Trip to Paris & Champagne in Jan... can I fit in Chablis?

I’m blocking out a trip to France in late January/early February – my first since 2019. I know it’s going to be quite cold, but unfortunately this timing is best for our work schedules. I’ve fallen in love with Champagne over the last 2 years, and I’ve only ever visited Beaune & Beaujolais, so I definitely want Champagne to be the focus of the trip.

I think my big question is… could I fit in a night or two in Chablis? I’ve been dying to visit, as it’s one of my favorite subregions, but it seems difficult to spend more than a night or two there.

Here’s how I’m thinking about the trip:

  • Arrive in Paris, spend 1 night

  • Train to Reims, spend 1-2 nights, and rent a car. Visit whatever estates I can (Vilmart, Marguet, Laherte, Chartogne… etc)

  • Drive to Epernay, spend 1-2 nights in the Selosse hotel. Visit other nearby estates if possible.

  • Drive to Chablis for 1-2 nights, and visit whoever I can (Fevre, Michel, Bessin… maybe Dauvissat or Raveneau if I can get an intro)

  • Drive back to Reims & train to Paris, or just drive back to Paris. Spend 1-2 nights before flying back.

It’s a ton of driving. But is it worth it?

Would love your thoughts and suggestions. Thanks!

Have you spent much time in Paris on prior trips? You basically have none in this trip. There’s a few things to do there. :slight_smile:


Haha, good point! I have spent a decent amount of time in Paris, but my partner has not. So perhaps a few more nights there would be wise…

I’d suggest going one of two ways:

  1. Make it a ‘road trip’ changing location every 1-2 nights. Driving on the toll roads is generally very good and even better on Sundays when most of the heavy trucks are excluded from the roads. This might allow you to slot some time in Macon or Beaujolais (looking at the roads, before Chablis might make sense). IIRC we planned 3.5 hours to get from Rheims to Leynes (Macon), though by chance there was a deluge on that day (ironically on the Route du soleil!) and it took 5 hours.
    e.g. Overnight on arrival in Paris, pick up a car the following day (or day after), and drive → Rheims → Epernay → Macon → Chablis → Paris CDG.

  2. Make some hard choices and that probably ends up as equal time in Paris and ONE wine region.

The thinking is mostly about packing / unpacking, as a road trip can have you taking no more than a day pack into the accommodation. It’s also that whilst changing accommodation is disruptive and wastes time, you’ll have continuity with the car - not a home, but a usefully convenient.

Definitely something to talk over together.

Too much driving in too short time. Two places, not three, but I spend a month annually in Paris (and run out of places I want to go, things I want to do, and food I want to eat). As Ian alludes to above, a travel day is usually most if not all day, so in a short period less is more. YMMV.

Thanks – more I think about it, that’s a good call. Maybe I can do Epernay & Reims since they’re relatively close, but seems like 50% Paris 50% Champagne is around the right mix.

Epernay, Paris and Reims are 3 places if you change hotels. Epernay and Reims are not far, choose one as a day trip if it means 2 nights in one and one night in the other. A lot of wasted time checking in and out.

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Reims to Epernay is roughly a half hour drive so I’d suggest just staying in one place and drive to the producers you want to visit. The train is probably easier than driving into Paris.

Thanks for the advice folks. I think I will plan to just stay near Epernay, and do a few day trips driving around the region. Will split time in Paris & Champagne roughly 60/40.

I’ve got a big list of domaines I’d like to visit, but does anyone have any more food recommendations for Epernay? Based on what I’ve gathered from other threads:

  • La Table Korbus

  • C. Comme (Le P’tit Champenois)

And for shopping:

  • 520

  • Salvatori

Thanks again all. Can’t wait.

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In Epernay:

La Grillade Gourmande (reservations a must)
Sacre Bistro - for burgers and grower Champagne

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