Best French Getaways (Outside of Paris!)
It may be hard to imagine feeling the necessity to skip town when the capital has so much to offer. But to really understand France - its people, culture, values and storied past - you'll need to reach beyond the well-heeled streets of Paris. Some of these spots make ideal day trips from the city while others deserve your undivided attention. All are picture- perfect so keep your cameras handy.

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Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire

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Not only is this a beautiful château but is has an incredible view of Loire Valley. Besides the chateau which often houses an art exhibit on its top floor, there are multiple gardens on the grounds that are gorgeous. There is a garden festival every year in this spot.

I am a personal fan of the history of this château and Château de Chenonceau (another wonderful spot) and the rivalry between
Catherine de Medici and Diane de Poitiers. When Catherine's husband Henry II, died she forced his mistress Diane to exchange châteaus! But as both places are quite beautiful I am not sure who got the raw end of the stick!

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by Andi Fisher
AFAR Local Expert
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