Everyone knows about the romance and beauty of Paris, its endless opportunities for culture, shopping and gourmet cuisine. Less well known are the delights of the region surrounding the city – the Ile de France - an area of chateaux, forests and rivers, of relaxing scenery and outdoor adventure.
Traditionally, this was where aristocrats and royals built their country chateaux and most prominent is the glorious extravaganza of Fontainebleau. You can not only enjoy exploring the chateau and its grounds but also stroll round the nearby village, with its chic shops and flower-filled squares. Did you know that this is where Impressionist artists like Corot and Sisley painted some of their most famous works?
Fontainebleau forest offers the contrast of a wild landscape that’s deservedly popular with hikers, rock-climbing or mountain-biking enthusiasts, horse riders, cyclists and Sunday walkers.
Coming right up to date, the Ile de France is home to the modern fun retreat of Disneyland Paris - and nearby is the gorgeous valley of the River Marne, leading to champagne country.
With excellent local trains and transport connections, it’s easy to stay in the Ile de France and visit Paris – or base yourself in a city hotel or apartment and take days out into this beautiful and varied region.