Please make yourself comfortable as we are about to take you on a gastronomic and historical journey to Normandy, a fascinating French region. So, get ready to be charmed !
The beautiful Normandy Region is located in Northern France, bordered by the English Channel and facing the United Kingdom. Visitors can appreciate a stunning coastline, elegant seaside resorts and picturesque harbours.
Normandy is steeped in history, and it invites you to discover it at every turn.
It’s a place that reminds us of the importance of peace and freedom, a universal message that resonates all the way to Cyprus.
There is so much to see and do and dishes to taste that you can come spend 2 days, 3 days, 1 week or 2 and you will still find new experiences to live every day !
Let me give you a quick view on what to do if you come to Normandy. One of the most important places in Normandy is the Mont Saint-Michel !
Mont Saint-Michel: An Island of History and Beauty
Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky island located off the northwest coast of France in the Normandy region. This island is primarily renowned for its impressive medieval abbey perched atop the mountain, creating an iconic image that appears to float above the sea during high tides.
Nowadays, this wonderful UNESCO world heritage site is the second most visited site in France.
As you walk through the entrance, you may feel as you enter a different world, with narrow streets all the way up to the Abbey and in this one, it is a labyrinth of staircases guiding you through chapels, crypts and great halls.
After your visit to the monastery, as you walk down, you will find many little souvenirs shop and if you are interested in having “the most famous omelette in the world”, you will find the restaurant of La Mère Poulard that has been serving this dish since the late 1800s to visitors.
The next one, I will recommend on your way up, is La Pointe du Hoc. Normandy is frequently remembered for Omaha Beach and other important locations of the WWII D-Day Landings, the largest seaborne invasion in history.
Pointe du Hoc : A symbol of Courage in second wars
La pointe du Hoc is situated in this coastline and the views you will see from this 35-metre cliff overlooking the English Channel, are breath-taking. It’s a historic site that played a pivotal role in World War II. During the D-Day landings in 1944, U.S. Army Rangers executed a daring mission to scale the cliffs and neutralize German artillery positions. Their bravery succeeded in capturing the stronghold, though at a high cost.
Today, Pointe du Hoc serves as a memorial to those who fought there, with preserved bunkers and craters as solemn reminders of the battle’s intensity. It’s a place where visitors can pay tribute to the courage that changed the course of history and reflect on the enduring human spirit in the face of adversity.
Omaha Beach: Echoes of History, Serenity of Today
Then, you can stop at the very famous Omaha beach and at the American Cemetery.
Omaha is one of the five landing beaches used by Allied forces in the WWII D-Day incursion. On the shore, you will see a stainless-steel sculpture, called Les Braves, to commemorate the American soldiers who died during the invasion. It is impressive to see this huge beach of white sand and discover what happened less than 100 years before.
And if you go to the cemetery, the view of the beach is fantastique, but the view of all the crosses and stars is very emotional. And if you are at the cemetery around 5:00pm, you will assist at the ceremony of the American flag being lowered down the flagpole with music. A very unique moment.
Other beautiful beaches are along your way up to the North and some small port as Port en Bessin are very nice to visit if you have time. More in the lands, you will find the lovely city of Bayeux.
Bayeux: Unveiling History’s Tapestry in Normandy
It is the closest city to the landing beaches, and it was the first to be liberated by the Allied Forces on D-Day. And it the perfect town to take a hotel and spend some time exploring the area.
You can visit the Bayeux Museum and have a tour of the town to see its timber framed architecture. Don’t miss its oldest building that dates back to the 14th century and its cathedral, which was consecrated in 1077 by the bishop Odo de Bayeux, half-brother of William the Conquer.
If we go back talking about beautiful coastline, let me take you to some more incredible and fantastique resorts.
Cabourg: The Coastal Gem of Normandy
Cabourg is a very popular romantic destination, with its golden beach, racecourse, casino, Grand Hôtel and beautiful waterfront Belle Epoque villas.
It is a beautiful seaside resort with incredible houses and mansions. And you can’t take a walk along the beach before indulging yourself with delicious meal at one of Cabourg’s many restaurants.
