Things to do

We are conveniently located on the southwest side of Paris, making us the perfect home base for visiting the region’s many attractions.


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Main Attractions

Chartres

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Home of the famous 12th century cathedral with its breathtaking stained glass windows. The cathedral is a sacred shrine and houses the Sacra Camisia relic (the garment said to have been worn by the Virgin Mary during the birth of Christ). If you speak English, try to be there when Malcolm Miller gives one of his tours of the Cathedral. His learned explanations will give you a glimpse of the amazing majesty and history of the cathedral. (Normally at noon and 2:45 Mon-Sat) BRING BINOCULARS.

Maintenon

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This town is home to one of our local gems: the chateau de Maintenon, The original medieval castle was transformed into a palace of leisure by Françoise d’Aubigné, widow of the poet Scarron, who was successively governess, mistress and secret wife of Louis XIV. > More

Versailles 

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What is there to say, except that try to go on a nice day and spend some time wandering around the gardens. Each Sunday from May to October, the fountains bring the gardens alive with music and water. Closed on Mondays. Many guests have told us the crowds are too much, so you might want to buy your tickets ahead of time on the web Web site.

Less than an hour away

Bois Richeux

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This fascinating labor of love is the recreation of a medieval garden in one of the oldest farms in France. All around the manor, aromatic, culinary and medicinal plants are laid out in a checkerboard pattern. Fascinating, and a great complement to your visit to the Cathedral in Chartres. 3 km from Maintenon.Web site (in English).

Rambouillet

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The chateau, built in 1375, now serves as the President of France’s alternative residence. It sits amid pretty public gardens and canals. A nice place to stop on your way to or from Chartres. The chateau is open to the public. The grounds also include the Laiterie de la Reine and the Bergerie Nationale.

Dreux

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Home of the Chapel of Saint Louis of Dreux, which was built in 1816 at the behest of the Duchess of Orleans, mother of the future king, Louis-Philippe. In 1830 the Chapel became the official burial place of the Orleans royal family. The chapel houses an impressive collection of recumbent figures sculpted by some of France’s most famous sculptors: Millet, Barre, Lenoir, Pradier and Mercié. The chapel is also adorned with a magnificent collection of painted and enameled Sèvres glass windows. It’s an interesting contrast to the stained glass windows of the Cathedral of Chartres

France Miniature

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A huge, outdoor map of France covered with scale replicas of famous French monuments. An amusing way for children to “see” France. And a convenient stop on a trip to Versailles. Web site (in English)

Domaine de Courson

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Judging from the number of guests we welcome each year, the Courson Flower Show must be France’s best known flower show. Held twice yearly in May and October. Web site (in French) 

Chateau d’Anet

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Chateau d’Anet was commissioned by the king Henri II and was built by Philibert Delorme, the distinguished architect who worked on several palaces for the French monarchy. Begun in 1547, it is often regarded as his masterpiece. Anet was built for Diane de Poitiers, favorite mistress of Henri II. The garden was designed by Le Nôtre. Web site

Day Trips

Giverny (Claude Monet)

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For you art and garden lovers, Giverny is a nice drive away. Despite being a tourist attraction, the house and gardens have kept their charm. If you just can't get enough of Monet, don't forget the Musée Marmottan in Paris. Web site

Châteaux of the Loire Valley

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The first châteaux are less than two hours away from our house. To been seen are Chambord, for the vastness, Beauregard for the smallness.

The Château Royal in Amboise is worth seeing and the town is very nice and picturesque. Up the hill from there is Clos Luce where Leonardo Da Vinci lived. South of Amboise you'll find Chenonceau. And is you're looking for the "typical" fairytale castle, try Azay-le-Rideau to the west of Tours. If gardens are your thing, try Vilandry.