Last Updated on 7th November 2017 by Sophie Nadeau
Weeping willows line the banks of a gently flowing river. Sandbanks are filled with parasols and quaint cafés are dotted all around the place. Oh, and did I mention that there’s even a Château? You’ll find all of this and more at L’Isle-Adam. Inhabitants are known locally as ‘Adamois’ and the population hovers around 16,000…
L’Isle-Adam: A Day Trip from Paris
Situated along the banks of the river Oise, the small, sleepy town of l’Isle-Adam isn’t far from Auvers-sur-Oise (final resting place of Vincent van Gogh and home to one of the few Absinthe museums in the world). A visit to the two towns can easily be combined. As each town takes a few hours to visit, seeing both in one day creates the perfect quirky day trip from Paris.
Situated around 25 kilometres northwest of the Paris (but feeling a lot further away due to the secluded feel of the place), the town has long been a Parisian hotspot. This is where the real France lies; this is where actual Parisians come to hang out during their holidays. Every summer the beach, swimming pools, and wide range of activities on offer (canoeing, tennis etc) draw hundreds of French tourists. In the off-peak and shoulder seasons, the crowds are much diminished and it’s the perfect place to head to if you want to escape the never-ending crowds of Paris.
If you’re more of an outdoorsy, nature lover, then l’Isle-Adam is the perfect stepping stone for exploring the historic forests surrounding this historic town. In close proximity to Vexin, one of France’s best-known national parks, it’s the perfect gateway to the woods.
History of l’Isle-Adam
The town and its surrounding area have a long and complex history. L’Isle-Adam was first recorded as early as 862 CE. In the 19th Century, palaeolithic flints were discovered during an archaeological dig suggesting that the region has been inhabited for thousands of years. L’Isle-Adam was first recorded as early as 862 CE. During the 9th Century, the area was the subject of heavy Viking raids and it was not until the 10th-Century that stability once again resumed in the area. Adam I de l’Isle restored the territory and named it after himself.
For the following few centuries, the town was ruled by Adam’s descendants and maintained close ties with the French royal family. By the 16th Century, the town had grown into a fairly large city (for medieval times). However, serious trade to the region eventually died out and the town remained wealthy but lost its political significance. Today, the town is known for being the go-to place in the summer for those in the know…