Enjoying and exploring the region
The local region is of course renowned for its champagne houses both large and small and indeed its many historic sites of cultural or military significance. Many visitors make a day trip to Paris or Eurodisney or enjoy the cafes, the shopping and the street life of local towns such as Epernay. Equally you may just choose to remain local – perhaps enjoying a picnic or two on the riverbank, cycle trips on the quiet roads or some fishing off the pontoon. Jaulgonne village is just a short stroll along the riverside path, so your baguettes and croissants are in easy reach and there is a good range of shops and facilities available.
Whatever your interests in this region La Vallée and vine-shaded terraces, provides a warm welcome and a comfortable holiday base.
Disneyland Paris (previously Euro Disney) is best reached by car. it is a very straightforward drive using the autoroute A4 (direction Paris) for most of the way and you will usually be there in less than an hour. As well as the renowned and numerous thrills and spectacles of the theme park itself, the surrounding area has many visitor attractions and these are well described on the Disneyland Paris website. They include the Museum of the Great War in Meaux and the extensive indoor shopping mall ‘Val d’Europe’ at Marne La Vallée. This has a vaste number of clothing, designer and other outlets and includes technology stores such as an Apple store and FNAC.
Meaux is well known not least for its striking architecture and gastronomic treats like Brie de Meaux, and mustard. It has a fine Gothic cathedral of and hosts the impressive Great Historical Show – a stunning event which brings the history of Meaux back to life. Around the cathedral are the gardens designed by André Le Nôtre, mastermind of the gardens at Versailles.
Provins is an exceptional walled medievil city and UNESCO heritage site. Visit the ramparts, the dungeons, vaulted underground rooms and ancient houses. You may also be able to enjoy one of the many spectacles which relive the fairs and feasts of the middle ages.
Epernay – Often considered the champagne capital, Epernay is home to a number illustrious champagne houses many on of which line the elegant ‘Avenue de Champagne’. Often described as ‘beautiful’ ‘charming’ and a a ‘wonderful’ town – you will be walking through history – and above a vast labyrinth of wine caves.
TAKE A TOUR OF THE CHAMPAGNE AREA
The well-signposted Route de Champagne winds among the vineyards on the steep slopes of the Marne Valley. Over 15,000 wine growers cultivate 90% of the champagne in the region . Some are individual producers, some are co-operatives and some sell their grapes to the champagne houses. The champagne houses, large and small, typically offer a very warm welcome. Enjoy tasting the wines, comparing grape varieties and learning about the cultivation and the champagne process. Larger houses provide additional visitor attractions. Always popular is Champagne Mercier in Epernay with its small train for touring the extensive cellars. Pommery in Reims from time to time houses some excellent art exhibitions – a nice adjunct to your tour.
Unless otherwise shown, this small selection of suggested places to visit are less than an hours away. Some of the chateaux and other historic monuments are intact and the interiors can be visited, others are not. Do check first in a tourist office or on the Web. The tourist office in Dormans will be able to advise you further and identify many other sites and options geared to your particular interests.
- Château Vaux le Vicomte (1hr 20m),
- Château de Pierrefonds (1hr 5m) – also adjacent to the attractions of historic Compiègne and its forest,
- Château et Parc du Champs sur Marne (Ihr 5m) are all major chateaux with exquisite gardens and stunning interiors.
- On a smaller scale but quite close by – Chateau de Fère (Fère-en-Tardenois). This Château has a hotel and restaurant in some of the remaining parts of the original chateau. Also, Château de Condé en Brie, is open to visitors.
- Chateau de la Ferté Milon – very grand facade but sadly now only the major walls still stand.
Monuments and Military History:
If you decide to cycle along to Dormans (which is 8 miles away and provides a full collection of restaurants and cafes) the route mostly follows the Marne river (north side), and of course there are a few champagne houses for refreshment en route. To the south – and once out of the valley – there are a lot of minor roads and landscapes to explore. Cycles are unfortunately not available for hire in the village.
The Marne river is generally regarded as a very clean river with good fishing – Carp for example can grow to 25kg. plus. The pontoon in front of La Vallée provides a nice base but there are plenty of other spots along the riverbank. License required from the local newspaper shop in Jaulgonne or the tackle shop in Chateau Thierry.
On The Water:
Electric boats to hire from Blue Nautic in Epernay; River cruises available at Cumières near Epernay and Château Thierry; dingy sailing at Dormans.
La Vallée, 4 Chemin du Port
Jaulgonne 02850, FRANCE
Vallee Management Services Ltd. Registered in the UK, Company Number 9951151