The destination

Presentation de la Destination Paris-Saclay

The Paris-Saclay conurbation is a community of 27 towns and villages located approximately twenty kilometres  south of Paris and in the north of the department of Essonne

carte-agglo-paris-saclay

The conurbation

The conurbation’s 27 towns and villages are: Ballainvilliers, Bures-sur-Yvette, Champlan, Chilly-Mazarin, Epinay-Sur-Orge, Gif-sur-Yvette, Gometz-le-Châtel, Igny, la Ville-du-Bois, Les Ulis, Linas, Longjumeau, Marcoussis, Massy, Montlhéry, Nozay, Orsay, Palaiseau, Saclay; Saint-Aubin, Saulx-les-Chartreux, Vauhallan, Verrières-le-Buisson, Villebon-sur-Yvette, Villejust, Villiers-le-Bâcle et Wissous. Their populations range from under 1,000 inhabitants to in excess of 50,000.

Under the name Destination Paris-Saclay, the role of the Tourist Office is to promote the tourist attractions and facilities of these 27 towns and villages.

No confusion should be made between the Paris-Saclay conurbation authority and the Paris-Saclay public planning institution, EPAPS. The latter is in charge of coordinating the development of the Saclay plateau science and technology hub together with Université Paris-Saclay. Its geographical scope goes beyond the borders of the Paris-Saclay conurbation, stretching as far as Versailles and Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.

A few key figures

Chiffres Agglo Paris-Saclay

A region of many facets just south of Paris.

Localisation Paris-Saclay

A whole diversity of activities in an unspoilt environment

The conurbation is well known for its high level of economic activity and its science hub on the Saclay plateau, not forgetting Université Paris-Saclay and its density of grandes écoles”. Our region’s proximity and reachability are key factors behind its strong growth and expanding reputation, while the living environment remains intact.

Paris Saclay Connexion - © Alain Beguerie
Paris Saclay Connexion - © Alain Beguerie
Bois des Templiers in Longjumeau - © Alain Beguerie
Bois des Templiers in Longjumeau - © Alain Beguerie

Moreover, the diversity of the landscape offers the best of both worlds – part urban, part countryside – and all just twenty or so kilometres from Paris. 

No need to travel for miles to find a green area for walks. It’s all right here!

The municipalities of the conurbation also contribute to this rich diversity which benefits children and adults alike. We’re fortunate enough to have our own Opera House in Massy, the only suburban example in Ile-de-France, along with the Opéra Royal in Versailles. You can also applaud international artists at the Théâtre de Longjumeau.

Parc Nord Les Ulis - Copyright Agglo Paris-Saclay
Parc Nord Les Ulis - Copyright Agglo Paris-Saclay
Downtown Paris Saclay - © Alain Beguerie
Downtown Paris Saclay - © Alain Beguerie

A forward-looking destination

Paris-Saclay is a competitive region which looks to the future via its cluster. The aim of a competitive cluster is to bring together a network of academies, businesses, start-ups, laboratories, etc. who strive to promote expertise and conquer new markets. 

The Paris-Saclay hub is now ranked the 8th world innovation cluster (source MIT Technology Review) and accounts for 15% of all private and public research activity in France. This favourable ecosystem represents a huge advantage for the region in terms of drawing power. It attracts new companies and start-ups as well as students from all over the world, keen to exploit this synergy. The conurbation attracts many leading firms such as Nokia, Carrefour, Thalès, Danone, EDF, etc.

At the gateway to the Vallée de Chevreuse

In Paris-Saclay, you’ll find an unspoilt living environment, midway between town and country, which is home to the closest farmland area to Paris.

The agricultural land is split mainly between two sectors: one to the west on the Saclay plateau with a protected natural area listed as a Zone de Protection Naturelle Agricole et Forestière (ZPNAF), and to the south, with the Triangle Vert (Green Triangle)

Two rivers flow across the region: the Yvette which takes its source in the department of Yvelines before flowing into the River Orge at Epinay-sur-Orge, and the Bièvre which flows from Yvelines to Paris. 

Last but not least, the town of Gif-sur-Yvette is within the Parc Naturel Régional de la Haute Vallée de Chevreuse (Regional Nature Park of the Chevreuse High Valley, an authentic green lung just south of Paris. All these features make this the perfect destination for walkers!

A land of sports lovers

Since 2002, the Paris-Saclay conurbation has been lucky enough to house the national rugby centre, the Centre National de Rugby (CNR) and the French rugby federation in Marcoussis. The CNR attracts many rugby enthusiasts who come in hope of meeting the players. During the 2016 European football championship, the CNR hosted the Portuguese team who won this competition.  

CNR rugby à Marcoussis - © Alain Beguerie
CNR rugby à Marcoussis - © Alain Beguerie

Recently, the Fédération Française de Judo (French judo federation) became owners of the Grand-Dôme de Villebon-sur-Yvette, the 3rd biggest indoor event venue in Ile-de-France, to turn it into a training centre. Paris-Saclay is also synonymous with high-level sport practice: in Massy with the RCME rugby team, the MEHB handball team, and even the Club d’Escalade de Massy (Massy climbing club) which is among France’s leading clubs in terms of results and membership and is a regular venue for national-level competitions. Finally, we cannot mention sports without talking about the football club of Les Ulis, the hometown of some great champions such as Thierry Henry, Patrice Evra and Anthony Martial.

