There’s something very humbling about quite literally stepping into history.
To stand on the very spot where the great masters of art immortalised the same scene you’re looking at is an incredible and privileged experience.
And it’s for this reason Giverny is such a popular place to visit in France. It was here Claude Monet forever changed the world of art capturing moments in time – in a different way – in his magnificent garden and surrounding district that would ultimately become the hallmarks of Impressionism.
For four decades from 1883, Monet painted the world around him here which was something of a novel concept in the late 1800s; creating artworks outdoors was not a common pastime and the Frenchman’s work was not popular then due to its ‘unusual’ style and daring break from tradition.
Pushing the boundaries even further, he would lead outdoor painting tours into the surrounding countryside encouraging others to follow his new interpretation of the world that was not based on faithfully recording realism on canvas.
Monet’s home in Giverny – known originally as the House of the Cider-Press which indicates its former purpose – has an important place in the history of art and even if you are not a fan of Impressionism, visiting the farmhouse to stroll through the sumptuous gardens is worth it alone.
The house itself is wonderfully preserved and ablaze with colour. Visitors especially delight in the deep blue decor of the sitting room and the yellows of the dining room.
In Monet’s bedroom, you’ll see the works of his friends hanging; none other than Cézanne, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Morisot, Boudin, Manet and Signac.
Located about one-hour’s drive northwest of Paris, Monet’s farmhouse is relatively easy to get to but to visit in real style, why not take an unforgettable river cruise up the Seine?
Visiting Giverny this way is exactly what Scenic is offering as a Freechoice activity on its Gems of the Seine itineraries.
The 21-day Gems of the Seine & Beautiful Bordeaux itinerary for example is a sumptuous river cruise taking in some of the most spectacular sites in Europe on the journey from Paris to Bordeaux.
Along with options to tour Giverny, you’ll visit the battlefields of the Somme, enjoy a walking tour of historic Rouen, see the charming villages of Les Andelys and Lyons la Forêt, tour the incredible Benedictine Palace in Fécamp and much more. And then of course, it is Bordeaux, so expect nothing less than some of the world’s great food and wine.
Gems of the Seine & Beautiful Bordeaux route
Gems of the Seine & Beautiful Bordeaux itinerary
There are variations on ‘Gems of the Seine’ (read a review of Scenic Gem here) cruises that take in Normandy for example so please ask about your preference and our expert travel consultants will give you all the latest information.