Beyond Paris

Lorie River

Day trips from Paris are so easy and there are lots of options. So many Chateau’s, vineyards, historic homes and the Atlantic coast. Some make for a very long day, such as Normandy and the Loire Valley. I would not recommend but suggest at least one overnight. None the less I did the Valley, or should I say half of the Valley in one day. The Loire River is a very slow moving river. The banks are lovely and a great place for a Chateau!


One of the most famous Chateaus is Chambord with 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces, 13 main flights of and 70 backstairs! The famous double helix staircase designed by Leonardo da Vinci permitted to the rivals in the court to not pass each other.

An hour and a half drive southwest of Paris allow a full day to enjoy Chambord, allotting at least 2 hours for the castle. The grounds of deer and wild boar are worth visiting. Stay to see the castle’s floodlights at nightfall.

Chateau de Vicente

Another short day trip from Paris is Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte. Nicolas Fouquet brings together the greatest artists of his time to build the Vaux-le-Vicomte estate. The architect Louis Le Vau, the painter-decorator Charles Le Brun and the landscape gardener André Le Nôtre, will create in Vaux-le-Vicomte a group whose perfect harmony will inspire the whole of Europe for centuries. Louis XIV had Nicolas Fouquet jailed for 18 years until his death because the King was jealous. He then will surround himself with the same team to build the Palace of Versailles.

Garden at Vicomte

Da Vinci's home

Besides castles the Valley was home to many famous people. Leonardo da Vinci’s House, Le Clos-Luce in Amboise is well worth the visit.

There are so many wonderful small villages, Amboise, Bois and Saumur for example. Stay in any one or a hotel/castle Domaine De La Tortiniere.

Domaine de la Tortinière

Where ever you go day trips from Paris do stay long enough to enjoy the ‘city of lights’.

Harriet H. Ahouse | Independent Travel Consultant
Vista Travel, Inc.
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