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Question about day trip & champagne tours

Question about day trip & champagne tours

Old Mar 20th, 2005, 08:06 PM
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Question about day trip & champagne tours

I've looked at a lot of previous messages regarding train trip from Paris to Reims & Epernay, and now have a sufficient amount of confusion as to what to do.

Some people have said they trained to Reims, looked at a couple of champagne houses and then took a train to Epernay.

My question(s): Is the train trip from Reims to Epernay one that is actually on its way back to Paris and happens to stop at Epernay, thereby allowing them to hop off for awhile? Or is that a separate trip?

I'm trying to figure out what is the best route to go. I'm considering a Sunday trip to either Epernay or Reims and then back to Paris. Do we have to make a definitive time for our return to Paris, or can we buy a roundtrip and get on when we want (according to scheduled returns, of course.)?

Any thoughts on transportation which might be needed from the train station to the houses? I have the impression that from the train to champagne houses in Epernay is easy, whereas a cab might be needed to those in Reims. Also, I think one of the houses in Reims (Veuve Clig? Sp?) requires that you book the tour first. I've been on their website, but cannot find anything about requesting a tour.

Any answers? I would appreciate your enlightenment. Thanks, Jean
pumpkin is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2005, 05:51 AM
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ira is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2005, 03:49 PM
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 07:28 AM
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Hi Pumpkin,

Epernay & Reims in a day is possible but would be a bit busy day
if you want to take a look at cathedral, chapel, churches and so on besides champagne maisons.

When I purchased tickets at the station from Paris to Reims, they had no specific train time printed.
I think you can buy RT without seat reservation and hopping off is possible bet Paris & Reims.
Regular tickets are valid for the route & the day.

Moet et Chandon is within easy walking distance from Epernay station.
GH Mumm is one mile from Reims station, some take buses and others walk.
To other maisons or to cathedral in Reims you might want to take buses or a cab as you wrote.

Maison Krug does not accept visitors
or so I was told concerning indivisual visitors a few years ago.

Pommery requires booking
but you could try GH Mumm, Taittinger, Piper-Heidsieck, and Moet & Chandon without reservation.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 07:59 AM
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Also did RT Paris-Reims. You can walk from train station, past roman walls, past old city Hall to Cathedral, which is worth a visit. Tourist bureau is next to Cathedral. They have info on champagne houses, but did not (could not?) recommend one over another. We walked out main door of cathedral, straight down past main street to pedestrian only street and found lunch (crepes) along there. We then walked to Taitinger cellars, which turned out to be about 15-20 minutes. Tour was in English, interesting cellars, followed by tasting in new part of building, then buying champagne and accessories in their shop. By then it was getting close to our return time, so we had receptionist call a cab to go back to train station. I remember that the train we were on did stop at Epernay, I checked on sncf.com and it shows a stop at Epernay about 1.5 hrs out, arrive at Reims about 2hrs out. You can also pick a direct train. I see on way back you can go direct or stop at Meaux or Epernay.

Hope this helps.

Michel_Paris is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 08:33 AM
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Ahhh! Thank you. I've been hatching this post awaiting some answers. No, it's just the champagne houses we are interested in (I will surely be cathedraled out by then)

Again, thank you,
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 09:01 AM
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We took the Piper-Heidsieck tour, and I can vouch for it. It was excellent!! They do charge a fee.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 09:29 AM
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I'm debating a day-trip such as Pumpkin describes. We have four nights in Paris, our first visit there. I'm wondering whether or not we'll have so much to see and do in Paris that we won't have time to see the wine country? A train trip to see a champagne maison sounds very appealing, though. What would be the best and shortest daytrip to see some wine country and get a feel for life outside of Paris?
Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 03:35 PM
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>What would be the best and shortest daytrip
>to see some wine country and get a feel for life outside of Paris?

Reims & Epernay, or Beaune

if it is in this season of the year
and using public transportation only.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 05:54 PM
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Michel_Paris, thank you for the link. I put in a tentative date and times for Paris to Reims, and got a price of 41.80E. Since I don't speak or read any French, I have no clue if that is for one ticket or for both, since I indicated 2 adults. What do you think?

And forgive my ignorance, but where would we get this train in Paris??

