Le Perche, Normandy: tourism & sightseeing
Visit Le Perche (Normandy, France)
Le Perche, and the 'Natural Regional Parc du Perche', is an area of natural beauty situated around the town of Belleme in the south-east of the Orne department of southern Normandy, also falling around Nogent-le-Rotrou within the neighbouring Eure-et-Loir department and La Ferté-Bernard in the Sarthe department.
Where is Le Perche?
The term "Le Perche" actually refers to three regions, all here in the same part of northern France but with different boundaries:
- it was originally the name of a historic province of France, which ceased to exist after the revolution
- it is now the name give to a natural region that is more extensive than the original province
- it is also used for the Natural Regional Park of the Perche, within the natural region but not as extensive
but none of this probably matters because visitors are here to enjoy the Perche region whichever is being referred to!
Exploring the Perche Natural Regional Park
It is the scenic variety and interest that attracts visitors to Le Perche, and there is great diversity to discover among the rolling hills, separated by valleys and small rivers, fields and forests, and with marshland environments. It is this mixed countryside that gives Le Perche its appeal. Because the region is less than two hours from Paris it is also a popular destination with weekend visitors from the city.
You will come across several scenic villages and small towns as you explore and manor houses nestling quietly in the landscape, adding further to the charm of the area. Any of the towns can provide you with useful local information but really we suggest you start your visit to Le Perche at the headquarters for the region in a 15th century manor house at Courboyer, Nocé.
The principal towns in Le Perche include:
It is also worth visiting the Ecomusee du Perche to learn more of the history and heritage of this relatively undiscovered region (along with various entertaining activities for the children) and while here you can visit the lovely Priory of Saint Gauburge: both sites are together, half way between Belleme and Nogent-le-Rotrou.
France This Way comment: the countryside and environment of Le Perche lends itself perfectly to a relaxing trip, unwinding in a gentle countryside, walking or cycling on peaceful roads, or perhaps horseriding on one of the famous local 'percheron' horses.
Pre-planned touring routes through Le Perche
Exploring by car is also very pleasant, and the Parc suggest two 'pre-planned routes', one to explore the forests and the other following the small lakes and castles of the region. Each is signposted, less than 100 kilometres long (so cycling the routes in a day is possible), and a good way to explore the area.
You can find the routes and guides to highlights that you will see in any of the information centres in Le Perche.
Map of Le Perche and places to visit
Visit near Le Perche with France This Way reviews
... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Orne
Address: Bellême, Mortagne-au-Perche, Orne, Normandy, 61130, France || GPS: latitude 48.400375, longitude 0.792005
Plan your visit to Le Perche, Normandy
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Perche: regional natural parc
- Jardin de la petite Rochelle: remarkable garden (4km)
- Nogent-le-Rotrou: recommended detour (9km)
- Tourouvre: village d'etape (24km)
The French version of this page is at Le Perche (Francais)