Michelin Suggests Springtime Outside Paris

Day-trips to countryside hot spots get you back to the city by dinnertime

GREENVILLE, S.C., March 23 /PRNewswire/ — As throngs of literary fans follow the trail of The DaVinci Code through Paris — visiting such attractions as the Louvre, Saint Sulpice and Chateau Villette — Michelin also recommends a less-traveled route, dropping in on several spectacular venues outside the Paris city limits.

With a rental car, a copy of Michelin Northern France and a free afternoon, you can uncover plenty of the region’s history and grandeur.

Chateau de Chantilly. Just 20 miles north of Paris, this massive 14th century chateau offers breathtaking views of the French countryside. Inside, explore a collection of art that rivals the Louvre’s and uncover an intriguing history of destruction and rebirth; the current chateau is the fifth on this spot. The chateau’s park has everything you need to pass a spring day — gardens, a chapel, a man-made canal, waterfalls, electric boats, as well as a racecourse and stables for thoroughbreds.

Compiegne. Some 50 miles north of Paris sits the town of Compiegne, where you’ll find a palace that was once a getaway for the kings of France and later the setting for parties hosted by Napoleon III. The nearby forest witnessed the signing of the armistices of both World Wars. Today, the palace houses two museums and two theaters. The forest contains a memorial to the armistices, along with a hiker’s paradise of trails.

Amiens, about 75 miles north of Paris, is known for its macaroons, a specialty since the 16th century; just stop by a local confiserie for two … or three of these almond-honey cookies. While in town, visit Amiens’ famed 13th century Cathedrale Notre-Dame, the largest Gothic building in France, and then browse the craft and antique shops.

Chartres. Renowned for its cathedral — a World Heritage site — the town of Chartres lies some 50 miles southwest of Paris. Chartres’ famous cathedral survived intact the Wars of Religion, the French Revolution and both World Wars. Only the timber roof succumbed to flames in 1836. A pleasant walk through Chartres Old Town offers views of the banks of the River Eure and the ancient district, now beautifully restored.

About Michelin

The world’s largest tire maker, Michelin (http://www.michelin.com/) manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, maps and atlases covering Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America employs 23,300 and operates 20 plants in 16 locations.

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