Despite Perche's relatively low profile, it has many hidden gems that are just waiting to be discovered. In Nogent-le-Rotrou, its Most Beautiful Detour in France-certified capital, it is worth spending a while admiring the façades of its old houses and visiting its medieval castle. Standing proud on its promontory overlooking the Eure, Chartres Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a masterpiece of the Gothic style.
Be sure to discover the picturesque residences and hilltop castle of Châteaudun, as well as the nostalgic charm of the Bagnoles-de-l'Orne spa resort, the historic centre and Royal Chapel of Dreux, or the built heritage of Mortagne-au-Perche, former capital of the county of Perche. The towns of Alençon and Argentan celebrate the age-old skill of needle lace-making, while offering opportunities for pleasant walks. There is no lack of characterful villages, including the lovely little community of Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei and the pretty medieval villages of Domfront and Bonneval.
Numerous buildings celebrate culture and history. These include Carrouges Castle, a prestigious brick and granite residence; Anet Castle, a jewel of the Renaissance built for Diane de Poitiers; but also Maintenon Castle, home to the secret wife of Louis XIV, or the elegant Castle of O, which gracefully combines different architectural styles. Among the remarkable religious buildings, Sées Cathedral is a true gem of the Norman Gothic style.
There are many opportunities to tantalise your taste buds, with the famous Camembert, black pudding and white pudding, and Chartres pâté, not forgetting the Mentchikoff, a delicious combination of praline chocolate and meringue, or Domfront perry.
For a country getaway, Perche has no shortage of idyllic spots. Oëtre Rock offers a fabulous viewpoint over the forest and the Rouvre Gorges. The regional parks of Perche and Normandy-Maine promise beautiful outings among woodland, green landscapes and charming dwellings, while the majestic forests of Écouves and Bellême are inviting places for tranquil family strolls.