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Visiting l'Ile de France

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For lovers of culture

Amiens Cathedral

Take time to go to discover it in Amiens, in the heart of Picardy. It is about the biggest Gothic cathedral of Europe, renowned for its gargoyles and its multicolored facade that we can admire the come night. Amiens or " small Venice of the North " for its canals, will allow you to taste the charms of a provincial town. You can have a good and calm time in the hortillonages, and for the Epicureans, taste the "ficelle picarde" in one of the numerous restaurants of the quay Bélu in the district St Leu which has concerved all its charms.

At only one hour from Paris, take a train in "Gare du Nord", North train station.



Château de Versailles

If you have only day free for a trip outside Paris, you must go to the most famous and, according to many, the most magnificent castle in the world: the Château de Versailles, in the Yvelines department.

There are three possible routes to get there by train:

  1. Versailles Rive Gauche Station - Line Paris- Austerlitz RER C
  2. Versailles Chantiers Station - Line Paris - Montparnasse SNCF
  3. Versailles Rive Droite Station - Line Paris - St Lazare la défense SNCF

There are two possible routes to get there by car:

  1. By the Pont de St Cloud and the motorway A 13, first junction Versailles château towards Avenue de St Cloud.
  2. By RN 10, Porte de St Cloud - Pont de Sèvres - Versailles towards Avenue de Paris.

Do we really need to present what was in turn a summer palace and seat of the royalty, this place laden with art and with history, this prototype of classical French architecture, long preferred by some of the most important musicians of the age of splendour such as Bach, Mozart and Rameau, either to create or to offer performances?

And don't forget the magnificent gardens alongside the castle, by Le Nôtre. A service of guided tours of the copses is available.

For further information, ring 01 30 83 78 88.

The Grande Arche de la Défense

In another, more modern style, you can admire and visit the Grande Arche de la Défense, in the Hauts - de - Seine department.

You can enjoy a view of Paris from over 110 metres up in this glass building. Guided visits are available. You can take the panoramic lifts to admire the views or look at the contemporary art exhibitions.

To get there, take the metro line 1 to the La Défense - La Grande Arche terminus or the RER A getting off at Grande Arche station.

Abbaye de Royaumont

In the Val d'Oise department, you can visit the biggest Cistercian abbey of France, the Abbaye de Royaumont.

Permanent exhibition rooms explain the changes that it has undergone. To this day it is still inhabited. You can meditate all day inside, but also outside, thanks to the canals and woods which appease the daily life of its inhabitants. The Abbaye de Royaumont will bring you peace of mind. To get there, you will need your own vehicule or to hire one.

For information on how to get there and opening times, you can call 01 30 35 59 00 or visit the website: http://www.royaumont.com

The châteaux de la Loire

Although it is recommended to make a 2 or 3-day trip out of it, it is possible, thanks to the TGV high speed train or by contacting specialized agencies, to organize a one-day visit of the most important castles of the Loire, Chenonceaux, Chambord and Amboise, with Italo-French architecture, from the middle of the Renaissance, built on the initiative of king Francis 1st.

Normandy: the landing beaches and the Mont Saint-Michel

You could also visit Normandy, with the landing beaches and the Mont St Michel.

To visit the allied landing beaches during the second world war, you will pass the beaches of the coast from Hoc to Arromanches, and you can end with the peace Memorial at Caen.

If you want to discover one of the principal places of pilgrimage, the Mont - St- Michel, you will not be disappointed. Visit the village with its cobbled streets and cloisters. But most impressive of all is the abbey, with a breathtaking view of the surrounding beaches, enabling you to watch the tide come in.

The agency Touringscope will look after you, from your departure from Paris to your return to Paris, with professional guides. Your visit will be carried out by minibus. If you are interested in this cultural visit, call: 01-53-34-11-91 Agence Touringscope 11, bis bvd Haussmann 75009 Paris.