Looking to explore the surroundings of Paris? We do not think often enough to visit the Aube, a region rich in heritage and activities! Sound familiar?
Less than two hours drive from Paris, why not consider visiting the Aube? Aube is home to one of France’s leading regional natural parks. It remains very attached to its traditions and heritage. You can venture on many tourist routes in this historical territory of champagne production.
There are many reasons to discover Aube. The half-timbered houses, hiking trails, and gastronomy are the notable reasons. Besides, the heritage, champagne, and local products are essential to check.
From Troyes to the small villages of Aubois through its green spaces, you will not be bored in the Aube! So pack your bags for lovers of ecological tourism, great gourmets, families, and backpackers! It’s time to discover the 11 best things to do in the Aube.
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The 11 Unique and Best Things to do in the Aube
The alleys of Troyes
City of Art and History, you will love strolling through the small streets of Troyes! This city is one of the must-sees to register on your program of visits to the Aube. Its historic center bears the evocative name of the Bouchon de Champagne district. It is divided into what was, at the time, a Jewish quarter and a goldsmith’s quarter. Stroll between its facades and small cafes: an authentic village atmosphere reigns!
Don’t miss: the Jardin Juvénal des Ursins as well as the Maison de l’Orfèvre and its round turret.
Take advantage of your stay in the city center. You can stay in Hotel de Vaulusiant. The city houses two museums, the Place de la Liberation and the famous Halles de Troyes. There you will find many tasty local specialties.
The Trojan city center has some exciting museums. The famous Maison de l’Outil et de la Pensée Ouvrière is for curious visitors. It offers a collection of tools and presents them with many craft techniques. A museum to do in the Aube for all DIY lovers!
The Cité du Vitrail is another exciting museum. There you can admire the colors of the stained glass windows and discover their techniques of realization.
See the Museum of Modern Art, which offers a complete panorama of this art.
The factory outlets of Troyes
Besides its historical appeal, Troyes is famous for its many factory outlets. There you can go shopping while preserving your wallet! But before giving you the proper addresses, let’s examine some history. Already in the eighteenth century, Troyes was the European capital of hosiery.
At that time, the fairs of Champagne knew an unprecedented economic influence. It allowed the textile industry to develop until the twentieth century. In this context, in the 1960s, the concept of factory outlets was born in Troyes.
Initially reserved for the staff of these factories, they will open to the general public in the 1970s.
Today, three major brand centers are located in Troyes. These are Mac Arthur Glen, Marques City, and Marques Avenue. The last one is situated in Saint-Julien-Les-Villas. Between them, they host more than a hundred stores at reduced prices. The best deals are yours!
2. Regional Natural Park of the Orient Forest
The Regional Natural Park of the Foret d’Orient is the green lung of the Aube. It’s on more than 80000 hectares and includes 58 municipalities.
A palette of landscapes to make you dizzy! It is a must in the Aube for any visitor enjoying the calm green spaces and the places to relax.
On the territory of the natural park, there are three of the great lakes of Champagne. These are Lake-Orient, Lake Temple, and Lake Amance. It is possible to do many water activities there.
Discover the fantastic fauna and flora on foot or bike on the Vélovoie des Lacs, a green course of 42 kilometers.
In Brienne-la-Vieille, you can visit the Ecomuseum of the Orient Forest. It will expose you to rural life. Featuring an astonishing collection of agricultural equipment and beautiful reconstructions.
In Dolancourt, 45 minutes from Troyes, you will come across a famous amusement park in the region. Named Nigloland! Behind this wacky name hides the story of two brothers and former fairgrounds, Patrice and Philippe Gélis.
They inaugurated this park in 1987. Today, it’s located in the heart of the protected area of the Orient Forest. Also, it is divided into four thematic areas.
Instead, this park is a generalist. You will find thrilling attractions and family activities, and rides for toddlers. A stop to do in the Aube, especially if traveling with children.
4. Family home of the painter Renoir
In the extreme southeast of the department, the charming little village of Essoyes hides a well-kept secret. It houses the family home of the famous painter Renoir. He was born in 1841 and a figure of the French Impressionist current. It was he who painted the canvas of the Bal du Moulin de la Galette or the Déjeuner des Canotiers.
The house was restored in the 1900 style to open it to the public. The permanent exhibition there will allow you to discover the painter’s life and his family—a brief presentation on the theme of art and an audiovisual show complete the picture.
