This trip is much shorter in the number of days but the kms covered in a single day are quite long but not arduous.
The region that you will be mostly walking through is the Champagne region, and so you will have an opportunity should you wish to sample some of this local produce!
Arrive to Reims. Here, you can visit the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims which has over 2,300 statues and is the only cathedral to have angels with open wings. With plenty of historic buildings to visit, you can also sample some of the Champagne that this region is famous for or even tour a vineyard.
Heading out of Reims you will pass a marker telling you that it is 2400 km to Santiago! Following the towpath, you will reach Saint-Léonard then continue on the towpath to Sillery. After this village, you will be walking through vineyards, where there is row after row of grapevines nearly as far as the eye can see. Reaching Verzerney, you can stop for a break and bite to eat before continuing on your way to your stop for the night the charming village of Trépail. Here in Trépail, you will have the opportunity should it interest you to find out more about the Champagne making process at Pre en Bulles.
Today’s walk will not have many opportunities to purchase snacks so it may be a prime opportunity to pack a picnic for the day ahead. Hikers will pass through the village of Ambonnay to Condé-sur-Marne where you will then follow the towpath along the Canal Latéral à la Marne all the way to Chalons en Champagne. Here, you can give your feet a break and enjoy a relaxing boat trip around the canals that run through the historic city as well as admire the half-timbered houses in the town centre.
Leaving Chalons en Champagne you will head for the village of Compertrix where you will pass the Chapelle Saint-Gibrien which is dedicated to the Irish Saint Gibrien de Coolus who died in 590 AD. Continuing on, you will be mostly walking through the countryside between crop fields for the rest of the day accompanied by broad sweeping views. Passing by some modern windmills, you will then arrive into the farming village of Coole and your stop for the night.
The walk today is pretty much a straight walk all the way to Donnement. You will pass through some small villages but mostly will be walking on a gravel path through crop fields with gentle ups and downs throughout the day. You will have crossed over into the Aube department and will be greeted by a small woodland before entering the village of Donnement, the final stop for the night. In this French village, you will see many buildings with the timbered façade and can enjoy a relaxing evening sampling some fresh country style French cuisine.
Leaving Donnement following the country road through arable land you will gently rise up and then at the crest of this small ascent, you will be greeted with a panoramic vista over the region with neat crop field laid out before you and woodlands in the distance. In the distance on the horizon, you will start to see the town of Brienne le Chateau rise in front of you. In Brienne le Chateau, you will have the opportunity to learn more about Napoleon in his younger days as this is where he attended military school as a teenager and where there is a museum dedicated to this subject.
Crossing the river to leave Brienne le Chateau behind today, you will initially follow a grassy path through some woodlands to reach the village of Dienville, where you can take the opportunity for an early break and morning coffee. Following the direction of the Aube River, you will pass through more woodlands and country villages. Winding your way closer to your stop for the night, you will cross the Aube River and arrive into Bar-sur-Aube. This old medieval town was famous in the Middle Ages for its Champagne Fairs that brought merchants together from all over Europe. Now it has many listed historical buildings that make it a pleasant town to ramble around.
After breakfast we bid you farewell.
The closest airport is in Paris. From here you can get the TGV to Reims and from Bar-sur-Aube you can get the train back to Paris. Information on times and prices for the train can be found on the following website here.