A Travel Guide to Normandy
Normandy is a gentle place with lush meadows and farmlands. It is famous for its apples and cheese. The coastline of Normandy mostly has long low dunes and is lapped by the English Channel. Normandy has a grittier side to it, however, originally the Normans were Viking warriors and had terrorised most parts of Europe and conquered England in the past. Since the Romans first came to the region, Normandy has played a significant role in the history of the world, the most recent event being the Allied invasion in 1944 that ended World War II.
For visitors, the opportunity to combine gastronomic indulgence and cultural heritage creates a winning formula. The amazing legacy of the people of Normandy is apparent everywhere, with attractions like the cathedrals of Coutances and Rouen, the thousand year old embroidery of the Bayeux Tapestry and the fascinating Mont St-Michel. Beautiful old ports can be found all along the coast, from mediaeval attractions like Barfleur and Honfleur to 19th-century resorts like Trouville and Etretat. There are many gems around the Seine as well, including the Castle of Richard the lion heart at Les Andelys, the abbey of Jumièges and the water lily filled garden of Monet.
The beaches in Normandy are very popular during the summer especially due to visitors coming from Paris for short breaks. Towards the north-east stretch, in between Le Havre and Dieppe, there are expanses of shingle below dramatic cliffs. They are sandier and flatter towards the West of Seine, which is why they were selected for landings on the D-Day. The idea of playing with buckets and spade and enjoying a holiday in a historic battlefield will surely sound strange but will be nothing short of a unique experience. Visitors can also benefit from battlefield tours to know more about the battle that took place in 1944.
Normandy cannot be fully explored without wandering along the lanes in the dairy farming heartland of the region. For example, The Pays d’Auge, that starts just over 15 miles from the sea, has a number of beautiful villages with old timber houses.
There is a wide variety of self catering holiday accommodation in Normandy ranging from apartments on the coast to pretty gites and cottages in the countryside.