Haute-Marne offers history, tradition and ‘green tourism’ opportunities. A huge Cross of Lorraine, memorial to General Charles de Gaulle, dominates the skyline of his home village of Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises.
Visit the museum opened in October 2008 for a snapshot of his military career and personal life.
For breathtaking views, cross the nineteenth century viaduct in Haute-Marne’s capital Chaumont-en-Bassigny or walk the fortified ramparts of hill-top Langres, sometimes called the ‘Carcassonne of the North’.
Find a restaurant to enjoy wine from the champagne vineyards of Rizacourt-Argentolles and Coiffy-le-Haut with some Burgundy truffles or AOC Langres cheese.
Lac du Der-Chantecoq spanning the border with Marne is, at 4,800 hectares, one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe. Ideal for watersports and fishing, the lake includes a nature reserve where you can watch the magical dawn spectacle of tens of thousands of migratory common cranes which arrive each autumn to over-winter. Spot some of Haute-Marne’s 40 species of orchid, roe-deer and perhaps a boar along 1,500km of marked trails.
The region’s artisan history continues today with the cutlers of Nogent. Visit the Nogent cutlery museum and tour willow beds which supply the basket-makers of Fayl-Billot. Follow the ‘Stained Glass Timber-frame Churches Road’ and seek out the Blaise Valley where blacksmiths carry on Haute-Marne’s tradition of wrought iron work.
Decorations on houses at St Dizier were made at its foundry from designs by Art Nouveau architect Hector Guimard. Guimard designed entrances to the Paris Metro and lamp posts on the Champs-Elysees.
If all this sightseeing leaves you in need of relaxation, complete your visit at Bourbonne-les-Bains and choose from a range of spa and beauty treatments at the only spa town in Champagne-Ardennes.