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Places

Visit the French countryside

Paris is wonderful, granted. However, to get a taste of that enviable French countryside lifestyle, venture outside the urban metro-polis, where idyllic off-the-beaten-track spots await, a mere hour or two away.

Fontainebleau Forest

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.

Fontainebleau Forest

Vallée-aux-Loups

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.”

Vallée-aux-Loups

Chevreuse 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.

Chevreuse Valley

Moret-sur-Loing

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.

Moret-sur-Loing

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