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Paris

International capital of art, fashion, style and romance remains the number 1 destination.

Paris Experiences

Paris for visitors of all ages

Paris, the international capital of art, fashion, style and romance remains the number 1 destination for UK travellers.

However, for those of us who would like to get away from the hustle and bustle of this vibrant capital, the Ile de France region is ideal. Offering history, art, culture and nature, all within easy reach of the bright lights of Paris. The region offers an ideal compliment, or alternative, to Paris for visitors of all ages.

Top 5 Countryside:

The Ile de France region is rich in picturesque countryside and forests all within a short distance of the Peripherique. It boasts 3 National Parks and 4 National Forests that allow you to get away from it all and enjoy the natural beauty of France and the pace of French country life. Stunning scenery, idyllic towns, peace and tranquility and abundant wildlife await visitors in the 270,000 hectares of forest that cover this region. The perfect settings for a drive in the country, an invigorating walk or lunch in the open air. Find out more

Top 5 Riverside Spots:

The banks of the Seine in Paris are classed by UNESCO and offer visitors an unforgettable experience. However, this isn't the only place in Paris Ile de France where you will find inspiration on the riverbank. The region is criss-crossed by rivers (hence the word Island in its title) and offers 440 odd miles of navigable waterways as well as many more miles of footpaths and historic sites along its beautiful rivers and canals. Whether on foot or aboard a boat it is a fantastic way to experience the region. Find out more

Top 5 Children's Sites:

Although Paris tends to tends to be seen as a destination for lovers, there is an enormous amount to do in the Ile de France region for children of all ages. From interesting towns that offer spectacles and shows, to modern interactive museums that make learning fun and a whole range of theme parks that are sure to be a big hit. On top of all this there is Disneyland Resort Paris with all its magic. Paris Ile de France isn't just for grown ups! Find out more

Top 5 Countryside:

Le Vexin Français

National Park located in the north west of the region and home to some of its most memorable art sites. Mantes la Jolie inspired Turner and Corot, Vetheuil and the cliffs of the Seine inspired Monet and the town of Auvers sur Oise is where Van Gogh is buried. Wonderful scenery, wildlife and many places to enjoy the local farm brewed beer, the famous Biere du Vexin.

Le Vexin National Park

Forest of Fontainebleau

Surely the most famous forest in Europe and listed by UNESCO. This was the prefered game forest of the Kings of France and still today its 22,000 hectares abound with wild boar and dear, amongst others. The perfect place for a drive, cylce, walk or picnic, it is also an international centre for rock climbing. The variety of landscapes it offers (dense forest, cliffs and desert landscapes) as well as the majestic wildlife make it a must for artists and photographers.

Forest of Fontainebleau

Forest of Rambouillet

30,000 hectares of picturesque forest surround the Royal town of Rambouillet, a royal residence since the XIV Century. Since 1896, it is now the summer retreat of the President. The Espace Rambouillet in the heart of the forest also offers visitors a chance to see the native wildlife up close. The whole area around the forest, the Haute Vallee de Chevreuse national park, is dotted with chateaux such as Breteuil and Dampierre and the Abbey of Vaux de Cernay and its steep valleys offer spectacular views.

Forest of Rambouillet

Le Gatinais

In the south of the region lies this national park that borders the forest of Fontainebleau. Famed for its production of honey that was served at the court of Louis XIV. The market in the wonderful town of Millet la Foret is the best place to buy this delicacy. One of the oldest markets in France and also home to the National Conservatory for Medicinal Plants. Also nestled between the national park and the forest is the artists village of Barbizon. A thriving community of artists in the most wonderful countryside location.

Le Gatinais

The Château de Courson

The XVII Century château and its wonderful English style gardens are a must for plant lovers. The variety of rare species that thrive in the grounds are staggering and in October and May of every year the site plays host to the Journees des Plantes. 200 international exhibitors descend on Courson to show off thousands of exceptional plants to the public in this most appropriate and inspiring of locations.

