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Travelling arnd Reims & to/arnd Eparney by public transport

Redmond, Washington
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Travelling arnd Reims & to/arnd Eparney by public transport

Good morning TA Reims folks!

I'm planning on basing myself in Reims for about 3 nights (4 days). I'd prefer not to rent a car. Can I use public transport to get around easily?

I don't mind investing a day in an organised day trip as well.

What am I looking for ? The usual touristy things, hopefully a hike around the country, cathedrals, visit some of the champagne houses and most importantly, those "pretty little villages" that are oft mentioned in this forum.

Tampa, Florida
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1. Re: Travelling arnd Reims & to/arnd Eparney by public transport

there's a train that runs between Epernay and Reims.

The best little villages are rarely served by train -- either the trains don't go there at all, or the schedules are awkward at best. Bus service in rural France is primarily for the convenience of school kids and commuters -- so plenty of service in the morning and afternoon, with a lighter schedule at lunch...and not much at all after about 8 pm. (Note that Reims is a city of a couple million, so this doesn't apply to Reims itself.)

For best information, visit www.reims-tourisme.com or www.ot-epernay.fr -- both pages are in English, and both offices have English-speaking staff.

Edited: 2:39 pm, July 29, 2011
Redmond, Washington
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2. Re: Travelling arnd Reims & to/arnd Eparney by public transport

Wow, thanks for the super quick reply Sunshine! I'll review those websites, thanks.

I do plan on being back in Reims by 8pm.... so perhaps I can bus-it from Reims to the "little villages" during the day? Even if there's an hourly frequency it still works for me! I've been to such villages before and usually adjust my schedule accordingly.

Tampa, Florida
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3. Re: Travelling arnd Reims & to/arnd Eparney by public transport

It depends on which village -- the more remote, the sparser the bus service.

I *think* there is bus information on the Reims website -- if it's not there, click the link to the Reims ville website (the version for residents) -- it will all be in French, but it will be there.

Essex
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4. Re: Travelling arnd Reims & to/arnd Eparney by public transport

The best Cathederals in the area are that of Reims itself (of course) and then the even older Cathederal of Laon.

I have no idea how you would do it, but I feel sure that Laon is major enough to have a public transport link of some sort to Reims.

Oh yes, and Soissons also has an interesting Cathederal with 'ditto' on the chances of public transport between Reims, Laon and Soissons.

I dare say that Reims Tourist Office could give you the details, either you can visit them (it's by the Cathederal) when you are there, but you could e-mail or 'phone them in advance:

http://www.reims-tourism.com/

Champagne, France
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5. Re: Travelling arnd Reims & to/arnd Eparney by public transport

HI there, I know you've said you don't want to rent a car, but a car is really the best way to see all that the region has to offer. You can take the "Route Touristique de Champagne" and meander your way around the many pretty villages, dropping in for a "degustation" (tasting) wherever you see a sign. I wouldn't like to comment on the rural public transport system. I've lived here for 16 years and I've never used it! And I don't know anyone else who as either! In Reims, the public transport system is very good, with a choice of buses and the new trams. The train service between Reims and Epernay is very good too, but that's about it, I'm afraid.

Hope this helps you :-)

Redmond, Washington
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6. Re: Travelling arnd Reims & to/arnd Eparney by public transport

Thank you so much for your replies... this website is so useful! I had a questoin: I plan on visiting there around 1st wknd of September (Sept 4th onwards). I read everywhere about the wine harvest coming early, etc. so does this mean I can pop into plantations for a taste or will they be "closed"?

Champagne, France
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7. Re: Travelling arnd Reims & to/arnd Eparney by public transport

Hello again, the harvest is going to start around the 20th August, but no-one has yet confirmed the date, which does vary from village to village. Here in Verzy, no-one has committed to the actual start date yet. During the harvest, the small producers are very busy as you can imagine, so they won't be able to welcome you at that time. The big international champagne houses are always open as they have a dedicated team to welcome visitors - not so with the small producers - it's all hands to the pump during the harvest! It could of course, all be finished by the time you arrive around the 4th September, but it's impossible to say at the moment. Many of the small producers we know are not taking their usual holiday in August this year, because they just don't know when will be the right time to start picking. They are monitoring the grapes every day.

Hope this helps you :-)

Redmond, Washington
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8. Re: Travelling arnd Reims & to/arnd Eparney by public transport

Thanks as always for the super fast reply!

Essex
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9. Re: Travelling arnd Reims & to/arnd Eparney by public transport

I KNEW that if I tried hard enough, I would eventually find public transport information for the region, and here it is!!:

http://www.vitici.fr/index.php/vitici_en

I have been having a 'play around' on the site though, and it is not exactly super-easy to use!

Champagne, France
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10. Re: Travelling arnd Reims & to/arnd Eparney by public transport

It's a great idea! I did several searches for bus, coach and trains from various villages on the Montagne de Reims, to Reims, and absolutely nothing showed up, except for the train from Rilly la Montagne which is a stop on the Reims-Epernay train line. Sorry to disappoint you :-)