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Guide to North East France
A varied region sweeping across France’s north eastern corner and bounded by the English Channel and Belgium in the north, Germany and Switzerland to the east and the Ile de France and Paris to the south. Easily accessible and rich in history, medieval architecture, World War battlefields, champagne and wine production, sandy coastline, forests and rivers, festivals and markets.
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North East France
This region of France includes Alsace, Nord Pas de Calais, Champagne Ardenne, Franche-Comté, Picardie and Lorraine.
- German influence in language, architecture and cuisine, due to border location & history
- Picturesque canalside villages with flower-covered half-timbered houses
- Canoeing, boat hire, fishing, golf, paragliding, hang-gliding, flying clubs, hiking, cycling. Skiing in winter with tuition available
- Wine route through medieval villages; fairs, markets, music and flower festivals, theme parks
- Main cities Strasbourg and Mulhouse
- Find out more about Alsace and search for holiday properties.
- World renowned champagne houses and cellars in Reims, Epernay and many other towns and villages; vineyards stretching for miles
- Easy access from northern ports; close enough to Paris for a day trip
- Picturesque historical cities of Reims and Troyes with cathedrals, museums, medieval architecture
- Spectacular scenery with lakes, rivers, canals, forests, nature preserves and parks with flourishing wildlife
- Fishing, bathing, sailing, canoeing, yachting, hiking and biking
- Find out more about Champagne Ardenne and search for holiday properties.
- Little explored region with rustic feel and a Swiss flavour to architecture, culture and cuisine
- Beautiful, unspoiled scenery of rolling fields and dense forests
- Jura mountains are a mecca for nature lovers and winter sports fans
- Charming wine villages and towns with many museums and historical landmarks
- Find out more about Franche-Comté and search for holiday properties.
- Strong Germanic influence due to its location and history; main cities Metz and Nancy
- Popular with nature lovers and hikers with meandering rivers, rolling hills and wooded valleys
- Rich farming country with delightful medieval towns and villages, crystal houses, fine arts and art nouveau museums
- Historical World War I and II sites, especially Verdun
- Find out more about Lorraine and search for holiday properties.
Nord Pas de Calais
- Easy access from UK; home of Channel ports and the Channel tunnel
- Diverse landscape from sandy beaches with dramatic cliffs and views to gentle rolling hills and timeless pastoral areas with canals, rivers, nature reserve parks
- Interesting towns including Calais and Lille with museums, markets, festivals
- Flemish influence to region, reflected in locally-brewed beer
- Battlefield sites including Flanders Fields
- Find out more about Nord Pas de Calais and search for holiday properties.
- Little explored region; best-known resort is smart Le Touquet
- Home of Gothic architecture with imposing cathedrals, abbeys and castles
- Long sandy beaches, great forests, pastures and woodland; rustic countryside with simple lifestyles
- Easy access to Channel ports and to Paris by train and road
- Rich history with prehistoric sites, Gallo-roman remains and famous World War I and II battlefields, especially the Somme
- Find out more about Picardie and search for holiday properties.
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Getting to North East France
Travelling to Alsace
Fly to Paris, or direct to Strasbourg International Airport, Basel Mulhouse (EuroAirport) and Metz-Nancy-Lorraine. There are excellent road connections with Paris, the south of France, Germany and Switzerland. Strasbourg is around a 4-5 hour rail journey from Paris.
Travelling to Champagne Ardenne
Fly to Paris or to Reims-Champagne regional airport. The drive from Calais to Reims takes around 2.5 hours. SNCF operate an extensive train service to the region.
Travelling to Franche Comte
Fly to Dole, or to Mulhouse-Basle to the North east and Geneva to the south east. The drive from Calais to Besancon takes around 6 hours. The TGV service runs from Paris to Besançon in 2.5 hours.
Travelling to Lorraine
There are regular flights to Metz-Nancy-Lorraine from Paris and other European cities. Drive from Calais to Metz in about 4 hours. SNCF operates an extensive rail service to the region.
Travelling to Nord Pas de Calais
Catch one of the ferries from Dover or Eurotunnel to Calais and you are there. There are excellent road connections with Paris and the rest of France.
Travelling to Picardie
Fly to Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris Beauvais-Tille Airport in the Oise department. The drive from Calais to Amiens will take 90 minutes. TGV Haute Picardie has daily departures from London to Amiens via Calais and Lille.