7 Reasons You Should Add Normandy To Your Bucket List

If you’re looking for a must-visit destination in northern France, look no further than Normandy. This region is packed with stunning history, art, architecture, nature, food, and hiking opportunities. 

To help convince you, we’ve put together a list of 7 reasons why Normandy should be at the top of your travel bucket list.

Rich in History

Most historians will already know the rich history of Normandy. On June 6th, 2024, we’ll experience the 80th anniversary of the pivotal WWII battle of D-Day.

Choose from a variety of WW2 tours that guide you through Omaha, Utah, Sword, Gold, and Juno Beach. Tour these D-Day landing beaches to truly absorb the magnitude of war and freedom. 

A tour guide will help you travel through history, solidified by stops in the American Cemetary and the German Cemetary where warriors from all sides are buried.

Remarkable Art Scene

Normandy was ‌the birthplace of impressionism. Incredible painters such as Monet, Turner, Courbet, Pissarro, and Renoir used the beauty of the Normandy landscape to inspire many of their works. 

Visit Monet’s Garden in Giverny to glimpse the talented artist’s life and work in Giverny. This house is the specific location at which Monet painted his remarkable waterlilies. 

The people of Normandy have a monumentally high respect for the arts. Take a trip to the artist enclave at Les Andelys, as well as the Bayeux Tapestry (technically an embroidery) in Bayeux to marvel at the glory of Normandy’s art and craftsmanship culture.

Extraordinary Architecture

Everywhere you look in Normandy, you’ll be able to find ruins, medieval castles, manor houses, churches, monuments, cathedrals, abbeys, and more architectural beauties.

We highly recommend stopping at the Benedictine Abbey in Jumieges which was founded in the 7th century. This haunting building eventually became known internationally as an important center for learning.

You’ll find a castle in every nook and cranny in Normandy. Some tourist favorites include Château du Tilleul, Château Gaillard in Les Andelys, Château de Pirou in Pirou, Château of Gisors, and Château d’Harcourt. These masterpieces have been preserved and protected as much as possible over the years, rather than rebuilt.

Charming Towns

What makes a town charming? Timber-framed houses? Cobbled lanes? Bright colors? 

You’ll find these in the lovely towns of Rouen, Vernon, Les Andelys, Honfleur, and Yport.

Each town also has enchanting eccentricities. Check out the tiny harbor and mini carousel in Honfleur. Gaze at the Le Gros Horloge, an ancient, medieval clock, in Rouen, as well as churches, abbeys, and other religious buildings. Rouen additionally boasts many museums, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum Secq des Tournelle, and the National Museum of Education.

Maybe Yport, a quaint fishing village on the water’s edge, will be the place that captures your heart.

Delectable Local Products

Normandy is famous for its cuisine. The Cider Trail tours through the region of Pays d’Auge in Lower Normandy. Over 20 cider producers and distillers will invite you to taste their apple-made ciders.

Don’t miss out on Normandy’s signature cheeses made from high-quality cow’s milk or their variety of tasty pastries.

Order the excellent oysters, mussels, and scallops at any restaurant. Normandy’s perfect geographical position between amazingly fertile land and sea has given them the title of being the leading producer of these mollusks in France.

Additionally, don’t pass up an opportunity to taste Calvados, the famous apple brandy of Normandy.

Breathtaking Natural Scenery

Normandy’s history, cuisine, and architecture are all nestled within breathtaking natural scenery. Absorb the beauty of Normandy’s vast and majestic woodland forests, rolling countryside hills, and dramatic coastal cliffs.

Before leaving Normandy, immerse yourself in the wonder of the cliffs of Etretat on the Alabaster Coast. Watch in awe as the ocean waves crash against eerie chalky pillars and magnificent valleuses.

Some myriad creatures and critters roam this land. Keep an eye out for foxes, otters, and roe deer. The beautiful larks, thrushes, blackbirds, redstarts, warblers, and grass sparrows that call Normandy home will enthrall bird watchers.

Plenty of Walks and Hikes

To access these phenomenal sites and activities in Normandy you have to walk a lot. Think of it as an easy way to achieve all your steps per day.

Choose between mild walks and challenging hikes. Walk to the monk-inhabited tidal island of Mont-Saint-Michel. Or traipse over oyster beds to Tatihou Island during low tide to visit the Maritime Museum and Gardens.

Climbing and boating enthusiasts will jump at the chance to climb the steep path in “Norman Switzerland” around the Orne Valley. This site, located to the south of the town of Caen, provides the opportunity for explorers to hike along rocky cliffs while enjoying entrancing views.

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