Boasting a rich history of iconic status due to the pivotal role the region played in the Second World War, Normandy is home to some of the finest and most recognised beaches in France; vast stretches of coastline synonymous with the D-Day landings and infamous monuments that thrust you even further back into the region’s rich history.
Mont St-Michel is one such “must visit” place; it is one of the most recognisable island silhouettes in Europe, crowned with a medieval monastery, and reached on foot or by shuttle via a causeway.
History buffs will be interested in the beaches of Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah, the code names for the five sectors invaded by the Allies during the D-Day landings. Along the beaches are museums, memorials and cemeteries where you can learn more about this major operation.
Travelling further back into Normandy’s turbulent past, the Bayeux Tapestry can be viewed in the town of the same name, depicting events leading up to the Norman takeover of England. Also of interest are the medieval ports of Honfleur and Barfleur which are lined with picturesque houses and enchanting bars and restaurants.
The beaches of Normandy are mainly shingle between Dieppe and Le Havre, backed by imposing white cliffs which have inspired many an artist over the years. The beaches of the D-Day landings to the west of the Seine are more level and sandy, more suited to family seaside holidays.
The inland rural landscapes are yours to explore, with bucolic scenes and sleepy villages which belie numerous outstanding restaurants and our stunning large gites for group holidays. Meander along the Seine Valley to explore a whole host of picturesque places, from the abbey of Jumièges to the picture-perfect city of Rouen, not forgetting Claude Monet’s former home and garden in Giverny.
Traditional in feel and approach, a holiday in Normandy offers plenty; dramatic scenery, engaging museums, beautiful architecture and enticing cuisine.