Holidays in Normandy

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Normandy Overview

Visiting Normandy

An ever-popular gateway to northern France and all points south, Normandy is packed with both history and mystery. The region has witnessed legendary battles, but is nowadays better known for spectacular bottles… of its famous cider and Calvados apple brandy. The landscape is varied, the lifestyle unhurried and there’s enough going on to fill your days, whether it’s a short break or your annual holidays.

Feel Normandy

Your eyes will light up at the lush landscape, the rural charm, with its half-timbered farmhouses, ancient churches and castles. Your other senses will respond to aromas of freshly cooked food and freshly baked bread everywhere you go. But that’s only the half of it. There’s an awesome coastline, peppered with tiny fishing villages, smart resorts and towering white cliffs to match anything Dover can offer.

Explore Normandy

From countless orchards and lush, green pastures to the hills, gorges and wooded valleys further west, every excursion offers a view of something new.

A fascinating array of historical buildings, castles and monuments provide a constant reminder of Normandy’s rich and colourful past. Places and items will transfix your attention, from ancient history such as the Bayeux Tapestry, to the iconic beaches of the D-Day landings and the thought provoking cemeteries of those that perished. Fashionable resorts, such as Honfleur, are your doorway to the good life. And for those that like their beaches big, there’s the Côte d’Albatre (Alabaster Coast), immortalised by the D-Day Landings.

Places to visit - Sightseeing

Normandy is so much more than just a great stopover on the way south. It also offers some of the most wonderful scenery and attractions in all France:

Mont St Michel
Dating back to the eighth century, this fabulous Benedictine abbey blends Gothic and Romanesque architecture and enjoys a simply stunning location on a rocky mount that seems to rise straight up out of the sands.

The Bayeux Tapestry
This immense woollen embroidery is one of the most famous artefacts in the world. Ordered by the brother of William the Conqueror, it tells the tale of the Norman conquest of England in quite astonishing detail.

Bayeux
In addition to its world-famous tapestry, Bayeux has a wonderful, medieval old town, complete with the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, which was inaugurated by William the Conqueror himself in 1077.

Omaha Beach
One of five landing beaches used by Allied troops on 6th June 1944, Omaha saw US troops incur heavy losses on D-Day. However, today it does a fine job of telling the story of that fateful day, as well as paying tribute to the fallen.

Caen
The capital of Lower Normandy, Caen is a beautiful city with a fine castle and of course the magnificent Abbey aux Hommes, a part Romanesque, part Gothic masterpiece that was begun in 1066 by order of William the Conqueror.

Deauville
When you’re looking for sophistication, you will find it in Deauville. This chic seaside resort is home to a host of glamorous events including the American Film Festival, not to mention the historic Sea Bathing Establishment and glittering Casino.

Honfleur
This enchanting little maritime city has to be one of the most charming and picturesque ports in France. With its tall houses, narrow streets and lovely Vieux Bassin or Old Dock in the heart of town, Honfleur really is unmissable.

Rouen
With ancient architecture at every turn, Rouen is a jewel of a city; in fact, there are so many fine buildings it is also known as the Town of a Thousand Spires. As the place where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, it also has a rich and colourful history.

Great for younger kids

Aquarium Vivarium de Trouville
Close to the sea in the lovely town of Trouville, this stunning attraction features a large complex of tanks featuring a variety of tropical fish and other sea creatures, not to mention a plethora of snakes, turtles and lizards.

Cerza Zoo Park
With a host of wonderful animals roaming the park, from lions and tigers to rhinos and giraffes, this is always popular with younger visitors. Children can also pet cute little creatures on the mini farm and enjoy the thrilling 3D cinema.

Great for older kids

Festyland Theme Park
With something for all the family, Festyland offers plenty of William the Conqueror-themed white knuckle rides in a glorious belle-epoque setting, together with two cinemas and live shows throughout the summer.

Beauregard Adventure Park
Situated in the grounds of a grand Chateau near Caen, this beautiful adventure centre offers high-wire thrills amongst the trees for all ages, but is a particular favourite with teens, who also love the nearby paintball park at Olendon.

Places to visit - Activities & events

Watersports
Normandy’s 400-mile coastline offers a host of watersports; from surfing and sailing to kite-surfing and sand yachting. You’ll find accredited watersports centres at Dieppe, Le Havre, Fécamp, Cherbourg-Hague and many other resorts besides.

Golf
There are more than 40 golf courses for those camping in Normandy to choose from, with no less then 12 enjoying stunning seaside locations, including Etretat, Omaha Beach, Cabourg, Granville and Fontenay-sur-Mer.

Horse Riding
The Norman countryside really is made for discovering on horseback and you’ll find more than 300 equestrian centres and stud farms throughout the region, though our favourite ride is the lovely trek across St Michel bay.

Hiking
Normandy has more than 2,000 miles of prime hiking routes, many of them linked to GR or Grande Randonnée routes that criss-cross France. From Calvados country to the Manche, this really is a hiker’s paradise.

Fishing
With 400 miles of coast, plus lakes, marchlands and rivers, Normandy is a great favourite with the fishing community. Best known for salmon, sea trout and brown trout, you will also find plenty of pike in the lakes and wetlands.

