This month we present three regions. The Ile de France hosts our gorgeous Paris and surroundings like Versailles, Fontainebleau or even Disneyland Paris. The Hauts de France has Nord-Pas-de-Calais/Picardie, from forests to coastlines, castles and medieval towns. The Grand Est has Alsace, Champagne-Ardennes and Lorraine, their wines, typical timber frame houses, and thermal towns. Here is a little more on each of them
Region “Ile de France”
Steeped in exceptional heritage, the Île-de-France region, the historic heart of the country and the world’s number one tourist destination, is first and foremost associated with Paris, the capital of France and a prestigious world-famous city. As the top tourist destination in Île -de-France, the famous City of Lights is full of beautiful sights, with several centuries’ worth of unusual architecture, an abundance of culture venues and museums such as the Louvre, the Orsay Museum, the Centre Pompidou, the Cluny Museum, the Picasso Museum or the Quai Branly Museum, and must-see monuments like the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame de Paris, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Montmartre and the Arc de Triomphe.
However, the Île-de-France region has many other treasures like its superb castles, old abbeys, royal towns, parks and romantic gardens, forests and lakes that are ideal for leisure activities. Among the flagship destinations around Paris, visitors should make sure their itinerary includes major sites like the immense Versailles Castle and its magnificent gardens, the Saint-Denis Basilica, necropolis of the Kings of France, the sumptuous castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte and its park designed by Le Nôtre, the medieval city of Provins with its impressive ramparts, Fontainebleau Castle, a gem of French art, the charming and romantic Royaumont Abbey, the royal town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Courances Castle and its marvellous Renaissance water garden, or the Impressionist village of Auvers-sur-Oise. When it comes to entertainment, children and adults alike are sure to love attractions like Disneyland Paris, France Miniature and Thoiry Park.
Region “Hauts de France”
A welcoming and authentic land that combines nature, culture and traditions, the Hauts-de-France region offers its visitors a wide range of sightseeing opportunities and activities. When it comes to countryside, a variety of landscapes await you there, ranging from forests, hedged farmlands and plains of crops to the hortillonnages in Amiens, through the beaches and chalk cliffs of the coast. The hiking paths in the regional nature parks of Avesnois, Les Caps et Marais d’Opale, Scarpe-Escaut and Oise-Pays de France, the immense beaches of fine sand, the picturesque fishing villages and the elegant seaside resorts of the Opal Coast and the Picard Coast will delight holidaymakers in search of rest, recuperation and tranquillity. A listed Great Site of France and a member of the very select club of the world’s most beautiful bays, the famous Bay of Somme is a birdwatcher’s paradise. As well as the many bird species present there, you can also admire an impressive colony of harbour seals!
When it comes to built heritage, the cities of Art and History of Boulogne-sur-Mer, Cambrai, Laon, Lille and Roubaix, with many cultural and architectural treasures, majestic belfries that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the small and charming town of Senlis, the wonderful castles of Chantilly, Compiègne and Pierrefonds, the famous Gothic cathedrals of Amiens and Beauvais, the superb medieval city of Coucy-le-Château-Auffrique, the beautiful fortified churches of Thiérache, and the picturesque little town of Bergues, made famous by the film Welcome to the Sticks (Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis), as well as the festive and friendly atmosphere of Dunkirk carnival and Lille street market, are just some of the attractions that make this region of northern France such an appealing destination.
Whether you come for a weekend or a longer stay, the Hauts-de-France region will delight you with its distinctive character and rich cultural heritage!
Region “Grand Est“
A land of traditions, skills and gastronomy located at the heart of Europe, the Great East is an appealing region that’s sure to be appreciated by lovers of sightseeing and authentic charm. While the region is particularly renowned for its champagnes, white wines from Alsace, flammekueches, sauerkraut, baeckeoffes, Mirabelle plums and enchanting Christmas markets, it’s also known for its cities of Art and History packed with treasures, delightful floral villages with half-timbered houses, medieval castle forts, Gothic cathedrals, fortified or timber-framed churches, famous museums, and renowned crystal and pottery works.
Anyone exploring the regions formerly known as Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine should be sure to visit notable sites like Strasbourg, with its famous Gothic cathedral and its picturesque Petite France, Colmar, with its romantic Little Venice and its famous Unterlinden Museum, Metz, with its Cour d’Or Museum and many parks, as well as the deeply moving memorial sites around Verdun, the impressive fortified town of Langres, old Nancy with its medieval, Renaissance and Art Nouveau heritage, the beautiful medieval town of Troyes with its ten listed churches, the splendid Place Ducale in Charleville-Mézières, Sedan’s immense castle fort, the famous Mont Sainte-Odile mountain, the magnificent fortified town of Riquewihr, the great museums of Mulhouse, and the prestigious champagne cellars of Reims, Épernay and Châlons-en-Champagne.
The Great East is a great destination for a country holiday and boasts a remarkable natural environment. With their many marked paths, the regional nature parks of the Ardennes, Ballons des Vosges, Montagne de Reims, Lorraine and the Vosges du Nord are perfect for anyone who enjoys hiking or botanical walks. Lake Der-Chantecoq, Lake Madine and the four lakes of Pays de Langres are sure to delight lovers of relaxation and water sports. Those in search of spas and well-being can enjoy a rejuvenating stay at one of the region’s eight welcoming spa resorts. Whether you pick Amnéville-les-Thermes, Bains-les-Bains, Bourbonne-les-Bains, Contrexéville, Morsbronn-les-Bains, Niederbronn-les-Bains, Plombières-les-Bains or Vittel, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to enjoying the benefits of the thermal waters as well as the many leisure activities available there!