history of the Champagne-Ardenne region and General de Gaulle is buried here.
Today, it is the city of Chalons that is the capital of the Champagne-Ardenne region, even though Reims was the original historical capital, which is far larger and much more well known, especially since it still has the fully restored cathedral standing proud and is home to some of the major champagne producers, with lots of different wine cellars and wine tasting visits being organised.
But this is one of the regions that will delight young or old, with the deep forests for the hiking, nature trails and sporting activities, through to the plains that are home to the grapes for wine and champagne. Yet for an even more fun packed family camping holiday in France, there are approximately 600km of waterways, lakes and streams that are ideal for boating excursions, fishing, and lots of different water sports including jet skiing, sailing, canoeing and much more.
Some of the tourist attractions and places to visit in Champagne Ardenne region
Even though this region is not one of the popular destinations for a family camping holiday in France, there are so many wonderful places to visit in Champagne-Ardenne. Take Langres, for instance, that is an ancient fortified town with over 3km of ramparts, its towers and stone buildings, which is often referred to as the Carcassonne of the North, but far less touristy.
There is also a French campsite in Langres that has numerous activities and right near to a leisure lake called Le Camping du Lac de la Liez, so you will definitely not get bored here!
Then you have the city of Reims, that we have already mentioned, with its fabulous cathedral where numerous kings were crowned and in fact it is the only cathedral to have angels with wings! You could also visit the Palais du Tau where the celebration banquets were held. Plus there is the Romanesque Basilica built in the 11th century and houses the tomb of the bishop who baptised Clovis, along with a great French museum called the Musee Abbaye Saint-Remi that goes through the history of Reims right up to World War II and includes archaeology, military history, the history of the abbey and much more.
What about the city of Troyes that has a very historic centre that is ideal for walking around, admiring the narrow streets, half-timbered houses, the listed churches and its mansions, plus there are numerous museums to visit as well. Yet, this city has also been known for its textile industry that dates back to the Middle Ages and is known as the capital of factory shopping, so you will definitely be able to pick up a few nice things here as a reminder of your holiday in France.
There are also lots of other fortified churches, an old 15th century castle that is one of the largest fortresses in Europe and mansions to visit along with museums, ruins, as well as the village of Colombey les Deux Eglises where General de Gaulle is buried, making this region great for those of you that are into history and want more of a cultural experience.
Yet, we cannot forget about the product that has made the region’s name so well known all over the world. Yes, of course, it is champagne. And Reims is probably the most well known place to visit wine cellars and enjoy tasting the bubbly, but in fact, Epernay, that is a small town not far from Reims, is technically the Champagne capital and one of the French municipal campsites that is in an ideal location for experiencing this town is called Camping Municipal d’Epernay.
You will find that the town of Epernay is surrounded by vineyards on the rolling hills and is the home to the most famous of all champagne producers, Moet & Chandon along with others like Perrier-Jouet, so a camping holiday in Champagne Ardenne would not be complete without experiencing one of the wine tasting tours or one of the champagne houses that are available in Epernay.
Also, hiking and cycling are very popular past-times in the Champagne Ardenne region, with the rolling hills, countryside, its forests and National Park, and it is home to the largest reservoir in Europe, which is a bird watchers paradise that plays host to the migration of cranes and other water birds every year.
Plus due to the amount of waterways, rivers, canals and lakes with 100s of navigate-able routes, it is no wonder that fishing and boating are very popular in this region, which means it is easy for you to rent a boat or take a trip on barge, etc. In addition, you can also enjoy leisure lakes with water sports such as wind surfing, sailing and jet-skiing. But there are lots of other activities to keep everyone occupied on a family camping holiday in France.
One such place is the Der-Chantecoq Lake, which is somewhere you can go kayaking, water skiing, swimming, laze on one of the six sandy beaches or perhaps go rollerblading along the banks, plus there are observation points and discovery trails around the lake as well.
There are also three harbours for yachting and sailing, or even speed boating if you fancy more of a thrill, and for something completely different you could enjoy horse riding along some of the dedicated paths.
But lets not forget about children of all ages or those of us that never really grow up! For fun and excitement there is a theme park called Nigloland that offers rides and entertainment for all the family in a natural wooded setting that is nestled between two valleys. So thrill seekers through to young children will not be disappointed with the rides on offer, and along with having a lovely atmosphere, it never seems to get really crowded, yet will be a day to remember whilst on your family holiday in Champagne Ardenne.