Tourist information on Ile de France region and Paris in France
Known as the Region Parisienne until the name was changed to the Ile de France region in the 1970’s, the name still stands true with most people from the area and not many people even know the correct regional name.
After all, it is of course home to the capital city of France, Paris, which is often affectionately referred to as the City of Lights, but Ile de France was the historical name for this region before the French revolution, although it gradually went out of use and many official places still call the it Region Parisienne.
One big benefit, is that Paris itself is only around three to four hours from the ports of Calais or Dunkirk and the EuroTunnel, making this very easily accessible for a romantic weekend break, family camping holiday in Paris or a cultural visit.
And now, if you do not wish to take your own vehicle across the English Channel, not only are there cheap flights to France and Paris available , but also the EuroStar passenger train, which departs from St Pancreas station in London and arrives at the Gare du Nord train station in the heart of the capital itself.
Now, you will probably not be surprised when we say that Paris is the top tourist destination out of any place in France for visitors, so it is no surprise that this fabulous city has such diversity with cabaret shows like at the Lido, tourist attractions such as the Bateau-mouches on the River Seine, the Paris restaurants with some fantastic French food on offer, the hotels in Paris, not forgetting the many impressive museums in Paris, monuments like the Eiffel Tower and much, much more you can experience. Yet there is also much to discover if you wish to travel around on a touring or camping holiday in Ile de France region.
When comes to the weather in this region it has a very similar climate to that of England in the United Kingdom and does not often get really cold, although there will be frosts at times and more recently this area has had some quite heavy snowfalls in winter. Yet even in summer the temperature does not very often get above 26 degrees C, however, you will also find that it does rain a fair bit and January, May and July do tend to have a quite a bit of precipitation, so we would always suggest having a rain coat or umbrella handy.
About the Ile de France region
This region is a heavily populated area and in fact it is more populated than the country of Belgium, the region is made up of different departments such as the Seine-et-Marne and Yvelines but Paris itself is divided mainly into two areas known as the Left Bank and the Right Bank of the River Seine, but you will also find that this city is cut up in to Arrondissements or areas that are numbered, and all of these have numerous different tourist attractions and places to visit.
But even if you do not wish to be in the heart of Paris for shopping, culture or history and stay at one of the B&Bs or hotels in Paris, there are some great French campsites in Ile de France which are located within easy reach of the Paris, yet have more of countryside feel to them like Huttopia Rambouillet that is all about getting back to nature and ideal for a family camping holiday in France.
All different forms of musical entertainment can be experienced throughout France, with Paris and the Ile de France region being at the forefront in terms of quality and variety. The Stade de France located in the St Denis area is one such venue that even though originally built for the FIFA World Cup, plays host to numerous music concerts.
There are also two opera houses in Paris itself, and the Chateau de Sceaux holds open air concerts, classic music festivals and opera at certain times of the year. Other forms of entertainment include cabarets, with the Moulin Rouge being the most famous, plus there are nightclubs, even a circus cabaret and numerous different themed music venues such as the Le Batofar, which is permanently moored on the River Seine.
Obviously, fashion and perfume have also always been associated with Paris and there are some fabulous shopping areas in this great city along with a museum dedicated to fashion called the Musee Galliera and museums dedicated to perfume including the Musee de la Parfumerie Fragonard.
But you cannot think about going on a holiday in France or even for a weekend break to Paris without experiencing the French cuisine and this region has lots to offer, plus some of the best chefs in the world have Michelin starred restaurants in Paris just like the Guy Savoy for an incredible haute cuisine experience.
For many though, the hectic lifestyle of a city is just too much, so even if you do not wish to spend your holiday in Paris, the Ile de France still offers an enormous amount of historic places, nature, art and culture to experience. In addition to this, even if you forget about the famous River Seine with its cruises and boat trips, there are over 500km of navigatable waterways along with hundreds of kilometres of footpaths to explore, whether it be along canals or through forests.
Just some of the tourist attractions and places to visit in Ile de France region
There are three National Parks and four National forests, one of these being Fontainbleu with its incredible chateau, but there are also many other castles and chateaux in this region that have museums including the most famous of all, Chateau de Versailles, where you can even experience an equestrian show.
Or perhaps the Chateau de Thoiry with its animal park and interactive maze are more to your liking, and then again, you also have Chateau Chantilly that is second only to The Louvre museum for holding certain historical paintings.
The Seine-Saint-Denis area is not only home to the Stade de France, but also the Gothic Basilica that is the cemetery for French Kings and Queens. Plus, this area has the Saint-Ouen Flea Market, which is the largest antique market in the world, so we are sure you will be able to find something you like or a nice bargain here!
Then there is Vincennes with its famous chateau and medieval keep also has a large forest and in the same area of the Ile de France region as the Val-de-Marne Rose Garden, or you could experience the Essonne area with the Gatinais Honey farm located in the regional park, enjoy the peppermint that has been grown here since the 12 century, the medieval town of Dourdan and much more.
Plus on the east side of Paris in the Ile de France region you have the Val d-Europe shopping centre and the fabulous Sea Life centre along with probably the most famous of all theme parks in France, which is of course is Disneyland Paris. And one of the French campsites near to Disneyland is called l'International de Jablines which even has a shuttle service available along with numerous activities including water sports for a fun packed family camping holiday Paris France.
However, there is much more to the Seine-et-Marne area that just theme parks, as you could visit the medieval fortified town of Provins, the Grand Morin valley, a favourite of impressionist painters and Barbizan, the painters village. In addition to these, there are several old churches, chateaux, an 11th century Romanesque tower and other fortified towns to please all history enthusiasts.
So with its stunning scenery, idyllic and historic towns, regional specialties of produce, the peace and tranquility, along with the abundant wildlife that await its visitors, it is the perfect setting for a drive in the country, an invigorating walk or a typical French picnic in the open air, but of course, you still have Paris.
Paris itself has so many attractions and landmarks to please all the family such as the Eiffel Tower, the famous Louvre museum with the Mona Lisa painting, the Arc de Triomphe and the most famous avenue in the world, the Champs Elysees. There is also the fascinating Cite de Sciences with its Geode and the decommissioned submarine outside, numerous French museums from the famous Musee d’Orsay through to the unusual and obscure like the counterfeit museum, along with one of the most visited monuments in Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral.
And even if you are going on a family camping holiday in Ile de France region, then why not consider spending one or two nights in the city at one of the many Paris hotels, so that you can experience the night life, glittering lights, a cruise on the Seine or perhaps a show or caberet.
But, whatever your interests, just make sure that you have allocated enough time to experience this incredible region of France and its capital city of Paris, even though you would probably need months to see and do everything that you would like to!