Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Auvers-sur-Oise), France
Auvers-sur-Oise — the last town in France that Vincent Van Gogh called home and the place where he is buried — is located on the River Oise, not the River Seine. To get passengers there, ships dock at Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a 25-minute bus ride away.
Once docked, head to Auvers for a two-hour tour of the places the artist lived and worked. You'll gain insight into his post-Impressionist landscapes, self portraits, and still lifes, and learn about his mindset during the final 70 days of his life, during which he completed more than 80 paintings.
What We Love
Following in Van Gogh’s Footsteps: Throughout Auvers-sur-Oise, detailed markers with poster-sized reproductions of Van Gogh’s paintings show the spots where he drew inspiration. Sites range from wheat fields and garden paths to the town hall, hilltop Church of Notre-Dame d’Auvers, and traditional thatched roof cottages.
The Impressionist Air: The scenic small town has welcomed a host of visual artists from Pissarro and Cézanne to Corneille and Henri Rousseau.
Best Known For
The Van Gogh Gravesite: Vincent, who was just 37 years old when he shot himself in July 1890 and died two days later, and Theo, his brother and benefactor who died tragically in 1891, are buried side-by-side in a hilltop cemetery overlooking the town's famous wheat fields.
Unique Barges: If time allows when you return to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, stroll the riverfront promenade to see Bateau Chapelle Je Sers (a Catholic church on a retired barge) and Bateau Chocolate (a floating café specializing in desserts and Caribbean cuisine). The Musée de la Batellerie showcases historic riverboats.
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Who It's Best For
Vincent Devotees: Here, you'll walk along the same paths as the artist when he produced such notable works as “Portrait of Dr. Gachet,” and “Church of Auvers-sur-Oise.” Local guides do a fabulous job of illustrating the last few months of the painter’s life, and the turbulent years that preceded it.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Prepare to Climb: It’s a 10 to 15-minute uphill walk to get to the church and the cemetery in Auvers-sur-Oise, two of the town's highlights.
Donna Heiderstadt is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Coastal Living and Islands.