A Scenic 1-Day Car Trip from Paris: Countryside to Coast

Embark on a 1-day car trip from Paris, exploring the enchanting village of Giverny, historic Rouen, and the stunning cliffs of Étretat. End the day with a gourmet dinner in Paris.


Day 1: Exploring the Countryside:

09:00 - Visit to the charming village of Giverny: Start your day with a visit to the picturesque village of Giverny, nestled in the heart of the French countryside. This quaint village is best known for its beautiful gardens and the house of the famous impressionist painter, Claude Monet. Stroll through the vibrant flower gardens, which served as inspiration for some of Monet's most iconic paintings, and explore the artist's charming home, filled with personal artifacts and works of art. A visit to Giverny is like stepping into a living painting, a truly unique experience that art lovers and nature enthusiasts alike will appreciate.
11:00 - Drive to the historic city of Rouen and explore its medieval architecture and the stunning Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen: After your visit to Giverny, embark on a scenic drive to the historic city of Rouen. Known for its well-preserved medieval architecture, Rouen is a city steeped in history and culture. Explore the city's narrow cobblestone streets, lined with half-timbered houses, and visit the stunning Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Did you know? The cathedral's tower, at 151 meters, was the tallest building in the world from 1876 to 1880!
13:00 - Lunch at La Couronne: For lunch, treat yourself to a meal at La Couronne, one of the oldest restaurants in France. Known for its traditional Norman cuisine, La Couronne offers a unique dining experience in a historic setting. Enjoy dishes like duck à l'orange and tarte tatin, all prepared with fresh, local ingredients. Did you know? La Couronne, established in 1345, is considered the oldest continuously operating inn in France!
15:00 - Journey to the picturesque coastal town of Étretat: Continue your journey to the coastal town of Étretat, famous for its dramatic cliffs and natural arches. Take a leisurely walk along the beach, marvel at the stunning views of the white chalk cliffs and the natural arches carved by the sea. Don't forget to visit the famous "Needle" rock formation and the hidden "White Bird" cliff. Étretat is a natural wonder that has inspired many artists and writers, including Claude Monet and Guy de Maupassant.
17:00 - Drive back to Paris: As the day winds down, take a leisurely drive back to Paris. Enjoy the scenic countryside along the way, with its rolling hills, charming villages, and picturesque farmlands. This is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the day's adventures and soak in the beauty of the French countryside.
19:00 - Dinner at Le Jules Verne: End your day with a delightful dinner at Le Jules Verne, a Michelin-starred restaurant located on the Eiffel Tower. With its stunning views of the Paris skyline and exquisite French cuisine, Le Jules Verne offers a dining experience like no other. Enjoy dishes like lobster in a light ginger broth or roasted pigeon with foie gras, all while overlooking the City of Lights. Did you know? Le Jules Verne is named after the famous French author, known for his adventure novels like "Around the World in Eighty Days" and "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea".

Tips & Recommendations

  1. Giverny: Artistic Inspiration: While in Giverny, immerse yourself in the world of Claude Monet. Don't forget to visit his famous water lily pond, which inspired many of his masterpieces.
  2. Rouen: Historical Exploration: In Rouen, take a moment to appreciate the intricate details of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen. It's a stunning example of Gothic architecture.
  3. Rouen: Gastronomic Delights: While in Rouen, make sure to try the local delicacy, "duck à la Rouennaise", a dish so special it's protected by law.
  4. Étretat: Natural Wonders: The cliffs of Étretat are a must-see. The natural arches and the pointed "needle" are breathtaking sights, especially at sunset.
  5. Étretat: Coastal Walks: Take advantage of the beautiful coastal paths for a refreshing walk. The views are spectacular and it's a great way to appreciate the beauty of the Normandy coast.
  6. Paris: Fine Dining: End your day with a memorable meal at Le Jules Verne. The restaurant offers a unique dining experience with a stunning view of Paris.
  7. General Tip: Driving in France: Remember to keep some change for the toll roads when driving in France. Also, it's mandatory to have a high-visibility vest in your car in case of a breakdown.

Climate & Weather

  • Paris: Paris, the capital city of France, experiences a temperate oceanic climate. The city has mild and moderately wet weather throughout the year. Summers can be hot and sunny, with temperatures occasionally rising above 30°C (86°F). Winters are usually cold and damp, with temperatures often dropping below freezing. If you're planning to dine at Le Jules Verne, it's advisable to carry a light jacket or sweater, especially during the cooler months.
  • Giverny: Giverny, a small village in the Normandy region of northern France, experiences a temperate oceanic climate. The weather is relatively mild all year round, with warm summers and cool winters. Rainfall is distributed evenly throughout the year. If you're planning to visit Giverny, make sure to carry an umbrella or raincoat, just in case.
  • Rouen: Rouen, a city on the River Seine in northern France, has a temperate oceanic climate. The city experiences mild weather throughout the year, with warm summers and cool, wet winters. If you're planning to explore Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen or dine at La Couronne, it's advisable to carry a light jacket or sweater, especially during the cooler months.
  • Étretat: Étretat, a small coastal town in the Normandy region of northern France, experiences a temperate oceanic climate. The town has mild and moderately wet weather throughout the year. Summers can be warm and sunny, while winters are usually cool and damp. If you're planning to visit Étretat, make sure to carry a hat and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.

What Locals Love

Paris, France:

  • Shakespeare and Company: A historic English-language bookstore that has been a gathering place for writers and readers since the 1920s.
  • Marché des Enfants Rouges: The oldest covered market in Paris, offering a variety of food stalls and fresh produce.
  • Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature: A unique museum dedicated to hunting and nature, loved by locals for its quirky exhibits.
  • Le Perchoir: A rooftop bar offering stunning views of the city, perfect for a sunset drink.
  • La Campagne à Paris: A hidden gem in the city, this picturesque neighborhood is filled with charming houses and quiet streets.
  • Le Centquatre: A cultural center hosting a variety of events, from art exhibitions to dance performances.

Remember, the best way to experience a place is often to step off the beaten path. Engage with locals, try the street food, and let the rhythm of the cities guide you.