Normandy in northern France has plenty to tempt visitors. With a varied coastline which includes golden sandy seashores and the D-Day landing beaches, there’s also glorious countryside, pretty villages, historic towns. Normandy really does have something for everyone to enjoy.
Must see towns in Normandy
It’s impossible to list them all but three absolute must sees are:
This laid back, enchanting harbour town is truly captivating. Tall and ancient buildings are packed tight around the Vieux Bassin, the heart of the port, their bright colours reflect in the water. Restaurants and café’s line the walk way tempting you to sit and watch the world go by. Wander along the wiggly cobbled streets of this lovely town to discover quirky shops and art galleries and yet more places to discover the local delicious cuisine. Once is never enough when it comes to Honfleur!
The town is dominated by the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen, a fitting subject for the paintbrush of Claude Monet who adored its good looks and painted it many times. This is the town where Joan of Arc was executed in 1431 and there are plenty of reminders in her honour including a museum. The medieval part of the town is beautiful and the grand clock “Gros Horloge” is magnificent. There’s always something going on here so nip to the tourist office opposite the Cathedral for updated information.
Yes, it is home to THAT tapestry, the one we all learned about at school. Nothing can prepare you for the sight of the Bayeux Tapestry in real life – it’s stupendous and one of the wonders of the world. As you view it in its long glass gallery you can really imagine how hundreds of years ago people toiled over its intricate stitching, recording the history of the Norman invasion of England for future generations. Bayeux has plenty of other attractions, gorgeous old buildings, a substantial War Museum, fabulous restaurants and it’s very close to the D-Day beaches which makes it a great base for touring the area.
Stay at: French Connections has plenty of properties in Normandy. One that’s perfect for couples is the Halte Entre Terre & Merre in the centre of town and it comes with a parking space, located in the grounds of a chateau – just perfect!
The rocky island of Mont-Saint-Michel is like a medieval skyscraper, topped by a soaring Gothic abbey which makes you wonder how on earth they managed to build it all those years ago. It’s located in a bay between Brittany and Normandy and the sight of it is awe inspiring. There has been a church on top of the pointy island for more than 1000 years and to reach it you must climb many steep stairs - it’s worth it. In summer, Mont-Saint-Michel is swarming with tourists and no wonder, who wouldn’t want to see this fairy tale island town with its helter-skelter like streets. Get there early in the morning for less crowds if you visit in peak season. This is one of those places that you’ll never forget.