After a two-year hiatus from international travel, vacation planning is back in full swing—and if you’re looking to craft a truly memorable itinerary, France’s world-famous Champagne region is a top-tier destination. While this pastoral region is best known for its eponymous sparkling wine, the area’s tourism industry has grown just as legendary as the product itself, offering ample opportunity to relax at world-class hotels, discover fascinating historic sites, and dine on flavorful local cuisine. As you plan your bucket list summer vacation to the French countryside, don’t miss out on these spectacular experiences.
Rejuvenate Yourself at one of Champagne’s Finest Spa Hotels
Located in the heart of France’s idyllic Montagne de Reims natural park, the picturesque Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa offers some of the finest relaxation opportunities in all of Champagne. Upon arrival, visitors are welcome to book a soothing candle massage, take a dip in the property’s outdoor infinity pool, or bask in the beauty of the countryside with a glass of Champagne in hand on the Abysse Terrace. Though it may be tempting to lounge on-property all day, the hotel also offers a Champagne Chauffeur experience, providing participants with a curated itinerary focusing on the region’s most lavish wineries all while accompanied by an experienced guide.
Sip Champagne Accompanied by French Art Nouveau Masterpieces
With spring in full swing, the Perrier-Jouët’s Belle Epoque Society has made its welcome return to the iconic commune of Épernay. Building upon a legacy that dates back more than 200 years, new visitors can kick off their trip to Champagne with a tour of the lavish Cellier Belle Epoque champagne bar, with idyllic courtyard gardens and intricate artwork all available for viewing. After basking in the beauty of the venue, the visit continues with a trip just next door to the Maison Belle Epoque—an ornate manor that’s home to Europe’s largest private collection of French Art Nouveau—to enjoy a seven-course tasting menu crafted in part by world-famous chef Pierre Gagnaire.
Dine on Masterfully-Crafted French Fare
Equipped with 20 lavish rooms and suites housed within a palatial century-old villa, the Reims-based Domaine Les Crayères is an essential stop for immersing oneself in the sophisticated beauty of the French countryside. During daylight hours, guests are welcome to set up a horseback riding session, take a stroll to the world-famous Basilique Saint-Remi, or explore the property’s perfectly-manicured gardens, but once twilight rolls around, don’t miss out on Restaurant Le Parc. Equipped with two Michelin stars, this prestigious venue provides diners with a wealth of perfectly-crafted tasting menus like the Promenade en Champagne, an experience that highlights the finest locally-sourced ingredients available in the surrounding region.
Embark on an Underground Champagne Tasting
In search of a truly unforgettable wine tasting experience? There’s ample opportunity to be found just below your feet, courtesy of G.H. Mumm. Over the past two centuries, this storied producer has built roughly 15 miles of subterranean tunnels snaking beneath the city of Reims, and there’s no shortage of spectacular Champagne to sip on during a trip into their domain. To experience this fascinating concept firsthand, be sure to book one of the company’s curated Mumm Experiences, with tours highlighting a wealth of topics ranging from the personal philosophies of George Hermann Mumm to the history of Grand Cru Champagne.
Explore a Centuries-Old Palace Fit For a King
There’s no shortage of fascinating attractions across Reims, but when it comes to truly spectacular architecture, it’s tough to beat the Palais du Tau. Though the modern structure took on its current Baroque aesthetic in the early 1700s, the previous iterations of the building served as the banquet site for newly-coronated French kings from 990 until 1825, earning the site a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1991 thanks to its lengthy historical significance. Today, visitors can purchase a ticket and peruse the massive collection of gilded artifacts that the Palais du Tau has amassed over the centuries including colorful tapestries, detailed statues, and the ornate Talisman of Charlemagne.