Welcome to Normandy!
The Normandy region of France combines a 360-mile dramatic coastline, including the dramatically evocative World War II landing beaches, with a verdant interior of lush farmland, bustling market towns, and historic landmarks such as the cities of Caen, Bayeux and Rouen. Gastronomic delights abound, from fine cheeses to cider and Calvados. (Normandy map)
Landing Beaches: The largest military landing in history took place in Normandy on June 6, 1944. Monuments, museums, bunkers and cemeteries are a living commemoration to the Battle of Normandy. A perfect base from which to tour the beaches, the tiny town of Bayeux is built around the magnificent Cathedral of Notre-Dame and is home to the 200-foot long Bayeux Tapestry, a world famous masterpiece whose cartoon like scenes depict the epic tale of William the Conqueror's expedition to England in the 11th century. More information: Caen & Bayeux Information
Caen War Memorial: The Caen Memorial continues its historic journey through the 20th century, from the Second World War to the world at the time of the Cold War. It also proposes a debate on the future of the planet. Exemplary with the wealth of the collection exhibited and the innovation of its presentation, a unique place. It is the quintessential starting place for an understanding of the events that took place leading to D-Day. More information: Caen Information
Giverny: A pilgrimage for art lovers, this picturesque village on the banks of the Seine was the home of French impressionist painter Claude Monet. Visitors can wander through Monet's cheery spacious house and the exuberant gardens which were the inspiration of his famous waterlily series.
Rouen: A thriving industrial and commercial center and the third largest port in France, Rouen is steeped in history. Both William the Conqueror and Joan of Arc died in the town Victor Hugo called "the city of a hundred spires". Rouen is home to many museums as well as the Gothic Cathedral of Notre-Dame, immortalized by French Impressionist Claude Monet.
Dieppe/Fecamp/Etretat: As the oldest seaside resort in France, Dieppe has something for everyone. Its history is retold in the castle museum. The Benedictine Palace & Museum, home of the famous Benedictine liqueur, is Fécamp's main claim to fame. Also, don't miss its picturesque marina. A short drive down the coast lies the village of Etretat, nestled between striking white cliffs.
Deauville/Trouville: Driving along the "Flowered Coast", three picture perfect towns stand out, The glamorous resort town of Deauville, home to the rich and famous, is a thriving vacation spot of luxury hotels, casinos, race tracks, golf courses and polo grounds. Its twin city, Trouville, separated from Deauville by the Touques river, is a more sedate fishing village. Both towns boast wide sandy beaches. Another town named Honfleur is the birthplace of impressionist painting. Honfleur is a charming harbor villagewith narrow timbered houses. Monet and Baudelaire are but two of the many artists who spend time in this 11TH century town.
Mont Saint Michel: The Abbey of Mont-St-Michel is perched precariously on a 264-foot high rocky islet connected to the mainland by a causeway. Surrounded by over half a mile of massive walls and reached by a steep climb up winding streets, it remains one of the greatest sightseeing attractions in Europe and the second most visited place in France after the Eiffel Tower. The Mont-St.Michel is also known for its tides, the highest on the continent, which race towards the isle at the speed of "galloping horses". Book a one day Mont St. Michel tour from Paris.
Alencon/Haras du Pin/Bagnole de L'Orne: A discovery of Normandy would be incomplete without a mention of this region's passion for horses, Tourists are welcome to attend any of the numerous horse shows and competitions and visit the many horse breeding estates, of which the Haras du Pin, or the "Versailles of horses", is the most exceptional. Alencon's Fine Arts and Lace Museum presents a major collection of French and European lace from the 17TH to the 20TH century. Bagnoles de l'Orne, a premier spa center, is also worth a visit.
American Art museum of Giverny: The American art museum of Giverny will give you a global understanding of the work of the american artists that came to france at the end of 19th century to study and work on painting. Visit the museum here.