Of course, Paris is the main attraction of the Île-de-France department. Put simply, the French capital has an irresistible attraction for everyone. But there's also a world around Paris. A world with ancient castles and abbeys, famous gardens, delicious cheeses, the lovely valley of the Grand Morin and every child's dream: Disneyland® Paris.
Valley of the Grand Morin
The valley of the Grand Morin, also known as the valley of painters, has inspired some of the most famous painters of the 19th century to create masterpieces. Think about old masters like van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec. Lovely villages interspersed with watermills create an idyllic setting.
Gardens of Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau is a wonderful palace, just south east of Paris. The former residence of the French royals was inhabited for about 700 years. The enormous complex, set within 130 hectares of grounds with fantastic water features and English style gardens, is of great historical value. Pure indulgence for lovers of romance, history and garden architecture.
Parks and gardens of Paris
Did you know that Paris has 400 parks? Botanical gardens, museum gardens, parks and even forests; it's all there for you to explore. To enjoy it to the full simply sit on one of the many benches with a fresh baguette, some French cheese and a glass of wine. A picnic in the most beautiful scenery possible.
Parc Naturel Régional du Vexin Français
This elongated limestone plateau has a wide variety of scenery. Hills, rivers, grasslands, forests and swamps invite you to make wonderful walks and photos. The large nature reserve is a wonderful place to spend a few hours, or even a full day.
Paris has it all. Romance, beauty, history, culture and exciting 'joie de vivre'. It's a city with great historical monuments, witnesses of a rich past. But Paris is also very modern. The city of the haute couture, modern art and La Défense, the biggest business centre in Europe. In short, in the 'city of light' you can go in any direction. Wander through the streets of Montmarte and the Latin Quarter, visit the Louvre, the Eiffel tower and Notre-Dame, window shop down the expensive Champs d'Elysées or make a boat trip on the Seine. One day is simply too short!
Château of Versailles
This monumental palace that holds the wonders of Sun King Lodewijk XIV is an amazing complex with hundreds of rooms and the biggest château garden in Europe. Immersed in luxury and extravagance, the Château of Versailles was the show piece of the Royals. In its glory years about 10.000 people lived and worked here. Nowadays it's one big museum where millions of visitors are amazed by its beauty. Versailles is located about 20 km south-west of Paris.
Historical cities of Île-de-France
It's just like a painting. With its green, hilly landscape the Grand Morin is an attraction for nature lovers. This is the place where the famous Brie cheese is made. Its wonders are made complete by charming historical cities like Meaux and Provins (on the UNESCO World Heritage List) and old castles, abbeys and parks!
Brie cheese from Meaux
Brie cheese from Meaux is world famous and was named 'king of all cheeses' by the French themselves in 1814. The production of this cheese takes place exclusively in just six factories and one farm. Amazingly, every brie cheese takes 23 litres of raw milk to produce and the maturing of the cheese takes four weeks in total.
Do the kids need some action? Do they like thrilling rollercoasters? Especially the ones that loop the loop? Parc Astérix is a cheerful family amusement park with adventurous attractions themed on the famous village that bravely resisted the Roman rulers. Experience the fun world of Astérix, Obelix and their Gallic villagers. Parc Astérix is located about 35 km north of Paris.
This is one not to miss. The main attraction for the kids is Disneyland® Paris. What child doesn't dream about this magical kingdom, ruled by heroes from their favourite fairy tales? The park is made up of 2 parts: Fairy tale park Disneyland® Park and movie park Walt Disney Studios® Park. You can buy tickets for one or more days to visit both parks. Disneyland® Paris is not actually in Paris, but in Marne-la-Vallée. About 40 km east of the city.
Parc des Felins
Any cat lovers in your family? You will definitely make them happy with a visit to this wild park for cats. You can admire more than 25 different species, from small to the really big guys like lions and tigers. The park is so big that cats can live like they do in the wild. Parc des Felins commit to sustaining these species. So, if you visit this park, you also support a good cause.
Parc Zoologique de Paris
Of course, a zoo cannot be missed off our things-to-do list with kids. Parc Zoologique de Paris is home to 1200 animals from all corners of the world. The zoo was completely renovated at the start of 2014 and the results are amazing! A pleasant, spacious park with lots of greenery and attractive looking animal shelters. A train drives through the park – a perfect way for kids who don't feel like walking far to see the animals.
The best way to discover Paris! A free walk accompanied by a real Parisian who will show you the hidden treasures and, of course, the famous sights. All this while listening to exciting background stories from a local. This is a great experience, good fun and an active history lesson! The walks always start at the same time and place and are in English.
Well, when you say teenagers you naturally think of shopping. And why not as it's one of the most fun things you can do. In Paris you can shop day after day and still find new things and unique boutiques. Not sure where to start? The Galeries Lafayette are highly recommended (you've probably never seen so many shoes and clothes in one place), the Champs Élysées to be amazed by the designer clothes and the fun little stores around Centre Pompidou.
There are plenty of sporty activities near camping Le Chêne Gris. Mountain bike trips, canoeing and horse riding are just a few of the possibilities. If you want to explore the centre of Paris in a sporty way, then take your in-line skates! Each Sunday afternoon an in-line skate tour, catering especially for beginners, starts from the Bastille.
Walt Disney Studios
Although a recommendation for all ages, the Walt Disney Studios are a big hit with teenagers. Real daredevils head for attractions like the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, where you drop down 13 floors in an elevator. Or the Rock 'n Roller Coaster that reaches a speed of 100km per hour in just 3 seconds. We suggest that you have lunch after trying out the rides.