A fascinating blend of art, history and maritime culture
Laying on the upper edge of France, Normandy has is a striking and wonderfully old fashioned feel characterised by craggy granite coastline, quiet villages and unspoilt countryside. It’s a place with a noticeable artistic streak: Monet’s garden at Giverny is located here and the fine Gothic architecture of Rouen Cathedral was the subject of a number of the impressionist’s paintings. Towns such as Honfleur typify the picturesque, maritime charm of its ports.
A journey through Normandy cannot fail to reveal its significant part in western history. The Bayeux Tapestry depicts the Battle of Hastings and, most famously, its coastline hosts the five beaches onto which the Allied troops landed on D-Day. Caen’s Memorial Museum follows the course of the event and the beaches themselves remain a primary reason for many to visit the region. Even its medieval castle played a part in the Second World War; today it serves as a museum exhibiting Normandy’s art and history.
The landscapes provide gentle to moderate walking and cycling, and Normandy’s reputation for food and drink means holidaymakers are never far from a tasty snack or a glass of warming Calvados.
2 Matching Holidays
Véloscenie - Alençon to Mont St Michel
The second stage of the Véloscenie; a taste of Normandy between Alençon and Mont St Michel
For a real taste of Normandy: this is calvados and camembert country, the second stage of the Véloscenie can be combined with the first stage or it can stand alone as a wonderful short cycling break. The route starting in Alençon, the capital...
Seine Valley River Walk
Ancient woodland and ruined abbeys
With one or two steep sections to negotiate each day, this route rises from the river valley, taking in forest tracks through glorious woodland, towpaths along the slow moving Seine and quiet lanes leading past romantic ruined abbeys. The...