natural heritagenatural heritage
©natural heritage|PO Deschamps


A valley of colors and sensations

First of all, the green of the immense forested areas surrounding the city. Blue, then, as the Seine undulates, serene and seductive. And red, for the apples and cherries that color the orchards along the fruit route. Welcome to invigorating nature.

Natural and refreshing Rouen

The natural heritage of Rouen and the Vallée de Seine is a palette of colors as varied as it is refreshing. It is as much an invitation to contemplation as it is aplayground and discovery. Hiking, biking along the Seine, horse-riding in the three forested areas, Rouen’s veritable green lungs, which have been awarded a label national d’exception… Here, we take the time to breathe and escape to the gates of the city.

Green and generous Normandy

We all have in mind the image of a voluptuous Normandy with apple trees, cows and panier garni. A cliché? No, no, this Normandy really does exist! So take a stroll through the Parc régional des Boucles de la Seine normande and you’ll be gripped by thebucolic setting of its landscapes. Take the Fruit Trail, lined with colorful orchards, and enjoy the apples and pears sold at the gate. Stop off at alocal farm and discover the bounty of local produce. Treat yourself to an escapade in the marais to encounter this environment, a veritable conservatory of biodiversity. This natural, generous and verdant Normandy is at your fingertips. Even more astonishing, Rouen is home to unique vines, perched high above the city!

And in the middle flows the Seine

How beautiful it is, winding between the quais rouennais to slip into the Normandy bocages that hem in country banks, between the coquettish village of La Bouille and the charming market town of Duclair. The Seine is a living, complicit artery for all the inhabitants of Rouen and its valley. The different cruises offered by the Tourist Office allow you to discover it to the full and glide along the water, among friendly barges. Rouen also boasts a port de plaisance et d’hivernage which accommodates around a hundred boats. Cycling is another way to follow the course of the water. The equipped trails of La Seine à Vélo take you for a hundred kilometers along the towpaths. We can even take the bacs, with your mount, to cross the river and prolong the pleasure.

The call of the forest

Three state forests in Rouen hold the label national Forêt d’Exception. A recognition of the richness, protection and enhancement of these massifs, veritable green lungs of the Normandy capital. Wherever we are in Rouen, the forest is never far away, intimate to urban life. With its 25,000 ha of greenery, it makes Rouen the first forest-hearted conurbation in France, covering a third of its territory! Stroll along its educational trails, discover its arboretum or its free animal park. Experience the forest in sporty or artistic mode at the international land art event Forêt monumentale, which features XXL-format sculptures right in the heart of the forêt de Roumare. You can also go hiking with a guide who will tell you about the history and legends associated with these natural spaces.

A life-size playground

Mountain bike trails, archery, canoeing on the Seine or its tributaries such as the Austreberthe are all activities to be enjoyed in the heart of nature, with your lungs wide open! And to let off steam in a Normandy setting, there’s nothing better than the multi-sport leisure centres, which know how to make the most of their natural heritage! In the hollow of the third meander of the Seine, north of Rouen, the base de loisirs de Jumièges offers large green spaces and a supervised swimming area in July and August. On the other side, nestled in a loop to the south of the Normandy capital, is the base de loisirs de Bédanne which delights water sports enthusiasts. The base has been awarded the Ecole Française de Voile label.

An interlude in a garden

Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation and contemplation in one of the one of the thirty-five gardens to be found in Seine-Maritime, which ranks second among France’s greenest departments! It’s at the Jardin des Plantes de Rouen, a landscaped and botanical site with a wide variety of species and an unrivalled collection of orchids that the colors explode. This is where Graines de jardin, France’s first entirely free festival for gardening enthusiasts, takes place. As you drive through the countryside, you’ll come across the jardins d’Angélique, the Agapanthe and, of course, the elegant Parc de Clères with its 1,200 semi-liberty animals, castle and flora spread over 13 hectares of bliss.

On foot, by bike, on horseback

Come and explore the region’s hiking trails by bike, on foot or on horseback and clear your mind for an outing at your own pace. Rouen and its metropolitan area abound with a variety of 100% nature trails and paths for families and the more sporty. From the randonnée des troglodytes to the Genetey loop, there’s something for everyone. From a stroll of just a few kilometers to an itinerary lasting several days, you’ll be impressed by these bucolic Normandy landscapes: from the high chalk cliffs to the cows grazing peacefully in the fields, look no further, the change of scenery is here. You can also follow the route from your phone or any other navigation device by downloading the route from our website..