• This is farming country (sugar beet and grain crops) which flourishes between Laon, Amiens, Compiègne and Abbeville; and between the Aisne, the Oise and the Somme rivers. Fauna and flora
• There is plenty of space for beautiful forests, including that of Compiègne
, famous for its huge size (over 14,000 hectares), its biodiversity, its game and its centuries-old trees (one yew tree is said to be over a thousand years old and an oak over 700 years old). The Baie de Somme,
a marvellous ecosystem and unique territory between land and sea, is a refuge for many types of birds (migratory and sedentary), and its shores and "estrans" (intertidal zones) are home to sheep and horses.Good food and local produce
• Foodwise, the Picardy region offers the colours of its kitchen gardens... cultivated sometimes on little islets that are accessible only by boat: they are of course the famous hortillonnages
, also known as floating gardens. The "hortillons" (market gardeners) transport their vegetables on the little "rieux" (canals). And yet this singular little rural and aquatic world, still well preserved, is located on the edge of the city of Amiens, the proud, gourmet capital of Picardie. Hiking
• The forest of Compiègne affords hikers a network of paths traced out under Louis XIV and a particular type of information post dating back to 1825. It is just as pleasant to walk in the valley of the Oise, along the GR 123 around Ponthieu perhaps, or in the land of the seven valleys. You will also enjoy strolling in the Oise regional nature reserve. http://www.parc-oise-paysdefrance.fr/.
The Baie de Somme attracts many horse-riders and bird-watchers, in the sand dunes, mud flats and reed marshes of the Marquenterre nature reserve
• It is also possible to explore the Baie de Somme by bike
, with a network of 210 km of specially marked cycle paths (including 50 km of road reserved only for bicycles and forbidden to cars) and seven possible tours (ending the opening of the future EuroVelo 4 trail): a little train which transports the bikes for free and 50 bicycle hire stations makes it even easier to indulge in the pleasure of cycling! River navigation
• A cruise along the Somme canal will take you through the fields and show you the life of a real professional bargeman, on a Freycinet barge (39.50m long), delivering its cargo all over the region: an original type of bed and breakfast, typical of the warm Picardie welcome!