Anyone looking for a scenic getaway in the North of France should try the department of Val-d’Oise. This is a beautiful area of the country and is just a short drive away from the capital city, Paris. Here visitors will find numerous different places to stay including self catering accommodation, B&Bs, gites and campsites.
Val-d’Oise offers some wonderfully picturesque places for hikers, cyclists and horse riders to explore. Visitors to the department will be able to gain a different perspective of the area by taking a hot air balloon trip or paragliding. Visitors will also find numerous golf courses to choose from in the department as well as some good tennis courts. The lakes and rivers here are ideal for various watersports such as fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, waterskiing and sailing. There are numerous bars, cafes and restaurants in Val-d’Oise serving superb French cuisine as well as some international fare. There many shops in the area and self catering holidaymakers will be able to pick up food and drink from the markets and supermarkets. Larger retailers are to be found in the larger towns and cities of the department such as Argenteuil .
Val-d’Oise has many interesting places to visit with splendid old buildings such as Royaumont Abbey, which dates back to the 13th century. Also holidaymakers may like to visit Chateau d’Ecouen or the gothic Saint Martin Church at Montmorency. Also in Montmorency is the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Museum, which is well worth a visit. The gardens at the Domaine de Villarceaux are magnificent as is the scenery at Vexin Francais Regional Nature Park. Family fun can be found at Park Asterix, France’s second most famous theme park. Visitors may also like to take a day trip to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower and the many other attractions the French capital city has to offer.
The climate in this part of France is similar to Southern England with the warmest months normally July and August and the coldest December to February. Average high temperatures in Val-d’Oise are about 22 degrees centigrade in July and August. In January the average high is five degrees centigrade, but temperatures can fall below zero in winter. Rainfall is moderate in the summer with June and July averaging about eight hours of sunshine per day.
Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Paris is partially located within the department of Val-d’Oise with flights to and from various domestic locations as well as international airports. Air France is the main carrier here with flights to major European cities such as Amsterdam (AMS), Athens (ATH), Beijing-Capital (PEK), Berlin-Tegel (TXL), Lisbon (LIS), London-Heathrow (LHW), Madrid (MAD), Moscow-Sheremetyevo (SVO), New York (JFK), Rome-Fiumicino (FCO), Tokyo-Narita (NRT) and Vienna (VIE), amongst others. Car rental firms are located at the airport including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, National and Sixt.