The weather’s warming up and if you’re looking for some fresh air and adventure with the kids during the school holidays, how about an energising break in Ile-de-France? Take advantage of milder spring days to visit the region around Paris on a family vacation, with lots of outdoors fun to be had in the heart of nature. Lace up your walking boots, grab your sunnies, and go catch some spring sunshine after a grey winter. What are you waiting for?
Ideally located close to the château and right next to its park and gardens, the Campanile Fontainebleau hotel makes a comfortable base for exploring the surrounding area.
Nature at its finest: Fontainebleau Forest
The forest of Fontainebleau is one of the most beautiful natural areas in all Ile-de-France, covering 25,000 hectares — that’s two and a half times the size of Paris. Follow the marked paths or set off on your own to build a cabin in the woods! Activities for all ages include rambling and cycling, rock-climbing, dog-karting and horse riding.
Fascinating historic and cultural outings to enjoy in the Fontainebleau area
If you have a few days off during the school holidays, there are plenty of fun outings that all the family will enjoy in the Fontainebleau area (within a 30-minute car drive):
Courances château and gardens
Barbizon, the “Painters’ Village”, where Monet, Corot and Renoir got their inspiration
Senlis, a medieval town with half-timbered houses and Gallo-Roman ramparts
Samois-sur-Seine, the village known as the “cradle of Gypsy Jazz”
Just a few dozen kilometres from Paris, this regional park provides a total change of scene with its natural and historic setting! If you’re longing for a little fresh air and French culture after a harsh winter, settle into one of the Campanile Hotels in Yvelines and make the most of the early spring weather to explore the environs.
A glorious wilderness adventure in Ile-de-France: the Regional Natural Park
The Haute Vallée de Chevreuse Regional Natural Park provides habitats for an array of wildlife in the heart of Ile-de-France. Visit its wetlands ecosystem, which is home to several endangered species, or head off to explore its rivers and sandy plateaus. Springtime is when this area’s singular flora and fauna comes awake again! With more than 80 different circuits covering over 750 km of marked tracks, you and your family will be spoilt for choice whether you want to go ramling on foot, by bike or on horseback! You’ll also find plenty of interesting sights to see along the way, as the park boasts almost a thousand buildings of historic interest, from listed castle to humble stone washhouse.
Living history in the open air: the castle and grounds of Rambouillet
A stone’s throw from the Regional Natural Park, Rambouillet is another of this region’s must-sees. Originally a modest manor house, the château was transformed into a genuine fortress in the 14th century. But no one’s suggesting that you linger inside while the sun’s shining outdoors! Enjoy a stroll through the historic gardens or hop in a rowing boat on the Grand Canal. Another activity to delight kids of all ages is a visit to the Bergerie Nationale, where you can watch farm animals including Merino sheep, dairy cows, draught horses, rabbits, and sheep in semi free range conditions. If you’re lucky, you might catch a display of sheep shearing or a sheepdog demonstration!
Holiday fun for all the family in Ile-de-France
Don't leave the valley without visiting the fortified castle at Dourdan and the Château de Dampierre, which are both at their finest in springtime! Younger children will want to stop off at Gally pedagogical farm in Saint-Cyr-l'Ecole and enjoy some of their family-friendly activities
Senlis: escapade in a village atmosphere
The picturesque village of Senlis in the Oise region is a must to visit, with its historic half-timbered houses and rampart walls dating back to Gallo-Roman times. You can also explore the oldest residence of the Capetian monarchs still to be preserved in France! Visiting Senlis is like stepping back in history – a fascinating, atmospheric getaway to former times. After your day of discovery and fresh air, the Campanile Senlis hotel will give you a warm welcome.
Chantilly Castle and its wonders
Next up as you discover the sights of Ile-de-France is the magnificent Château de Chantilly, a guaranteed crowd-pleaser – whatever your age! This princely residence transports you back through its eight centuries of history, and horse-lovers will marvel at the amazing equestrian shows in the Great Stables. If you want to soak up more of this beautiful setting, check in to the Campanile Chantilly hotel for a longer stay so you can visit the Museum of the Horse and, of course, the world-famous racecourse.
Le Vexin: between culture and nature
Do you like art and nature? If so, Auvers-sur-Oise is an ideal Ile-de-France destination. This Val-d’Oise village was a mecca for painters like Van Gogh. With the Campanile Taverny hotel as your base, you can roam around the village in his footsteps and visit the many museums devoted to the Impressionists. After this cultural deep dive, take some time to explore the wonderfully bucolic landscapes of the Vexin Français region. With a huge array of outdoor activities on offer – including canoeing, donkey rides and hot air ballooning – there’s something to entertain every member of the family!
The lush forest of Sénart
One last idea for springtime holidays in the Ile-de-France region is to lose yourself in the unspoilt wilderness of Sénart Forest, just 5 minutes from the Campanile Evry Est hotel. Stretching across more than 3,000 hectares, this haven of biodiversity offers a woodland sanctuary for wild boars, roe deer and foxes. You’ll also come across some amazing trees in this lovely old forest with its natural ponds and ancient sheepfolds, including a majestic 500-year-old oak. But beware, you may never want to leave this enchanting forest!