Chantilly - Nr Paris Hotels

Mini guide to Chantilly - Nr Paris


The comparatively minute town of Chantilly is only 40kms from Paris. Linked inexorably to horses and horse racing, the town's forests can at any one time be filled with as many as 3,000 thoroughbreds. Chantilly is also home to two of horse racing's most esteemed flat races.

There are two main attractions here, one being the Château of Chantilly, which was built in 1560 by the architect Jean Bullant for Anne de Montmorency. The interior and exterior are of storybook quality, and the estate includes a superb collection of paintings and drawings. The gardens and surrounding foliage are redolent of the pre-Revolution days of lavish gentrification.

The other main attraction is the interesting Horse Museum (Musée Vivant du Cheval), five minutes walk from the château. The main hall of the museum features a display of the multitude of horse breeds from around the world. Also of interest is a collection of horse paintings, horse toys, horse shoes, and just about everything you could possibly imagine to be plausibly connected to horses.

Unavoidably noticeable in the gardens of the château is an aérophile, or hot-air balloon, which whisks its passengers up for short rides over the château every 10 minutes. It's also possible to take a 25-minute boat trip circumnavigating the château and later alighting at the entrance to the museum.

On a daytrip from Paris, a good idea would be to explore the outlying areas of the River Seine, which winds northwest out of Paris through some beautiful countryside. The Île de Chatou, an island in the Seine, was at one time a watering hole for great artists. It is now home to a small museum of Impressionist memorabilia, housed within a riverside restaurant that was once frequented by Monet, Renoir and others.

Most visitors arriving in Chantilly will invariably be arriving from Paris. Trains take about 30 minutes from Paris's Gare du Nord to Chantilly. Occasional free buses run from the station to the château, although it's an easy walk. Footpaths GR11 and 12 pass through the château park and its surrounding forest, offering a peaceful and leisurely way of exploring this bit of country.

Selection of hotels in this region:

Dolce Chantilly Hotel & Golf

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Chantilly - Nr Paris Hotels
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