Explore France > Giverny

Known for its one-time resident, the famous painter Claude Monet, Giverny is a beautiful little village that sits 80 kilometers outside of Paris.

Monet's magnificent wild gardens and beautiful home are the subject of many of his paintings depicting peace and tranquility. The grounds attract thousands of visitors each year.

He is said to have fallen in love with Giverny in 1883 after having seen it out of a train window. He lived there until his death in 1926.

Access to Giverny is quite painless... well at least it was for my friend Andrea. The train to Vernon is certainly easy-peasy. Read my book with a heavenly cup of coffee and enjoyed the views of the countryside. But when you arrive in Vernon your best option is to rent a bike from one of pubs located across the street from the train station and ride to Giverny. You ride through the village, cross the Seine and a beautiful bike path takes you all the way there. “We'll rent bikes, of course!” I boasted when advising my traveling partner of our plans. An easy 40-minute ride, no? Now it's a bit embarrassing to admit, but after having thrown my book into my bag and tossing it around my shoulder and jumping on the bike... off I went, only to have to stop 10 minutes down the road because I was exhausted! At least Andrea was a total sweetheart and stopped with me whenever I needed a break, which was about every 10 minutes. Geesh!

It was a wonderful day and Monet's home and gardens were exactly what I had envisioned and read about. My only advice is that you go first thing in the morning. It tends to become quite busy around midday. While exiting the house we passed a very long line-up of visitors waiting to get in. No thanks!

Having just missed the train from Vernon back to Paris, we had some time to tour around Vernon. It's a quaint little town and if you're looking for a lunch spot try Le Parisien. C'est très bon!