Obviously, one lifetime isn’t enough to see all that Paris has to offer. But there is so much more to France beyond its luminous capital that it would be a shame to overlook the châteaux, the vineyards, the historic landmarks, and the storybook villages scattered across the country.
Discover the art of proper Champagne on one of the fanciest day trips from Paris in the heart of the vineyards and the maze-like cellars. The Champagne vineyards are at their best in the summer, right before harvest; that’s when they’ll be greenest and fullest. Winter, and early spring visits will be synonymous with virtually bare vines. On the other hand, autumn is the harvest season which means winemakers will most likely be busy!
- Champagne day trip (Moet&Chandon) and Reims Cathedral from Paris
- Champagne tasting and visit (Mumm and Mercier) and Reims Cathedral from Paris
- Champagne tasting and visit (Nicolas Feuillatte) and visit Hautvillers village from Paris
Giverny & Monet
Visit the home and garden where Monet painted his most famous piece, Water Lillies.
The first part of the visit is the Monet house itself – where the painter used to live in the 1880s, and most importantly, create; the second part is an ode to the beauty of nature and the powerful smell of various flowers; the third and last part of the visit is where you’ll find one of the most famous scenes of the history of the 3rd art – the water lily pond. It’s really interesting to visit the workshop of one of the world’s most famous and talented painters. I like how Monet also kept his Impressionist friends close to his heart – his bedroom walls were covered by Cézanne, Renoir and Manet paintings.
- Giverny including Monet’s Gardens and gravesite half-day trip
- Monet’s gardens & house private tour with art historian
- Giverny and Honfleur
- Giverny and Monet’s garden bike tour
The excitement for this unique place in the world starts when you see it from afar, when getting closer and closer to the coast, and all through the visit, and even after as you enjoy a locally produced apple cider.
The Mont Saint-Michel is perhaps one of the most and ancient Christian pilgrimage sites in the Western world, with the worship of Saint Michael’s going as far back as the 8th century, and the monastery foundations in the 10th century. Today, the Mont Saint-Michel is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List and is the second most visited site in France, with over 3 million visitors every year (I’ll let you guess which is the first one).
It’s a long but well worth day trip to this iconic, UNESCO-registered landmark in Normandy.
- Mont Saint-Michel full day experience from Paris by private coach
- Mont Saint-Michel guided day trip with lunch from Paris
- Mont Saint-Michel day trip with Calvados + lunch in a traditional Norman manor
History buffs will relish this opportunity to set foot on the very beaches where World War II ended. Decide whether you wish to focus on American or Canadian-related sites and memorials. Within context, this is certainly one of the heavier, most dense day trips from Paris but also the most psychologically-rewarding; lest we forget.
- Normandy D-Day beaches & American cemetery trip
- Normandy D-Day beaches and Honfleur
- Normandy D-Day small-group with Omaha Beach, cemetery & cider tasting
- Normandy small-group D-Day battlefields & landing beaches
- Normandy D-Day beaches for Canadians: day trip to Juno Beach & Canadian cemetery
Loire Valley castles
Did anyone say “idyllic holiday to France’s most picturesque castles”? Because this is pretty much what you’re getting when you go to the Loire Valley castles. Located just two south-east of Paris, this ensemble has the world’s highest concentration of castles (a few hundreds, just that), some rather small, and some downright Disney-worthy. Tour some of the most prestigious and famous castles in all of Europe — with a glass of wine!
- Chambord & Chenonceau castles day trip with wine tasting from Paris
- Ambroise, Chenonceau, and Chambord castles day trip with wine tasting from Paris
- Chambord & Clos Lucé day trip from Paris
Skip the queues and get insightful information on this majestic palace with a guided visit. A word of warning: you won’t be the only tourist with the brilliant idea to visit Versailles. Brace yourself for crowds! But if you can get a skip-the-line tickets to Versailles or if you visit in calmer hours, you’ll be in for a treat.
- Versailles bike tour with skip-the-line entrance to palace
- Versailles Palace & gardens guided tour from Paris with optional fountain show
- Marie-Antoinette’s estate private guided tour with lunch
- Monet’s house & gardens in Giverny plus Versailles palace day trip with lunch from Paris
Wine tastings near Paris
If it’s wine you’re into, there are plenty of potential day trips from Paris… straight to the vineyards. Most will head directly towards Bourgogne thanks to readily available public transportation on high-speed trains, but there are options into Bordeaux and the Loire Valley as well. Just pick your favourite grape variety and explore its surroundings!
- North Burgundy and Chablis wine tasting tour from Paris
- Burgundy day trip with wine tasting, lunch and visit to Auxerre from Paris
Day trips from Paris: additional suggestions
- Parc and Château de Sceaux
- Château de Chantilly
- Cathedral of Chartres
- Auvers sur Oise, in Van Gogh’s footsteps
- The city of Rouen
- Cathedral of Orléans
Get the book!
Find out where I go in the City of Lights for a romantic date, for little-known artsy museums, for designer splurges, and for Instagram-friendly cafés. Inside this eBook you will find 40+ pages full of preciously handpicked, highly curated Paris insight with underrated attractions, off-the-beaten path itinerary ideas, and neighbourhood highlights that locals love!