Pays de Fontainebleau, combining chateau, forest and charming villages.
Fontainebleau, an eternal holiday destination, can also claim to be the cradle of French history. This royal town with its chateau, squares and magnificent theatre is a haven of peace nestled amid 17,000 hectares of forest, bearing the national Forêt d’Exception© (‘Exceptional Forest’) label since 2013.
Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Château de Fontainebleau bears the imprint of some of the greatest rulers, from Saint Louis to Napoleon III via Francis I and Henry IV. It bears unique witness to nearly eight centuries of French history.
Near the chateau, the heart of this ‘imperial town’ is well worth a visit: a market named an ‘exceptional market’ in 1996 by the National Council of Culinary Arts (CNAC), alleyways with more than 400 merchants, a 17th-century church, famous coats of arms, charming hotels, and plenty of other delights to explore!
The perfect place for nature, sports and outdoor fans.
Pays de Fontainebleau is also a dream destination for anyone passionate about horse riding and outdoor events. An equestrian town with its cavalry brigade and the spiritual home of the Republican Guard, Fontainebleau is deeply attached to its centuries-old tradition. Grand Parquet puts on events all year round, for horse lovers and others. The Hippodrome de la Solle, one of the oldest in France, also welcomes audiences for major races in its green oasis by the forest.
All year round, the forest plays host to hikers, climbing and mountain biking enthusiasts, hunters, horse riders, and ramblers thanks to its beautiful woodland famed worldwide for the wonders it holds. 1600 km of forest trails and hiking routes for all to enjoy, including 300 km of marked paths wending their way through this real ‘green lung’ in Île-de-France!
Villages for living well…
An idyllic setting to explore beautiful houses and charming villages. 26 towns sat between plains, the Seine and the forest. Five characterful villages (Barbizon, Noisy-sur-École, Boissy-aux-Cailles, Samois-sur-Seine et Bourron-Marlotte). To name but a few…
- Avon, a town nearby Fontainebleau, is home to some truly historic sites such as the Prieuré des Basses Loges, the Carmelite Monastery and the famous medieval Saint Pierre Church.
- Samois-sur-Seine, situated by the river and Stéphane Mallarmé’s adopted home, is a village that will linger in the memory. Another must-see is Berceau Island, which hosts the famed Django Reinhardt international jazz festival every year.
- Bourron-Marlotte and Barbizon are epicentres of Impressionism, offering up their endless alleyways and museums devoted to painters who shaped these villages’ history.
- Recloses, an intimate village nestled at the heart of the forest, attracts hikers and fans of old buildings.