What to do in Paris

Fontainebleau and Barbizon

The Pays de Fontainebleau is unique

Unique for its famous château, unique for its immense forest, unique for the richness of its communes such as Barbizon and Moret-sur-Loing, cradles of Impressionism and undeniable charms.

A green setting jealously guards the village, clinging to the castle.

Castle parkCan you imagine? 10 km without seeing a single billboard or any of the other signs that disfigure city entrances?

Instead, an ocean of greenery, calm and fragrant, making your arrival at Fontainebleau an ever-renewed experience of sensory relaxation, an escape from time, a joy in itself. And it's only just begun!...

The forest beckons? Get off to a great start!

Fontainebleau forestWhether on foot, by car or by mountain bike, the forest is close by and quickly accessible. Of course, the 17,000-hectare forest is not lacking in diversity: rocky chaos, a sea of sand, tall forests, fern-filled gorges, heather-strewn plains...

A word of advice: drop in at the Tourist Office opposite the château. You'll be skilfully guided to the rocks of Fontainebleau, which you can discover on the map (IGN this time), but also to the pearls hidden in the forest: Barbizon, Moret, Nemours...

The house of centuries, the true home of kings!

Residence of kings - Château de FontainebleauNapoleon says and he's right, for all the kings of France over seven centuries have lived in, furnished and embellished the Château de Fontainebleau. A veritable family home, according to the curator, with treasures at every turn, a sense of life preserved intact, a gluttony for splendor that knows only one regime: the old.

Not far away, a small village stands the test of time...

This is Barbizon, the famous painters' village. A hiking trail links Barbizon and Fontainebleau on foot, on horseback or by bike. There, you're invited to admire the masterfully preserved works of the masters of landscape painting, founders of the "Barbizon School", which prefigured Impressionism. In the Musée des Peintres de Barbizon, Millet's studio and the Auberge Ganne, paintings and decorated furniture tell the story of these poets of the brush. A moving experience.

Extend your pleasure and visit Moret sur Loing!

Moret sur Loing is another unusual village, with its half-Medieval, half-Renaissance decor. The town center, encircled by two magisterial medieval gates, instantly propels you back in time. The little mill on the Loing, which houses the barley sugar museum (an ancestral local know-how), gives the little town a very special cachet. Alfred Sisley was not mistaken when he decided to settle here, never to leave again. Definitely worth a visit.

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