(This thread is timely for me because someone asked me tonight if we were going to go to any "wine country" on this trip, and I thought that would be a great idea. DH is at the library right now looking for all books on France!)
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Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 06:32 PM
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Hi allisonm:

I tried your routing and it looks like the 41.80 is per person round trip. It leaves from the gare de l'est (the "east" gare), which is an "easy gare" in Paris since it is right on the #4 metro line and it is smaller than some of the others. It looks by the way, that you could route through Epernay if you wanted. Also, if you are brave enough you could rent a car from the Reims station for the day. It is not too hard to drive around there, but that is really a personal decision. It is not even a very long drive from Paris, but that can be too intimidating for some folks to pick up a car and navigate in and out of Paris. Also, you might try researching your tickets on raileurope.com if you don't speak French because even though part of the sncf site is in English, they switch to the French on you a lot. You might even want to wait til you get to Paris to buy your tickets directly at any gare in Paris. They all have agents who are fluent in English and can help you, especially if you want to make multiple stops.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 06:09 AM
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Thanks jpie! We are used to driving in other countries somewhat, and have driven in Dublin and London. So the thought of renting a car from Paris is somewhat appealing, we can just take a day and drive wherever we choose. I'll be doing more research and giving this a lot of thought, but I suppose ultimately it will be up to DH, who will be the brave driver!
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 07:00 AM
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Paris-Eperny 75 minutes about hourly. Many of these trains continue onto Reims (20 mins from Epernay). If just wanting to visit Champagne houses, Epernays are more prestigious than those in Reims i believe. epernay i believe is the centre of the Champagne industry - but Reims as a town has much more to offer - including the stunning cathedral, a passel of old churches and the room where Allies planned the final chapter of WWII - in a former schoolhouse not far from the train station. champagne houses in both Reims and epernay are in town - epernays a short walk to the station and Reims about 1 or 2 miles. Reims also has a much larger commercial district. when selecting a Champagne tour look for one that offers samples of the bubbly as part of the tour - some do and some don't - also some caves have works of art in them such as old statues. Mumms and Tattinger are two of the most prestigious houses. the Champagne district is surprisingly small - and limited by law so that only wine aged in the limestone caves in this region can be labeled Champagne. A trade controversy periodically erupts over the use of Champagne on American champagne-like effervescent wines.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 07:27 AM
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Pumpkin is considering going on Sunday, when there are fewer trains than during the week, so careful planning is important.

Official Champagne web site

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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 08:54 AM
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Hi Allison,

Let me walk through this Sncf site.
"Train" is automatically selected, that's all I want so I leave it.
Under "Au depart de" I pick Paris. "Depart" I pick Sunday 10th of April. Under "A partir de" I'll pick 9AM as my desired departure time. for "A destination de" I'm going to Reims. "Retour" I'm going to pick to come back same day, the 10th. Under "A partir de", I'll pick a return time of 5 pm, or "17hrs". Pick 2 adults, 1st class "1ere classe" sounds good. The last remaining boxes are "Recherche horaires" or "reservation express" If you're not sure what time trains runor which one you want, pick the first otherwise go express. Now hit the "rechercher" button to search the timetable for trains...wait...wait...

For there criteria, there are four outbound trains....8H16, 8h22, and two at 13h03. All leave from Paris Est, some are direct, some stop at Epernay, some stop at the Reims main stating (Gare) some stop at the other location (Maison Blanche...I'll have to look to see where that is!). OK, I decide I want the 9h22 express to Reims, getting in at 11h33. On that line I click on "Choisir cet aller" to pick that outbound train. Now I see the return section, once more 4 choices, leaving from Reims Gare or Reims Maison Blanche. I'll come back at "17h20" back in Paris at 19h04, so I'll click on that "Choisir ce retour". Now I get my search summary page. I see my train numbers, day going up, then I see that yes, I have first class, "fumeur" says no, so I get non-smoking, "reservation" says yes, so I get a reserved seat, yes, there are 2 adults, section 4 asks if I have a discount card or frequent user card, no....section 5 is where do I want my tickets...France is default, ok I'll pick them up at the station...I hit "rechercher maintenant" to do the final search ....oops, no first class left/offered, their offering me second class, 39euros for this leg (2 people), in "confort" column it says "sans reservation", so I can't pick a seat. OK, I can live with that...so I hit "Choisir cet aller" to make this my final pick outbound....inbound (back to Paris, everything looks good, total is now 62.80 for this leg (2 people)...hit "choisir ce retour"...and grand total for the trip is 104.60 euros

I now hit "valider votre commande" and move on to the ordering....

Does this help? Let me know if there is more I can do...
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 02:44 PM
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Wow, Michel! That was far more than I'd have dared asked for. I will have to play around on the website with your finely tuned instructions, then the even harder part will come, making the decision as to whether or not we will actually do it. Thank you for taking the time!
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 03:21 PM
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Hi Allison:

I just checked mappy and it is about an 1 1/2 hours from Paris to Reims which seems right in my memory......and tolls are about $10 each way. I really like to drive in France for a short distance if you really want to see the nice little places in Champagne. So glad to hear you aren't too intimidated by it. By the way, picking up a car at the gare de Lyon would put you very far East in Paris and if you just hop on the quai it would put you practically right at the entrance to the A4, Autoroute de l'Est and you just head towards Nancy Metz. Really easy in and out of Paris that way if you do decide to drive.
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