"A Palace, A Town, A Forest" Fontainebleau by hquittner

Fontainebleau Travel Guide: 104 reviews and 471 photos

Visits to the Palace

We have visited the palace twice, about 20 years apart, each time as participants in guided tours (one commercial, one Elderhostel). The Palace is in a town of 27K population and is served by SCNF trains out of the Gare de Lyon (where combined tickets are availble at an attractive price); bus connection for the 2 km to the palace is included. (We have never done this). We have driven through Fontainebleau on other trips and the town is quiet. We have stayed nearby in Moret-sur-Loing and in a little town in the Forest called Recloses. The forest surrounds Fontainebleau. Francis I used it for hunting but today it is a favorite hiking area for the French and its rock formations are reported to be good for climbing both for sport and learning and practicing technics used in more difficult places.

Our Strategy

For 20 years we engaged in idependent travel. a great deal of it in France, flying into de Galule or Orly and renting (or lease-purchasing) a car. We would save Paris for other trips and head for a small location in the Ile de France or close by. We would terminate our trip in a similar place within 1 hour of our return airport for the flight home. There are a geat number of these places and although some can be negotiated as day-trips from Paris, this is a better way. For instance it is easier to visit Vaux-le-Vicomte from near Fontainebleau in your own car than any other way, and you can add on Nemours, Melun and be ready for Sens enroute futher afield. There are plenty of small inns (some with star restaurants) and in this new world of chepa long-distance calls and email, reservations are easy (not like 10-20 years ago).

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A fine example of a palace, few are better.
  • Cons:It requires more preparation than we gave it.
  • In a nutshell:We should have planned to concentrate on Fontainebleau on a trip
  • Last visit to Fontainebleau: Apr 2000
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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