The town is also famous for its Romatic Film Festival taking place each year in the incredible Grand Hôtel, built in 1907. One of its most regular guests was the world-renowned French author, Marcel Proust. In the dining room you will be served with delicious dishes while admiring the stunning panoramic view on the Channel.
Since we are talking about food, let me introduce you to French sweets 😀
A Culinary Odyssey
When we talk about Normandy, it’s impossible not to mention its invaluable contribution to French cuisine. From delightfully creamy cheeses like Camembert and Brie to rich dairy products, Normandy is a true paradise for food enthusiasts.
Picture yourself savoring a freshly baked baguette while enjoying a piece of Camembert, with a breathtaking view of Normandy’s lush landscapes. And for the sweet tooth, don’t miss out on the Normandy apple tart, a true sweet delight.
Normandy is also well-known for its Cuisine and the Region is known for the 4 Cs: Cider, Calvados, Cream and Camembert.
If you want to taste cheese the Graindorge Factory in the city of Livarot is perfect. You will get to know everything about the 4 cheeses of Normandy: Livarot, Pont L’évêque, Neufchâtel and … Camembert !
And for the Calvados, which is an apple brandy, and ciders, I would recommend the Christian Drouin distillery. You can stroll through the apple farm and tour the smaller historic outbuildings.
Deauville: Where Elegance Meets Seaside Charm
One of the most iconic elegant seaside resort towns will be Deauville, also known as the Parisian Riviera.
Here the high society from Paris and also from England come and spend their summer holidays, since the 1800s. They come to walk alongside the beach and the pier, go to horse races and shop at the luxury boutiques.
For the little story, the fashion designer Coco Chanel would come often to the town, in vacation, and this is where she chose to open her first shop outside of Paris.
Deauville is also a fashionable city thanks to the American Film Festival, hosted there each year. You can see the names of famous American actors and actresses that are written on the cabana’s railings along the long boardwalk by the beach, which is the most famous scenery of the city. So, take a walk alongside the famous boardwalk called “Les Planches” and read all the celebrity names.
A Harbor Town Timeless Charms
Only a couple of hours will be enough to explore the little port of Honfleur, but it would be a very nice stop on your journey. It is an old port that played an important role in maritime trade from the 12th century and today you can enjoy this scenery, seating in one of the many restaurant’s terraces facing the port.
And last, but not least, of the quick presentation of Normandy’s treasures: ETRETAT
Normandy’s Treasures: Exploring Etretat’s Natural Wonders
This part of Normandy coastline is famous for its spectacular limestone arches and the ‘Needle’ (or Aiguille in French).
Take the time to stop for few hours and admire the stunning landscapes offered in this village. An old legend says that this one was founded following a Viking invasion. It was the hometown of a famous French writer and it also inspire a lot of painters
The province is also considered as the heart of the Impressionistic movement. Famous artists and writers such as Claude Monet, Guy de Maupassant and Maurice Leblanc, have all called Normandy home.
A little tip: a great location to capture some photos of the needle are to the east of the town, near the Notre-Dame de la Garde chapel.
And finally, let’s talk about the welcome you will receive, a smile on every corner 🙂
Normandy is not just about its exquisite cuisine and rich history. It’s also a region where the warm hospitality of the locals brightens even the cloudiest days. So, whether you’re strolling through charming villages with half-timbered houses or sipping on local cider at an outdoor café, you’ll always feel welcome in Normandy. The Normans are known for their sense of humor, so expect a few laughs along the way.
Normandy is a destination that has it all. From delicious cuisine to fascinating history, it extends an open invitation to travelers from around the world,
Normandy is a destination that has it all. From delicious cuisine to fascinating history, it extends an open invitation to travelers from around the world.
Join us for an unforgettable escapade in France.
Don’t forget your appetite and your sense of humor, as in Normandy, you’ll need them.
See you soon in France! 🇫🇷🧀🌊
Written by Emilie Caffin
Written by Emilie Caffin