When we think of Paris we think of the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. With so much historic and architectural wonders in such proximity to one another, it’s easy to get so caught up in the magic of Paris’ city center. Sometimes we forget that the City of Light is also a great base from which you can travel and explore even more of France's most fascinating sights. Make the most of your vacation in the French capital with this handy guide to the best day trips from Paris. Today, we’re inviting you to transcend the city walls and discover the French wonders on Paris’ doorstep. From the dazzling Mont Saint Michel to the somber US Military cemetery at Normandy beaches, experience all of France’s most iconic sights with this guide to the best Paris day trips.

1. Magical Mont Saint-Michel

This stunning French islet makes for the perfect day trip on you vacation to Paris. Dubbed the Wonder of the Western World, Mont-Saint Michel rises dramatically from the sea in France’s Normandy region. It’s mesmerizing form and equally spellbinding history, makes this site one of France’s most adored attractions. Mont Saint-Michel is a religious site of pilgrimage, a rustic medieval fortress and island all in one! It is a tidal island, meaning that it transforms into an island during high tide, when the golden sands surrounding it are consumed by the sea. During high tide, visitors to this idyllic mount must travel by bridge from to mainland. On low tide, however, tourists and pilgrims can cross the regions fine, golden sands by foot as they journey to discover this fascinating site.

Despite having a population of just fifty, Mont Saint-Michel welcomes close to 2.5 million visitors every year. Discover this much-loved tourist attraction for yourself on your next Paris vacation. Explore this UNESCO-listed site on a day trip from Paris. With comfortable round-trip transportation and commentary from your expert guide, take the hassle out of your visit to Mont-Saint Michel with City Wonders.

2. Versailles Tour from Paris

Fancy walking in the footsteps of France’s most notorious royals? Experience a day in the life of French royalty on a Versailles day trip from Paris. Uncover the mysteries, scandal and opulence of history's most controversial monarchs as you peruse the palace they once called home. An astonishing 5 million tourists visit the Palace of Versailles every year. However, most visitors to this opulent abode are not aware that the palace is separated into private and public apartments. While the majority of tourists assemble to explore the castle’s public areas, a select few venture through the palace’s less traveled paths. From the King’s private quarters to the royal’s secret tunnels, follow in the footsteps of the King’s inner court during a VIP Access tour of Versailles.

Exploring the King’s private apartments provides visitors with a whole new perspective into the private lives of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. Access to these most coveted areas of the palace is restricted to select tour groups only. Embrace your inner VIP, with round-trip transportation and commentary from an expert guide on this top-rated VIP Access tour of Versailles.

3. The Idyllic Loire Valley

If a guided tour of Versailles isn’t fairytale enough for you, then be sure to add a day trip to Loire Valley to your Paris itinerary. From French architecture to stunning landscapes, scrumptious cuisine to local wine, experience everything the French countryside is famous for on a day trip to the Loire Valley from Paris.

Located only a stone’s throw from Paris’ city center, this stunning lush landscape invites you to explore a different side to France. The Loire Valley has been the resort of choice for the French elite for the past hundreds of years. As a result of its popularity as a countryside retreat for France’s aristocracy and royalty, this vast lush region is adorned with stunning fairytale chateaux, scattered around the country.

There are 22 sites of significant importance in the Loire Valley region, but there are also tons of smaller estates worth visiting too. Explore three of the Loire Valley’s most breathtaking castles as you venture through the opulent corridors and bask in the beautiful gardens of Château de Chambord, Château de Chenonceau and Château de Nitray. Escape the hustle and bustle of Paris and discover the France’s idyllic countryside on a day trip from Paris.

4. WWII Normandy Beaches

Next our list is a day trip from Paris to Normandy. Although less picturesque than the Loire Valley or Mont Saint-Michel, this is a truly life-changing experience. Remember the victories and martyrs of the D-Day landings with a tour of Normandy’s four most significant World War II sites. During your day trip to Normandy you’ll visit a museum set in a real German bunker on Utah Beach. You’ll walk among beautiful yet devastating memorials to 10,000 fallen soldiers at the American Cemetery. From there you’ll observe a poignant view over Omaha Beach, where Allied forces faced terrible odds. Your day trip to Normandy from Paris will conclude with a sampling of the region’s culinary delights with a two-course lunch and some local apple cider.

Mesmerizing mounds rising from the sea, secret passageways in Royal Palaces and the most notable sites of WWII are waiting to be explored on your next trip to Paris. Experience more than just a city as you explore a nation with our range of top-rated day trips from Paris.