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Giverny is one of the most amazing places close to Paris
5 Wonderful Places Close to Paris
Paris is famous for its many monuments, avenues, museums, parks and other places of interest. But did you know that, just outside the capital, countless incredible locations are also worth a visit? Here are five of the most amazing spots your tour agency in Paris won’t let you miss.
A symbol of the long since disappeared French monarchy, the Palais de Versailles and its superb gardens are something to behold. Famously recognised as the residence of Louis XIV, the powerful Sun King, the Palace of Versailles underwent several enlargements under his reign. But it is perhaps as the place where Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette learned about the storming of the Bastille in 1789 that the Château is even more well known.
Nowadays, Versailles and its sumptuous green spaces are a world-famous landmark where tourists flock ceaselessly. The recently renovated Hall of Mirrors is amongst the beauties your Paris tour guide won’t let you miss. If you are lucky enough to go to Versailles in spring or summer, a picnic is in order, as is the visit of the Petit Trianon and its lovely little animal farm.
A mere hour away from Paris stands the object of Claude Monet’s inspiration: the incredible gardens that anyone can now visit in Giverny. A firm favourite for tour operators, Giverny is a remarkable place lovers of impressionist art will thoroughly enjoy. Close to the town of Vernon, Giverny’s tranquillity is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of Paris. Your tour operator in Giverny will guide you through the painter’s family home and let you in on all the secrets that lie behind his most famous works of art. Quiet, lush and infused with a little magic, the gardens boast splendid ponds featuring the very water lilies that inspired Monet to paint the Nymphéas and elegantly designed Japanese-style bridges. While Giverny is especially known for its gardens created by Monet himself, the painter’s house is also very interesting to see. While there is always much to do in Giverny, Monet’s House and Gardens are only open from April 1st to November 1st, so be sure to plan ahead if you wish to visit Giverny while in Paris.
Your tour agency in Paris may also suggest Fontainebleau, particularly if you are interested in the French monarchy or in beautifully designed gardens. While Fontainebleau has been an important place since medieval times, it is during the Renaissance that it acquired the style it is now recognised for. 800 years of history, 1500 different rooms and 130 hectares of land and gardens make it easy to understand why both François I and Napoleon Bonaparte had made it one of their residences of choice.
Your Paris tour guide may also accompany you all the way to the Mont Saint-Michel, right on the border between Normandy and Brittany. This UNESCO site is a village on a hill which, at high tide, is surrounded by the sea. Infused with religious history, the place is home to a huge and magnificent monastery shrouded in legendary mystery. Your tour agency in Paris won’t let you miss it if you are in the area for more than a couple of days.
The Loire Valley
Located only two to three hours away from Paris, the Loire Valley is to wine what Giverny is to art. Close to the centre of France, this region houses several beautiful Châteaux and countless vineyards. As there are over 300 castles in the Loire Valley, you certainly won’t be able to see them all. Your tour agency in Paris will take you to visit some of the most unforgettable ones, such as the Château d’Ambroise, the Château de Chambord or the Chenonceau Castle.