My wife and I have 12 days to spend in France, and we've decided to visit the Champagne region. We're reserving the last three days of our trip for some time in Paris (we've been before, but not for the last 8 years). With 9 days in Champagne, we're thinking of three days each in Epernay, Reims and Troyes. Although we'll have a car, we prefer not to drive in the evenings so we can walk (or take a short taxi ride) to restaurants.
We hope to spend mornings driving to smaller towns/villages and seeing sights, visiting the occasional grower/producer. We may hire a driver once or twice so we can both enjoy Champagne without driving. On the days where we do drive, we'll just do most of our tasting in the afternoon in Epernay or Reims. Troyes is on our list because we love old towns, so it's OK if there's not much in the way of Champagne houses there.
Thoughts on the # of days? Does it make sense splitting our time between Epernay & Reims, even though they're pretty close together? Taxis from one to the other seems like they would add up. We travel lightly, so the idea of moving a few times doesn't phase us (although we don't like to spend just one night in a town).
Any suggestions on drivers that offer private or semi-private tours to Champagne houses outside of these towns? We did that in Provence and really enjoyed it. Thanks in advance.