With the famous Seine as the backdrop and the fantastic countryside all around, the Seine-Maritime department of France is an idyllic destination for a group holiday.
Famous for Impressionism, the region is split into three recognisable sections: the breathtaking and historical coastline of Normandy, the valley of the River Seine and the undulating landscapes of the Caux plateau.
The deep, cliff-flanked harbour of Dieppe is both picturesque and steeped in history, from the allied raid during World War II, right the way back to the Vikings. The dramatic cliffs of the Côte d’Albâtre (Alabaster Coast) have attracted many an artist to these parts, with Etretat providing one of the most remarkable sights. Tremendous chalky arches and sheer cliffs make for some awe-inspiring coastal walks, or perhaps you’d prefer to play golf on the dizzying cliff top. Lit up at night, they make a spectacular sight whenever you visit.
The city of Le Havre at the mouth of the Seine was reconstructed by the Belgian architect Auguste Perret following the Allied bombing raids of 1944. Not just a cross-Channel ferry port, it also boasts numerous attractions, from its art museum to its vast, beach-hut-lined shingle beach.
Moving inland, still on the River Seine, the city of Rouen is like a living museum with its timber-framed buildings, picturesque streets and charming squares. Further along the river, the medieval castle of Chateau Gaillard and the little village of Giverny, home to Claude Monet’s house and garden, and are scenic stops.
The Jumièges Abbey is another spectacular sight, its imposing white towers soaring almost 50 metres against the wooded backdrop of the Seine Valley.
Numerous activities can be enjoyed in the Seine-Maritime region, from sailing, kayaking, fishing and boating to golf, horse-riding and cycling.