There’s something special about walking in the footsteps of France’s monarchs! Every dynasty has roamed and shaped this immense forest (15,000 ha) that has become one of the most famous and beautiful in all of France — and the 3rd largest. The imperial paths, lined with the enormous trunks of oak and beech trees, lead you from the Palais de Compiègne to the Château de Pierrefonds, whose pepperpot turrets emerge from amongst the foliage as you approach the small village. Only 4 miles away, don’t miss Saint-Jean-aux-Bois, another charming village nestled in the forest. Be sure to come back in June-July for the Festival des Forêts: a unique experience that brings classical music to the woodland!