We love having visitors! Not only do we love to be tourists in Paris with our guests, but we love to show them the outer regions and the not as visited sights. Plus fresh air and wide open spaces are often at the top of everyones list for the weekend!
There is so much to see here yet you don’t feel overrun by other visitors. One of the most famous and popular tourist hotspot very close to here is in Giverny (Haute Normandie) – the gardens of Claude Monet (season opens 28th of March). These are stunning and very much worth a visit, but there is much more to also see!
First stop was at the Église Troglodytique de l’Annonciation, around 1h15 mins from Paris. The catholic church, which has been listed as a Historical Monument since 1926, is completely carved into the chalk cliff with only the brick tower emerging from the grassy soil above. It is the only one of its kind in the Île de France region.
Next stop was our main visit of the day – Château de la Roche Guyon.This stunning château sits at the edge of Normandy, along the Seine river. The town itself is included in Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. The ruins of the tower, sitting on top of the cliff, are from the 12th century. It’s from up here that you have beautiful views over the landscape and you can see how unique the chalk cliffs are for this region. The most exciting part about this château is you reach the tower from the château below via a secret stairwell that was craved into the rock! It’s over 100 steps and quite steep! The main château was built around the 14th century and has been changed many times throughout the turbulent history of France.During World War II, the château was used as the headquarters for German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and also as a barracks for his troops. He and his family occupied the bottom floor and the owners of the time took the top floor. You can see the bunkers below for the troops protected by a huge fire wall.A visit to this area can’t finish without passing by beautiful Vernon and the old mill! You can see my previous post of the area of Vernon and Giverny here