Day trips outside of Paris

Dec 18th, 2000, 10:57 AM
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Day trips outside of Paris

My wife and I are going to Paris in April - we plan on spending 5 days i Paris- but then have some days that we would like to rent car and maybe take day trips to other interesting sites in France- Can you reccommend some day trips? maybe winerys?
Dec 18th, 2000, 12:37 PM
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Day trips from Paris is a very popular topic here, you can do a Search on it on this forum, or just keep scrolling down until you find the most recent posting.
The most popular one-day destinations are Chartres, Versailles, Giverny, and Fontainebleau. Reims is also easily doable by by train or even better by car, and you can visit champagne caves as well as a beautiful cathedral.
For two or three days, Normandie and the Loire valley are very popular.
I have this information in my Paris file; if you'd like to see it, email me.
Jan 15th, 2001, 01:10 AM
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We just took a weekend trip out of Paris and would never reccomend Reims. What a dreary over commercialized city. We hated it. I should have listened to all you Fodorites who said the same thing. Cathedral is OK but very washed out and much in need of renovation. Definately not worth it. We did enjoy driving through Epernay and all the vineyards. Many places to stop & sample (Summertime). We loved the cathedral in the middle of l'Epine (great gargoyles). Troyes was better than Reims by far but also heavily visited and urban. Would have loved to see the inside of chateau at Vaux le Vicompt but it is closed for winter until mid-March. Looks gorgeous.
Jan 15th, 2001, 06:50 AM
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If you don't want to rent a car you can do Versailles by train. Chantilly is very nice and interesting, but not sure about train to there, we had car. It is close in. Fontainbleau is also nice, again we drove there but I assume you can get there by train. Chartes by either train or car is a nice day trip and well worth it. Try to catch a Malcolm Miller tour when at Chartes. If you do rent a car you might consider time in the Loire Valley to see some of the chateau. Very pleasant and easy drive from Paris but you might want to consider an overnight in the valley. One idea that may be a stretch is to drive to Brugge, Belgium, an easy 3 hour drive, but again to do it justice you need more than a day trip I think. It is wonderful.
Jan 15th, 2001, 09:27 AM
Bob Brown
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My vote is for Vaux-le-Vicomte near the town of Melun, east of Paris. The chateaux is a masterpiece because it blends so beautifully engineering, artistic accomplishment, and landscape architecture. If you can find a long bus tour that goes there, you might want to take it rather than free lance the trip because it is a taxi ride from Melun. (The road did not look suitable for walking because it was narrow and had no pedestrian path.)

The chateau was constructed for Nicolas Forquet, who was the fianance minister under Louis XIV. The three men who designed and supervised the actual construction were Andre Le Notre, landscape architect; Charles Le Brun artist and interior designer; and Louis Le Vau, engineer.
After Louis put Forquet in prison forever, he hauled off the furniture and "requsted" the three creators of Vaux to design Versailles. Had he left them to their work as Forquet had done, Versailles might have turned out even better.
But old Louis, described as "tetchy" in his best moods, was an inveterate meddler.
Jan 15th, 2001, 09:29 AM
Bob Brown
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OOOPS. Neglected the rented car bit.
There is a parking area across the road from the entrance to Vaux le Vicomte.
Also, there is a place to eat in the old stable area. We enjoyed our meal.
Jan 15th, 2001, 10:02 AM
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You can go to Chantilly by train, indeed. Same with Fontainebleau (but I believe the train station is at some distance from the castle)

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