|What To See
+ Exploring Paris
* A Walk Along the Seine & On the Islands
* A Walk Through Le Marais
* A Walk Through Montmartre
* A Walk Through the Quartier Latin & St Germain-des-Prés
* A Drive in the Painters' Footsteps
* A Drive In & Around the Forêt de Fontainebleau
* A Drive Through the Vallée de Chevreuse
In The Know
Did You Know?
A Drive Through the Vallée de Chevreuse
This drive will take you through the wooded Vallée de Chevreuse to Rambouillet, its castle and its park.
From the Porte de Saint-Cloud, follow signs for Chartres/Orléans. After 17km, leave for Saclay and take the N306 towards Chevreuse.
The little town of Chevreuse is dominated by the ruins of its medieval castle which houses the Maison du Parc Naturel Régional de la Haute Vallée de Chevreuse (Natural Regional Park Information Centre).
From Chevreuse, drive southwest on the D906 to Rambouillet.
The 14th-century fortress is now an official residence of the presidents of the Republic. In the park, criss-crossed by canals, look for the Laiterie de la Reine (Marie-Antoinette's dairy).
Drive back on the D906 for 10km and turn left on the D91 towards Dampierre.
The 16th-century stone and brick Château de Dampierre was remodelled by Jules Hardouin-Mansart for Colbert's son-in-law and still belongs to the de Luynes family.
Continue on the D91 across the River Yvette, negotiating the picturesque `17 bends' to the ruined Abbaye de Port-Royal-des-Champs (parking on left-hand side of the road).
During the 17th century, this former Cistercian abbey was at the centre of a religious battle between Jesuits and Jansenists. The Musée National des Granges de Port-Royal is in the park.
Continue along the D91 to Versailles and return to the Porte de Saint-Cloud by the Route de Paris (D10).
7-9 hours depending on visits
Porte de Saint-Cloud
Address: 78 rue Général de Gaulle, 78120 Rambouillet
Phone: 01 30 88 80 61
Maison du Parc, Chevreuse
Phone: 01 30 52 09 09
Open: Weekdays 10-12 and 2-6
Château de Rambouillet
Phone: 01 34 83 00 25
Château de Dampierre
Phone: 01 30 52 53 24
Musée National des Granges de Port-Royal
Phone: 01 30 43 73 05