Trips around Paris
Not far from Paris are plenty of fantastic places to enjoy. Versailles palace is probably the most famous monument built by the Sun King. Giverny is a splendid garden designed by Claude Monet where he created his masterpieces « the Water Lilies ». Less visited but nevertheless remarkable are the palaces of Fontainebleau, Vaux-le-Vicomte and Chantilly.
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Undoubtedly the most famous palace in the Paris region, built mainly under Louis XIV, the Sun King. Its breathtaking hall of mirrors in the State appartments really deserves a visit, as well as the King and Queen’s bedchambers. Above all, the French-style garden, the Trianons estates and the Queen’s Hamlet cannot be overlooked.
Former residence of Empress Josephine, Napoleon’s first wife, this human-size château is located just outside Paris. The house is wonderfully decorated and furnished and is a perfect example of the Empire style. The guided visit shows you the splendid rooms on the ground and first floors. Then, at the end of the tour, enjoy a stroll in the garden.
The garden created by Claude Monet in Normandy is really superb, no matter which season you decide to go. The guided tour will take you to the water lily pond and the flower garden. Just over an hour’s drive from Paris, Giverny really deserves some time to wander in the village, to sit down and relax in the shade of one of the cafes and restaurants along the main street.
Auvers-Sur-Oise, a little village in the outskirts of Paris, is related with Vincent Van Gogh last stay. On this guided tour, let’s follow his last steps, to visit the Auberge Ravoux, where he lived and died. We will get through the streets to find the source of his last works, including the famous church. And of course we will visit his burial place, the cemetery further in the village.
Less than one hour from Paris, the historic château de Chantilly, is located in a charming town surrounded by a huge forest. It belonged to personalities linked with the royal family, such as the Conde, the Montmorency and the duc d’Aumale. Turned into an art museum in the nineteeth century, it is an amazing place to visit away from the hustle and bustle of Paris.
The palace of Fontainebleau is one of the largest residences of the royal family, southeast of Paris. Designated as a Unesco World Heritage site in 1981, this is a must-see château to understand French history. The Italian Renaissance style was introduced here, by Francis Ist in this place, the same king who invited Leonardo Da Vinci to France.
Built by Nicolas Fouquet, Finance minister of Louis XIV, the château de Vaux le Vicomte was inaugurated with an unforgettable feast in 1661. Sold to Alfred Sommier in 1875, it remained in the same family until today. Its French style garden and classic architecture form a landmark of the Great Century.
My favorite trips around Paris
Join me on one of my favourite guided trips around Paris. Enjoy a visit of la Malmaison, the splendid house where Napoleon and Josephine resided during the Consulate. Monet’s garden at Giverny is a very relaxing and peacefull area, at lunch time especially. Vaux-le-Vicomte is according to me the best palace to discover outside Paris, contemporary to Versailles, but less busy.