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  • Writer's pictureAngelina Ly

7 Day Trips From Paris That Will Make You Fall in Love With France

There is so much to see and do in Paris that it can be hard to know where to start. But once you've seen the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Louvre, what else is there? Plenty! The best way to see more of France is to take some day trips from Paris. In this blog post, we will explore 7 different day trip options that are all within driving distance of the City of Lights. Whether you're looking for a leisurely wine-tasting tour or an adventure through the mountains, there is something for everyone!



Day Trip #1: Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is a picturesque region located just a few hours from Paris. This area is renowned for its beautiful castles, many of which are open to the public. The Loire Valley is the perfect place to go for a leisurely stroll through the vineyards, followed by a wine tasting (or two). The Loire Valley is home to one of my favorite types of wine - Chenin Blanc. It is also a great place to try some of the local cuisines, such as quiche Lorraine or tarte Tatin.


How to Get There

There are many different ways to get to the Loire Valley from Paris. You can take the train, which takes about 2 hours, or you can drive, which takes about 4 hours. I recommend renting a car so that you have the flexibility to explore the different castles at your own pace. You can also find a tour of the Loire Valley that takes out all the stress of planning!


Activities

Some of the most popular castles in the Loire Valley include Château de Chenonceau, Château de Chaumont, and Château de Blois. Admission prices vary depending on the castle but typically range from €10-20.


If castles are not your thing, don't worry! The Loire Valley has plenty of other activities to keep you busy. You can go hiking, kayaking, or even hot air ballooning. Or, if you're looking for something a little more relaxed, you can visit one of the many local wineries or take a tour of a lavender field.


Where to Eat

There are many great restaurants in the Loire Valley, but one of my favorites is La Vie de Chateau in Amboise. La Maison A Cote just outside of Chambord is also a great option if you're looking for French Haute cuisine.


Where to Stay

If you are planning on making this a weekend trip, there are many different places to stay in the Loire Valley. I recommend checking out Airbnb for some great deals on apartments and homes. You can also check out the Hotel Le Manoir Les Minimes, which is a beautiful 5-star hotel located in the heart of the Loire Valley.



Day Trip #2: Versailles

Just a short train ride from Paris, Versailles is a must-see for anyone interested in French history. Located there is the infamous Palace of Versailles, which was built in the 17th century for Louis XIV and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace is absolutely massive and filled with beautiful works of art. Visitors can explore the beautiful gardens, tour the opulent rooms of the palace, and even see the famous Hall of Mirrors.


How to Get There

To get to the Palace of Versailles from Paris, take the RER C train from Paris. The journey takes about 45 minutes. You can also take a tour of Versailles that includes round-trip transportation from Paris. Tickets to enter the palace and the grounds cost €21.50 for adults and is free for children under 18.


Activities

I recommend going early as it can get quite crowded, especially in the summer months. And if you have extra time, be sure to check out the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon, two smaller palaces because are equally as beautiful.


Aside from the Palace, there are plenty of other things to do in Versailles. You can go shopping at one of the many stores or stop by the market for some fresh produce. For a taste of history, you can visit the Church of Saint-Louis or the Musee Lambinet. And if you're looking for something unique, be sure to check out the Musical Fountains Show, which is held every Saturday from April to October.


Where to Eat

If you're looking for a place to eat in Versaille, I recommend Restaurant Les Quatre Saisons for a romantic traditional French dinner or The Coup d'Etat for a casual bite.


Where to Stay

There are many hotels in Versailles, but one of the closest to the Palace is the Hotel Le Versailles. If you're looking for something a little cheaper, there are also many Airbnbs in the area.



Day Trip #3: Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel is a small island located off the coast of Normandy. This is a great day trip for anyone who wants to see more of rural France. The island is home to a beautiful medieval abbey, which is perched atop a rocky outcropping. The views from the top are absolutely breathtaking.


How to Get There

To get to Mont Saint-Michel from Paris, take the train to Rennes and then transfer to a bus for the final leg of the journey. The journey takes about 5 hours in total.


Activities

The island is home to a beautiful abbey, which was built in the 8th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can explore the abbey, as well as the many shops and restaurants located in the small village at the base of the island. Tickets to enter the abbey cost €11 for adults and is free for children under 18.


Aside from the Abbey, there are plenty of other things to do on the island. Visitors can hike to the top of the island for some stunning views, or explore the many narrow streets and alleyways. There is also a small museum located on the island that tells the history of Mont Saint-Michel.


Where to Eat

There are many restaurants located on the island, but one of the most popular is La Cloche, which is a creperie located in the village.


Where to Stay

There are many hotels and Airbnbs located on the island. I recommend checking out La Mere Poulard, which is a beautiful 4-star hotel located on the edge of the island.


