How to make a successful trip to Aisne?
Located northeast of Paris, Aisne is a department of Picardy in the Hauts-de-France. This one owes its name to the river which crosses it. Every year, many tourists come to discover the charms of Laon, Saint-Quentin, Soissons or to collect themselves on the Chemin des Dames plateau. Birthplace of Jean de La Fontaine, Jean Racine or Alexandre Dumas, Aisne is full of art, history and architecture treasures.
What to do in Aisne?
Aisne is very rich in its cultural, historical and architectural heritage. In Laon, prefecture of Aisne, you will have the opportunity to contemplate the medieval vestiges of this ancient fortified city. In the streets Sérurier, Saint-Jean, Saint-Cyr or Vinchon, you can admire houses dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The Ardon gate, the Notre-Dame cathedral and the Templars’ chapel are remarkable buildings to visit. The city of Soisson has many surprises in store for you, notably with its city hall, its abbey and its cathedral. The basilica and the town hall of Saint-Quentin are also remarkable sites to visit. Castle lovers will be interested in the castle of Coucy, dating from the 13th century, or the castle of Fère-en-Tardenois. If you have a few days to spare, don’t hesitate to stop at the keep of Septmonts or to visit the beautiful village of Parfondeval. Military history lovers will have the opportunity to visit the site where the great battle of the Chemin des Dames took place during the First World War.
Nature lovers near the Hottée du Diable and the Hottée de Gargantua. Located in the communes of Coincy and Bruyères sur Fère, between Soissons and Château-Thierry, these places are quite mystical. If you want to enjoy a calm and relaxing setting, don’t hesitate to stop for a few minutes at the Blangy waterfall.
In the Aisne, it is possible to practice all sorts of leisure and sporting activities. From spring to autumn, you can go horseback riding, canoeing, tree climbing or even cycling and mountain biking. In Soissons, Saint-Quentin or Laon, you will find trendy bars where the atmosphere is both festive and friendly.
Take advantage of your trip to taste the Picardy gastronomy and in particular the delicious milk jam, the ficelle picarde or the flamiche with leeks. Even more surprising, Aisne is a department where Champagne is produced. With more than 800 winemakers, you will have the opportunity to taste the products and to visit Champagne domains.
When to go in Aisne?
Aisne is one of the coolest departments in France. In winter, for example, temperatures rarely exceed 10°C. It is also a very rainy region, especially in December. Although it is possible to visit the Aisne all year round, we recommend that you go between April and October. If you want to enjoy more pleasant temperatures, book your stay between May and September.
If you are planning to discover a new department this year or next, Aisne should appeal to you.
Top 10 sites not to be missed in Aisne!
The Parc d’Isle
The Parc d’Isle is a 48-hectare nature park located in the urban heart of Saint-Quentinois, in the French department of Aisne.
Crossed by the Somme River, the Parc d’Isle includes an urban park, a wildlife park and the National Nature Reserve of the Marais d’Isle.
Open to the public free of charge, the Parc d’Isle has four main objectives: biodiversity conservation, relaxation, tourism and education.
Learn more about the Parc d’Isle
Located in Laon, in the department of Aisne, the Notre-Dame de Laon cathedral is a Catholic building built at the same time as Notre-Dame de Paris and represents one of the first buildings of Gothic style in France.
Learn more about the Laon Cathedral
Familistère of Guise
Located in Guise in the Aisne, the Familistère of Guise is a veritable social palace designed by Jean-Baptiste André Godin.
This remarkable site includes astonishing collective housing pavilions, numerous service facilities (stores, laundry, swimming pool, gardens and promenades, nursery, schools, theater).
The extraordinary architecture of the familistère is a testament to the ambition of its creator and is open to the public for guided or self-guided tours.
Learn more about the Familistère of Guise
The Caverne du Dragon, Museum of the Chemin des Dames
The Chemin des Dames is a French departmental road located in the department of Aisne, and remains in the memories as the scene of deadly battles during the First World War.
A place of remembrance since 1919, the Caverne du Dragon and the Chemin des Dames Museum retrace the daily life of soldiers during the Great War.
Access to the Chemin des Dames Visitor Center is free, but for security reasons, the Caverne du Dragon can only be visited with a guide.
Learn more about the Caverne du Dragon, Museum of the Chemin des Dames
The Parc de Monampteuil
Axo’Plage or Parc de Monampteuil is a leisure center of the Aisne department located in Monampteuil, between Laon and Soissons.
Near the artificial lake of Monampteuil, Axo’Plage proposes a varied offer of activities, accessible to the greatest number and constitutes an ideal place to spend a pleasant day in family.
Learn more about the Parc de Monampteuil
The World War I Chateau-Thierry American Monument
The World War I Chateau-Thierry American Monument, designed by Paul Cret, is a memorial inaugurated in 1933 to commemorate the Franco-American offensive of July 18, 1918, during the second battle of the Marne.
The memorial building consists of an impressive double colonnade that rises above a long terrace and offers a wide view of the Marne valley.
Learn more about the World War I Chateau-Thierry American Monument
Abbey of Vauclair
Listed since 1911, Vauclair Abbey is a former abbey of Cistercian monks, located on the territory of the commune of Bouconville-Vauclair, in the Aisne department.
Destroyed in 1917, the site of the abbey of Vauclair includes today, the ruins and vestiges of the abbey, a vast garden of medicinal plants and the remarkable state forest of Vauclair.
Learn more about the Abbey of Vauclair
Village of old-time trades & Motobécane Museum
Located in the former Motobécane factory, the Village of old-time trades & Motobécane Museum is an exceptional and authentic site that promotes the history and heritage of France.
The museum presents the evolution of the cycles and motorcycles that have made the brand famous.
Learn more about the Village of old-time trades & Motobécane Museum
Franco-American Museum of Blérancourt Castle
Located in Blérancourt in the Aisne, the former castle of the Dukes of Gesvres now houses the Franco-American Museum of Blérancourt Castle.
The museum offers permanent collections centered on three major themes: the Ideals of the Enlightenment, which led to the first alliances between the two nations, the Trials during which France and the United States fought side by side, and the Arts, which were the subject of numerous transatlantic exchanges.
Learn more about the Franco-American Museum of Blérancourt Castle
The Hottée du Diable
Located north of Coincy in the Aisne department, the sandstone chaos of the Hottée du Diable is an exceptional protected natural site (natural zone of ecological, faunistic and floristic interest) ideal for a playful walk with family or friends.
Learn more about the Hottée du Diable
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