• Bike and Barge
    Tour info
  • Itinerary summary

8 Days

Champaign District & river Marne

Bike and Barge tour

 

A cycle tour through hilly terrain and all kinds of mostly quiet roads sometimes also including traffic

Thus a tour for experienced bike riders with a good physical condition. distances are limited to maximum of 31 miles per day but mostly shorter. There is lots of time to visit the little villages, places of interest and other attractions your guide has to offer.

Heighlights's

  • The river Marne beautifull scenery
  • Champaign and wineries
  • The sculpture garden of Duyns
  • Brie the Meaux
  • Castles ,Cathedrals and medieval towns and villages

Total cycle mileage appr. 135

Average daily mileage appr. 22

 

        The tour  

                                                                                                 

You will cycle through hilly terrain and all kinds of mostly quiet roads sometimes also including  traffic. Thus a tour for experienced bike riders with a good physical condition. Distances are limited to a maximum of 31 miles per day but mostly shorter and there is lots of time to visit the little villages, places of interest and other attractions we will encounter on this tour. However this does not mean you have to be able to ride the tour de France.


Epernay  Sunday 6 miles    

                                                                               
Arrival on board the Elodie where the crew will welcome you with a nice cup of coffee or tea. Introduction to the crew, explanation of the rules on board, information on the program. After the introduction we will make a short bike tour. Now you can get comfortable with your bike and make the necessary adjustments.


Epernay round tour Monday 16 miles


The bike tour takes you along the quiet canal parallel to the Marne river to Ay and Mareuil-sur-Ay. Return via Dizy to visit Hautvillers. After a somewhat challenging first ascent of the slopes and through the vineyards  you will reach this picturesque village of Champagne wine growers on the southern slopes of the Montagne de Reims. Highlight is a visit of the chapel with the tomb of the monk Dom Pérignon.  According to tradition, Dom Pérignon (1638-1715), who was in charge of the wine cellars of the abbey of Benedictine monks, was the first to succeed in blending various kinds of wine into a wine of superb quality. Double fermentation, characteristic for the making of champagne, was introduced also by him. Return cycling to Epernay. After lunch, visit the center of Epernay. Together with Reims, Epernay is the major wine center of the Champagne region, where three extensive wine regions meet: the Montagne the Reims, the Côte des Blancs and the Vallée de la Marne. 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 are situated. Champagne tasting and tour in a Champagne house on the famous Avenue de Champagne.

 

Epernay - ( Dormans ) Château Thierry  Tuesday 19-35 miles


Start the first full day cycling tour along the canal and Marne river. We will see 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 northern valley slope to the village of Châtillon-sur-Marne rewards the cyclist with a stunning panoramic view over the Marne valley and the Champagne vineyards. Today we will leave the official Champagne area. Cycle along the Marne river (or cruise) to Dormans, a quiet village on the Marne with a castle and chapel in memory of the battle of the Marne. During World War I this area was the scene of close battles. Today’s destination is Château-Thierrry, that  owes its name to the castle that once was situated on the slopes above the Marne. The town was the site of the Battle of 1814 in the Napoleonic Wars between France and Prussia and of 1918 in World War I. Château-Thierry is also known as the native town of the world-famous writer of fables Jean de la Fontaine. Short bike tour – if possible – starts in Dormans.

 

Château Thierry – La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre  Wednesday 32 miles


Enjoy a somewhat challenging bike tour from Château-Thierry to La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre . The first part of the cycling tour leads you along the Marne river. After a few miles you will take a small side valley and follow country roads through various small villages and hamlets. En route you can visit the large WW1 American War Cemetery and Monument near Belleau. Follow the small river Clignon and continue riding uphill until you finally reach the plateau above the northern part of the Marne valley. The side valleys are mainly covered with forest, on the plateau agriculture is predominant. Start your descent along the small river Ru de Bouillons to reach La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre, where you meet the barge. Easier and shorter cycling option along the river through the valley. Night in La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre or one of the villages nearby.

 

La Ferté-sous-Jouarre – Meaux  Thursday 22 or 25 miles


After breakfast you will start your cycling tour that will lead you over the hills and slopes of the Marne valley and through forests and small villages on the southern and northern banks of the river. After just a few miles you will enjoy a presentation and tasting of the famous Brie de Meaux and Brie noir cheeses. On the way we may visit the Château de Montceau, the building of which was started by Catherine de Médicis in the 16th century. Today’s destination is the city of Meaux, famous for its “Brie de Meaux” cheeses and the magnificent Cathedral St.-Etienne. Visit the historical city center of Meaux. Dinner on board and night in Meaux.

 

Meaux – Lagny-sur-Marne  Friday 21 miles


Visit the beautiful city center of Meaux. Then you can take your bicycle for a last ride, mainly along the Marne river and its parallel canal. Last challenge is the hill near Chalifert. The barge will take the tunnel through this hill, but cyclists have to ride up to take the hill by bicycle. In the afternoon you will meet the barge in Lagny-sur-Marne, where you will stay for the night.

 

Lagny-sur-Marne – Paris  Saturday no biking


After breakfast you will leave the ship. Your tour guide will take you by public transportation  (day ticket not included) from the barge to the center of Paris (30 min) and on some walking tours.  For safety reasons, no cycling tour in Paris is planned.

 

Lagny-sur-Marne Sunday 
We take leave of you after breakfast around 09.00AM

 

All distances mentioned are approximate and are subject to change due to weather, road or water situations or other circumstances that might occur during the tour and where not foreseen at the moment of offering.             

All distances mentioned are approximate. The itinerary is subject to change whenever the situation requires.