Day Trip #4: Champagne Region

For those who enjoy a glass of bubbly, a day trip to the Champagne region is a must! Just a few hours from Paris, this picturesque region is home to some of the best champagne producers in the world. Many of the producers offer tours and tastings, so you can learn about the history of champagne and how it's made.


How to Get There

The Champagne region can be reached by train from Paris in about 2 hours. It's quite easy to get to Reims from Paris, but if you want to spend more time there, driving is ideal. If you go by train, there are plenty of tour operators that offer guided tours of the champagne houses.


Activities

Once you're there, I recommend renting a car so that you can easily visit the different producers. Some of the most popular producers include Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, and Taittinger. Many of the producers offer tours and tastings, so you can learn about the history of champagne and how it's made.


Where to Eat

There are many restaurants located in the Champagne region, but one of the most popular is La Cave a Champagne, which is located in the town of Epernay. They offer traditional French dishes, as well as a large selection of champagnes. For a more extensive guide on where to eat in the Champagne region, check out this guide by Eater.


Where to Stay

The Champagne area is quite spread out, but one of the closest towns to the producers is Reims. There are many hotels and Airbnbs located in the town. I recommend checking out Hotel Les Crayeres, which is a beautiful 5-star hotel located on the outskirts of town. If you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, B&B Hôtel Reims Croix Blandin is a great choice. It's inexpensive, clean, and centrally located.



Day Trip #5: Giverny

Famous for being the home of Claude Monet, Giverny is a small village located just an hour away from Paris. The village is home to Monet's former home and gardens, which have been beautifully preserved.


How to Get There

To get to Giverny from Paris, take the train from Gare Saint-Lazare to Vernon. The journey takes about an hour. You can also rent a car or take a tour from Paris that includes transportation.


Activities

Visitors can explore Monet's beautiful gardens, which served as inspiration for many of his famous paintings. The gardens are divided into two parts - the Clos Normand with its flowers and vegetables, and the water garden with its lily ponds and bridges. It includes a small house that has been turned into a museum dedicated to Monet's life and work. Admission to the gardens is €11 for adults and €6.50 for children under 18 and over 7.


Where to Eat

There are many restaurants located in Giverny, but one of the best restaurants is in La Musardière, which is also a hotel. The restaurant serves French cuisine that combines contemporary and traditional dishes. For a quick bite to eat, there are also many cafes and bakeries located in the village.


Where to Stay

There are many hotels and Airbnbs located in Giverny. I recommend checking out Hotel B&B Le Jardin des Plumes, which is an upscale but reasonably priced hotel located in the center of town. The La Musardière that I mentioned before is also a great option. It's a bit more expensive, but it's worth it for the amazing food and experience.


Day Trip #6: Fontainebleu

Fontainebleu is a beautiful town located southeast of Paris. It's most famous for its large castle, which was once a residence of French kings. The area around the castle is now a national forest, making it a great place for hiking and picnicking.


How to Get There

To get to Fontainebleau from Paris, take the RER D train from any station in Paris. The journey takes about 45 minutes.


Activities

It's most famous for its large palace, the Palace of Fontainebleu, which was built in the 16th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tickets to enter the palace cost €13 for adults and is free for children under 18. Visitors can explore the palace, as well as the town's many shops and restaurants. It is also home to some of the best hiking trails and rock climbing in the region. If you are more into the outdoors, I definitely recommend visiting Fontainebleau!


Where to Eat

There are many restaurants located in Fontainebleau, but one of the best is La Maison d'à Côté. The restaurant serves French cuisine with a creative twist. They actually won a Michelin star within their first year of opening.


Where to Stay

There are many hotels located in Fontainebleau, but one of the best is L’Aigle Noir Hôtel Fontainebleau. The hotel is located just 1 kilometer from the forest of Fontainebleau, so you can wake up and go for a hike right from your doorstep.



Day Trip #7: Chantilly

Chantilly is a small town located just outside of Paris. It's most famous for its beautiful castle, the Château de Chantilly, which was built in the 15th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


How to Get There

To get to Chantilly from Paris, take the RER D train from any station in Paris. The journey takes about 45 minutes.


Activities

Visitors can explore the castle, as well as the many shops and restaurants in the town. Tickets to enter the castle cost €8 for adults but during the low season they charge €6 . There is also a museum on the history of the castle and its grounds. If you are interested in horse racing, Chantilly is home to one of the most prestigious horse racing tracks in France.


Where to Eat

There are many restaurants located in Chantilly, but one of the best is La Table du Connétable. This restaurant also is Michelin-rated and has one star. For some afternoon tea, be sure to stop at l'Atelier de la Chantilly.


Where to Stay

There are many hotels located in Chantilly, but one of the best is Hôtel Mercure Chantilly Resort & Conventions. The hotel is located down the road from the castle, so you can wake up to some phenomenal views right from your hotel.


These are just a few of the many day trips that you can take from Paris. I hope this has given you some inspiration on places to visit during your next trip to France!


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