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Walking the Via Francigena from Reims to Bar-sur-Aube

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Stage 5
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166.3km
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8 days
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Starting From
€630
Jan
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May
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Dec

Reims to Bar-sur-Aube Map
The fifth section of Via Francigena features the Cathedral in Reims, the Canals of Chalons and the Napoleon Museum in Brienne le Chateau. On this walk, you will take in the regional history and folklore, especially the rich Napoleonic history, alongside the fresh country French cuisine.

Highlights

The famous Cathedral of Reims

It is impossible to cross Reims without seeing the Cathedral. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it’s the traditional place for the coronation of the King of France. So the cathedral holds an important place in French History.

Damaged during the French revolution and by the World Wars, the Cathedral was rebuilt in the same gothic style. The front of the cathedral is covered with statues of past Kings and important figures. Inside, the detailed stained glass windows date from between the 13th and 20th centuries. Its luminosity and architectural achievement raised Notre Dame de Reims above all other churches in the area.

Canal of Chalon en Champagne

Walking alongside the canal will make you feel like you are in another century. Just close your eyes and imagine yourself walking on a small route just at the border of the water where trees seem to melt into the water. A medieval bridge up ahead is surrounded by pink and red flowers and the air smells fresh and clean with the sun kissing your skin.

This calm trail is quite quiet, although you may meet horses and the occasional boat on the road to Bar-Sur-Aube.

Napoleon Museum

An innocuous-looking military school is located in Brienne-le-Chateau, but it has quite a famous link. This is the school that Napoleon Bonaparte attended! The school is now a museum about the real life of Napoleon, his young years, his military strategy and so on. But the most impactful part of this museum is how it makes you feel connected to Napoleon as a person. You will learn about his friends, how he grew up, and what drove him.

Reims to Bar-sur-aube
Via Francigena
From €630
Preferred Month & Year
Number of people
Additional Information / Request

Services

Included
  • Specially chosen 2-3* hotels or equivalent
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Our Holiday or Pilgrim Pack
Add-On
  • Premium Accommodation
  • Airport Pick-up
  • Additional Night
  • Dinners
  • Day Tours Available
Not included
  • Flights/train
  • Insurance
  • Drinks/Lunch

Itinerary

Day 1

Reims
(Arrival)

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. There are plenty of historic buildings to visit, and you can also sample some of the Champagne that this region is famous for or even tour a vineyard.

Day 2
24km

REIMS to TREPAIL

Heading out of Reims you will pass a marker telling you that it is 2400 km to Santiago! Following the path, you will reach Saint-Léonard then continue on 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. Continue on your way to your stop for the night, the charming village of Trépail. Here in Trépail, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the Champagne making process at Pre en Bulles.

Day 3
26km

TREPAIL to CHALONS EN CHAMPAGNE

Today’s walk will not have many opportunities to purchase snacks so 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.

Day 4
27km

CHALONS EN CHAMPAGNE to COOLE

Leaving Chalons en Champagne you will head for the village of Compertrix. Here you will pass the Chapelle Saint-Gibrien which is dedicated to the Irish Saint Gibrien de Coolus who died in 590 AD. Gaze across the countryside between crop fields for broad sweeping views. Keep an eye out for some modern windmills as you arrive into the farming village of Coole, your stop for the night.

Day 5
27km

COOLE to DONNEMENT

You will pass through some small villages today but mostly you will be walking through crop fields throughout the day. As you cross over into the Aube department you will be greeted by a small woodland. Donnement, the final stop for the night is full of buildings with an interesting timbered façade. Enjoy a relaxing evening sampling fresh country style French cuisine.

Day 6
17km

DONNEMENT to BRIENNE LE CHATEAU

Today you can expect panoramic vistas over the region with neat crop field laid out before you and woodlands in the distance. On 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.

Day 7
29km

BRIENNE LE CHATEAU to BAR-SUR-AUBE

Crossing the river to leave Brienne le Chateau behind, you will initially follow a grassy path through some woodlands to reach the village of Dienville. Here 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.

Day 8

BAR-SUR-AUBE

After breakfast, we bid you farewell, or welcome you to the next stage of the Via Francigena walk to Rome.

Let us know if you would like to take extra rest days or extend your stay anywhere along the route to explore it more.

Map of route from Reims to Bar-sur-Aube

Reims to Bar-sur-Aube Elevation

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