Autumn. It's just around the corner. Golden leaves, crisp mornings, the beautiful scenery of the Eure Valley… Autumn may well be one of the best times of the year to visit Eure et Loir! So start packing the binoculars, strapping on the hiking boots, and you’ll be firing up the Instagram feeds for some pretty cool autumn adventures.
If you thought your travels ended when summer did, think again. The beautiful city of Chartres, the Château de Maintenon and its mysteries, the tomb of the Royal Chapel of Dreux as well as picture-perfect natural landscapes are awaiting to be discovered during this magical time of the year.
Fall in love with Chartres
Imagine cobbled streets, winding staircases, ancient half-timbered houses, picturesque medieval bridges, wash houses…and the changing leaves making for a lovely backdrop to everything that you can see on a walking tour of Chartres in autumn. Favorite activities include marveling at the Notre-Dame de Chartres Cathedral and its finest details, keeping an eye out for remains from the Middle Ages, enjoying a delicious coffee at the Brûlerie Chartraine, sipping a hot tea at the Café Molière or a hot chocolate at the Café Serpente, or savouring a pastry at the Comptoir of Sarah. Autumn is a time to cosy up and explore without the bite of winter. It’s the perfect time to visit Chartres!
Louis XIV's love of women
The Sun King had a real eye for the ladies and a number of mistresses throughout his life. Based at the Palace of Versailles, he often visited Françoise d'Aubigné, the governess of his children at the Château de Maintenon. He shared a unique romance and relationship with this special woman who was a precious companion and advisor. She later became his secret wife, although the whole court knew about it. The Château de Maintenon echoes this royal tradition for a king of spending some of his wealth on his favourite mistress, known as Madame de Maintenon. Besides the sumptuousness of the chateau, one finds here stunning French gardens designed by Le Nôtre, the king's gardener. Stroll along the elegant parterres creating a magnificent landscape dominated by water, which reflects the ruins of the majestic aqueduct never completed.
The Royal Chapel: the final resting place of monarchs
Necropolis of the French Kings, the Royal Eure Valley is the perfect place to uncover fascinating parts of French history. Perched on a hill dominating the city, the Royal Chapel of Dreux boasts in its crypt many funerary recumbent statues and tombs. It is the final resting places of the descendants of France’s royal Bourbon-Orléans family. These funerary life-size marble sculptures, dressed in their daily costume are realistic depictions of the deceased monarchs exposed for final respects. Notice the child wrapped in a marble veil or the sticking features of men and women as if they were alive. A remarkably precise work that leaves you speechless during a visit imbued with serenity.
A walk by the water
What’s better than a stroll on a sunny day? One where you get to walk by the water, of course. Nearby Dreux, the lake of Mézières-Ecluzelles is a perfect destination for a scenic walk and a deep connection to nature with a rich, protected biodiversity, wide-open spaces, beautiful scenery and plenty of hidden places to explore. Don’t forget your binoculars for close ups of woodpeckers, cormorants, grebes, swans and ducks resting and nesting here, which can be observed all year round. A magical place for nature lovers when the leaves change from the lush greens of summer to the bright golds, oranges and reds of autumn!
Autumn Vibesin the Eure Valley
Chapelle Royale Saint-LouisDREUX
A spectacular testimony to 19th century art! The neo-gothic chapel, the stained glass windows and recumbent statues inside are works by the greatest artists from that era: Delacroix, Millet, Ingres, Lenoir, Mercié, Vernet and many others.Read more
Château de MaintenonMAINTENON
Enter the "secret gardens" of the Sun King. Discover the furnished home of Madame de Maintenon, whose eternal youth charmed Louis XIV the all-powerful.Read more
L’Eure & l’ÉtangÉCLUZELLES
For a country break of a relaxing stay less than 100km from Paris, L'Eure and l'Etang bed and beakfast's motto is "it's time to take the time." They will be delighted to look after you!Read more
Cathédrale de ChartresCHARTRES
A prestigious heritage site, listed at a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the gems of 12th and 13th century art, the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Chartres has always been testimony to the enthusiasm of pilgrims and visitors. Open, guided or ...Read more
Tour Nord de la CathédraleCHARTRES
The top of the 60-metre tower of the prestigious cathedral, known as the "Jehan de Beauce", offers a unique panorama over Beauce and the town.Read more