Dreaming of a blissed-out countryside escape right about now? We hear you. Nothing beats getting back to nature to get the heart pumping, to clear the mind and appreciate the beauty of the world around us. So, if you are craving for rural escapism, grab a picnic and go outside! Eure et Loir has loads of green spaces perfect for a bit of al fresco, blanket-based action to savour every moment in nature. Let’s go get a dose of nature, winding through a patchwork of picturesque villages dotted around Eure et Loir! We’ve got the inspiration you need for your next head-clearing, soul-cleansing adventure. Here are some of the hidden gems of Eure et Loir you wouldn’t want to miss during your visit.
Dip a toe or two in the water
It feels like Provence at the lake of Mézières Ecluzelles…
Windsurfing, optimist, catamaran, canoe, stand up paddle… the lake of Mézières Ecluzelles is heaven for water sports lovers...Its charming little marina is ideal for a stroll or a family pic nic in the shade to enjoy the fantastic scenery while munching on some yummy local treats! A place to day dream and gaze at the colourful boats gently gliding along the water.
Here, bird-watching is truly a year-round activity everyone can enjoy. Keep an eye out for our feathered friends of which some species are protected. Spring and summer are great for spotting them during the breeding season: autumn and winter offer a great deal of variety as many species prepare to migrate. Shhhh! Embrace the silence and use the observatories for watching birds without disturbing them.
Now pick a spot for your picnic and enjoy!
Nature has this calming and enchanting effect in the Beauce, an area known for its vast landscapes even more than its verdant environment (we’ll tell you more about this later!)
So yes, indeed! If you are looking for experiences away from the crowds and hotspots, the Aigre and Conie Valleys are hidden treasures waiting to be explored. True havens of peace where one can cool down and appreciate the unique freshwater marsh ecosystem of the river Conie, featuring mangroves and reeds. On hot summer days, it’s an absolute delight to dip your toes in the water of this oasis of greenery and connect with nature all around.
Over The Hills of the Perche and beyond
Forests in the north and valleys in the south! There are places on earth that look like they could be something out of a fairy-tale and the Perche is one of them. Here, the rolling hills, the quaint villages, the superb manor houses and typical Percheron buildings conjure up a picture-perfect decor in all seasons. If you plan to tackle the highest point of Eure et Loir, climbing the Butte de Rougemont in Vichères (which is 285 metres high!) will reward you with beautiful scenery at the summit. Take a moment to close your eyes, take a deep breath, listen to the silence and marvel at the stunning panorama before your eyes. You’ll never want to go down!
The Perche Regional Natural Park contains an amazing variety of landscapes including broad open moorlands, hedged farmland, rolling green hills and wooded valleys, forests and lakes. This protected area of natural beauty stretches between Normandy and the Loire Valley. A true paradise for hikers, wildlife-friends and nature lovers! And guess what? Without sounding too pretentious, we even have our own breed of horse in the Perche. These are the Percheron horses, which obviously take their name from the region. These gentle giants of the horse world can be ridden, but also make an excellent choice for carriage horses. Slow down the pace to the Perche time and embrace our "let it slow attitude"!
Off the beaten track in the Beauce
Imagine fields as far as the eye can see! As vast as the ocean and limitless as the sky. One of the great traditional granaries of France, the Beauce region, not only provides us with iconic rural landscapes, it also plays a crucial role in producing high quality, sustainable food for the nation. The combination of endless landscapes paired with mystic clouds and natural colors really are something to marvel over, especially at sunset. Be sure to stop by to capture those views! We promise it’s a moment you’ll remember.
Seriously, Beauce is beautiful!
Keep your eyes wide open as you might come across one of our local “giants” sticking out from the horizon. It is pretty common to bump into an old windmill at the edge of a cornfield in the Beauce! These authentic windmills always give a sense of nostalgia and transport us into an era of the past.
This is a big landscape and there is more to the Beauce than just wheat fields. In spring, canola fields bloom creating a sea of yellow as far as the eye can see. In summer, large swathes of countryside are coated in golden barley fields. Calling all beer lovers! With wheat and barley locally grown right here on our farms, it is no surprise that many microbreweries have been established in the area, passionately brewed beer which is imbued with the unique character of rural Eure et Loir! (Check out the list of breweries here).
Nothing screams “Welcome to France” as much as its quintessential lavender fields in bloom! Well, believe it or not, the Beauce is THE place to be to witness the wonders of lavender blooms which flower from June to August. Some say Provence is a little overrated and you certainly don’t want a crowded field to click this dream shot of yourself surrounded by undulating hues of purple!
Something in the air feels like Provence, we’re only missing the sound of cicadas!
La Tanière Wildlife Sanctuary
It is the last chance for these wild animals. Abused, mistreated, rescued from circuses or laboratories or saved from trafficking, these animals, unable to be returned to the wild, have found a new home at the zoo-refuge of La Tanière. This sanctuary has incredibly unique programs to rescue a variety of animals from horrific captive situations – from the smallest mink to the largest elephant - and to give them a new lease on life! A wonderful place for children to learn the importance of wild habitats and their significant impact on the lives and welfare of animals. After all, planting seeds of compassion in young people can only have positive effects for them as they grow up. Once you’ve visited this oasis of kindness, you certainly couldn’t hurt a fly!
If you now want to discover a wealth of sports and fun-filled activities for your holidays in Eure et Loir, click here
Into the wildwithout going too far...
Moulin de la GarenneYMONVILLE
The last remaining example of the four mills of Ymonville, a windmill built in around 1839 and listed as a historic monument. A silent but eloquent testimony to the Beauce milling industry.Read more
Discover the wild side of CanadaPerche
Learn what it’s like to live alongside Mother Nature in a haven of open spaces and fresh air, trees and tranquility. Welcome to the Senonches forest for a stay at Huttopia Senonches Holiday Village, an absolute dream come true for nature lovers.Read more
Grand moulin de OuarvilleOUARVILLE
The biggest and most ancient of the last mwindills still turning in the Beauce sky, with its origins going back to the 13th century!Read more
Moulin de Chesnay MoutiersMOUTIERS
Windmill built in 1770, set 800 metres from the village of Moutiers. It inspired the most famous of all Beauce millers, Marcel Barbier, the poet and songster.Read more
Moulin à vent “Fernand Barbier”LEVESVILLE-LA-CHENARD
A 15th century wooden windmill mounted on a stone base, in perfect working order.Read more
Moulin à vent de Frouville PensierVILLEMAURY
A lighthouse in the sea of wheat fields in Zola's Beauce region! The last stone windmill in Eure-et-Loir is still in working order! You can see it from 8km away, with its rotating roofing which functions using a 14-metre long tail and a wingspan of ...Read more
Moulin à vent PelardBOUVILLE
Discover and understand the post mill, typical to the Beauce region, and made entirely from wood.Read more
Moulin à vent du ParadisSANCHEVILLE
Beautiful 17th century, wooden windmill built on a pivot. Entirely restored in 1995 with certain original parts: brail, grid, mills, etc.Read more