The Château de Courson

Top 5 Riverside Spots:

Les Guinguettes de La Marne

The nearby suburbs of Nogent-sur-Marne and Joinville-le-Pont seem like any other. However, in the XIX Century this was the retreat of choice for chic Parisians and artists alike. Today some of the riverside bistros, or Guinguettes, that drew such crowds are still there and still offering visitors a good time. Traditional French food, live music and energetic dancing, all with a river view. A marvellous way to experience what the French call « L'art de vivre ».

Nogent-sur-Marne Tourist Office

Joinville-le Pont Tourist Office

Moret-sur-Loing

The medieval town of Moret lies within the forest of Fontainebleau on the banks of the winding river Loing, a tributary of the Seine. Its rich medieval heritage is still very evident to this day and this history, allied to its picturesque river and weir, inspired the great impressionists of the time. Monet and Renoir visited regularly, but their English counterpart Alfred Sisley set up home here.

Moret-sur-Loing

Château de La Roche Guyon

In the beautiful town of the same name, this château has been situated on the impressive chalk cliffs of the Seine valley for 1000 years. Rommell's HQ during the war, its troglodite galleries, underground stairways and XVIII Century salons are open to the public. As a bonus, the cliffs of the Seine nearby offer some of the most stunning views in the region and were impressive enough to inspire one Claude Monet while he lived in nearby Vetheuil (a great place to view them from).You can also see them by taking the riverboat or by strolling along them.

Château de La Roche Gouyon

Auvers-sur-Oise

On the edge of the Vexin national park the town sits on the banks of the Oise river and attracted the biggest names of the impressionist era. Daubigny had his studio there and this is open to visitors, but the town belongs to Van Gogh. The artist settled there and is buried alongside his brother in Auvers. Visitors can see his home and that of his patron, and see some of the famous landscapes he painted firts hand. The Château d'Auvers also offers an interactive journey through the world of Impressionism.

Château of Auvers

St-Germain en Laye

Versaille's next door neighbour is sometimes overshadowed but it is a wonderful royal town and the reputed birthplace of the Sun King himself, Louis XIV. Built by Francois I it was embelished by Louis XIV whose fondness for the town and château lead him to commision the legendary landscaper Le Notre to build superb gardens and a sweeping terrace that overlooks the Seine Valley.

St-Germain en Laye

Top 5 Children's Sites:

Parc de La Villette

The largest urban park in Paris (55 hectares) this is home to the superb interactive Museums, the Cite des Sciences and the Cite de La Musique, and the 3D cinema La Geode. As well as this, there are many children's playgrounds and gardens that are modern and innovative in design. With year round events, festivals and concerts, the Parc de La Villette is a marvelously modern destination for the whole family.

Parc de La Villette

France Miniature

This 5 hectare park is taken up by an enormous map of France that visitors can explore on foot. The major cities, monuments and landmarks of the country are represented in miniature (it even has its own tiny TGV railway running through it) in this wonderful park, that lies a stone's throw from Versailles.

France Miniature

Spectacle de l'Académie Equestre

The ornate stables of Louis XIV lie in front of the Château de Versailles (UNESCO) and house one of the most exciting projects in the region. Guaranteed to thrill visitors young and old, the Equestrian Academy resides here and visitors may see the horses, watch them train and attend demonstrations and rehersals that show off the spectacular skills required to practice this art. The horses here will perform across the world and it is a unique opportunity to see them up close and learn the secrets of their training.

L'Académie Equestre

Château de Thoiry

This XVI Century château and its sumptuous grounds cover 450 hectares in the south west of the region. Far from being just another château it is a safari Park where creatures such as tigers, giraffes and even white Thati crocodiles roam free. Thanks to the special design of the park visitors can get up close to them by car or on foot. A wonderful experience in a stunning setting.

Château de Thoiry

Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace

Established in 1919, this museum at Le Bourget in northern Paris is the world's oldest aeronautical museum. The history of air travel is told comprehensively through a tour of over 150 aircraft, prototypes and space objects as well as replicas of rockets. Some of the most memorable features of this museum are the Concorde 001 and the opportunity to take a complete tour of a Boeing 747.

Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace

Getting there and around

Paris, International capital of art, fashion, style and romance!

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*£23 Day Trip & Overnight - Ticket must be purchased as part of a 2 day return. Return must be completed by midnight (local time) on the second calendar day.