Normandy

Come to Normandy and discover a stretch of France’s most beautiful wild coastline.

Enjoy the breathtaking landing beaches, the hollowed out rock at Etretat, Honfleur and its flowery harbour, the chic town of Deauville. In contrast, further inland, enjoy cider, cheese and mill routes…

Click here to see all our products in Normandy

Cities and sites in Normandy

 

Giverny

At the centre of a rich and undulating countryside, the village of Giverny, just outside Vernon, had the privilege of being, from 1883 onwards, the principal residence of the impressionist painter, Claude Monet. This charming village of Giverny became, in just a few years, famous worldwide thanks to the presence of this talented precursor of modern art. During the 1890's, artists, principally Americans, started to visit Giverny to meet "The Master". Today's visitor, after having visited all the rooms of the great artist's house and having seen his collection of Japanese prints, can walk the paths of the garden which gave Monet his inspiration for his garden series of paintings a century ago.

 

 

Deauville & La Cote Fleurie

After a visit to Honfleur take the coast road out of the town and pass through the seaside villages along the way, complete with their old whaling stations, such as Trouville, Villers sur Mer and Houlgate. If you wish you can follow in the footsteps of the American Film Festival at the "Planches de Deauville", or visit the sumptuous casino to be found in this holiday town. The arrival of the first train here in 1863 gave this "Little Sister of Cannes", as the town is known by the French, the nickname "21st Quarter of Paris" as it soon became a favourite holiday destination for the Parisiennes.

 

 

Caen

The Capital of Lower Normandy and 85% destroyed in World War Two, the town of Caen has managed to recover and now displays a mixture of both history and modernity, from William the Conqueror to the microchip. Opposite the University you will find the Castle of William the Conqueror, which was started by him, but finished by his son. From these ramparts you can get a good view of this "Town of 100 Steeples". The town of Caen had to be largely re-built after the devastation of the Second World War and it earned the title of "The Most Beautiful Reconstructed Town in France". You can admire its modern layout but will not find it hard to find the surviving small medieval streets that used to make up the main layout of the town.

 

 

Bayeux

Although it was the first large town liberated by the allies in Normandy in 1944, Bayeux escaped serious damage during the Second World War, much of the delight of lovers of History. All different styles of architecture from antiquity through the Renaissance up to the modern day are represented in this town that was, until the 11th century, the capital of lower Normandy. Without a doubt, one of the most impressive sites is the cathedral which sits at the heart of this historic town built between the 11th and 13th century. You can't hear of Bayeux without mention of its famous tapestry, an embroidered cloth over 200 feet long and about 18 inches high which tells the story of William the Conqueror.

 

 

Mont St Michel

A scenic drive will take us to the breathtaking sight of the Mont, a bastion of granite immersed twice daily by a tide which rises at the speed of a galloping horse. Mont St. Michel has for hundreds of years drawn travelers from all over the world to its unique and starkly beautiful setting. Perched precariously on a 264 foot high rocky islet in the English Channel, and linked by causeway to the mainland, the Mont is encircled by over half a mile of massive walls. The Abbey and adjacent Romanesque and Gothic buildings are reached by way of picturesque winding streets adding to the singular appeal of this remarkable structure.

 

 

Rouen

Complete your day in the world of artists by a visit to this town, also much loved by Monet. The town of Rouen is quite simply a work of art in itself, with its medieval half timbered houses, religious architecture, the massive Town Clock and the famous who have lived and died here, such as Flaubert, Corneille and Joan of Arc.

 

 

Pointe du Hoc


Re-live on this exceptional site the exploits of the 2nd Battalion of the US Rangers. After having scaled the 100-foot cliffs under heavy enemy fire, the Rangers pushed on through this lunar landscape to capture and destr oy the 6 heavy guns capable of firing their shells to a maximum range of nearly 15 miles. The taking of Pointe du Hoc was a long and laborious fight, with the Rangers being left to fend for themselves two days longer than had been planned.

 

 

Omaha Beach


Approximately 34,000 soldiers of th e 1st, 2nd and 29th Infantry Divisions landed on this beach on D-Day. Nearly all of the pre-invasion bombardment had missed the fortifications a long the beach and the geography of the beach itself was very easily defendable terrain for the Germans. One of the only good-quality front line Infantry Divisions available to the Germans was also present on the beach, purely by coincidence. This made the assault the most difficult of all the beaches on D-Day, earning the nickname "Bloody Omaha". Only a few days after the landings, the Americans had transformed nearly the entire beach into a vast artificial harbour. It was used for less than a week before it was destroyed in a very heavy storm between the 19th and 22nd of June 1944. There is only one piece of this harbour left to be seen today.

 

 

American Cementery


Overlooking the eastern end of Omaha Beach, the American cemetery holds the bodies of 9,387 soldiers who came from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean to liberate Western Europe from their Nazi oppressors. This immense place of memory and reflection will impress you with its calm and serenity. You can see the graves of some of the 307 unknown soldiers or visit the resting places of the more famous, such as the Niland brothers, the family who inspired the film "Saving Private Ryan" as well as the three Medal of Honor winners, one of whom is General Theodore Roosevelt Jr.

 

 

Longues sur Mer


The battery at Longues sur Mer was composed of four guns of 152 mm calibre, capable of firing shells to a maximum range of 15 miles, allowing them to reach not only Omaha Beach, 8 miles to the west, but also the British landing zone of Gold Beach, 5 miles to the east. The Allies had tried to knock out this battery with aerial bombardment leading up to the landings, but it was not until D-Day itself that the guns were finally silenced by the off-shore Allied Navies. The damage inflicted on the guns themselves can still be seen clearly today. The battery at Longues sur Mer is the only heavy gun battery in France that still has the original cannon in the bunkers, untouched since 1944.

 

 

Arromanches


Realising the difficulties of capturing intact an enemy held port, the British, under Churchill, opted for the mammoth task of building two artificial harbours, one for the American 1st Army at Omaha, the other for the British 2nd Army at Gold. However, following a very severe storm lasting from the 19th to the 22nd of June 1944 which completely destroyed the American Mulberry harbour, the British artificial port at Arromanches was left alone as the main supply channel for all of the equipment needed by the Allied soldiers fighting in Normandy.

 

Image: