Pit stops on your way to Paris

Disneyland Paris | Photo by Darko Vrcan via 123RF.
Disneyland Paris | Photo by Darko Vrcan via 123RF.

Pit stops on your way to Paris

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

If you have the pleasure of taking a trip to Paris, you are already off to a great start. There’s nothing quite like the City of Lights. From the awe-inspiring Eiffel Tower to the countless incredible pieces of artwork in the Louvre, it’s sure to leave you enchanted. Lucky for you, Paris is surrounded by amazing sites that should also be explored if you have some extra time. Depending on which direction you are coming from, be sure to stop at the following attractions. 

Versailles

One of the most visited monuments outside of Paris is the Palace of Versailles. What started out as a simple hunting lodge was turned into one of the most ornate examples of luxury you can visit in France. It served as the royal residence of France from 1682 under King Louis XIV until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, when King Louis XVI reigned. A tour at this particular palace is astounding. From the Hall of Mirrors to the vast gardens, it’s nothing short of amazing. And, of course, almost everything is gold! Photography is allowed on the tour, so get ready to snap a picture of almost everything. Versailles is a must-see for anyone traveling to Paris. 

Disneyland Paris

Any Disney fan knows that a stop in Disneyland just outside of Paris is a must. The magic, the enchantment and the massive princess castle all come together in one fairy tale setting that adults and children alike will adore. Go on thrilling rides, watch parades with Disney characters and eat fabulous food at any one of the restaurants on-site. Enjoy attractions like Alice’s Curious Labyrinth or Big Thunder Mountain.  For an extra special treat, stay right in the park at the Disneyland Hotel or the Sequoia Lodge. You’re sure to have a magical time at Disneyland Paris. 

Monet’s Gardens

Take a trip into the incredible world of Claude Monet, a founder of French Impressionism. In 1883, Monet moved to Giverny and purchased his home and garden. Today you can visit the site, which allows art aficionados or people who really love flowers the chance to admire the artists' keen eye for beauty. Here you’ll find a Japanese garden, lily pond and colorful flowers gracing the landscape. 

Town of Chablis

Wine connoisseurs will surely want to visit this delightful little town, home to the famous chardonnay grapes and dry white wine known as Chablis.  This wine has been produced here since 854 when monks first settled in the area. Wander around the city center, and when you’re ready for a break, head to William Fevre Grands Vins De Chablis for a glass of wine. Other interesting sites in the town include The Abbey of Pontigny and the Gothic Church of St. Martin

Region of Normandy

History buffs will surely enjoy a trip through this scenic region of France. For Americans, Normandy is particularly known for Omaha Beach, used by Allied forces in the Wolrd War II D-Day invasion. The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial commemorate this fateful day and the lives lost. Mont Saint Michel is another must-see in Normandy. This island is home to an abbey and accessible by land during low tide but surrounded by water during high tide. The Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey was first mentioned in 708 and has expanded during a period of construction of over 1,300 years. It’s an incredible structure perched atop an island.  

No trip to France is complete without a trip to Paris, but don’t stop there. Within two hours of the city, there are numerous attractions just as worthy of your attention as the Eiffel Tower. Pick an attraction or two to add to your Paris itinerary to create one of the most memorable trips in Europe.

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