Here at The Travel Hack we like to think we’re great at digging out unusual destinations to add to your travel wish list. We love cities like Paris, Barcelona and London but there’s nothing like visiting a quieter and less known destination for a more authentic and much more affordable option!
Today we’d like to introduce you to Picardy, a historical province in Northern France.
Never heard of it? No worries, let us fill you in…
Where is Picardy and how do I get there?
Picardy is in Northern France and is one hour from Calais.
Calais is often the gateway to France for a lot of travellers via the Eurostar or ferry, so Picardy is a really easy place to get to. Many travellers miss out on this place as they whizz through to the more well known areas in France. We like the idea of stopping over in Picardy for a day or two before heading off to explore the rest of France. Having your own car is recommended to fully appreciate the area and if you’re travelling from London, it’ll only take 4 hours to get to Picardy.
Who would like to visit Picardy?
Picardy is a great destination for couples and young families looking for a relaxing and beautiful escape. It’s well set up for weekend breaks and is an easy option is you’re travelling with little ones.
It’s for people who want to explore nature’s wonders, the Somme Bay, cuddle up in a chic Chateau Hotel for a weekend or spend some time discovering the battlefields of WW1. It’s also for people who don’t have much time for a short break – as it’s just an hour from Calais you can be there by 7pm after work!
What is Picardy like?
Picardy is a place filled with charming towns, Gothic cathedrals, scenic views, delicious French cuisine, flowing rivers, forests and castles perched on hilltops. The atmosphere is laid back and easy going. It’s the kind of place where you’ll want to pack a comfy pair of shoes and your camera and go get lost for a day or two.
What can you do in Picardy?
Visit historic buildings, castles and chateaus such as Chateau de Chantilly which dates back to the 1400s. It is set on a lake with three tranquil gardens covering 115 acres . The castle also houses the biggest collection of pre-1850 painting in France after the Louvre.
Stay in a fairytale castle for a romantic escape in Chantilly. Read more about that amazing experience here.
Visit the Somme Battlefields and see the trenches and shell holes. This is a chance to learn more about the history of the area and pay your respects to those who lost their lives. You can also enjoy the gorgeous panoramic view of the lakes and marshes of the “Haute Vallée de la Somme”.
Visit Amiens, otherwise known as Little Venice of the North. Amiens is a quaint little town nestled in the banks of the River Somme. It is known as the Little Venice of the North, due to its winding network of canals and its gorgeous rows of houses, shops and restaurants build right on the canal edge.
Have a seaside break at Somme Bay. The Picardy coast is beautiful and is a place of sandy dunes, dramatic cliffs, an abundance of birdlife and you may even spot seals in the waters. But the main attraction to the coast is the delicious seafood on offer!
Fancy a trip to Picardy?
If this sounds like your kind of place then check out Espirt de Picardie. This is a website that helps plan personalised breaks to Picardie. Itineraries are put together by a community of local, British experts who live in the region. They’ll plan everything so all you need to think about is having a great time!