The best day tours and excursions from Paris

There’s nothing like the freedom of slipping the city and getting out into real France. Here’s our guide to making the most of your day-trip near Paris.
With so much happening night and day in Paris, sometimes getting out and discovering, exploring, or even just relaxing can be just what the doctor ordered. From spas to bike rides to castles, we’ve compiled a list of some of the Paris day-trips to escape the city and experience the heart and soul of France.

Design devotees: Villa Savoye

If you consider yourself an aficionado of architecture or just like a good design, this one cannot be missed.

Villa Savoye is a manifesto of modernist architecture, built by the renowned designer Le Corbusier, a member of the Parisian avant-garde and a founder of the International Congress on Modern Architecture. Erected of concrete from 1928-1931 for the Savoye family, it remains today a pinnacle of modernist design and is located just over 30 km from Paris.

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Cycle circuit: Compiègne forest

For a trip back in time, try the bike paths near the town of Compiègne. Rent a bike and thread the picturesque towns that have hardly changed in centuries.

If you’re hardy, you can make it to the stunning Château de Pierrefond, looking like something straight out of Disney and refurbished by the famous Violett-le-Duc. Compiègne itself boasts a palace and museum as well as a fascinating old town that is just perfect for a stroll and a snack.

Castle crawl: Châteaux de Rambouillet and Maintenon

If castles are your thing, the area around Paris is perfect for you. The Loire Valley châteaux are, of course, the best known, but for something a little closer, try the Château de Rambouillet. Still used as the summer residence of the French president, this stunning former medieval fortress now offers tours inside as well as lush gardens and lakes.

The Château de Maintenon is also well worth a visit, with the remains of King Louis XIV’s aqueduct standing strikingly amongst the verdant lawns and breathtaking architecture. There’s a golf course here too, if you want to play a hole or two amongst the rich history.

Palace stay: Les Crayères

If touring a castle isn’t enough, you can visit the Château les Crayères. Here, you can eat, drink, or even stay the night in an iconic French château hotel.

A striking highlight of the town of Reims, just east of Paris, a stay this luxury palace hotel will make you feel like royalty. Stunning classical architecture, sprawling gardens, two gourmet restaurants and an exquisite bar make up one of the most luxurious experiences you will find in the country.

Inner-city escape: Six Senses rue de Castiglione

For those who want to escape completely without even leaving the city, there’s nothing better than the Six Senses spa or rue de Castiglione, Paris. The first well-being sanctuary in the city, this sanctuary of relaxation was designed for bliss.

A vertical garden lends the soothing atmosphere of nature, while a real-time projection of the Paris skyline keeps you anchored. Natural light permeates the space, while the specialist practitioners ease every worry from you. Here, you can feel miles away while staying in the centre of Paris.

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