It has been a very busy Summer, as more tourists have chosen this year to come and visit Paris and its surroundings. The majority of them are Americans and I had a great pleasure to guide some of them in Paris but also in Versailles and Giverny, in Champagne and in Normandy. Since I work only with small groups, we had wonderful opportunities to have a real insight of the French history and culture and talk about all kinds of topics.
The touristic season though is not over yet and I am sure that September and October are probably about the best times to visit Paris and other regions of France. The days are still long enough to enjoy a beautiful light and a nice temperature. In Paris, the inhabitants are back from their summer vacations, the shops and restaurants, which were closed in August , are open again and you can feel the real spirit of our beautiful city. The lines are not as long for the Louvre museum or the Eiffel Tower. This is also true for the Palace of Versailles and the Monet gardens in Giverny. In Champagne, Burgondy, the Loire Valley, it’s harvest time and very interesting to be in the heart of it!
Among all the excursions we propose. I would like to point out the Castle of Fontainebleau. It’s only about one hour south of Paris, but many visitors ignore it or prefer to go to Versailles, which I agree is a must. But if you are staying a little longer in Paris, it would be a good choice to visit it.
All the French kings loved to hunt and the forest of Fontainebleau is one of the most beautiful in France, with hills, canyons and rocks formations which attract climbers from all over Europe. Contrary to Versailles which is the best example of the classical style in architecture, Fontainebleau is more complex, each king adding his special architectural touch to the original medieval building. Until Louis the XIV th decided to settle down in Versailles, with his court and government, the kings used to travel from one castle to another, but they always called Fontainebleau their home and you can feel it. Famous Italian painters , during the Renaissance, worked on beautiful frescoes which have been recently and beautifully restored.
The picturesque village of Barbizon , nearby , can be visited the same day. It was a favorite place for a young generation of painters, in the middle of the 19 th century, who wanted to go out, in the woods and in the fields, and paint there , not in their studios, to have a better perception of nature. An interesting museum allows you to understand better the motivations of Francois Millet, Theodore Rousseau and other famous painters.
You are welcome to ask any question you might have on our excursions