Île de Chantemesle

France | Europe: Atlantic

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Enchanted holidays close to Paris

There are about 60 islands on the River Seine in "Ile-de-France", which literally means the Island of France and is the area around Paris. Some are inhabited, some not. The island of Chantemesle is a small paradise of approximately 25 acres and contains two charming villas built in the local style. The Impressionists were attracted by the landscape and the quality of the light. Claude Monet lived in nearby Vétheuil and completed several important paintings there - of the banks of the Seine as well as the water lilies in his garden at Giverny, a few miles away. Other marvels around Chantemesle are the troglodyte settlements of Haute-Isle, the 12th century church of Vétheuil or the chateau at La Roche-Guyon, which has been classified as one of the 20 most beautiful villages of France.

Rates
(depending on season and number of travellers):
from EUR 5,500 to EUR 8,500 per week for up to 12 people. (For a large group of this size, a similar hotel in Paris would be much more expensive and not as elegant or romantic!)
All prices plus local tax.

Location
On the River Seine, 30 miles northwest of Paris, between the villages of Vétheuil and La Roche-Guyon.

Accommodation
The main house has a living room with a large fireplace, a dining room, a fully equipped kitchen, a cloakroom and a Victorian veranda. On the first floor there are 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, and on the second are a living room, bedroom and bathroom. The total living space is 400 square metres. The house has just been newly renovated, inside and out.

Dining
You can dine at the many fine nearby restaurants. Or go shopping at the local market and try your hand at French cuisine! Chef and housekeeping staff are available on request.

Activities & daytrips
On the island there is a park, an orchard, a tennis court, a swimming pool, a farmyard, 2 greenhouses, a landing stage on each side of the small branch of the Seine and 2 small motorboats. There are 8 golf courses within 30 minutes' drive as well as horse riding, hang-gliding and water sports. A must is the Claude Monet Foundation (April 1-Oct 31) and gardens at Giverny. Other places to visit: Vétheuil; La Roche-Guyon (village and castle); Amble Villier; the market at Vernon; Magny-en-Vexin. Nearby are the covered alley at Dampsmesnil, and fascinating archeological sites, such as the rock shelters at Mestreville and the neolithic burial place at Houlbec Cocherel.

Best time to travel
Spring offers the best weather to visitors. Temperatures are moderate in autumn, but the short days mean limited sunlight.

Getting there
Only 45 minutes from the Paris Périphérique, it may be reached by car via the D-100, or train and bus from Paris. Then by private boat over a small branch of the Seine to the island.
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