I would like to set up a day trip from Paris to Chartres but I am having trouble finding a company that will do that tour. Has anyone recently done this tour? If so, would you mind sharing the info on the tour you took? I am going at the end of January. Thanks!
I don't know anybody who has done this trip as a tour. There are tours of the Cathedral itself and you can find the times for English language tours on their website. That's the only thing you need a tour for. Other than that it's just taking the train ( an easy 1hr 15min trip) and strolling around the town before or after touring the Cathedral. You can research any other sights you might want to see.
I am the self-proclaimed Chartres expert (since I lived there for a while).
You most certainly do not need to book a tour. You can get to Chartres, as said above, by taking a train from the Gare Montparnasse and you'll be in Chartres in a little over an hour. Once you get off the train and exit the station, look up. Everything you need and want to see is in front of you. The only tour I recommend is the one from Mr. Miller at the cathedral.
Chartres is a TINY village (well, not that tiny---but all the tourist sites are easily walkable).
If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them. Make a search for Chartres and you;'ll see many things that the fine people on this forum have come up with.
Have a great trip!
These trains run about hourly, departing Paris Montparnasse shortly after the top of each hour. Allow time to buy tickets in the station. How to Look Up Train Schedules and Routes Online gives you the DB train schedule link and tips for using it.
I so agree with everyone! I went with a friend a few years ago. She is an experienced traveler but it was so easy I could have managed it on my own. We went by Gare Montparnasse the day before and picked them up for a certain time but you don't have to do that. It is very easy to find the Cathedral from the train station.
We really, really enjoyed the Malcolm Miller tour which often focuses on the stained glass and also did the tour of the crypt which is only in French. I don't speak French but we were given a paper with the main points in English and got to see some of the areas that are not available unless you are on a tour. I think it was a few Euro and we bought the tickets at the gift shop to the right side of the Cathedral when you are facing the front doors.
If you have an interest in seeing the Labyrinth, I believe it is uncovered on Fridays. Other days of the week the Cathedral chairs are in rows on top of it so you can see parts but you can't walk it.
I think the reason you haven't found a company doing day trips from Paris to Chartres and back is that it's so easy to do on your own that they couldn't sell enough tours profitably.
I'd also recommend the Malcolm Miller tour if he's still doing them. I hadn't heard about the crypt tour but that sounds great too.
Miller was doing tours last summer. It's wise to email him politely and ask what's up a day or two before.
I shouldn't really call them tours, they are more like lectures. But terrific.
Do check if Malcolm Miller is doing cathedral tours on the day you plan to go. I missed him by one day last year - he'd been on holiday. Had I known, I could easily have gone a day or two later, sigh. It's pleasant to walk around this charming town on your own and easy to find your way back to the cathedral (you can see it from just about anywhere) and from there a straight line back to the train station.