Spending summer holidays in Champagne-Ardennes is a decision that requires thinking. There are many places to go in Europe during summer holidays, and Champagne-Ardennes is just one of the options. This summer 2023, we spent a week in Champagne-Ardennes in France, in addition to a week in central Germany. There are several realisations that we gained after being in Champagne-Ardennes. In this blog, I will discuss why you should (or not) spend summer holidays in Champagne-Ardennes.
Why spend summer holidays in Champagne-Ardennes?
1. Champagne-Ardennes is for nature-lovers.
Champagne-Ardennes is located in a mountainous region of France making it an ideal place for nature lovers. Various activities that tourists can do include biking many kilometres of long and winding road, doing a road trip while hopping from village to village, walking in the nature, and hiking in the mountain. The Champagne-region is connected with all the local roads and you can easily get lost if you do not have the map. Therefore, make sure that you plan ahead the destinations that you would like to visit. In addition, if you are a beach person, spending your summer holidays in Champagne-Ardennes will not be ideal since it is not close to coastal areas. However, Champagne-Ardennes is known for great lakes and nature parks which still can allow you to swim, though the experience might not be similar as compared to spending your holidays in the beach. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a rest in nature, Champagne-Ardennes is the place to be!
2. Going on vacation in Champagne-Ardennes is cheaper than other touristic places in Europe.
Champagne-Ardennes is a cheap location for holidays. Whenever, I scout a place for holidays for my family, I always see unbelievable offers in Champagne-Ardennes. Sometimes you might think that it is too good to be true, but they are real! I have booked twice a holiday in Ardennes and they were really good value for money. In our latest holiday, we spent doubled in Germany as compared to Champagne-Ardennes for the same length of stay, while the Chalet that we stayed in Champagne-Ardennes gives us a more comfortable stay. In general, spending vacation in France is always cheaper as compared to Netherlands and Germany. What’s even more, Champagne-Ardennes is located in one of the poorest regions of France – the Grand Est. As compared to other cities in France, you will notice that the flow of money and tourists in the region is less. And thus, the prices of goods, accommodations, and services are overall cheaper too. Of course, there are some beautiful places in Champagne-Ardennes that should be in your bucket lists, such as visiting the cities of Reims and Charleville-Mézières. See my blogs on Charleville-Mézières one day itinerary and Reims France one day itinerary for more information. You may pay a bit more in these cities, but the prices in general are still cheaper compared to other French cities.
3. If you are into history, spend summer holidays in Champagne-Ardennes.
Champagne-Ardennes are not only for nature lovers, but also for history lovers like myself! Five towns of Champagne-Ardennes are labeled as “Towns of arts and history”. Various places in Champagne region have histories that dated back many centuries ago. You can find many Romanesque and Gothic styles cathedrals that were built during the medieval period (11th-16th centuries) in various cities/towns. You can also find some centuries old Chateaus, such as the Fortified Château of Sedan) and wine cellars in the region. For more information on which towns and places to see during your trip to Champagne-Ardennes, check this website of France This Way.
4. If you are a wine lover, spend summer holidays in Champagne-Ardennes.
As the name of the region suggests, the first sparkling wine, now known as Champagne, is bubbled in this region. Aside from it, there are thousands of wine producers in the region. In the city of Reims alone, you will find centuries old wine cellars, with some of them included in UNESCO World Heritage lists. In the town of Eperne in the Marne department of Champagne which is 25 kilometres south of Reims, you will find hills covered with vineyards as this place is known as Champagne capital of the world. Various types of wines are made in the region ranging from upper class (most expensive) to cheap ones! This is definitely a paradise for wine lovers and wine connoisseur!
5. Champagne-Ardennes is for culture and flavour savvies!
Culture wise, Champagne-Ardennes is known for puppet culture (such as the Puppet Festival in Charleville-Mézières). The Basilica of Saint-Rémi hosts the Flâneries Musicales Festival in Reims while the medieval town of Troyes celebrates the Champagne Nights festival, which fills the streets with the sounds of French chansons (art songs during the Medieval Ages and Rennaisance period). For flavour savvy people, Champagne-Ardennes is also known for gastronomy. Such in the lists include pâté de Reims, pig’s trotters à la Sainte-Menehould, andouillette de Troyes (pork sausage), and sanglier à l’ardennaise (local boar based dish).