Make the most of your camping holiday near Troyes in Aube, to discover the Champagne Tourist Route, a 220 km signposted circuit around Bar-sur-Seine and Bar-sur-Aube. Between vineyards, valleys and picturesque villages, the Champagne tourist route in Aube reveals the history of this centuries-old beverage along the Côte des Bar.
A cultural journey through the Champagne vineyards
France's second-largest Champagne-producing department after the Marne, the Aube vineyards cover almost 8,000 hectares. The Côte des Bar produces almost 25% of the 300 million bottles shipped around the world each year. Many wineries offer tours and tastings. Here are the not-to-be-missed stops on the sparkling Champagne Wine Route!
Bar-sur-Aube, the ancient medieval town of Champagne-Ardenne
Surrounded by hills and slopes, at the foot of the Sainte-Germaine mountain, Bar-sur-Aube is a pretty medieval town in the Champagne region that has preserved a rich architectural heritage. You can admire many timber-framed houses, the former convent that became the town hall, Saint-Pierre church and its covered gallery, used during the great champagne fairs of the Middle Ages.
Clairvaux Abbey, 900 years of history
Located in Ville-sous-la-Ferté, 15 km from Bar-sur-Aube on the Haute-Marne border, the Cistercian Abbey of Clairvaux is a masterpiece of monastic architecture. Transformed into a prison by Napoleon after the French Revolution, the abbey was founded in 1115 by the monk Bernard de Clairvaux. Guided tours take in the chapel, the converse building with its cellar and dormitory, the Ladies' hostelry and the 18th-century cloister, and the former prison cells.
The Bayel Crystal Museum, in the footsteps of the master glassmakers
Housed in the former Royal Glassworks of Champagne, near Clairvaux Abbey, the Bayel Crystal Museum takes you on a journey through the history of glass and crystal, from Antiquity to the present day. Discover exceptional pieces from Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Fabergé, and end your visit in the glass workshop, where crystal is mouth-blown. Glassmakers demonstrate their skills to the public. You can even buy a handmade piece in the museum shop.
Essoyes, Auguste Renoir's village
In the heart of the vineyards of the Ource valley, Essoyes is a peaceful Champagne village where the painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir lived. You can visit the Renoir family home and the Impressionist painter's studio, built in 1905 at the bottom of the garden, both of which have been awarded the "Maisons des Illustres" label. Renoir, his wife and his sons are all buried in the Essoyes cemetery. Just 8 km from the Renoir village, the Plateau de Blu, the highest panoramic viewpoint in Aube, is another must-see on the Champagne Tourist Route.
Mussy-sur-Seine, Petite Cité de Caractère in Aube
On the borders of Champagne and Burgundy, Mussy-sur-Seine is home to one of Aube's richest heritages. First a Gallo-Roman village, then a fortified medieval town, this "little city of character" has preserved its old Burgundian houses and the remains of the ancient ramparts built in the 12th century. The 13th-century collegiate church, with its cathedral-like volumes, statuary and stained-glass windows, is a real eye-catcher. The salt storehouse, the canon's house and the bishops' ice house are also well worth a visit.
Les Riceys, the largest vineyard in the Champagne region
In the far south of Champagne, on the border with Burgundy, Les Riceys is a village full of character nestling in the heart of the Côte des Bar. It is the largest vineyard in Champagne, with 866 hectares of vines. It is also the only terroir to boast three AOCs: Champagne, Coteau Champenois and Rosé des Riceys. In terms of heritage, the Saint-Pierre-ès-Liens church is well worth a visit for its 16th-century stained glass windows, as is the Château de Taisne and its sublime formal gardens.
Where to stay on a campsite
Domaine de la Noue des Rois, a quiet 4-star family campsite near Troyes in the Aube department, welcomes you for a stopover or a longer stay on the Champagne Tourist Route. Open all year round, mobile homes and lakeside pitches for hire, aquatic area, entertainment, sports and leisure facilities.