Visit Val d’Oise
The French department of Val-d’Oise belongs to the region of Ile-de-France and lies to the north of the capital, Paris.
Taking its name from the River Oise, a tributary of the Seine, it is home to two regional nature parks, the Oise-Pays de France, and the Vexin Français. Val d’Oise is also well known for its idyllic landscapes, dotted with chateaux, abbeys and delightfully atmospheric villages, as well as a varied range of leisure activities such as golf, hiking, cycling and horse riding.
The eastern section of Val d’Oise is part of the Pays de France, a natural agricultural region dedicated to cereal crops and sugar beet, though the continued expansion of the greater Paris region means this use is continually decreasing. The department is also home to part of Charles de Gaulle Airport, and as a result the immediate vicinity is highly developed.
Must-See Sights in Val d’Oise
This is a department rich with cultural, historical and architectural gems, including ancient towns, striking castles and pastoral highlights like the peaceful Oise valley – a landscape revered by Impressionist painters such as Paul Cezanne, Camille Pissarro, and Vincent Van Gogh.
The valley’s best known village – Auvers-sur-Oise – was home to all of the above at certain points, as well as Charles-Francois Daubigny, whose house is now a museum. Art lovers could follow in the footsteps of the Impressionists along the designated painters’ trail, which passes symbolic places immortalised in their works. You can also see the studio where Van Gogh spent the last two months of his life, and visit his grave in the village cemetery.
Other highlights include Royaumont Abbey in the Asnieres-sur-Oise district, a magnificent restored Cistercian abbey with Medieval gardens and a marvellous Gothic cloister. Check the calendar in advance as the abbey hosts a busy programme of cultural, musical and artistic events throughout the year.
You can also visit the Domaine de Villarceaux estate in the Vexin Francais Regional Nature Park, which contains an 18th-century chateau, a 16th-century manor house, and a French Ministry of Culture-designated Remarkable Garden, featuring medicinal plants, a large lake, and a canal.
Hotels in Val d’Oise
Use Expedia to browse hotels in a specific area of Val d’Oise, or enter your travel dates to view the best deals. You’ll find plenty of options if you need an airport hotel near Charles de Gaulle, with many located off the A1 motorway near the town of Roissy-en-France. Here you’ll find options from familiar brand names such as Novotel, Best Western and Hyatt Regency, as well as more budget-friendly picks from the likes of Premiere Classe and Campanile hotels.
Other popular locations include the ancient city of Pontoise, which is home to fascinating caves and underground quarries, the spa town of Enghien-les-Bains with its rowing lake, Belle Epoque buildings, and famous casino – the first in France – and the village of Saint-Witz, an ideal base for exploring the Pays de France.