Travelling for the football? Make the most of your journey from Calais to Paris by planning a few fun stops along the way.
This summer, thousands of football fans will be heading to France's capital to enjoy the football tournament. If you're going to be one of them, why not make the most of your trip and plan some fun stops along the way, between Calais and Paris?
By car the journey takes about three hours if you take the A26 and then the A1, which will lead you directly to Paris. If you've got a little more time, you can take the coastal road via Le Touquet and Abbeville and see more of the landscape in northern-France.
Located on the Seine River, the city of Paris is in the centre of the Île-de-France region, which is colloquially known as the Paris region. Here are some great places to stop on your way to Paris, when you're travelling to the football this summer.
The scenic city of Amiens © Image by Flickr user ines s.
Capital of the Somme department in Picardy, Amiens is a popular tourist spot in its own right. Amiens is home to a breath-taking Cathedral, which is the largest Gothic cathedral in France and the 19th largest cathedral in the world. It's also home to several markets, such as the book market at Place Alphonse-Fiquet, which takes place on the first Saturday of every month, and the iconic “floating market” (although today it sits on dry land) every Saturday. This famous food market is supplied by the nearby Hortillonnages gardens, which grow a range of fruits and vegetables. It's possible to tour the gardens both on foot or by boat, but a boat tour is especially pretty in the summer.
Just north of Paris, the historic commune of Senlis is a delightful place to stop the car and stretch your legs. A quaint town with hundreds of years' worth of history in its walls, Senlis boasts a pretty Gallo-Roman centre, with cobbled streets and picturesque buildings. Explore medieval walls and the local royal castle, which boasts its own park and Romanesque tower. For a bite to eat, head to La Scaramouche, where you can dine on beautifully presented dishes such as saffron-seasoned hake aioli and braised pork shank. The contemporary restaurant boasts large windows, which give great views of the town's cathedral.
Explore the cobbled streets of Senlis.© Guillaume Speurt
West of Senlis, Chantilly is in the heart of Chantilly Forest and is home to 11,000 residents. The first thing you'll notice when visiting Chantilly is the huge château, which sits in the middle of immaculately-kept gardens. Visiting in the summer means you'll see Chantilly Forest at its best, so there are plenty of walking and cycling options to enjoy. Fans of horseracing will want to check out the Chantilly racecourse, where thousands of horses are trained and raced each day. Stop by the Marche Decouvert, which takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and stock up on picnic food to enjoy in the surrounding forests and parks – it's a great day out when you're not at the football.
The stunning Chantilly Château. © vasse nicolas,antoine
Capital of the Oise department, Beauvais gained fame for producing some of France's best tapestries. Despite its status as a city, Beauvais is naturally very pretty and is home to a huge park, Canada Lake. If you're headed to Paris for the football, stopping off at Beauvais to enjoy water sports on the lake will provide a refreshing break. As well as a grand cathedral, Beauvais is home to an unusual astronomical clock, which was built between 1865 and 1868. This amazing clock features 52 dials that display the times in 18 cities around the globe, the rising and setting times of the sun and moon, as well as planetary positions and even tidal hours.
The stunning astronomical clock at Beauvais cathedral. © Omar Bárcena
Travelling to France for the football?
With Eurotunnel Le Shuttle you can get from Folkestone to Calais in 35 minutes.
Make the most of your drive to Paris and the rest of France using our other travel guides