Visit the French countryside
Just 40 minutes away, picturesque Fontainebleau and its castle offer a perfect combination of history and nature. The castle, which is a great alternative to the Chateau de Versailles for second-time visitors, is surrounded by manicured gardens à la française and acres of forest, formerly the chateau’s hunting grounds.
Another trip we love is the sprawling valley and former 56-acre estate of 19th century writer François-René de Chateaubriand, who was forced out of Paris in 1807 due to his open criticism of Napoleon. He nicknamed the area he retreated to as “Wolf Valley.”
Southwest of Versailles and in the Rambouillet forest, this idyllic haven is home to unique historical sites, such as the gothic-inspired Vaux de Cernay Abbey, the largest Cistercian monastery in France, which dates back to the 12th century and is now partly a hotel.
This well-preserved medieval village’s stone fortifications, ancient churches, timbered houses and mills along the river make for a refreshing break away from the big city.
Published: March 26, 2020