Difference between revisions of "Giverny"
Revision as of 22:33, 14 August 2010
Giverny is a small French village 80 km to the west of the capital city Paris, within the valley of the river Seine and the northern region of Haute-Normandie. The village is best known as the rural retreat of the Impressionist painter Claude Monet (lived 1840-1926).
Monet moved to Giverny in 1883 with his family, including his second wife and 8 children, living and painting here until his death in 1926. The village surroundings and the gardens of his house formed a great part of the inspiration and subject matter for his paintings. It was after the move to Giverny that Monet began his famous Séries of paintings, repeatedly rendering haystacks, cathedrals and waterlilies from his garden pond in his own unique Impressionist style.
Take the A13 from Paris to Bonnières, then the D201 to Vernon where you cross the river Seine- look for signs....
Take the train from Paris Gare St-Lazare to Vernon (journey time 45 minutes; see SNCF), then take a taxi, bus, or bicycle (€4.00 return ticket) to the village. The bus service is timed to link with the train and a combined ticket can be obtained at Gare St-Lazare.. The bicyle can be rented from a cafe right outside the train station and is indicated by a sign. The rental fee is approx. 12€ and the bike ride is about 4 miles with a directional map provided by the cafe.
Bus and minibus trips run from Paris to Giverny as a half-day tour, and to Giverny and Versailles as a full-day tour. Every day except Monday.
It is always best to arrive early in Giverny in order to avoid the throngs of bus-driven tourists who arrive later in the morning and keep coming all day....
It is recommended that you take a guided tour to make the most of your visit to Claude Monet's house and garden at Giverny.
If you are coming from Paris, you might wish to take a bus or minibus tour which provides a tour-guide.
If you are coming on your own, you can book a guided tour in English, French or German, offered every day, by appointment only.
If you are feeling energetic, try hiking one of the nature trails that wind through the hills above Giverny. The panoramic views of the village, the Seine valley, and the neighboring town of Vernon are quite stunning to see unfold beneath you. Two of the area's trails start at a signboard behind the city hall, found just up Rue Blanche Hoschedé-Monet. Make sure you're wearing sturdy shoes or boots and are in relatively good shape, as some sections of the trails on the forested hillsides can be very challenging. Carrying water and insect repellent might also be a good idea, depending on the weather. Information on other scenic hiking trails can be found at the Tourist Bureau in neighboring Vernon.
The nearby Forêt de Bizy is also a lovely place for a picnic or nature walk, and is a good way to get away from the crowds which sometime descend on Giverny.
There is a small restaurant attached to Monet's House (beware tourist trap prices and overcrowding) and a few reasonable options in the village &. A wider choice can be found in the surroundings . On a fine day, bringing a picnic lunch with you might be a better option - walk up out of the village along some of the small lanes  for a change from the crowds.
There are a number of bed & breakfast options in the village  and surrounds . There's probably not enough in Giverny, however, to warrant a night over. This village - or many others along the Seine valley nearby - could provide an ideal base for further exploration in the Haute-Normandie region of northern France.
In Giverny area there are also 4, 3 and 2 stars hotels.
In order to complete the Monet experience, travellers might like to visit the neighbouring town of Vernon, (castle, medieval streets, Museum with paintings by Giverny artists, including Claude Monet, 17th-19th c. mansion and much more) or journey on / back to Paris, or to Rouen and the Seine valley, where they can see further examples of his work at various venues.