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Guide to Aube
Aube, in the southwest corner of Champagne-Ardennes, is a gentle landscape of lakes and forest and of course, vineyards. There are half-timbered ancient towns and villages where gourmet food and local wines are king. It is just an hour and a half from Paris to this charming and relaxing pocket-sized paradise.
Aube is an easy 4 hour drive from Calais making it an ideal region for a short break. Just imagine a landscape of gentle hills and valleys smothered in millions of vines burgeoning with luscious champagne grapes and where wine growers welcome visitors. Near Burgundy, in Southern Champagne, Aube is the ideal destination to discover the French way of life.
Why you should visit Aube for your next holiday in France
Named after the river Aube which flows through the area before joining the Seine, Aube is a land of lush fertile fields and dense forest. The Foret d'Orient and the Foret de Piney are both precious woodland reserves, sanctuaries for plants, animals and birds. The Lac d'Orient offers plenty of opportunity for boating, fishing and beach picnics. Sailing, windsurfing and other sports are on offer at the Club Nautique Aubois de Voile, and less taxing pastimes of golf, archery, riding, hot-air ballooning are all available in the area.
With the opening of the A26 highway between Reims and Dijon more tourists are discovering the Aube route. Towns of interest in this region include: Bar-sur-Aube, Bar-sur-Seine, Bayel, Brienne-le-Château, Clairvaux, Colombé-le-Sec, Colombey-les-Deux Eglises, Essoyes, Gyé-sur-Seine, Polisy, Neuville-sur-Seine, Les Riceys and the capital Troyes.
There are stunning views over the hills and valleys of the Côte des Bar area. Champagne is also made here and wine-makers are always glad to welcome visitors. A festival takes place in Troyes during the second week of June. A similar festival takes place in Bar-sur-Aube in the second weekend in September.
What to see and do in Aube
One of the enjoyments of visiting this delightful area is to learn about champagne. The best way to do this is to drive along the impressive Route Touristique du Champagne (Champagne Tourist Route) this takes you through the south eastern area of Aube between Bar sur Seine and Bar sur Aube. Local tourist offices supply lists of wine growers and champagne cellars that are open to the public. The owners organise tours explaining what makes champagne produced in this region so special.
Troyes (the capital of the department) lies conveniently in the heart of Aube en Champagne, so whilst visiting other attractions in the area why not visit this lovely medieval town of timber-frame houses, narrow streets and a beautifully preserved historical centre. It is steeped in history and is famous for its champagne fairs held in the second week of June.
Where the Aube and the Yonne meet is very pleasant countryside, it has gentle hills, a little earthly paradise. There are many long walks, mountain bike rides and horse rides in the forests of tall oaks, sycamore, maple, beech and wild cherry. The typical villages of brick-coloured houses that you come across are simply asking to be explored.
Places to visit
- Amazing wooden churches - in the north-east of the Aube, take a little trip to Bailly-le Franc at Lentilles, going through Mathaux, Chauffour-lès-Bailly and Soulaines-Dhuys, this will give you the chance to admire unique half-timbered churches.
- Bayel - This is a village unlike any other. It stands in a loop of the Aube, has a rich past, and it has succeeded in perpetuating the glassmakers' tradition. The glassworks produce pieces of crystal that are perfect. The secret technique is handed down through generations and goes back to 1300, but the Venetian influent was not introduced till 1666 when Jean-Baptiste Mazzolay arrived.
- Chaource - This pretty town situated at the source of the Armance, in farmland of fields and hedgerows. It is known for its cow's milk cheese which is moulded by hand. This delicious cheese is recognised by its florid rind, its soft flesh and its inimitable taste. Visit the cheese museum, which is in the village centre.
- Troyes - A charming city with its numerous museums, churches and medieval buildings. It is known as the "holy city of stained glass" because it boasts a large number of beautiful stained glass windows dating from the 13th to the 19th century. In the old quarter there are closely packed 16th century half-timbered wood and stone mansions, surrounding delightful courtyards, narrow streets as well as the main square with its lovely fountains.
How to get to Aube
Paris's two airports, Charles de Gaulle and Orly are both around equal distance to the Aube department. If you are travelling to the north you may wish to consider flying to Reims, while if you have property in the east, Strasbourg is another option.
Eurostar has made the journey easy from London, St Pancras International to Paris, Gare du Nord is just 2 hours 15 minutes. From Paris (Gare Montparnasse) there are TGV trains to Troyes.
Arrive at Calais (Eurotunnel) then follow the A26 to Troyes. It will take approximately 4 hours to travel the 400 kilometres.
The nearest ferry ports to the Aube department are Dunkirk and Calais.
Average temperature and rainfall for Aube
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