A pleasant little visit to the Aube!
5. Champagne Tourist Route
On the Côte des Bar south of Troyes, enjoy the sparkling bubbles of champagne differently! From Bar-sur-Aube to Essoyes via the Riceys, discover the noble grape varieties typical of the Aub. Such as Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay.
The partner winegrowers of the Champagne Tourist Route are ready to welcome you. You can see their champagne-making process with your own eyes. But, of course, this tourist route in the Aube is a pretext for tasting fine bubbles!
6. Learn about artisanal techniques at the Dosches mill
As we saw above, visiting the Aube is a fun way to learn more about French craftsmanship! The Moulin de Dosches is no exception. A group of enthusiasts erected this in 2007. It aims to recreate and enhance traditional know-how that is disappearing. The site, managed by an association, includes a mill, a barn, a bakehouse, and a garden.
Overlooking a small village in Champagne is an opportunity to look at the journey of a grain of wheat from the millstone to the baking of bread.
Bonus: you can also discover permaculture by visiting its ecological vegetable garden.
7. Camille Claudel Museum
In Nogent-sur-Seine, a museum is dedicated to the life of the sculptor Camille Claudel. It was in this city that his vocation appeared to him. The girl became passionate about modeling at an early age in this region. Many potters are housed.
This small museum showcases the work of four sculptors. Marius Ramus, Paul Dubois, Camille Claudel, and Alfred Boucher, who was the latter’s mentor. Through her works, discover the sensitivity of an artist influenced by an eventful life.
8. Brisatte Botanical Garden
This pretty garden in the Aube offers a magical moment for all visitors. Young and old will be able to come and learn about 440 plant species. The flowering is superb in spring and summer.
Take advantage of this Mesniloise walk to visit the parish church, the chapel, and the city’s monastery!
9. The Chaource
In the town of Chaource, where the famous cheese of the same name was born, honor a small gastronomic getaway. First, the Cheese Museum will open its doors to teach you all the art of cheese production. Churns, skimmers, and other breast pumps: it will no longer have any secrets for you!
Make a stop at the Fromagerie de Mussy. Then, guided by a manager, you will know all about the making of the famous Chaource.
They will also introduce you to other creamy specialties, such as Délice de Mussy. You will have the opportunity to leave with full pockets by treating yourself in their artisanal shop. A unique place to visit in the Aube!
10. To see and also do in the Dawn
Champagne Nights Festival
Every October, Troyes welcomes nearly 2,000 festival-goers. Also, It changes its face for five days. Champagne Nights Festival was created in 1988 at the initiative of the city of Troyes. This festival puts the song to text and the profession of a songwriter in the spotlight. This period transforms the whole city into an artistic meeting place.
You can admire an architectural curiosity typical of the Champagne country in the northeast of the department.
You can see many stunning buildings in Lentilles, Bailly le Franc, or Longsols. These half-timbered buildings made of wood and cob will amaze your pupils. Try to see it in the Dawn!
How to go to the Dawn?
Aube is easily accessible by different means of transport. It is less than 200 kilometers from Paris.
The easiest solution to getting by plane to the Aube is to land at Paris-Vatry airport. It’s 65 kilometers from Troyes. However, you can also choose to book a flight to another airport in Paris. After all, the capital is only less than a two-hour drive from the Dawn Hotspot! To find the most exciting route, use a flight comparator like Skyscanner.
If you prefer the railway, know that visiting the Aube can be done quickly by going to the department by train. In addition, Troyes is regularly connected to Paris, Dijon, and other cities in the Grand Est region. All aboard!
Take the car
The A5 motorway allows you to reach the Aube, no matter where you are! The presence of several national roads also facilitates mobility in the department. For example, you can drive on the N4. If the car is not the most comfortable mode of transport, its use is almost mandatory if you plan to leave Troyes.
Where to stay in the Aube?
The Aube has many tourist accommodations. A little-known destination but full of surprises and rich in its historical heritage. Why not use a hotel comparator to find the one that suits you quickly?
If you prefer to bet on renting a home from an individual, check out Airbnb’s offer. In the four corners of the Aube, accommodation more exotic than the others awaits you! We hope our article on “Unique and Best Things to do in the Aube” was helpful to you.