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Monet's House & Gardens From Paris or Le Havre - How To Visit Giverny - An Adventure Awaits!!
If you are looking for an exciting and rewarding day trip to take when you are either in Paris, or docked in Le Havre, Monet's House and Gardens, located in Giverny, may be for you!!
Most of us have grown up seeing (and loving) Monet's gorgeous watercolors, either in books or at a fabulous museum....but how many people get to walk over the actual Japanese footbridge? Well...if your cruise ship is docking in Le Havre, here's your chance to do your own independent excursion!
The town of Giverny is located approximately 52 miles from Paris, and approximately 82 miles from the coastal town of Le Havre (where many cruise passengers find themselves docked for a day).
Claude Monet lived in his home in Giverny from 1883 - 1926. Monet changed the home throughout the years, to fit his needs and the needs of his family. When you tour the home, you will be able to see many rooms, as well as observe the many changes that were done to the original structure. The barn next to the home served as Monet's first studio. Although Monet mostly painted in open air, he needed a place where he could store his finished canvases.
Although the home itself is very fascinating, most come to Monet's home to experience his magnificant gardens. There are two parts in Monet's garden: a flower garden known as the Clos Normand, and a Japanese inspired water garden on the other side of the road.
When Monet and his family settled in Giverny in 1883, the land sloping gently down from the house to the road was planted with an orchard, and enclosed with high stone walls. There is a central alley with an iron arch in the center of this section, as well as many flowerbeds of varying heights and color. There's also a multitude of fruit and ornamental trees, climbing roses, and annuals.
Ten years after arriving in Giverny, Monet bought the piece of land neighboring his property. This is where you will find the large pond and his famous Japanese footbridge, water lilies, wisteria, willows, and such. Truly, a sight to behold, and definitely something that should be on your bucket list!!
How to Get to Monet's House by Train from Paris or Le Havre
From Paris, the train to Vernon departs from the Saint-Lazare Paris station (which has not changed much since Monet painted it). You can get to the train station taking the Paris Metro, or a taxi, or of course, by foot. Once in the train station, purchase a ticket to Vernon. The fastest trains to Vernon complete the journey from Paris in less than 45 minutes. Once in Vernon, you will need to get to get to Giverny.
From Le Havre:
From Le Havre, you will need to get yourself from the cruise ship docks to Vernon, and from there, you will head to Giverny.
The train station in Le Havre is about a mile from where the cruise ships dock. It is an easy walk, but along a busy roadway. If you are more comfortable, or traveling with a group, just grab a cab. Once in the train station, you will need to purchase a ticket to Vernon. The Vernon station is situated about halfway between Paris (to the East) and Le Havre (to the West) on the main train line. From Le Havre, it will take typically just under 2 hours. Please note, from Le Havre, you will need to change trains in Rouen.
Getting to Giverny:
Giverny is located just outside Vernon. During the peak season (typically Spring through Autumn), there are shuttle buses just outside the train station that link Vernon with Giverny. Purchase your tickets on board. There also is a local TVS bus from Vernon to Giverny. It too departs from outside the Vernon train station and arrives at the Giverny bus stop.The bus ride from the Vernon train station and Giverny takes about 15 minutes.
Once in Giverny, pick up a map at the tourist office across the street from the bus stop when you arrive. It will show you how to get to Monet’s Gardens and other places to visit in Giverny. Or, in peak season, just follow the crowds.
If you are feeling energetic, and you have the time, you can walk from the Vernon train station to Monet's Garden. It is 7km in length, and there is a footpath that covers the entire distance.
Please remember that the return shuttles depart Giverny about 20 to 30 minutes before the trains from Vernon to Paris depart. If you are traveling during peak season, be sure to get there early, as lines can be long. And don't forget to allow plenty of time to get back to your cruise ship!! We wouldn't want them leaving without you!!
So....there you go. If you are lucky enough to be visiting Paris, or stopping in Le Havre on your fabulous cruise, and want a fabulous adventure, don't hesitate to make your way to Monet's House and Gardens and get out your pen....to cross it off your bucket list!!! Have fun, and don't forget your camera!!!!