Day 1. Embarkation Paris
Embarkation and check-in at 2 p.m. at the Quai d’Austerlitz on the Seine river in Paris. After a welcome by the captain, crew and tour leader there is time for a walking tour through Paris. After dinner on board there is a first briefing about the barge, bicycles and tour program.
Day 2. Paris – Lagny-sur-Marne (35 Km)
You leave Paris by bike via the canal de l’Ourcq. A bike path leads from the place the la Bastille, via the basin of la Vilette to the banks of the l’Ourcq. Destination of today is Lagny, a nice little town along the Marne.
Day 3. Lagny-sur-Marne – Meaux (20 or 37 Km)
In Lagny-sur-Marne, you can take your bicycle for a first ride, mainly along the Marne river and its parallel canal. After some hills you will follow the small Canal de l’Ourq that was built by Napoleon to transport wood, grain and fresh water to Paris. Today’s destination is the city of Meaux, famous for its “Brie de Meaux” cheeses and the magnificent Cathedral St.-Etienne. Night in Meaux.
Day 4. Meaux – La Ferté-sous-Jouarre (30 or 52 Km)
You have a few cycling options today. Either the hills and slopes of the Marne valley on the south bank of the river through forests and small villages. Or a ride through Trilport and Lizy-sur-Ourcq. Later you will have to climb a few hills, leaving the valley in the direction of Jouarre. In Jouarre, all cyclists can enjoy a very nice presentation and tasting of the famous Brie de Meaux and Brie noir cheeses at the family-run Fromagerie Ganot. Dinner on board and night in La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre or a village nearby.
Day 5. La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre – Château-Thierry (42 Km)
The first part of the cycling track leads you along the Marne river. After a few miles you will take a side valley and follow country roads through various small villages and hamlets. Continue riding uphill until you finally reach the plateau above the northern part of the Marne valley. The side valleys are mainly covered with forest, on the plateau agriculture is predominant. Follow the valley of the small river Clignon. Start your descent to reach Château-Thierry. Dinner on board and night in Château-Thierry.
Day 6. Château-Thierry – Dormans – Epernay (35 or 50 Km)
During breakfast the ship will take us to the lock of Mont St. Pierre or even a bit further upstream to Dormans. Today we will enter the official Champagne area. Dormans is a quiet village on the Marne with a castle and chapel in memory of the battle of the Marne. A ride up the northern valley slope to the village of Châtillon-sur-Marne rewards the cyclist with a stunning panoramic view over the Marne valley and the Champagne vineyards. During the cycling tour you will see the Château de Boursault. Dinner on board and night in Epernay.
Day 7. Epernay, Round Tour (17 or 25 Km)
The last half day’s cycling tour takes you along the quiet canal parallel to the Marne river to Ay and Mareuil-sur-Ay. Return via Dizy to visit Hautvillers. Return cycling to Epernay. After lunch, visit the center of Epernay.
Day 8. Epernay
It is time to say goodbye, your cycling holiday is over. A bientôt !