Since 2020, the word 'bubble' has taken on a very different meaning to all of us. During this 8-day getaway we decided to combine the best of both semantics and explore the sparkling Champagne region by your bubbly Connections Campervan!
Few of us say no to this nectar of the Gods which you can taste everywhere in this region from tastings at small wine cultivators to large Champagne domains with roaring names. And, Mother nature lives up to the challenge. Its forests and lakes in nearby nature parks seem to compete with vineyards in their invitation to discover and savour them during brisk walks. Cyclers too have found paradise here so make sure you secure your two-wheeler(s) on the included Thule bicycle rack. An additional benefit? You can bike from one champagne cultivator to the next, carefree on your bike and then load the precious bubbles into your campervan at your favourite farmer. And, culture buffs are in for a treat as well. A hearty portion of culture awaits you in the historic cities of Reims and Troyes as well as in the smaller but equally charming towns of Épernay and Châlons-en-Champagne.
Your first base is at Reims in the northern region of the Marne. Then you travel on to the southern champagne region of Côte des Bar near Troyes. For our last night we leave Champagne behind. Or not quite?
Day 1 - Region Brussels / Antwerp > Northern part of the Champagne region (270 km / 315 km)
After an extensive briefing by our Connections crew and Ford employees, you take the wheel of your campervan and off you go! The first stage takes you to the northern Champagne region, where you will stay 3 nights. Settle into the campsite and soak up the atmosphere in Épernay. World-famous champagne houses line the Avenue de Champagne.
Suggestions where to stay in the northern Champagne region
Camping Municipal Epernay : a municipal campsite on the Marne.
You can also look for a spot free of charge at the home of a champagne farmer via https://www.france-passion.com which would imply you would move to a different spot night after night.
Day 2 & 3 - The North of The Champagne region
A visit to Reims is an absolute must. The city's showpiece is the Gothic cathedral, where most of the French kings are crowned. The Palais du Tau and the Romanesque Basilique Saint-Rémi are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well. Reims is thé city of renowned champagne houses such as Pommery, Piper-Heidsieck and Taittinger. You are surrounded by splendid nature scenes as well so please take some time to stretch your legs in the Montagne de Reims Nature Park, on foot or by bike, or simply from town to town and the next champagne cultivator.
- Book a visit with tasting to Taittinger in advance as it is here that you will find the oldest and most amazing cellars.
- Hautvillers is a picturesque town near Épernay, where the monk Dom Pérignon stood at the start of the creation of sparkling wine.
Day 4 > 6 - From north to south within the Champagne region (105 km)
The nearby medieval city of Troyes does not officially belong to the Champagne region and yet have you ever noticed its city plan has the shape of a champagne cork? Besides its Gothic cathedral and old churches, the city of Troyes is well-known for its well-preserved half-timbered houses and hundreds of outlet stores. Take your pick.
The vast forests of the Forêt d'Orient nature park offer numerous hiking trails while the large lakes give you the opportunity to sail, surf and water ski. For cycling enthusiasts the lake route by the green road network of the Vélovoies cycle paths comes highly recommended.
- The painter Auguste Renoir stayed in the village of Essoyes and found inspiration for his works here.
- From the lakes of Forêt d'Orient you can cross to Lac du Der, the largest reservoir in Europe. A challenging bike ride!
- Suggestions on where to stay in the southern Champagne region
Camping Garillon. Pleasant campsite with heated swimming pool (summer) in the natural park with 3 lakes.
Camping Le Lac d'Orient. 4 * campsite with extensive facilities and an aquatic complex with slides and water games. Perfect for families with children.
Day 7 - Southern Champagne region > border FR/B region (280 km)
For your last night along this route, you move back up towards to French-Belgian border without having to say goodbye to bubbles. Just before reaching the border we kindle the holiday feeling somewhat longer as we head to a bubbly place in the French northern department. Besides an excellent region for walking or cycling it is also home to Domaine du Chant d'Éole, a vine cultivation where a high-quality Belgian sparkling wine is produced. Though visits are restricted to groups only any visitor is allowed to purchase to his heart's content.
Suggestion on where to stay
Camping Les Avallées. Shady campsite close to the Belgian border.
Day 8 - FR/B Border > region of Brussels / Antwerp (92 km / 130 km)
- Rental of a Ford Nugget Plus year 2021 2.0 EcoBlue 135 HP, Euro 6.2 standard
- Pick up / drop off in the Antwerp or Brussels region on Mondays and Fridays during low season (April/May/June/September/October) and on Fridays only during high season (July/August)
- 350 km/day (= 2450 km / week)
- Full-comprehensive insurance with a limited excess of € 700
- Vehicle equipment: rear view camera, cruise control, blind spot monitoring, navigation system, DAB, Bluetooth, Auxiliary parking heater, tinted rear windows
- Outside equipment: side awning, rear privacy tent, outdoor mat, outdoor lamp, BBQ, table and chairs
- Equipment inside: table, built-in toilet & basin, cooler box, kitchen sink, 2-burner stove, storage spaces and wardrobes
- Dining equipment, kitchen utensils, cleaning kit and towels, sheets and blankets
- Thule bicycle rack for up to 3 bikes
- Extensive professional briefing by Connections & Ford employees
- Extensive cleaning and disinfection before the start of each rental period
- 7/7 assistance with technical issues within Europe
- Parking for your personal car during duration of your campervan trip
What's not included?
- Booking costs and confirmation print-outs of pitches
- Additional mileage on top of the included 350 km/day (rate: € 0,25 / km)
- Deposit (blocked on Credit card) : € 700
Good to Know
NEWSFLASH: your Connections Campervan is equipped with a Thule bicycle rack fitted for 3 bicycles. Ideal for sports enthusiasts who also want to stretch their legs in these inspiring landscapes or for cycling from your campsite to the city center. The Connections Campanion campervan is equipped like a true boutique hotel on wheels with all the necessary amenities and options in order for your comfort to be assured! In addition Connections rentals are free from hidden costs and surcharges!
LOW SEASON = April/May/October > pick-up & drop off possible on Mondays and Fridays
SHOULDER SEASON = June/September > pick-up & drop off possible on Mondays and Fridays
HIGH SEASON = July/August > pick-up & drop off EXCLUSIVELY possible on Fridays
France is camper-friendly. We gladly extend some camping tips, but you are free to park in the wild or where you deem it suitable and allowed 😊 Please note: wild camping is prohibited in protected nature areas, in water abstraction areas, on the beach or within 500 meters of monuments.
Optional original camping tips:
www.homecamper.com: stay at people's parking lots, in their garden or an empty piece of land.
www.france-passion.com: stay as a guest with your camper at a French winery, local fruit grower, cheese farmer.
Campanion 1 week Price per person