Champagne and Burgundy

CHAMPAGNE GOLF HOLIDAYS

What’s not to like about Champagne! Every time we visit we are always amazed at how pristine the region is and how very proud the Champenois are of their heritage and countryside…Why not when it’s as unique as this. The start of the Champagne region starts just two hours from Calais and extends from Laon, the capital Reims, sparkling Epernay, charming Troyes and across to Chaumont and almost touching Burgundy. There are vineyards and wine chateaux throughout and we’ve explored, stayed, played and tasted at many of them and are proud to offer our insight into the wonderful world of Champagne.

Golf-wise, it’s a region of holiday courses rather than sensational championship designs. There are two or three courses within reach of each of our recommended hotels and even more wine-tasting opportunities. Our selection of hotels reflects the region with fine food and proximity to attractions.

Reims is an interesting city even without the wine – history, shopping and a superb choice of restaurants and hotels are on your hotel doorstep. Epernay has been rejuvenated over the last decade and many of its houses and cellars have recently been elected to UNESCO status. Troyes is prettier than a picture, and the countryside between Troyes and Chaumont is breath-taking with the huge Foret d’Orient providing the setting for one of our hotels and golf courses. You’ll be surprised at the value too – green-fees are reasonable and our hotels range from welcoming three-star to some of the finest small hotels in Europe. A golf break away from the crowds and a great opportunity to explore the history and nature of one of France’s most picturesque regions.

BURGUNDY GOLF HOLIDAYS

With the north of Burgundy just 4½ hours’ drive from Calais, the world’s finest white wines (and some very fine reds, too) are closer than you think. If you really want to spoil yourself, two or three nights in neighbouring Champagne makes a perfect two-centre holiday. Burgundy is far more than just wine – it was, for a thousand years, the centre of power in Europe, the Duc de Bourgogne was the wealthiest and most influential man, and his armies decided many an international dispute. To this day, the title of House of Bourbon is used by the eldest son of the heir to the French throne – Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou – who is known as Prince Louis of Bourbon.

Before the invention of fast travel, Burgundy offered the best access to several major cities and its huge agricultural lands still feed many millions of people. Weather-wise, summers in Burgundy are warm and winters are cold with spring and autumn being quite short and soft. This climate, along with the limestone soil, helps the wine industry as well as the fairways! So, we’ve got the history, the wealth and the landscape, so what about the golf courses, hotels and towns? Beaune, Dijon, Macon and Auxerre are the main towns and they are very much unspoilt and present a fine choice of hotels and interesting après-golf. The surrounding towns are like a who’s who of wine making: the two Pouillys, Chateauneuf, Meursault, Chalon, Puligny-Montrachet… For accommodation, we’ve made an informed choice of small chateaux, charming inns and exciting new-look hotels. Golf is good without being sensational: you can play three courses when staying at either Dijon and Beaune, and the golf hotels of Chateau de Chailly and Domaine de Roncemay ensure a comfortable stay with good food and central locations. All told, we rate six of the eleven 18-hole golf courses as worthy venues.

As with all the best wine regions, we have an educated list of contacts and venues for wine-tastings and stays in wine chateaux. To summarise, we don’t class Burgundy as a true golf holiday destination but we do class it as a very good “golf and more” holiday destination. The more you want, the more Burgundy will be able to satisfy you.

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