Journey to northeastern France where you'll explore two renowned Champagne houses for tastings, walk in the footsteps of Dom Pérignon in Hautvillers, and learn about the region's rich history. 

Starting at: $4,090 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542

France’s Champagne Region

A One-Week Stay in Reims

9 days from $4,090

Journey to northeastern France where you'll explore two renowned Champagne houses for tastings, walk in the footsteps of Dom Pérignon in Hautvillers, and learn about the region's rich history. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. View Special Air Rates/Services to learn more.

History buffs and oenophiles are sure to enjoy this journey to the Champagne region in northeastern France. Visit two renowned Champagne houses for tastings and walk in the footsteps of Dom Pérignon himself in Hautvillers. Along the way, learn about the epic World War I history and about those who fought valiantly here.

Highlights Include

  • Reims: Your home for seven nights, Reims has a fascinating heritage, from its time as a leading Roman city in Gaul to its prominent role in the sparkling wine industry.
  • The World of Champagne: Explore France's vaunted Champagne region with tastings at the celebrated Taittinger estate and two more Champagne houses in the region.
  • The Great War: Delve into the history of World War I, visit historic battlefields and the Somme American Cemetery, and learn about the armistice, signed in 1918.
  • Iconic Sites: Discover the World Heritage sites of this special region of France. In Reims, visit the Cathedral of Notre-Dame and see the Abbey of Saint Remí and the Palace of Tau. Understand how Champagne has influenced the local landscapes and economy

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S. and Arrive Reims

Smithsonian travelers depart the U.S. for Paris via overnight flights. After a morning arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport, travel to Reims, a 90-minute drive, and check in to the Mercure Reims Centre Cathedrale Hotel. Each traveler will receive a welcome kit containing a map of Reims and information on the Champagne region. The Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available to help with suggestions for independent activities. There is time to relax and settle in before joining your Travel Director for an orientation walk around the hotel neighborhood. Gather this evening for a short talk by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert followed by a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel. (R,D)

Day 3 — Reims

Start each morning with a buffet breakfast at the hotel. Join your Smithsonian Journeys Expert for an engaging presentation. Travel to the Taittinger Estate, founded in 1734. Taittinger employs the methode champenoise, a technique developed by Dom Pérignon for producing fine champagne. After touring the estate, enjoy a sampling of their wines. After lunch at Brasserie du Boulingrin, a local favorite, explore Reims. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral, dating from the 13th century, and the location where past Kings of France were crowned. Late this afternoon, gather in Smithsonian Journeys travelers corner for camaraderie and conversation. (B,L)

Day 4 — Verdun

A morning drive takes you through the Meuse-Argonne Region to see the Pennsylvania Memorial in Varennes-en-Argonne, erected by the state of Pennsylvania to honor those who passed away in France during World War I. Continue to see the Montfaucon Memorial and the Meuse-Argonne Military Cemetery, the largest American military cemetery in Europe. After lunch, make a stop in Verdun where France stood steadfast against the German army for four years. Visit the Verdun Memorial and Museum then continue to Douaumont Ossuary, containing the skeletal remains of 146,142 unidentified soldiers who lost their lives at the Battle of Verdun. Visit Fort Douaumont for a tour of the French fortifications and underground gun emplacements protecting Verdun. (B,L)

Day 5 — Troyers

Travel to Troyers, the former capital of the Champagne region. Enjoy a walking tour of this charming town situated on the Seine River. During your visit, see the historic 16th-century half-timbered buildings and Gothic churches. Visit the champagne house of Champagne Alain Suisse where the production process is done entirely by hand. Relax over lunch featuring regional specialties at a popular restaurant in Troyers. There’s free time to follow your own path and explore on your own. In the early evening, attend an engaging presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. (B,L)

Day 6 — Hautvillers and Épernay

Start the day with a lecture on The Great War by a local expert. Visit Montagne de Reims, a region famous for the cultivation of the Pinot Noir grapes used in the production of champagne. On a walking tour of Hautvillers, explore the best-known village in the region. It is believed that it was here that Dom Pérignon, a 17th-century Benedictine monk perfected the technique of creating champagne. Travel to Épernay, where beneath its winding streets there are over 60 miles of tunnels carved from the subterranean chalk deposits and where the regional champagne production is stored. At Champagne Mercier, you’ll have an opportunity to sample their fine wine. (B,L)

Day 7 — Peronne and Somme American Military Cemetery and Memorial

The Battle of the Somme raged during the calamitous summer and fall of 1916. It was Britain’s largest and most costly battle during WWI. During the battle, the British endured 400,000 casualties. Visit the Museum of the Great War at Château Peronne to get an understanding of the scope of the battle. After lunch in Peronne, continue to the Somme American Military Cemetery at Bony where many American casualties are laid to rest. Dinner this evening will be served in the hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Reims

After breakfast, enjoy an enriching talk by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. The day is free of planned activities so let your interests be your guide and explore on your own. This evening, join new friends and fellow travelers for a farewell reception and dinner at Brasserie le Jardin. (B,R,D)

Day 9 — Return to the U.S.

After an early breakfast, transfer to Paris for the flight to your U.S. gateway city. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)