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Ile de France is a region in the northern part of France. This is the most populated region in the French Republic as it houses the capital – Paris. While Paris drives most of the attention away, we understand that some travelers are more interested in the natural characteristics of one area, rather than the buildings in a city, as beautiful as those can be. Ile-de-France offers visitors to the countryside a fresh air, peace and quiet, which cannot be found on the streets of Paris.
In order to create an authentic experience for our clients, we have gathered a list of traditional French gites, which you can enjoy on your holiday. Gites are a typical French holiday house, which has been built to match the surrounding natural landscape and furnished to match the “cultural landscape” of the particular French region. Staying in such a house will surely provide for a wonderful experience and create a unique atmosphere on your holiday.
The nature of Ile-de-France
Although the region of Ile-de-France is the most populated one, it is also the smallest one in France. Nevertheless, its small size is not a symbol of the richness of the area in terms of natural wonders. Even though this region houses the world-famous French capital, the outer parts of it remain largely rural with almost 80% of the territory being occupied by agricultural land and natural spaces.
There are 50 state-owned forests within the Ile-de-France region. The Rambouillet National Forest is a remarkable natural wonder with extraordinary flora and fauna. Deep within the forest grounds, you will find Espace Rambouillet – a wildlife park within the park! In Espace Rambouillet you will see red and roe deer, as well as wild boars.
Vexin is a regional nature park with picturesque and unspoiled scenery. Woods, forests, hills and meadows, rivers and even little French villages are waiting patiently for your visit. The area has been inspiring to some of the best-known artists in the world such as Van Gogh and Daubigny. The visitor center in the park is also an amazing visit – it is located in a chateau together with the Vexin museum of natural environments.
We already mentioned the Rambouillet National Forest, but we failed to mention that there are more than 150 km of hiking and cycling trails crossing it. Families, sport-enthusiasts, and travellers from all over the world love the Rambouillet trails. In the more central parts of the forest, especially in the Espace Rambouillet wildlife area you can even ride a horse or go fishing.
One of the unique activities to try in the Ile-de-France area is riding on a hot air balloon. A now-famous former pilot created his own company, trying to show visitors to the rural areas out of Paris that the natural landscape outside of the city is also something you would not want to miss! He continues to fly travelers even today, taking them above the French natural park Vexin.