Visit Chartres on your own

Tour Chartres on your own

Nestled majestically in the heart of the city of Chartres, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is an architectural marvel that attracts visitors from around the world. With its impressive spires reaching towards the sky and its facade adorned with detailed sculptures, it is a true gem of Gothic architecture.

But what makes Chartres Cathedral even more extraordinary is its incredible collection of stained glass windows. The Stained Glass Museum, located nearby, offers a fascinating dive into the history and art of these dazzling works. Visitors can discover unique pieces, traditional manufacturing techniques, and admire how light diffuses through the various colors and textures of the glass.

Not far away is another unique attraction: the Picassiette Garden. Created by worker Raymond Isidore, this extraordinary garden is a true homage to naive art. Isidore decorated his garden, house, and even his workshop with pieces of broken crockery, creating an enchanting and surreal landscape where each fragment tells a story.

And when night falls on Chartres, the city transforms into a dazzling light show. Chartres en Lumière is an annual event that celebrates the city’s history and heritage through spectacular light projections. The facades of historic buildings, including the cathedral itself, come alive with colorful displays and patterns, creating a magical atmosphere that delights visitors of all ages.

Together, Chartres Cathedral, the Stained Glass Museum, Picassiette, and Chartres en Lumière form a captivating ensemble that celebrates art, history, and creativity in all its forms. Whether to admire the grandiose architecture, explore the art of stained glass, marvel at Picassiette’s creativity, or simply be enchanted by the city’s lights, Chartres offers an unforgettable experience for those who visit.

Proposed One-Day Circuit in Chartres (possible on foot):

Departure from the Hôtel de Chartres:

  • Start your day by leaving the hotel and heading towards Place des Épars via Rue du Grand Faubourg.

Notre-Dame Cathedral of Chartres:

  • Just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel, you will reach the majestic Notre-Dame Cathedral of Chartres (about 10-minute walk). Admire its stunning Gothic architecture, beautiful stained glass windows, and explore its interior filled with history and spirituality.

Medieval City Center:

  • Wander through the charming streets of Chartres’ medieval city center (about 10-minute walk). Discover its picturesque half-timbered houses, lively small squares, and local craft shops.

Lunch Break:

  • Have lunch in a restaurant or in the park along the banks of the Eure.

Picassiette House:

  • Continue your walk to Picassiette House (about 15-20 minute walk), an unusual artwork composed of pieces of broken crockery. Explore this enchanting garden and discover the fascinating story of its creator, Raymond Isidore.

Pont de la Tour Neuve and Banks of the Eure:

  • Continue your circuit by strolling along the banks of the Eure and crossing the picturesque Pont de la Tour Neuve (about 10-15 minute walk). Admire the views of the river and soak up the tranquility of this natural setting.

Stained Glass Museum:

  • Visit the Stained Glass Museum in the city center to learn more about the art and history of stained glass. Discover impressive collections and attend demonstrations of traditional stained glass making.

Return to the Hôtel de Chartres:

  • End your day by returning to your starting point at the Hôtel de Chartres (about 10-minute walk). Enjoy moments of relaxation after this enriching day exploring the beautiful city of Chartres.

Proposed Two-Day Circuit (car or bus/train for Maintenon and Atelier Picol)

Day 1:

Morning in Chartres:

  • Departure from the Hôtel de Chartres.
  • Visit Notre-Dame Cathedral of Chartres.
  • Explore the medieval city center and local shops.
  • Lunch break in one of the city’s cafes or restaurants.

Afternoon in Chartres:

  • Visit Picassiette House.
  • Discover the Stained Glass Museum.
  • Free time to continue exploring Chartres or go shopping.

Evening in Chartres:

  • Dinner in a local restaurant.
  • Option to attend Chartres en Lumière if available during your visit.
  • Return to the Hôtel de Chartres for the night.

Day 2: Excursion to Château de Maintenon and Atelier Picol

Morning at Château de Maintenon:

  • Departure from the Hôtel de Chartres by car to Château de Maintenon (about a 30-minute drive).
  • Guided tour of Château de Maintenon, discover its fascinating history and beautiful gardens.

Lunch near Château de Maintenon:

  • Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant or a picnic in the château’s gardens.

Afternoon at Atelier Picol:

  • Departure from Château de Maintenon to Atelier Picol (about a 30-minute drive).
  • Visit Atelier Picol, a unique contemporary art museum.

Return to Chartres:

  • Return to Chartres by car.
  • Free time to relax at the Hôtel de Chartres or further explore the city.