3 original ideas for nature excursions 1 hour from Paris

Want to get away from Paris? It's possible to get away from it all for a day! Here are our top recommendations for nature excursions just 1 hour from the capital.

Forest walk

- © AlessandroBiascioli / Shutterstock

Giverny, an escape to the land of the Impressionists

Head for Giverny, a charming village 80 kilometres from Paris on the borders of the Île-de-France and Normandy regions, where Claude Monet lived from 1883 to 1926. During the course of the day, you can visit the pink rendered house, restored as it was when the artist was alive, Monet's studio and the magnificent gardens with their famous water lilies, weeping willows and lushly coloured flowerbeds that inspired the painter.

But that's not all! If you fancy extending your excursion, the Musée des Impressionnismes is just a 3-minute walk away. This is dedicated to exhibiting and highlighting the Impressionist movement through exhibitions of paintings, drawings and photographs, revealing an approach to art from the end of the 19th century to the present day.

Practical information

📍 Locations : House of Claude Monet, Musée des Impressionnismes

House of Claude Monet :

👛 Admission: ticket €11 (full price), €6.50 for children over 7 and students (reduced price) and free admission for children under 7.

⏰ O pening times: open daily from 1 April to 1 November 2023 from 9.30am to 6pm.

Musée des Impressionnismes :

👛 Admission: entrance ticket €11 (full rate), €8 for students (reduced rate) and free entry for under-18s.

⏰ O pening times: open to visitors from 31 March 2023 to 7 January 2024 from 9am to 6pm.

🚌 Getting there: 1-hour journey from Gare Saint-Lazare to Gare de Vernon-Giverny, then walk 5 kilometres or take a shuttle bus or taxi to Giverny.

Where to eat in Giverny?

🍴 Les Nymphéas

And if you're hungry, you can have lunch at the Les Nymphéas restaurant, which is also nearby, more precisely opposite the painter's house. Housed in an old farmhouse from the same period, the restaurant has a flower-filled terrace, a large dining room decorated in period style and a patio opening onto an old farmyard. Here you can sample specialities based on Claude Monet's recipes, ideal for continuing your visit with a gourmet break. The Les Nymphéas restaurant is open from 1 April 2023 to 31 October 2023, from 9am to 6pm.

Claude Monet's house in Giverny

- © andre quinou / Shutterstock

Paris-Versailles, a green excursion

Versailles... its château, the Hall of Mirrors, its French gardens and Louis XIV. While Versailles and its famous château are a must-see for visitors not far from the capital, few Parisians are aware that you can get there just as easily by public transport as on foot. You can reach the Sun King's estate in just over 3? hours by walking along forest paths and admiring the banks of several ponds. You will also have the opportunity to cross wooded areas until you can make out the majestic château. The more adventurous can even continue on their way and walk all the way back to Paris.

Practical information

📍 Location: Château de Versailles

🥾 Walking distance: 13.1 kilometres.

🕑 Hiking time: approximately 3h30.

🚌 Getting there: if you opt for public transport, you leave from Pont de Sèvres station (Métro 9), and return via Versailles Château Rive Gauche station (RER C, about 40 minutes).

Where to eat in Versailles?

🍴 Chapeau

Enjoy a well-deserved break at one of Versailles' oldest restaurants, Chapeau. With its typical Versailles charm, Chapeau offers refined traditional home-cooked cuisine and a selection of seafood, all in a pleasant, well-kept setting.

The Vallée de Chevreuse, a walk in the heart of nature

Just 1 hour's drive from Paris, the Vallée de Chevreuse is the ideal place to go hiking and discover the rural landscapes of the Yvelines. Stroll along the banks of the River Yvette, before passing through woodland, then wandering along small country roads before finally reaching the Château de la Madeleine, which offers uninterrupted views of the surrounding countryside. A breath of fresh air that's good for you, as you enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside, far from the noise of the city. There are several possible walking routes, ranging from 9.2 kilometres to 28.1 kilometres for the bravest. Don't forget your picnic!

Practical information

📍 Location: Chevreuse Valley

🥾 Hiking routes: "Le Viaduc des Fauvettes" (9.2 kilometres), "Au fil de la rivière royale" (13.8 kilometres), "Chevreuse la belle" (15.3 kilometres), "Sur les sommets de l'Yvette" (17.3 kilometres) and "La traversée de la Haute Vallée de Chevreuse" (28.1 kilometres).

🕑 Walking time: 2h15 to 8 hours.

🚌 Getting there: accessible from Saint-Rémy-les-Chevreuse station (RER B, about 50 minutes from Paris).

The Chevreuse Valley

- © Pack-Shot / Shutterstock

Where to sleep?

by Faustine PEREZ
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