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Kemwel Travel Blog

Kemwel makes it easy to book the best discounted travel services and car rentals in Europe. Whether you need a rental car, a buy back auto lease, airfare, hotel reservations, or even a luxury auto rental, Kemwel can meet your needs. Check out our car rental guides for useful travel and driving information. Drive Europe!

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Day Trips Out of Paris

Thursday Mar 27, 2014

Trip Paris - Feature Image

The dictionary has been thoroughly exhausted of superlatives to extol the virtues of vacationing in Paris, so I am not going to try. I am, however, going to pull out some adjectives and adverbs to explain why your trip to France should include some French cities that ordinarily get lost in the shuffle next to their illustrious capital. Rent a car in Paris and day trip your way to these marvelous destinations, and discover more hidden gems along the way—here’s a peak at some lovely locales to add to your itinerary!

ReimsAppx. 144 kms. northeast of Paris

Less than two hours northeast of Paris, the city of Reims is located in the Champagne region, and is in fact one of the centers of champagne production.

Trip Paris - Champagne Cellars

Champagne cellars and tunnels run beneath the city
The Villa Demoiselle is a masterpiece of taste, both a feast for your eyes and for your palette. This magnificent edifice was given a second lease on life when Vranken Champagne purchased the property and decided to make it the headquarters for their business, giving it a costly, but much needed restoration. A champagne tasting in the intimate interior of this charming structure is the perfect addition to an afternoon in Reims.

Trip Paris - Cathedral

The Notre-Dame Cathedral in Rouen rivals its Parisian counterpart.

Treat your taste buds further with dinner at Chez Nous. Ranked in the top tier of restaurants in Reims, the menu is simple and hearty fare of a traditional French variety. The prices are affordable, especially considering the ample amount of food provided. After a day of exploring Reims, your appetite should be amply ready to tuck into good meal.

The Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris is a sight to behold, and no one can pass up photographing kilometer zero, located in the square facing its main entrance, but the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims could easily rival its Parisian counterpart for extraordinary gothic architecture, intricate stained glass windows and unique atmosphere. In its heyday, many monarchs held their coronations within the Reims Cathedral, only contributing to its impressive history.

Rouen Appx. 135 kms. northwest of Paris

Trip Paris - Clock

View the astronomical clock, the Gros-Gorlage.

Make your way to the cobblestoned Rue du Gros-Gorlage, where the historic atmosphere and bustle of modern-day commerce beg you to take a leisurely stroll for the photo opportunities and to window shop. Make sure your route takes you under the stone arch where one of the world’s last working astronomical clock the Gros-Horloge rests, after which the street is named.

Visitors to Rouen are undoubtedly familiar with Monet’s series of works depicting the Rouen Cathedral. The building was captured on canvas in a spectrum of light and shadow throughout the day, and varying weather conditions. One of these paintings can be found locally in Rouen’s fine art museum, while still more can be viewed in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The Cathedral itself lies conveniently along the path you’ll tread, by the great clock. The last factoid I’ll make mention of, is Rouen’s ties to saint and martyr, Joan of Arc, who spent her last days in captivity before being burned at the stake in the city. Numerous buildings bear her name and there are exhibits providing a more in depth history. Discover more about Rouen with a tour of its array of fascinating features that fairly scream quintessential French city.

Chartres Appx. 90 kms. southwest of Paris

Chartres may not have as many sights to recommend as some of its neighbors, but it is a town of beauty and significance nonetheless.

Trip Paris - Picassiette

Visit La Maison Picassiette, a home completely covered in mosaic tiles
The name Raymond Isadore would have no reason to stand out, but for the uniquely artful home he constructed, La Maison Picassiette. After building his abode in the traditional fashion through happenstance Isadore came across some pieces of colorful broken crockery and glass and was struck by an idea. This began a thirty-year project of collecting the kaleidoscope of pieces that he used to make a mosaic of both the interior and exterior of his home, including the furniture! You can tour his labor of love today, and perhaps gain some inspiration to dabble in a mosaic crafting project on your own, on a smaller scale.

The Notre-Dame Cathedral of Chartres is well known as the destination of an annual pilgrimage that takes place in June from the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. The Chartres Cathedral is yet another gothic architectural masterpiece of French history, in an exceptional state of preservation. Two contrasting spires dominate the skyline and the number of flying buttresses utilized in the construction provided the support for the original architects to create stained glass panels of a significantly larger proportion, adding to the exceptional detail. Chartres blue is a vibrant hue that was used in the first stained glass window creations using a method that countless glaziers have tried to replicate since to no avail, resulting in a difference in color between the old and new panels.

Trip Paris - Chartres Illuminations

Chartres en Lumière lasts from April through September
Chartres also offers a variety of eventful entertainment throughout the year. The Chartres en Lumière is a citywide event with an extended calendar. It takes place between the months of April and September, and bathes the city’s buildings and the sky in brilliant illuminations and scenography from dusk until 1:00 a.m.—an activity for a romantic evening out or a family driving tour.

Trip Paris - Rent a Car

Renting a car in Paris with Kemwel allows you to day trip your way through the surrounding cities.
Diversify your travel options and experience an unparalleled level of independence with a Kemwel car rental. There are convenient pick-up locations in France across the length and breadth of the country like the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. Setting up your car rental in France is a snap with our secure online booking engine, and if you have further questions please contact one of our knowledgeable rental car agents at 1-877-820-0668.

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