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Where to go? Chartres or Fontainebleau?

Toronto
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919 posts
14 reviews
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Where to go? Chartres or Fontainebleau?

We won't have time to visit both Chartres and Fontainebleau... which attraction you would advise to visit (we'ree family with kids 15 and 9)

Victoria, Canada
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1. Re: Where to go? Chartres or Fontainebleau?

I visited Chartres when I was 13,, it was grand,, but worth only a quick look to me at that age,, I think Fontainebleau would be a nicer visit for kids. The grounds are nice to walk around in,, and the palace is never crowded like Versailles, so the family can enjoy wandering through the rooms( unlike Versailles, which I absolutely love, but its always a sardine show inside) ,.

If you are also visiting Versailles, ( and yes, while crowded it is still worth a visit) then skip Fontainbleau.. but if not, its a lovely day trip.

ezs
Manalapan, NJ
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2. Re: Where to go? Chartres or Fontainebleau?

I agree with Joan: if you are not going to Versailles, Fontainbleau is a great day trip. I haven't been to Chartres yet, but I know my younger daughter (now 18) was not that excited with cathedrals and would prefer a chateau even now. When I went with my older daughter (then 19) we had a great day exploring the chateau and the gardens.

Have a great trip,

Eve

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Where to go? Chartres or Fontainebleau?

I love Chartres but agree that if you are not doing Versailles then Fontainebleau is a good choice. Be sure to take a nice picnic as the grounds are lovely -- there is a food service, but it is nothing much and there are benches here and there where you can picnic. You could even walk clear to the end of the property to the canal, where young people hang out, throw frisbees etc etc.

Tampa, Florida
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11 reviews
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4. Re: Where to go? Chartres or Fontainebleau?

It depends on what you and your kids are into -- Chartres is a magnificent cathedral in a charming little town; Fontainebleau is much more self-contained, with the palace and related museums, and the grounds.

Why don't you show the kids websites/tour book pages on both,and get their votes?

Toronto
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5. Re: Where to go? Chartres or Fontainebleau?

Another question....I doubt it, but can we possible to visit both Fontainebleau and Chartres in one day? If in the morning we driving from Paris to Fontainebleau , spend there 3-4 hours (is it enough?), than drive to Chartres and spend 1.2-2 hours there and they drive to Blois where we booked apparment to stay?

Tampa, Florida
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36,628 posts
11 reviews
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6. Re: Where to go? Chartres or Fontainebleau?

No - wayyyy too much distance to do both -- and they deserve more than a blowby stop -- and it's almost 2 hours between them.

Croatia
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328 posts
7 reviews
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7. Re: Where to go? Chartres or Fontainebleau?

I'm planning to do just that in July. It's just one hour drive between the two. I've been to Chartres and the stained glass windows are magnificent (even better if you bring your binoculars!) and the labyrinth on the floor is interesting. I haven't been to Fontainebleau yet but I can't imagine my son (13) staying anywhere, no matter how interesting, for more than 3-4 hours, + he will surely not be interested in walking around the gardens.

So if I you do that too, I would very much like to know how it went for you. Enjoy your trip!

Ohio, USA
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8. Re: Where to go? Chartres or Fontainebleau?

The only way you will get from Fontainebleau to Chartres in an hour will be to travel at dead of night and ignore all speed limits — or hire a helicopter..

The park and forest at Fontainebleau are a great place for a kid to run, play, explore, climb — and the château would probably be a thrill for any kid with a little knowledge of its history and a healthy imagination.

Paris to Fontainebleau to Chartres to Blois would be close to 5 hours of not very exciting driving on a good day. On a bad day it could take a lot longer.

Tampa, Florida
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9. Re: Where to go? Chartres or Fontainebleau?

there is NO WAY you'll get from Fontainebleau to Chartres in an hour. It's closer to TWO.

(I've driven it. Several times.)

Croatia
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328 posts
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10. Re: Where to go? Chartres or Fontainebleau?

First let me say that I don't want to "steal" this topic... My point was that I had the same unsolvable dilemma and decided to do both. Thanks for the correction, I'm sure that you "locals" know the real situation better than Viamichelin, (and I'm surely not going to drive on a foreign highway and with a child in the car faster than you!), but still, even if I arrive at Chartres at 5 pm I will stil be glad (then and later, forever) that I came and showed it to my son. That's all.