From Cities to Country Towns.
Hands down my favorite part about living in France is the food, and of course the surroundings. France is full of forests, monuments, and culture. Every weekend, the Husband and I explore different parts of France, and though the list keeps growing we managed to narrow down our favorite ways to spend time exploring France.
Below are my 5 Nearly Perfect Spots to Explore
Versailles: Versailles is just breathtaking. Just taking in the massive palace as you approach the gates is jaw-dropping. Once inside you can easily feel the strength, glory, and sheer elegance of France. As you step on the centuries-old wooden floors, where Louis XIV and Marie-Antoinette walked, you hear the squeaks and crones. The palace is notorious in History for have the reputation of “smelling”, however, during Louis XIV’s reign servants placed pots of potpourri in the fireplaces. You will notice the sweet smells of the potpourri filling the air, as the museum carries on this tradition. Once you are finished with the palace, head to the spectacular gardens. You can either sit on the stairs at the back of the place and marvel at the amazing glory that is Versailles, or you can rent a golf cart and explore the gardens. Of course, there are restaurants in the gardens that you can enjoy, and I highly recommend you do! Trust me, spending a day or even two here is relaxing and as I said nearly perfect.
Chartres-(I’m in love with you): Chartres is deeply rooted in History. Since the medieval ages, Chartres has been a staple in the hearts of Christians on their pilgrimages. The Cathedral is a jewel in the town of Chartres. When you gaze at the massive cathedral you will notice the gargoyles and saint sculptures along with the stained glass. These days pilgrims still journey here to pray, meditate and celebrate the symbolic path to God and eternity. Walking around this sweet little town, you will become captivated by the timber houses on Rue des Écuyers. You can also enjoy a wonderful, relaxing river paddleboat ride where it is easy to forget you are even in a city!
Chateau Maintenon: As a fan of King Louis XIV, and self-proclaimed history nerd, Maintenon is what romance novels are made of. The moment you walk around the quaint little town you feel the remoteness, and the greenness. The Chateau its self is marvelous, and despite the vast size it really feels like a cosy country home. Inside the chateau, you get a real sense of the mysterious secret wife of Louis XIV. After your self-guided tour inside, take a walk around the garden. Unlike Versailles, this garden is much smaller but its beauty matches Versailles. For me, this garden is romantic and peaceful. You’ll wanna spend an entire afternoon here.
Read all about my favorite spot in France Travel Diaries: Maintenon
Rambouillet: A sweet little town you will want to visit. Surrounded by forests and the chateau built by Charles V this is a favorite spot for Parisians escaping the city. When visiting the chateau you will instantly be enchanted by the beauty. The chateau is relatively small, but it is not short on being spectacular. Explore the inside, see the art, and then wonder about the gardens. The geese and ducks really make you feel as though you really are in the country, making this a perfect spot to explore when you come to France.
Épernon: This is another one of my favorite places to visit. Not only is the city inviting and set in the middle of a lot of greenery but it is rich in heritage. You can also take a hike, with five circuits to discover. The best part is the city has a discovery trail where you canwalk and enjoy the surroundings, and each route has its own theme that feeds your curiosity.
This is in no way an extensive list. There are so many amazing places that I’m constantly coming across. I didn’t even touch on my favorite places to visit in Normandy.
But please comment below with any suggestions!