Picardy travel guide

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Visit Picardy, France

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Picardy, in the north of France, has a great deal to discover in terms of both natural scenery and historical monuments, with beaches and cathedrals, villages and extensive forests to enjoy and explore.

Picardy tourism

Northern Picardy is largely a flat or gently undulating area of open fields that includes the Somme department, best known for the WWI Battle of the Somme, while the south of Picardy is a scenic region of hills and forests.

You will find popular beaches and resorts on the western coast of the Somme, interesting towns and villages with famous cathedrals, and of course many moving cemeteries and tributes to the First World War battles that took place in the region.

There are three departments within the Picardy region: Aisne, Oise and Somme.

Aisne highlights


Many visitors are attracted to the Aisne department to visit the numerous war cemeteries and tributes to those who died in the Great War along the 'Chemin des Dames'.

There is much else to enjoy such as the towns of Laon (especially a very impressive cathedral) the historical centre and art-deco buildings of Saint-Quentin, the cathedral at Soissons.

A few kilometres west of Laon you can visit Chateau Coucy, a listed 'National Monument'.

There are extensive areas of forest to explore in the countryside, and the village of Parfondeval, a 'most beautiful village in France' and based around a fortified church and red brick buildings, is also in Aisne.

for information and places to visit see the Aisne travel guide


Oise highlights


Here in the Oise it is the theme parks of Parc Asterix and La Mer du Sable that attract the greatest number of visitors, but don't forget to explore the rest of the department!

One of the classified 'most beautiful villages in France', best known for its picturesque cottages covered by clambering roses, is towards the west of the Oise department at Gerberoy.

Other highlights include important cathedrals at Beauvais, a large town between Paris and Amiens, Senlis and Noyon, a listed 'town of art and history', the Chateau de Pierrefonds (a listed National Monument) close to Compiegne and much more...

for information and places to visit see the Oise travel guide

Somme highlights


Even 100 years later the Somme is known above all for the Battle of the Somme during the First World War, and many visitors like to see the trenches and cemeteries that have been retained in tribute.

The cathedral at Amiens (see also Amiens cathedral) is one of the most impressive in France and Amiens also has some other interesting highlights.

Don't overlook the coastal region of the western Somme where several well known resorts are spread along 70 kilometres of sandy beaches. The coastal 'grand randonnee' (GR) path is a good way to see the wild beaches and coastline of the region.

The bird sanctuary at Marquenterre is on the coast south of Le Touquet near Le Crotoy, home to the only south facing beach in northern France, and Fort-Mahon-Plage is another popular resort. Once you have enjoyed one of these impressive beaches head a few kilometres inland to visit Abbeville with its gothic collegiale church.

for information and places to visit see the Somme travel guide

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The French version of this page is at Picardy (Francais)

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