The Tourist Office

Our role

Destination Paris-Saclay is, first and foremost, the region’s showcase. We are here to offer you the best possible advice about tourist attractions and facilities in the Paris-Saclay conurbation. Our role is to welcome you. We help enhance the appeal of our region and increase its economic benefits. Our desire is to work closely with all the region’s operators who contribute to its economic growth. Whether you’re a permanent resident of the conurbation or a student, business traveller or holidaymaker, the staff of Destination Paris-Saclay are on hand to provide help during your stay.

A team at your disposal

Ella, directrice de l'OT Destination Paris Saclay

Ella MAUNY, Manager

“Paris-Saclay is an amazing region thanks to its varying landscape. We quickly switch from built-up towns to tiny villages of less than 1,000 inhabitants, yet we’re a stone’s throw from Paris. The pleasant living environment offers maximum facilities and services while preserving green areas where we can enjoy the fresh air. This is a region with ambition but one that never disappoints.”

An address to recommend:
Mimmo, the Italian caterer in  Verrières-le-Buisson who provided the food for my wedding! Years on, my friends still talk about it!

A site to discover:
The Batterie de la Pointe (military fortifications) in Palaiseau which I had the opportunity of visiting in 2018 thanks to the ADPP association. I think this is an amazing site which really deserves to be highlighted and opened to the public.

My favourite place:
The Tour de Montlhéry (Montlhéry Tower) which I’ve known since childhood. The view from the top is exceptional.

Anne-Sophie FOUJU, Promotion Manager

“The Paris-Saclay region is connected, innovative, dynamic and creative. It attracts hoards of visitors from all over the world! The region’s scientific excellence is very real but it hides another, more secretive facet which is worth exploring. A natural, unspoilt ecosystem to delight anyone venturing off the beaten track…”

Anne-Sophie, chargée de promotion à l'OT Destination Paris Saclay

An address to recommend:
The“De Cérès à Honoré” bakery at Vandame farm, for its bread baked in a wood-fired oven and, better still, its cookies!

A site to discover:
The amazing La Troche quarry on Rue de Corbeville between Orsay and Palaiseau. It’s an isolated natural site outside the plateau and the built-up Yvette valley. Besides its unquestionable geological interest, it also has a proper beach bordered by sandstone rock. The site is popular among outdoor climbing enthusiasts. It’s also perfect for a picnic with family or friends, with some recently-installed picnic tables!

 

My favourite place:
The Mérantaise valley between Gif-sur-Yvette and Villiers-le-Bâcle …without a doubt! It’s where I go to run or cycle in my spare time. The scenery is sublime and I never get tired of exploring there whatever the season. Less sporty visitors will enjoy themselves too, because the village of Villiers-le-Bâcle offers a wide range of activities. There’s the Maison Atelier Foujita (Foujita’s house and studio), the Bel-air educational farm, the Moulin-Neuf stables, etc.…

Damien, chargé de l'animation numérique à l'OT Destination Paris-Saclay

Damien TRIOUX, Digital Manager

“Things are definitely moving! Slowly but surely, the region is gathering real momentum driven by its development and organisation. Our future lies with Paris-Saclay and its schools and research centres.”

An address to recommend:
Les Amoureux du Chocolat in Massy. I fell in love with this chocolate shop. All their products are excellent.

A site to discover:
The Trùc Lam Pagoda in Villebon-sur-Yvette, a real discovery! It isn’t easy to find, which is probably what makes it so special. Unless its the tranquillity of the site or its view over the valley.

My favourite place:
The Fauvettes Viaduct, a really symbolic “tourist” attraction of the region. It’s not very well known but well worth discovering.

Ndeye Fatou MBAYE, Holiday Advisor

“Paris-Saclay is a promising region with drawing power. The wealth and dynamism of this constantly changing conurbation attract more and more investors, businesses and people in search of tranquillity and greenery within easy reach of the capital. From Massy to Villiers le Bâcle, the diversity of the conurbation’s towns makes it highly appealing to walkers and cyclists but also offers some more unusual activities.

Ndeye, conseillère en séjour à l'OT Destination Paris-Saclay

An address to recommend:
The restaurant Le Grey Sud, a lovely brasserie where I often go with my familty for the French cuisine, the modern setting and the friendly atmosphere.  I particularly enjoy their “Virgin Colada” cocktail”.

A site to discover:
Let’s Jump Palaiseau, the biggest trampoline park in Europe. If you’re an adrenalin seeker like me, this is the place to come for fits of laughter while letting off steam. An indoor facility of 4,500m² with giant trampolines for your family or friends to bounce around on to their hearts’ content.

My favourite place:
The Maison Atelier Foujita: art enthusiasts, cat lovers and fans of time travel, follow in the footsteps of Léonard Foujita, a Franco-Japanese artist of countless talents, with a visit to his house and studio in Villiers le Bâcle. I really enjoyed this experience because I learned a lot about this unusual artist whom I’d never heard of until recently.

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