A list of the top 10 places to visit in Normandy


10. Giverny
Giverny is a small French village 80 km to the west of the capital city Paris, within the valley of the river Seine and the northern region of Upper Normandy. The village is best known as the rural retreat of the Impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926). Most attractions are closed for winter (November-March).

9. Pays d’Auge
The Pays d’Auge is an area in Normandy, straddling the départements of Calvados and Orne. The chief town is Lisieux. The landscape of this area is considered typical of Normandy—agricultural and producing dairy produce and apples. It is noted for its cheeses, especially Camembert, a place in Pays d’Auge, Livarot and Pont-l’Évêque, also names of villages.

8. D-Day Beaches
The D-Day beaches are the historic site of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of western Europe during World War II. An excellent time to visit is on the June 6th anniversary when there are numerous memorial ceremonies to mark the occasion. A large number of reenactment groups attend, adding pageantry and atmosphere.

7. Deauville and La Cote Fleurie
Deauville is a fashionable seaside resort in the Calvados département of the region of Lower Normandy. With its race course, harbour, international film festival, marinas, conference centre, villas, Grand Casino and sumptuous hotels, Deauville is regarded as the “queen of the Norman beaches” and one of the most prestigious seaside resorts in all of France.

6. Caen
Caen is the capital of Lower Normandy and of Calvados département in northern France and has a population of 115,000. Caen is a college city and thus very active. In summer, tourists gather in Normandy for Second World War remains and the Memorial for Peace. Caen is a modern city, four-fifths of which was demoiolished in 1944 and rebuilt in the 1950s and 1960s.

5. Rouen Cathedral
Rouen is the capital of the French region of Upper Normandy and situated on the River Seine, approximately 90 minutes drive northwest from the centre of Paris. It is where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake, but the main reason for visiting is its incredible cathedral that inspired Monet to paint over 30 canvases. Rouen was the home of the author, Gustave Flaubert.

4. Abbaye de Jumieges
Jumièges Abbey was a Benedictine monastery, situated in the commune of Jumièges in the Seine-Maritime département in Normandy. In 654 the abbey was founded on a gift of forested land belonging to the royal fisc presented by Clovis II and his queen, Balthild, to the Frankish nobleman Filibertus, who had been the companion of Saints Ouen and Wandrille at the Merovingian court of Dagobert I.

3. Honfleur
Honfleur is a town surrounding a beautiful little 17th-century harbor in Calvados, Lower Normandy. The town has preserved many historic and traditional buildings and houses some interesting museums, churches and monuments. It is especially known for its old, beautiful picturesque port, characterized by its houses with slate-covered frontages, painted many times by artists, including in particular Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet.

2. Bayeux Tapestry
Bayeux is a small town in northern France within the region of Lower Normandy. Bayeux is best known for the remarkable Bayeux Tapestry that chronicles in visual form the conquest of England by William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, in 1066. Scenes include the Channel crossing, the Battle of Hastings (14 October 1066), the death of the Saxon English king Harold and the subsequent coronation of Duke William as King of England.

1. Mont-St-Michel
Mont Saint-Michel is a small UNESCO World Heritage site located on an island just off the coast of the region of Lower Normandy in northern France. The island is best known as the site of the spectacular and well-preserved Norman Benedictine Abbey of St Michel at the peak of the rocky island, surrounded by the winding streets and convoluted architecture of the medieval town.

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