Lovers of built heritage can discover Aisne's architectural and cultural riches at the heart of Picardy. From the medieval city of Laon to the fortified churches of Thiérache, through the Town of Art and History of Saint-Quentin, the religious buildings of Soissons, Museum of Jean de La Fontaine, old abbeys and feudal castles, a great programme of outings is in store for you! In between visits, take the opportunity to rest and recuperate, and enjoy a hike along the Green Axis of Thiérache or in one of the two magnificent forests of Retz and Saint-Gobain...
Lille and its Flemish architectural heritage, the fortified town of Bergues, the Opal Coast edged with beautiful fine sand beaches, the picturesque mills of Flanders, impressive belfries, superb museums, the Mining History Centre of Lewarde, two Regional Nature Parks for walking and a series of carnivals make the Nord a very interesting and activity-packed place to explore.
Formerly very popular with the kings and princes of France, the Oise boasts its fantastic architecture and its landscapes alternating between forests, fields and hedged farmland. This place is an equestrianism Mecca with its vast forests great for this sports activity and its famous Horse town, Chantilly, where the most prestigious horse races take place. The Oise also has an important religious heritage: Chaalis, Lieu-Restauré, Ourscamp and Moncel abbeys, and the Gothic cathedrals of Beauvais, Senlis and Noyon.
Facing the English coast, the Gris-Nez cape (Grey Nose Cape) marks the passage from the Channel to the North Sea. Offering both diverse scenery and historic places of interest, the Pas-de-Calais is renowned for its elegant seaside resorts and its long sandy beaches on the Opal Coast, where both relaxation and sports activities are catered for. The Pas-de-Calais also boasts designated Cities of Art and History, such as Boulogne-sur-Mer and its fortified upper town of Saint-Omer with its Gothic cathedral, and Arras and its two magnificent squares.
Visitors to the Somme have a wide choice of things to see and do thanks to all its natural, historical and architectural heritage. For nature and seaside fans, there is the Picardy Coast lined with seaside resorts, beaches and cliffs, and the famous Bay of Somme, an unspoiled natural site that attracts many wild birds. Then religious architecture enthusiasts will love the Somme's wealth of remarkable Gothic buildings. Other places of interest include the Jardins de Valloires gardens, Rambures fortified castle and the Somme valley with its peaceful lakes.