Posts Tagged ‘Vaux le Vicomte’
In France, you can find yourself in a different historical era depending on the direction that you head. Thanks to the country’s vast transit system including the TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse), much of the country and its rich historical sites are only a few hours away from Paris. Luckily, this means you can discover treasures outside Paris nearly as easily those that you stumbled upon simply walking around the city.
In an earlier post, we talked about taking a day trip to London for the Royal Wedding. London, of course, is an option for the extreme day tripper. There’s so much to see in France that we recommend staying within its borders and exploring what the country has to offer.
Here is the first in a series of day trip recommendations. Below, you’ll find three of our favorite day trips that you might want to consider if time permits.
Giverny – Home to impressionist painter Claude Monet, Giverny hosts about half a million visitors a year who enjoy his house, his famous gardens and the village of Giverny with its unique light. The area also boasts archeological sites, chateaux and other museums.
Take the Paris/Rouen/Le Havre SNCF train from St. Lazare to Vernon. The fastest train takes 45 minutes. At the station, take a taxi, bus or walk the 4km from Vernon to Giverny. There’s a lovely, mostly flat trail that you can take rather than walk along the road with the traffic.
Vaux Le Vicomte – If you’ve already been to Versailles, a visit to this beautiful 17th century chateau is a magical alternative. Thought to be the inspiration for Versailles, the chateau and its gardens are filled with history and art. The gardens were created by André LeNôtre, France’s most famous landscape architect, Vaux Le Vicomte was his first major commission and what led to his appointment at Versailles. And if you are a fan of Moliere, a visit to Vaux-Le-Vicomte, where many of his plays were performed, is a must.
RER B from Chatelet to Melun plus a ten-minute ride by shuttle bus provided by the chateau (only on weekends)
Fontainebleau – Fontainebleau is both a weekend getaway destination for Parisians as well as a former chateau for the kings of France. Many events of great historical significance happened in Fontainebleau including the signing of treaties, the imprisonment of a pope and the farewell of an emperor. The chateau has been beautifully restored and features four museums, a collection of historical pieces including Napolean’s throne, opulent royal apartments and galleries that rival Versailles. The park is also not to be missed featuring Le Grande Parterre by Le Nôtre.
From the Gare de Lyon, take a regional TER to Fontainebleau. The trip takes about 40 minutes from Paris.
Do you have a favorite day trip outside of Paris? Let us know.