• In the Footsteps of the Impressionists Auvers sur Oise + Giverny (9 hours) Description

    This very interesting tour gives you a close insight to the life of 2 main figures of the Impressionist movement Claude MONET and Vincent VAN GOGH that had both very different destinies. One managed after a period of struggle and starvation to achieve recognition, get international renown and wealth and the other, in despair, took his own life, unknown, in total psychological and financial misery. Your guide will spend the day with you in their footsteps.

    You will be picked up by your private, licensed driver-guide at your hotel in a very comfortable, air-conditioned minivan (Mercedes or similar).

    GIVERNY is classified by the French as part of the “plus beaux villages de France” (most beautiful villages in France). Indeed, you get caught by its charm as soon as you put your foot in it. The fact that Monet lived and worked there half of his life adds to its magic. In fact, it is because of its beauty and picturesque location that he settled there, bringing it forever out of the shadow into the light.

    Your private, licensed driver-guide will pick you up at your hotel in a very comfortable, air-conditioned minivan (Mercedes or similar). On the way to Giverny (the drive lasts about 1 hour), he will give you an introduction to Monet’s life and work.

    Upon your arrival in Giverny, you will stop at the local church (that Monet painted several times) that leads to the village graveyard where you will have a close look at Monet’s Tomb. A little later, your guide will stop at the former Café Baudy, the residence of many American Impressionists (Whistler, Metcalf, Robinson, Mary Cassatt…) and friends of Monet that stayed there when they visited him (Renoir, Rodin, Cezanne..). You will have a look at the barn behind the café that these artists used as a studio in winter. Further down the street, you will pass the Museum of Impressionism that houses excellent temporary exhibitions before arriving to Monet’s house and garden.

    Your guide will enter with you on the side entrance ( no lines) and start your visit at the WATER GARDEN that Monet created 10 years after settling in Giverny on a piece of land neighboring his property and crossed by a small brook, the Ru  . It is inspired by the Japanese gardens that Monet knew from the prints that he collected avidly. You will find the famous Japanese bridge covered with wisteria, weeping willows, a bamboo wood and above all the famous nympheas that bloom all summer long. Monet shaped his subjects in nature there before painting them. He found his inspiration there for more than 20 years.

    Leaving the water garden, you will arrive to the FLOWER GARDEN (called Le Clos Normand) full of perspectives, symmetries and colors. It is divided into flowerbeds where flower clumps of different heights create volume. Monet did not like organized nor constrained gardens. He married flowers according to the harmony of their colors and let them grow freely. At the end of the Flower Gardens you will arrive for a visit to MONET’S HOUSE (BLUE ROOM, FAMILY LIVING ROOM, MONET’S BEDROOM, ALICE’S BEDROOM, DINING ROOM and KITCHEN)

    After leaving Monet’s house, you will finish your visit at his last STUDIO ( that he had built especially to paint the large Water-Lilies Paintings that are at the Orangerie Museum in Paris)  that houses now a gift shop.

    Open from March the 29th until end October

    It is now time for lunch in a typical French bistro that your guide will recommend you.

    After lunch, you will this leave the magic of Giverny, driving along the picturesque “Route des Crêtes”, discovering on your way to Auvers sur Oise, the exceptional panorama of the Seine Valley, an ancient watch tower of the 10th century (that was built during the Viking invasion), the château of La Roche Guyon (that became the headquarter of general Rommel during WWII) and make a last short stop in the village of Vetheuil where Monet lived for 3 years before discovering Giverny.

    Upon your arrival in AUVERS SUR OISE, you will stop at the heart of the town for a guided visit of the RAVOUX INN, the last home of Vincent Van Gogh.  Van Gogh rented a room in the Ravoux Inn for 3, 50 francs (50 cents)per day full board. He was accommodated on the top floor in a sparsely furnished room of only 7 square meters lit by a small skylight. It was also there that his brother Theo looked on helplessly as Vincent breathed his last. Thereafter room 5 was known as the room where a man committed suicide and was never let out again.  Vincent’s room remains exactly as it was and the visitor is able to set up inside and enter the artist’s intimate universe. There is an intense emotion trapped inside these tiny walls in all their bareness and simplicity.

    After the visit your guide will drive to the cemetery to visit the Tombs of Vincent and Theo, the 2 brothers that lie side by side. On the way he will stop at the Romanesque/Gothic CHURCH, which was immortalized by Van Gogh. If time, you will also make a stop at the HOUSE OF DR GACHET, Vincent’s friend of whom he made several portraits. You might even have a glimpse at the ABSINTH MUSEUM to pay a tribute to the notorious “green fairy” before heading back to Paris after this very interesting and emotional day, which will stay in your memories.
    (Entrance tickets to the Auberge Ravoux and Monet's house and gardens)


    This tour is available from April until the end of October and from Wednesday until Sunday.

    Entrance tickets included
    Lunch not included.

    Extra charge for a pick up and/or a drop off outside Paris

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