Claude Monet is best known for his paintings of water lilies.
He produced almost 250 of them. His gardens, and especially his pond of water lilies in the lower portion of his property, were his primary inspiration in the later years of his life.
In the small town of Giverny, about 70 km west of Paris, you can visit The House and Gardens of Claude Monet and experience the source of his inspiration. The gardens are extensive with many rose bushes, fruit trees, and ornamental trees. But it is the pond on the lower level where the lilies grow that is the main attraction.
The Gardens open in April and close at the end of October. Our guide, who picked me up at my hotel and brought our small group of five to the Gardens, did not have a favorite season. He finds beauty in the gardens at all times of the year, just that it's a different beauty on each occasion. If you go with a small group tour you go directly into the pond area and out the front through the gift shop. You skip the line.
This tour was organized for me by Monograms Travel. They offer the independent traveler the support to make travel easy by arranging all transfers, booking your hotel room, holding an introductory city tour with a small group and optional tours if you like. They have a person on duty at the hotel to receive you and answer any questions you have. It's really quite unique. I'll be writing about the experience with them as well as about highlights from the trip in future posts. Over the next few months you can expect:
- Rome & Paris: From the Eternal City to the City of Light (An overview of the entire trip.)
- Rome: The What and Why of the Eternal City
- New Skills from Paris and Rome to Enjoy at Home
- Food Tours Offer Much More than Tasty Bites
- A new 32 Tips post on Rome
- An updated 32 Tips post on Paris
And, of course, this post, a photos essay on A Day in Monet’s Gardens.