Four geographical regions make up the Essonne department. To the north, Hurepoix includes Dourdan, Evry, Massy, Limours, Arpajon, Longjumeau, Montlhéry. A rural and market gardening territory embellished by forests and the beautiful valleys of the Bièvre, Essonne, Yvette and Rémarde rivers. On the other side of the Seine, you can also discover a small piece of the Brie plateau. Full south, around Étampes, begin the immense rural plains of Beauce, which stretch over five departments. The Gâtinais Français occupies the eastern part in the vicinity of Milly-la-Forêt and La Ferté-Alais.
A very green destination
In the Essonne, many wooded areas offer you beautiful moments of calm, with in particular part of the Fontainebleau forest, but also around Senart, Milly and Dourdan. Very pleasant in Ile-de-France, these green lungs are complemented by large parks and the Chevreuse valley.
As far as heritage is concerned, the Essonne department is home to around fifty châteaux and a hundred listed religious monuments.
To the fortresses of Dourdan, Etampes and Montlhery, the prestigious castles of Courson, Courances, Chamarande, Le Marais and Saint-Jean-de-Beauregard are also available. As in Milly, Arpajon and Méréville, the gigantic typical wooden halls dating from the 15th and 16th centuries were the venue for numerous trade fairs.
The sanctuaries are quite varied with the basilica of Longpont-sur-Orge, the cathedrals of Évry and Corbeil-Essonnes, the orthodox church of Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, the gothic church of Dourdan.
Fresh and fragrant products
The fertile lands of Essonne have long been the larder of Parisians, with strawberries, lamb's lettuce, watercress, beans and red pumpkin. Milly-la-Forêt is renowned for the quality of its aromatic and medicinal herbs, to be seen at the National Conservatory of Perfume Plants. A restful environment that has seduced many stars such as Christian Dior or Jean Cocteau.
Essonne has also attracted many painters such as Foujita, Caillebotte, Dunoyer de Segonzac, but also stars such as Claude François, whose mill in Dannemois you can visit. It is also one of the cradles of photography in Bièvres and aviation in La Ferté-Alais and the Salis flying museum in Cerny.
For walks in the Essonne, you are spoilt for choice with more than 2,300 km of footpaths and around fifty cycling circuits, to discover the many surprises in the secret garden of Ile-de-France.
The Essonne campsites
Choose your holiday destination from among the twenty or so Essonne campsites, for example the Paris-Sud *** campsite in Saint-Chéron or the Parc de la Fontaine *** campsite in Saint-Maurice-Montcouronne.