Fresh air fills your lungs on arriving in the smart town of Fontainebleau. It’s enveloped by the 200-sq-km Forêt de Fontainebleau, which is as big a playground today as it was in the 16th century, with superb walking and rock-climbing opportunities. The town grew up around its magnificent château, one of the most beautifully decorated and furnished in France. Although it’s less crowded and pressured than Versailles, exploring it can still take the best part of a day.
You’ll also find a cosmopolitan drinking and dining scene, thanks to the town’s lifeblood. The town of Fontainebleau, 67km southeast of Paris, is renowned for its elegant Renaissance chateau – one of France’s largest royal residences.
The town itself has a number of fine restaurants and nightspots, and it is a popular recreational centre in the Île de France. Fontainebleau’s lifeblood is INSEAD (www.insead.edu), the international graduate business school that brings some 2000 students here each year.
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