Chartres & Versailles
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Apr 21, 2012 12:15 AM Last Post By: angelbel
Apr 5, 2012 11:39 PM
I'm planning a trip to France in October and have decided to spend a few days visiting Chartres and Versailles. All up I'm looking at spending 3 days / 2 nights - staying just a little out from the town of Chartres.
I'm hoping to get some advice on transport options.
I know I can catch the train down to Chartres from France but I'm not too sure about getting around the area itself. Would hiring a car be the best option? If that's the case should I be hiring the car from Paris and driving down?
I've had some experience driving overseas but I'm just not sure what the driving conditions are like and if it will be a good idea given that I'm travelling alone and don't speak french!
Thanks in advance :)
Apr 8, 2012 10:39 AM
1Just so you are aware, both of these places can be visited quite easily as 2 separate day trips from Paris. One day in each place should be enough to see everything. If you rent a car it's kind of a waste of money since you'll be off exploring these places while the car is sitting still and doing nothing but costing you money. The train also runs direct between Chartres and Versailles. If you do decide to stay overnight I would not stay outside of Chartres itself unless you have a car. And even if you have a car I would still stay in Chartres. I'm familiar with the countryside and villages outside of Chartres and there aren't many services or restaurants in the nearby towns.
To look at trains from Paris to Versailles/Chartres use the website www.tgv-europe.com. So, I think you should forget about the car and just use the train to get to these places. It's the easiest and cheapest option.
Apr 9, 2012 6:04 PM
2Yes, I am aware that both can be done as a day trip from Paris but I don't want to do it as a day trip from Paris.
I'm not too concerned about having a car sitting around while I'm exploring. I'm trying to find out what is the most convenient (ie. not necessarily the cheapest) way of getting around.
Thanks for the info.
Edited by: angelbel
Apr 10, 2012 12:55 AM
if you don't want to do these visits as day trips, fine, but as suggested to you, going there by train would be better, unless you want to discover the sceneries on the way.
You can reach Chartres from Gare Montparnasse . There is usually about 1 train per hour, sometimes a bit less depending on the time of the day. From the railway station you can walk to the cathedral and the old town, wander about.
Once you're finished with Chartres, you can catch another train to Versailles, I am less familiar with this area so I don't know if the railway station is close to "The chateau".
Nights in Chartres wouldn't be too exciting, not much to do unless you are there during the illuminations of the city (from April 21st to September 15th this year), then you can take the tour by yourself, or I think there is a noddy train. more info here http://www.chartresenlumieres.com/uk/accueil.html
I don't know what your budget is, but if you can afford it, find an hotel in town.
Apr 11, 2012 4:26 AM
4The most convenient (and cheapest) way to get between Chartres and Versailles (and Paris) is still by train but if you're planning on having a car anyway and are considering exploring near Chartres then you may find my trip report about exploring that area useful. It's got photos and descriptions of the places I visited near Chartres: http://tinyurl.com/77bxwna
Between Chartres and Versailles and besides the places covered in my report you could also visit the Vallée de Chevreuse:
Or the pleasant towns of Dourdan or Nogent-le-Roi:
Apr 21, 2012 12:15 AM
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