A Journey of the Senses through the Parks and Gardens of the Paris Region
Admire the sculptures, breathe the scent of fragrant plants, taste a freshly picked pear, listen to birdsong and touch the earth: all ways to enjoy our region, which is bursting with parks, gardens and other natural settings.
Open your eyes
In front of the Esplanade of the Grande Cascade in the Domaine national de Saint-Cloud there is plenty to amaze you. Stroll along this wide prospect walk to discover the different terraces of the Jardin de l'Impératrice with its fountains, its forest, and its panoramic view over Paris.
If you love surprises head to the south of Paris, to the Domaine de Chamarande, a natural site that combines a heritage landscape with cutting-edgecontemporary artistic creation.
Rise to the occasion in the Ballon de Paris in Parc André Citroën to enjoy a breath of fresh air and an unbeatable view over the city. Paris is at your feet!
At the Parc Floral, in the Bois de Vincennes, follow the Chemin de l'évolution circuit to admire 600 different species of plants, a haven for insects.
In the gardens of Fontainebleau admire the sculptures, pools, fountains, and the façade of the Château reflected in the ornamental lake. In the park of the château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, the centrepiece is André Le Nôtre's endless formal garden, stretching 3 kilometres. Over the festive season, the garden and the château are lit up by thousands of candles to immerse you in the magic of Christmas. Unforgettable!
Smell the most beautiful flowers
Enter the kitchen garden of Saint-Jean-de-Beauregard and breathe the scents of fragrant flowers that surround each vegetable plot. Explore the medicinal plant walk, where lemon balm releases its odorous scent and, in the right season, the orchard's arcades are covered in old roses that intoxicate with their perfume.
At the Conservatoire National des Plantes, wander among a variety of plant collections and bend down to smell fragrant, medicinal, and aromatic species. Here you can also learn how to make an aromatic syrup or a natural skin cream. Don't forget to stop by the shop to take home a few plants of your own.
And in the Jardin des 5 Sens, breathe in! Mint, Tibetan cherry, sage, philadelphus… Each species has been chosen for its scent and its flowering cycle, so the garden is lovely in all seasons, even in winter.
Listen to the sounds of nature
With its distinct garden areas - French, English, Japanese, but also Golden or Blue Forest - which dialogue and communicate with each other, the Jardin d'Albert Kahn endorses an image of peace. Listen to the guide, or follow your own itinerary for a trip around the world.
And if you are looking for calm and tranquillity, the Parc de l'Ile Saint-Germain is the perfect place to relax – with just the sound of the bees foraging, and the frogs croaking near the biodiversity pond. Children, meanwhile, can try the musical games in the playground.
Wander along the pathways of the Jardin des Plantes listening to the great tits warbling. Lose yourself in the maze, where the cry of seagulls reminds you that the Seine is not far away.
On concert nights in the urban garden of the Fondation Cartier, the birds are distracted by voices from the "soirées nomades" cultural programme. In this special place devoted to nature conservation, make the most of a faux wild garden in the heart of Paris.
The Jardin des 9 Carrés at the Abbaye de Royaumont receives a new collection of plants every 3 years and invites you to discover, smell, and listen – to a lecture, a sound installation, or simply to nature.
And at the Domaine de la Vallée-aux-Loups, walk and enjoy the lecture visits for a trip into the past with the Romantic-era writer Chateaubriand, who once lived here.
Combine a visit and a tasting
Fresh and delicious produce is cultivated on the 2.8 hectares of the Domaine de Courances. It is well worth dining in the old mill to taste the fruit and vegetables harvested from the kitchen garden.
Another place for food-lovers to discover is the historic kitchen garden that supplied the royal table of Louis XIV. Le Potager du Roi at Versailles grows a large selection of fruit and vegetables that you will also find in the shop, at the entrance to the garden.
At the Roseraie de Provins, discover history through the rose with its 300 varieties, colours, shapes, scent and even flavours.TheProvins rose is a symbol of the town, that has long been associated with creativity for the palate, with its rose confit, sweets, honey and crystallised fruits.
Touch, garden, learn…
In the Parc de la Villette, a suite of 12 thematic gardens linked by footbridges offer spaces for play, experimentation, or lounging… In the Jardin des Vents et des Dunes, children pedal to make windmills turn. They can climb in the Jardin des Voltiges, and learn about biodiversity at a workshop in the Jardins Passagers.
In the Domaine de Port Royal des Champs, the historic Granges orchard has been replanted in its 17th-century form. There is a large variety of fruit trees – apples, pears, figs peaches, plums and more – which deliver up their secrets during horticultural workshops such as pruning demonstrations.