At the heart of Champagne, around ten kilometres from Saint-Dizier and Montier-en-Der, Der-Chantecoq Lake is France's biggest artificial lake, measuring 4,800 hectares! It's a splendid expanse of water on the border between the departments of Marne and Haute-Marne, ideal for water sports such as bathing, kayaking, water skiing, jet skiing, windsurfing and fishing. You can also go walking, cycling or rollerblading there, along its 77 kilometres of landscaped banks. There is plenty for fans of relaxation too, as the lake has six beaches of fine sand, which are an ideal place to unwind. As well as these many attractions, there are three harbours - Giffaumont, Nemours and Nuisement - so fans of yachting, sailing and speed boating can enjoy their favourite activity.
Observation points and discovery trails dotted along the edges of the quiet areas provide nature-lovers with a chance to admire the wildlife, and in particular the migrant birds (such as the common crane), who stay here from autumn to spring. A paradise for keen ornithologists! The panoramic water tower of Giffaumont-Champaubert has an orientation table and offers a superb view of the lake and hedged farmland all around, from a height of 20 metres.
In Sainte-Marie-du-Lac-Nuisement, don't miss the Museum of Pays du Der, based in the typical half-timbered buildings of humid Champagne. Visitors can learn about the history and construction of Der Lake and the villages that have disappeared, the arts and traditions of Champagne's hedged farmland, its old trades, an educational pond and kitchen garden, and a garden of medicinal plants!