Giverny, France

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Cruising to Giverny, France

You might not know Giverny by name, but you'll almost certainly recognise some of its most picturesque parts as you wander through this charismatic little French village located 80 km west of Paris. Set within a valley of the river Seine, it is famed for being Monet's home, with the painter residing here from 1883 with his family and second wife until his death in 1926.
Surrounded by nature, the colours here are astounding and it's no wonder the man was inspired to paint. The emerald of the waterlilies that feature in one of his most famous creations - the painting of the Japanese bridge - is even more astounding in real life. 
Those wanting to make the most of the artistic connections are advised to take a guided tour of Monet's own house and garden, the very places where he used to sit and paint in the closing chapters of his life. This attraction is open from April to October and tickets are available for reasonable prices. After exploring this otherwise quiet little terrace home, head to the Musee des Impressionnismes Giverny on Rue Claude Monet, which features an interesting programme of temporary exhibitions in honour of the incredible man himself and the art he was devoted to.
Also worth noting is the Natural Mechanical Museum, which is run by volunteers who wish to demonstrate the ingenuity of steam to the wider world. With steampunk firmly enshrined in fashion, it's well worth a visit.
But it's not all about the art - visitors are encouraged to hike up into the hills and witness the glory of Giverny from above. Balanced on the edge of the world, you might even catch a little of the genius that drove Monet to produce such incredible works of art. However, water and insect repellent are advised for those who make the hike during the summer.
Giverny, France

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