A Visit to Monet’s Giverny

Monet's House in Giverny, Normandy, France in late June 2017
Monet’s House in Giverny, Normandy, France in late June 2017. © Karen Netto (Andrews)

I achieved a long-held ambition to visit Monet’s garden at Giverny, in Normandy, France. My research revealed that many visitors are disappointed because the garden is too crowded with tourists. My French skills meant that I could find my own way and visit the garden independently at the beginning and end of the day, rather than the busy time of coach tours. (My travel details appear below for reference).

On arrival, I headed straight to the famous Water Lily garden with my preprinted ticket (most visitors and tour parties start with the house). I was struck by the enormous size of the pond. There are different views to be admired from multiple angles. The pond is kept clear of weed, so that you can see the trees, clouds and sky reflected in the water. I also reflected on the colours that Monet saw and the exquisite Normandy light.

The Water Lily pond at Giverny, France
The Water Lily Pond at Giverny. © Karen Netto (Andrews)
© Karen Netto (Andrews)

The garden overflows with colourful flowers. Many of the walkways are quite narrow, so I was especially glad that I was not part of a long, snaking line of tourists behind a tour guide.

Clos Normand view toward the house with rose-covered arbours at Giverny
The Clos Normand view of the house from the garden. © Karen Netto (Andrews)

© Karen Netto (Andrews)

I greatly enjoyed my stay. Giverny is a very neat and well-presented village running along a main, pedestrianised street. It includes an art gallery and garden, cafés and takeaways, the church with the Monet family tomb and a memorial to British airman who crashed nearby in World War Two. There were a number of school parties present during my stay.

Having achieved my ambition, I would now like to revisit when the Irises are in flower.

© Karen Netto (Andrews)

My Previous Blog

Painting the Modern Garden on Art Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, 6 April 2016

My Travel to Giverny

I travelled by train from Paris St-Lazare to Vernon-Giverny. I caught the bus to Giverny. There are footprints on the ground guiding you to the buses.

How to get to Giverny by other means

I booked my ticket(s) online in advance on the Fondation Claude Monet website.

I stayed overnight in Giverny at the comfortable, 2-star Hotel Restaurant La Musardière with en suite bathroom but no lift. It is conveniently situated just a stone’s throw from the garden entrance to beat the crowds. The hotel appears to have been refurbished since my visit. I ate on the terrace during the evening and shared a taxi with Australian and South Korean guests back to the station the next day.

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