Unmissable events in Normandy

Jazz Under the Apple Trees, Coutances
This venerable festival is now the biggest celebration of Jazz in France. Known locally as Jazz Sous Le Pommiers, it usually takes place during the end of May and the beginning of June.

D-Day Commemorations, 6th June
The events of 6th June 1944 continue to be honoured across the world, and nowhere more so than in Normandy. The celebrations of that fateful day include paratrooper landings as well as respectful silences for the fallen.

September Music Festival, Orme
Every weekend in September you will find a wealth of musical attractions across Orme, from contemporary jazz to Gregorian chants, from opera to classical concerts. An unmissable event for every music lover.

Places to visit - Eating out

While those camping in Normandy will find a wealth of wonderful cuisine here, the region’s main claims to fame come from its apples and cheeses:

  • Camembert – named after its town of origin, this creamy delight is a favourite here, as are the cheeses of Pont L’Eveque and Livarot.
  • Pré Salé Lamb – This unusual but delicious ‘salty meadow’ lamb is so called because the sheep are reared on the salt marshes around Mont St Michel.
  • Cider and Calvados – the abundant apple crops of Normandy mean that there are many fine ciders here, not to mention Calvados, the fiery apple spirit of the region.
  • Marmite Dieppoise – While there are many fine seafood dishes to enjoy here, the famous fish stew from Dieppe is a must-taste for every traveller.

Campsites in region

NR011, Pair sur Mer, Chateau lez Eaux, Normandy
Château Lez Eaux | St Pair-sur-Mer

Head down the main route of the Cherbourg peninsula and step onto Château de Lez-Eaux, a quiet and friendly parc set in the grounds of a primrose-coloured manor house.

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St Aubin pool and slides
La Côte de Nacre | St Aubin-sur-Mer

La Côte de Nacre is found in a great location within easy reach of the ferry terminals and close to miles of lovely sandy beaches - perfect for families.

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NR013, Pont l'Eveque, Chateau le Brevedent, Normandy
Château Le Brevedent | Pont L'Eveque

Imagine taking a leisurely morning swim, surrounded by lush, green woodland, and overlooked by a handsome château. That’s the way you could start your day at Chåteau Le Brevedent.

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NR014, Houlgate,La Vallee, Normandy, pool complex
La Vallée | Houlgate

Broad sandy beaches, fascinating history and chic seaside towns, Normandy proves that you don’t have to travel too far to enjoy an out-of-this-world holiday.

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Apartments in region

Normandy Garden Apartments
Normandy Garden | Branville

Why travel further afield, when some of France’s best beaches are tantalizingly close at hand?

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Omaha Beach Apartments
Omaha Beach | Port en Bessin

You really can take a walk back in time at Omaha Beach - one of Normandy’s enigmatic D Day beaches, itself close to the D-Day Museum in Arromanches.

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Deauville Pool
Deauville | Deauville

You’ll love the charming resort of Deauville - a seaside town where bracing sea air comes complete with those all-important extras: stylish shopping, a wide, restaurant-lined boardwalk, and trim little parks.

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Port Guillaume Marina
Port Guillaume | Nr. Dives-sur-Mer

This superb Apartment Resort is situated by Port Guillaume, a small, charming, Normandy town which lies in the heart of the "Côte Fleurie". Close to Cabourg beach and Dives sur Mer, a well-preserved, authentic old town is also nearby.

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Location reviews

Normandy reviews collected by Reevoo

Overall rating
8.7
Scores 8.7 out of 10 based on 639 reviews
Reviews and scores from the last 12 months.
9 out of 10

ANN

NORTHALLERTON
Lots to do and see in the area.
Confirmed stay: 01 November 2013
10 out of 10

Susan

Whitley Bay
The area had something for everyone. We were prepared to be surrounded by history but not for the beauty of the area. all of the main sites were accessible from the site. We experienced history from thousands of years ago when collecting fossils on the local beach, 900 years ago when viewing the Bayeaux tapestry and 70 years ago on the d day beaches.
Confirmed stay: 01 November 2013
9 out of 10

Allison

Sutton
beautiful - with lots of pretty houses and towns - definitely recommend it -
Confirmed stay: 01 November 2013
10 out of 10

Anna

it shocked us on how rural the place was. I was expecting more seaside town but the surrounding country side was breath taking. I have even looked into buying property over there.
Confirmed stay: 26 October 2013
10 out of 10

Kevin

Sheffield
Lovely area, the history of the landing beaches and surrounding area, very moving.
Confirmed stay: 26 October 2013
9 out of 10

Julie

Guernsey
very close to pegasus bridge and ww2 historical places to visit.
Confirmed stay: 23 October 2013
9 out of 10

David

Huddersfield
A place often missed as you travel onto other areas of France but there are some real gems, particularly out of season when there are no crowds. Bayeux is a must the landing beaches and museums are interesting and Honfleur has many "hidden" parts like the wooden church. Visits to the tourist information in each town helps find these places.
Confirmed stay: 12 October 2013
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