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Essonne is a department of Ile de France


Essonne is a department in the region of Ile-de-France, named after the Essonne River.
Situated to the south of Paris, this is an attractive amalgam of an urban, dynamic north with a green and tranquil south with its well-preserved, traditional small towns such as Morigny-Champigny, Méréville, Étampes and Dourdan.
All of northern Essonne department belongs to the Parisian agglomeration and is very urbanized while the south remains rural.
The main cities include: Evry, Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois, Corbeil-Essonnes, Savigny-sur-Orge, Viry-Chatillon, Athis-Mons, Massy and more rural Vigneux-sur-Seine.With its 97500 acres of woodlands, Essonne is important source of wood.


Evry is the youngest town in France, the average age of the population is 26 years. With the Cathedral of the Resurrection (the only 20th century Cathedral in France) and the Grand Mosque of Evry (one of the largest in Western Europe) is a religious crossroads. There is also the largest pagoda in Europe called Khan-Anh.

The charming town of Milly la Foret is full of unexpected surprises. The discovery of prehistoric remains indicates that Milly has been inhabited for millennia but it remains a charming and authentic French market town with its wooden ‘Halle’ or covered market place remaining the focus of the square as it has been for centuries.

Mereville is situated in a circular basin and the River Juine runs through it. There is a gazebo, temple, ruined arch, caves, lakes, waterfalls and 18th century castle.


Seven of the twenty one prestigious sites on the Route of Gardens and Chateaux are to be found in this department. The 17th century Chateau de Courances is amongst the most spectacular, built of stone and brick for the officers of the crown near Versailles, with its superb formal French gardens by Le Notre and its Anglo-Japanese garden by the Marquise Berthe de Ganay.
Leisure activites are varied from go-karting at Angerville to fishing, boating, riding, rock climbing at the Foret des Trois Pignons, hot air ballooning, gliding and of course golf with over 13 golf courses to choose from.

The area also hosts number of festivals like Les Couleurs du jazz, Fausses visites- festival of hospitality, Surprises musicales-festivals regrouping world class DJs or festival “Parcours de danse”-presenting different dance choreographies.


In the menus of the local restaurants, there are plenty of regional recipes but also dishes from whole France and Europe. The most popular local ingredient is Menthe de Milly and Miel de Gatinais (honey). Between the fruits and vegetables there is Cresson de Mereville and Haricot chevrier d’Arpajon and on the meat level the Essonne gives tasty volaille (poultry) and lapin(rabbit) du Gatinais.

Useful information

Tourism office in Essonne

Maps of Essonne:

Travel from the UK
By air: 
Easyjet flies from Belfast, Liverpool Newcastle and London Luton to Paris.
Ryanair flies from Shannon, Dublin and Glasgow to Paris.
By rail: 
Eurostar go from London to Paris in just 2h35.
By car: You can travel by car to Paris by taking the ferries which go from Dover to Calais and then you can take the Motorway to Paris.
You can also cross the channel with the Eurostar and stop at Calais. Then you will travel on the motorway directly to Paris.

Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Essonne. We have a large network of partners in Essonne. All of them are registered French real estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Essonne matching your requirements.

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