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Champagne

World famous wines and historic towns set among leafy vineyards

It’s impossible to mention the Champagne region without referring to its legendary wines; the cork popping from a bottle of Bollinger, or any of its bubbly counterparts, is a sound internationally associated with celebration. The magnificent Champagne houses sit amid a dazzling white chalk landscape stitched with green vineyards, and the town of Epernay nestles in the heart of it all, its streets lined with 19th century townhouses.

There’s more to the region than sparkling treats, however. Reims is the historic centre, with its spectacular French Gothic cathedral, an intricate masterpiece that took three centuries to realise. Adjacent is the Palais du Tau, once the residence of the French kings, and now a museum containing statues and tapestries. Its oldest monument is the Mars Gate, named for the temple to Mars that once stood there. It is believed to date back to the third century and was one of four Roman gates around the city. The medieval town of Troyes in Aube is also delightful, with its colombage houses and narrow streets.

Walking and cycling around Champagne is a guaranteed pleasure, not only for the tasting and cellar tour opportunities, but also for its green landscapes and rich history.

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