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Champagne, Alsace & Rhône Valley - Suggested Self Drive

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Champagne sparkles with a patchwork of vineyards, villages and cities. Alsace produces the finest wines, dry days and long summers, whilst the Rhône is complete with medieval castles, châteaux and gourmet cuisines.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1-2: Paris – Reims (144km)
Capital of the Champagne area, Reims, has many ancient Roman ruins to explore and pedestrian boulevards. Tour famous Champagne houses like Veuve Clicquot or Mumm. Visit the Grandes Maisons de Champagne. Enjoy a lunch of local specialties and bubble samplings.

Day 3: Reims – Epernay – Nancy (227km)
Drive through the picturesque vineyards and villages along the Route du Champagne, stopping for a visit at Dom Perignon and perhaps the most famous of all, Moet & Chandon.

Day 4: Nancy – Strasbourg (160km)
Explore the medieval yet trendy Vielle Ville quarter of Nancy, with elegant baroque and art nouveau landmarks, churches and magnificent squares.

Day 5: Strasbourg
Discover the blend of German and French influences. You’ll love the quaint lanes and alleyways with leaning half crooked houses.

Day 6: Strasbourg – Colmar (69km)
Follow the Alsace Wine Route to check out delightful Obernai, surrounded by the valley of the Ehn River. It has a 13th century medieval tower, old town gates, ancient walls and narrow streets.

Day 7: Colmar – Annecy (356km)
From Mulhouse, cross into Switzerland and travel down through Bern, skirting peaceful Lake Geneva to reach Annecy.

Day 8: Annecy – Lyon (148km)
Drive through to Lyon, known as one of the food capitals of France.

champagne, alsace map

Highlights worth seeing along the way
Colmar The capital of Alsace Wines and home to half-timbered houses, flower boxes and canals. In Little Venice walk along the tree lined cobbled pathways or take a scenic boat tour.

Notre-Dame de Reims – This is a UNESCO listed cathedral – it is a stunning Gothic masterpiece which you must visit.

Avenue de Champagne – Stroll down Epernay’s main boulevard, reputed to be the world’s most expensive street.

Alsace Wine Route – Winding its way for 170 kilometres along the foothills of the Vosges Mountains, this whole area has become famous for its exceptional natural beauty, medieval ramparts, stunning castles, pretty villages and rolling vineyards.

Bergheim – Built in 1311, the ancient walls of this town are still completely intact and are perfect for that early morning walk.

Ribeauville – Without doubt one of the prettiest villages in Alsace. It has a medieval setting, standing on a hilltop with the ruins of three magnificent 11th-14th century castles overlooking the village.

Riquewihr – Listed as one of the "Plus Beaux Villages de France" (Most Beautiful Villages of France). You can pick this one out as you drive along, as it has a gorgeous church steeple rising above the well preserved village. There are also plenty of shops, boutiques and eateries.

Basel – If time allows, stop in Basel to wander through its stunning old town.

Our favourite places to stay 
• Mercure Reims Centre Cathedrale, Reims
• Hotel Hannong, Strasbourg
• Best Western Grand Hôtel Bristol, Colmar
• Annecy Imperial Palace, Annecy

Choosing your Rental Car
Take into consideration the size of the vehicle you require. We strongly recommend a compact size car for two adults. If the vehicle is to be used for day touring from a central base and not for transporting your luggage, a smaller vehicle may be adequate. We suggest you book your car before leaving home as this will save money and ensure you get the car of your choice.

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