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Five Unmissable Weekend Escapes from Paris.

Amidst the allure of Paris lies a realm of captivating weekend retreats, each a splendid departure from the city’s bustle. Whether your heart yearns for the countryside’s tranquility, the regal echoes of châteaux, or the coastal symphony of cliffs, these five destinations promise an enchanting escape.

The Loire Valley

Enter a realm where time dances with history among the Loire Valley’s majestic châteaux. A tapestry of romance and intrigue unfolds within Château de Chenonceau, adorned with the tales of King Henri II and his entangled passions. Venture further to Château de Chaumont, a trove of artistic wonders during the International Garden and Art Festival. Amidst this journey, discover vineyards and indulge in tastings, each sip a sip of the valley’s essence.

Travel from Paris: Board the TGV high-speed train to Tours, whisking you 148 miles southwest in 1 hour and 20 minutes. From Tours, a brief taxi ride or a rented car sets your path toward Loire Valley Lodges.

Giverny

Claude Monet’s ethereal haven awaits merely 47 miles from Paris, an artist’s haven where gardens bloom in kaleidoscopic glory. Wander through a living canvas, adorned with lilies and wisteria, capturing the very essence that inspired the impressionist masterpieces. Delve into Monet’s world within the walls he called home, each corner a glimpse into his artistic opus.

Travel from Paris: Embark on a one-hour TER train from Gare St. Lazare to Bueil, followed by a swift 10-minute car ride to the Domaine. Alternatively, opt for a rendezvous at Vernon station if joined by a privately-hired guide.

Versailles

While a day suffices for many, the splendor of Versailles unveils its true charm over a weekend. Beyond the famed Hall of Mirrors lies Marie Antoinette’s haven, inviting picnics along the Grand Canal and strolls through opulent gallery exhibits. For a taste of regal luxury, indulge in the newly opened Le Grand Contrôle, where curated experiences elevate every moment to royalty.

Travel from Paris: Traverse the 23 miles via RER C, transporting you to Château Rive Gauche in approximately 35 minutes. A brief 10-minute walk leads to the château’s grandeur.

Étretat

Normandy’s coastal gem, immortalized by artists, beckons adventurers to witness its dramatic cliffs and seaside serenity. Ascend the chalk bluffs for panoramic vistas, trekking through wild fields and pastures, or opt for a leisurely stroll along the beach’s northern cliff. Encounter history at the Monument Nungesser & Coli, a testament to daring feats that graced the skies.

Travel from Paris: Navigate to Bréaute-Beuzeville via regional train from Gare St. Lazare, followed by a bus transfer to Étretat. Embrace a journey of three hours to reach this coastal haven.

Colmar and the Alsace Wine Region

In the embrace of Alsace, where France meets Germany, vineyards weave tales of white wine prowess amid captivating towns like Colmar and Eguisheim. Pedal through the vineyard cycle route, a picturesque odyssey past castles and wineries, or revel in the Renaissance charm of Colmar’s La Petite Venise. Embrace the region’s culinary treasures and immerse yourself in its historical embrace.

Travel from Paris: A direct TGV train ride of one hour and 45 minutes transports you to Strasbourg or a 2.5-hour journey to Colmar, unveiling the scenic wonders of Alsace.

Each of these escapes, a mere breath away from Paris, promises an interlude of serenity, history, and boundless beauty. Venture forth and discover the myriad splendors awaiting your exploration.

Source: https://www.afar.com

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