Close to Paris, between Champagne and Picardy, come and breathe some fresh country air !
The wide range of outdoor activities throughout this lively, often surprising department includes golf, walking and hiking, nature trails, mountain-biking, horseback riding, tree-topping, canoeing and rock climbing.
There is something for everyone, from the most sedentary to the most active!
Near Center Parcs, our water park, you can find out about the history of the First World War by visiting the Chemin des Dames and the Caverne du Dragon, both major remembrance sites.
Aisne is also a wonderful destination for those interested in architecture: cathedrals, abbeys, fortified churches … have inspired some of the great names of French literature and art.
Be sure to visit the artistic city of Saint-Quentin, steeped in Flemish and Gothic art as well as Art Deco…
Take time to admire the architecture, to go for a trip on one of the many canals and observe the wealth of plant and wildlife at the Marais d’Isle … Like Maurice Quentin de la Tour, be inspired by its delicate, pastel shades!
There is an unmistakably Flemish air in the city of Saint-Quentin and its surrounding villages. The finest examples of Flemish architecture are to be seen in the “Grand’Place” of Saint-Quentin but this city also boasts some superb examples of other architectural movements, in particular Gothic and Art Deco.
The beauties of this city and its setting, where the textile industry still survives, were no doubt an inspiration to its two native artists: the pastellist Maurice Quentin de la Tour and Matisse who used the textile workshops to produce fabrics printed or woven with his designs.
Phone : + 33 3 23 67 05 00 / mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
© F.X. Dessirier
© S. Cambon
© S. Cambon
Welcome to the country of maroilles cheese and the "Dames Rouges" !
Come and enjoy the lovely hedge-trimmed pastureland of “Little Normandy”, dotted with charming villages over which tower imposing fortified churches, masterpieces of local architecture. And for the taste buds, there is always maroilles, a delicious AOC cheese with an orange rind.
On the little roads that wind though leafy valleys and cross the many streams and rivulets, you may come around a bend and see before you the imposing outline of one the Dames Rouges, these fortified churches standing tall above their surrounding villages.
The local villages are particularly attractive, with houses built of brick or cob with slate roofs. Why not stop in one and sample some of the excellent maroilles cheese produced in the area?
This AOC cheese with its brick red rind goes very well with some of the locally produced cider.
If you feel you need exercise after such a delicious interlude, you can always go for a hike down the « EuroVelo 3 » an old railway line nicely converted into a walking and riding track.
Phone : +33 3 23 91 30 10 / mail : email@example.com
© T. Henin
© D. Cry
© A.S. Flament
The hill-top, medieval city of Laon with its superb architecture and magnificent Gothic cathedral stands
guard over the surrounding countryside of wooded hills.
Through the centuries the priceless architectural heritage of the Laonnois has been safeguarded and carefully conserved despite damage to the Chemin des Dames in the First World War.
Coming to the Laonnois is like stepping into a living History book, starting with the gems of historical architecture to be found in the medieval city of Laon.
Around the foot of the magnificent Gothic cathedral stands the upper town, enclosed in 7 km of ramparts and boasting more than 80 listed historical buildings.
From the cathedral towers there are splendid views of the wooded hills of the Laonnois countryside just waiting to be explored.
Do not miss also the visit of Laon underground : see the following website to book!
And you will not be disappointed – delightful white stone villages nestling around their Romanesque church, lovely old wine-grower’s houses recalling that this was once a wine-growing area, many wooded areas scattered here and there.
But if you really need to recharge your batteries with trees and greenery then you must go to the forest of Saint-Gobain. Right at the heart of the forest the immense castle of the Lords of Coucy will take you back in time to Middle Ages, an era of particular prosperity and importance for the Laonnois.
History has of course left other marks on this landscape, most notably on the Chemin des Dames and the Caverne du Dragon.
Phone : + 33 3 23 20 28 62 / mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
© Vincent Colin
© Horizon Bleu
© Agence Aisne Tourisme
Capital of the Frankish kingdom and city of the famous vase, Soissons and its surrounding area were a source
of inspiration for some of the greatest writers in Aisne, notably Racine, Dumas and Hugo.
They were all captivated by true beauty of the châteaux, castles and abbeys of the charming Soissonnais villages.
Soissons was chosen by Clovis to be the first capital of the Frankish kingdom and is still remembered as the city of the legendary vase.
Built on the banks of the river Aisne , the town stands tall above a landscape of vast plateaus planted with cereals and large areas of woodland, such as the state-owned Retz forest.
The local limestone rock produces the superb dressed white stone used to build houses in the lovely villages and the fortified farms that can be seen dotted over the broad agricultural land.
This stone was also used to construct magnificent abbeys, cathedrals and other crypts, châteaux and castles, such as the one at Septmonts on whose walls Victor Hugo carved the name of his beloved.
These stone masterpieces are an integral part of the rich and varied scenery which no doubt inspired some of the most famous writers from the Aisne, such as Alexander Dumas.
Phone : 03 23 53 17 37 / mail : email@example.com
© Sylvain Prémont
Fancy a glass of Champagne? Come to the Marne Valley !
With its steeply sloping vineyards and leafy wine-growing villages, this is a perfect place to get away from it all. Drink in the sparkling fresh air and let the beauty of the scenery go to your head
At the heart of some of the finest Champagne vineyards flows the meandering river Marne.
The slopes of its broad valley are covered with vines, mainly the meunier variety. In the valley’s picturesque wine-growing villages you can visit cellars and taste the local ‘bubbly’ – a truly sparkling way to explore the area!
If your interests extend to culture and history, the Marne valley has other treasures in store for you – the château of Condé-en-Brie, once home to the Princes of Condé and the Jean de La Fontaine museum in the house where he was born in Château-Thierry.
You can follow in their footsteps as you go along the Champagne Tourist Route which also takes you to some truly lovely outdoor sites: the Ourcq canal and the wonderful gardens at Viels-Maisons.
Phone : +33 3 23 83 51 14 / mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
© Mathieu Farcy
© Jean Pierre Gilson