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Named after the Seine and Marne rivers, this sizeable department in the Ile-de-France region lies to the east of the French capital, and is best known as the location of Disneyland Paris and the Forest of Fontainebleau.
Covering some 49% of Ile-de-France’s land area, Seine-et Marne was historically an agricultural area, but over recent decades it has become part of the larger Paris conurbation. Today, although its population has significantly increased, it still has many lovely rural landscapes, as well as numerous stately parks, gardens and castles, and Medieval towns like Moret-sur-Loing and Provins to explore.
For families, Disneyland Paris is undoubtedly the most popular reason for visiting Seine-et-Marne. The theme park, located in the new town of Marne-la-Vallée, is the only place in Europe where you can meet all your favourite Disney characters in familiar fairytale surroundings, and ride on thrilling attractions like Crush’s Coaster and Space Mountain: Mission 2 rollercoasters.
South of Disneyland Paris is the 28,000-hectare Forest of Fontainebleau, a vast former royal hunting park. Now a haven for wildlife of both the plant and animal variety, it’s criss-crossed with nearly 220 miles of marked walking trails and is a celebrated destination among hikers, mountain bikers and horse-riders. It’s also popular with climbers, who come to tackle its many peculiarly shaped boulders and rock formations.
The city of Fontainebleau is surrounded by the forest, and is best known for its 1500-room Medieval chateau, one of the largest in the nation. The former home of monarchs from Louis VII to Napoleon III, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, and is today a national museum.
Seine-et-Marne is also an extremely popular area for golfers, with quality courses dotted across the department, including Bois-le-Roi Golf Club, Cely Golf Club, Fontainebleau Golf Club and Golf Club Montereau La Forteresse.
You can also give other outdoor activities a go. Think kayaking, zip lining and off-road jeep tours, or sky-high adventures like hot air ballooning and microlight flights.
Unsurprisingly, Disneyland Paris hotels are among the most popular in Seine-et-Marne. Chose from luxury five-star Disney-run resorts with pools, tennis courts and complimentary theme park shuttles, to budget-friendly B&Bs and chain hotels from popular brands like ibis, Premiere Class and hotelF1.
Other areas worth exploring include the famous fortified towns of Meaux and Provins, the latter another UNESCO World Heritage site home to the Holy Spirit Cellar, the Old Hospital and the 12th-century octagonal keep known as Caesar’s Tower.
Seine-et-Marne also boasts plenty of rural destinations like the Grand Morin Valley – an area inspired many 19th-century Impressionist painters. These kind of locations are perfect for a get-away-from-it-all trip, so use Expedia’s search tool to look for a countryside manor house or chateau hotel in idyllic surroundings.
Whether you’re visiting Seine-et-Marne on business or leisure, the extensive range of accommodation offered by Expedia means you’re sure to find something to suit.