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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holidays in Val D'Oise, Ile-De-France

Moulin de Sannois - Val-d'Oise (France)Image via Wikipedia

By Phil Hanlon

Located in the Ile-de-France on the Oise River that shares its name, the Val d'Oise region is located just on the outskirts of Paris. In fact, the Val d'Oise is the first part of Paris that many tourists see as the area if where the main airport, Charles de Gaulle, is located. Elsewhere in the region are small picturesque and historic towns alongside suburban centres serving Paris commuters, as well as areas of forest.

Chateaux and Museums

The Val d'Oise is only around one hour's drive away from Paris and is well worth a visit if you are looking to escape the city for a day or even just a few hours. There are a number of chateaux in the region, ranging from medieval fortresses to 17th century luxury homes. Many are open to the public so you can enjoy their opulent decoration and beautiful gardens. Some have even been converted so that they now house important regional and national museums. The Chateau d'Ecouen, as well as being home to some fine examples of 16th century tapestries, is also the National Museum of the Renaissance, and features many artworks and items from that period of French history. One of the largest chateaus in the Val d'Oise is the Chateau d'Epinay, which was built by one of the king's advisers in the 1700s and has been home to many writers and poets over the centuries.
River Oise

The river that gives the region its name passes right through the centre of the Val d'Oise and there are many tours and activities you can enjoy either on the water on the shore. In the summer months, you can take a cruise in a pleasure boat along the river or splash out and hire a speedboat with your own driver!
Forests and Walking

For an area so close to a major city, the Val d'Oise still has plenty of unspoilt countryside and woods which are perfect for hiking. The Montmorency Forest is an ancient forest, which has hardly changed in hundreds of years. Explore among the trees and you may even stumble upon the ruins of the 13th century Chateau de la Chasse. The Isle d'Adam forest is a little less wild, with smoother and flatter paths for easier walking. If you prefer your wildlife a little more organised, then there are large botanical gardens in the towns of Sannois and Luzarches.
The Author writes for Holiday Home Rentals who have a selection of Villas in Val d'Oise and Villas in France which can be rented direct from their owners.

Article Source:,-Ile-De-France&id=5369658

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