The Grand Est includes The Alsace-Lorraine & Champagne-Ardenne regions of France. Alsace-Lorraine borders Germany drawing a noticeable architectural influence with its bustling cosmopolitan capital Strasbourg and charming picture book villages. The Vosges mountains are popular with outdoor enthusiasts with walking and cycling during the summer and excellent skiing in the winter. The Vosges foothills are home to the Alsace vineyards producing fine white wines, which can be experienced on the Route des Vins d’Alsace wine trail where you can visit the region’s enchanting medieval villages, towns and Chateaux along the way.
The region has experienced many important battles during the World Wars, including the Battle of Verdun and there are many battlefields, memorials and fortifications that have been restored and preserved for you to explorer. Its rich historical heritage spans many centuries and can be enjoyed at places like Domrémy-la-Pucelle, the birthplace of Joan of Arc and the castle in Sedan that hosts the largest medieval festival in Europe in May.
Food plays a very important part in the region’s makeup. The renowned Quiche Lorraine, a local favourite, dates back to the 16th century and is typical of the Franco-German influence symbolic of the region. The word Quiche derives from Kuchen, meaning cake in german – perfectly accompanied by a chilled glass of Alsace white wine!
The Champagne region borders Belgium to the North and east of Paris, with its main town Reims just 150km from the capital. Legend has it that it was monks from the south of France that brought the method of producing sparkling wine to the area but discovered that its chalky soil and climate produced a bright bubbly wine that was far superior giving the region of Champagne its notoriety – arguably there is no other region in the world that is so famous as the product it makes. There are many Chateaux and cellars to discover and taste across the expanse of rolling hills covered by vineyards and dotted with picturesque villages. The town of Epernay, fifteen miles south of Reims, lies in the heart of champagne country and is home to many of the most famous champagne producers like Moët & Chandon and Perrier-Jouët.
Cities to visit in Grand Est
What holidays to Grand Est have to offer
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