WHAT TO SEE

There's a plethora of attractions to see in Normandy and its neighboring region Brittany.

 

Normandy is famous for its castles, bakeries, abbeys, quaint villages, cider, cheese, D-Day history, and much more!

 

Brittany invented crepes and kouign amann, and is known for its beaches, marinières, seafood, walled cities, and megalithic sites.

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Mont Saint-Michel

The jewel of Normandy, this mythical abbey is the region's most famous site.

 

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the gothic spires reach more than 100 meters above sea level. During high tide, the small village transforms into a magical, picturesque island.

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Caen

The largest city in Normandy, it was founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century.

 

Visitors will discover the imposing bastions of a superb medieval château, two ancient abbeys and a clutch of excellent museums, including an outstanding and enthralling museum of war and peace, largely dedicated to D-Day, WWII and its aftermath.

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Omaha Beach

An amazing armada of Allied troops landed on Normandy’s beaches on June 6th, 1944 to liberate Europe from Nazi occupation. The planners of this crucial event for European freedom codenamed it D-Day.

Must see sites include Pointe du Hoc, the Mulberry Harbors, Arromanches D-Day Museum, Normandy American Cemetery, Overlord Museum, and Statue les Braves.

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Saint-Malo

Walking through the cobbled streets of St Malo’s old town feels like you’ve stepped back in time. This popular tourist destination and busy ferry port offers visitors an authentic glimpse into Brittany’s important seafaring past. 

Walk along the ramparts of the city's walls, wander around the historic center, enjoy crepe and kouign amann from the region that invented it, lay out on its sandy beaches, and delight in the famed seafood of the coastal city.

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Etretat

The seaside resort of Étretat is nestled at the foot of white limestone cliffs on Côte d'Albâtre. The cliffs reach 90 meters high, and from the top are sensational panoramic views. Claude Monet spent a winter here in 1868 to capture the dramatic landscapes in his paintings.

 

The ocean there is a source of livelihood for fishermen who catch fresh seafood that is used in the local cuisine. 

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Rouen

Wandering around the old town of Rouen, visitors will enjoy the historical ambience found in the winding cobblestone lanes lined with maisons à colombages (half-timbered houses).

 

The town's impressive gothic cathedral was depicted by Claude Monet in a series of paintings that show the intricate details of the cathedral's facade at different times of day. Rouen is also well known as the location where Joan of Arc was brought to trial.  

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Giverny: Monet's Garden

For lovers of Impressionist art, Monet's Garden is an exciting place to visit. In front of the house is the "Clos Normand" garden which, from spring through autumn, dazzles with a profusion of colorful blossoms planted in a natural way so that they look like wildflowers.

 

The Water Garden features a Japanese bridge and waterlily pond surrounded by weeping willow trees. It was depicted in Monet's "Water Lilies" series of paintings. 

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Carnac

Brittany is home to many megalithic sites that punctuate the dramatic landscape and are a marker of its rich medieval heritage.

The Carnac Stones have been one of the most puzzling archaeological artifacts in the world for hundreds of years. The site consists of more than 3,000 prehistoric standing stones, which were cut from local rock and erected by the pre-Celtic people of Brittany. This is the largest such collection of stones in the world.

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Honfleur

 

With its picturesque old harbor on the Seine estuary, Honfleur is one of the most charming towns in Europe. The town has atmospheric cobblestone streets and many old half-timbered houses. A perfect place to taste the fresh, famed seafood of the region.

 

This old seafaring port was where travelers embarked on voyages to Canada in the 16th century. The Maritime Museum tells the history of seafaring, fishing, and shipbuilding in Honfleur. 

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Jumièges

 

Magnificent abbeys were built beside the Seine between Rouen and Le Havre in medieval times. None was more powerful than Jumièges.

 

Its imposing ruins reflect the centuries when monks ruled life and spirituality along the majestically meandering Lower Seine.

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Plévenon

 

This area of Brittany is famous for its splendorous pink sandstone cliffs, stunning views over the Emerald Coast, and fortified castle Fort La Latte that appears to be straight out of a fairytale. 

 

Fort La Latte was built in the 14th century, and the castle was fortified in the 17th century. Crossing the drawbridge and exploring the crenelations, turrets and dungeons is a must.

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Beuvron-En-Auge

 

An archetypal Norman village, its half-timbered houses lovingly restored, Beuvron-en-Auge lies inland from the Côte Fleurie (Flowered Coast). This place is redolent of traditional rustic Normandy, with its concentration of local producers, small businesses, and antiques dealers.

 

Stop along the Route du Cidre, a well-signposted tourist route, some 40km in length, focusing on cider-making traditions in these parts. Some 20 producers located along the way open their doors to visitors.

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Falaise

 

A tremendously imposing medieval structure, William the Conqueror's Castle still dominates the town of Falaise. 

 

It has been magnificently restored in recent years and the tour makes the most of modern technology to recreate the castle’s illustrious past and bring courtly culture back to life.

AND MUCH MORE!

See the 70-meter-long Bayeux Tapestry, taste camembert in Camembert, go shopping for an authentic marinière, stop by one of many famed castles such as the Château de Caen, or simply just go get lost in a grocery store. Doing these activities and much more will make falling in love with Normandy and Brittany a breeze.

Check out the following links and you'll find plenty more to do:

La Route de Cidre

23 Top-Rated Attractions in Normandy

10 Reasons to Visit Brittany

9 Things to Do in Normandy