Normandy with its farmhouses, white chalk cliffs and rolling fields sits on the North Coast of France. This area of France touts some of the best historical villages, seaside towns and medieval villages throughout all of France. If you are planning a vacation or holiday in Normandy, there are endless places to see and things to do. Whether you want to bath in art and culture, or sit back and relax, the cities and villages of Normandy are perfect for you.
The Village Of Bayeux
This wonderful medieval town has a very important history during World War II. This town has the largest British cemetery anywhere outside of the United Kingdom, as the majority of people buried there will killed during the “Invasion of Normandy”. Bayeux was the first liberated city during the war and amazingly kept their many historical buildings intact. On June 6th, a remembrance service is held every year at the Gothic Bayeux Cathedral with it’s amazing architecture. This cathedral is also a national monument in France. The Bayeux Tapestry from the 11th century which now stays at the Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux is believed to have been first housed at the Bayeux Cathedral.
Bayeux is a very charming town, take advantage of it and discover all its wonderful secrets. Explore canal paths lined with splendid gardens and parks and feel it’s tranquil ambiance. A great tourist destination is Bayeux’s market place that offers a great assortment of local produce and wares. Sample a range of wonderful cheeses, look for a special keep sake and just browse to your heart’s content.
The Capital Of Normandy – Rouen
The capital of Normandy is rich in historic sites, buildings with both grandeur and tragedy. Rouen also boasts one of the finest collections of art in all of France. Rouen’s cathedral inspired Claude Monet to put it into many of his works. Many other artists, as well, found this Gothic landmark a part of their work. These works are housed at the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Rouen which dates back to 1880. This museum has one of the finest collections of paintings, drawings and sculptures anywhere.
The Gothic and Stupendous Cathedral of Notre-Dame is one of the most famous sights for any and all. This cathedral dates back to 1200 and has been reconstructed, due to fire, in both the 15th and 16th centuries. It is truly a masterpiece that dons the finest stained glass windows from the 13th century.
Within the cathedral are many historical prized possessions and there is a chapel that is dedicated to Joan of Arc who was burned at the stake in Rouen in 1431.
Rouen welcomes in many visitors thanks to its excellent Opera de Rouen which caters to both classical and contemporary Opera. When visiting Rouen, after a day of sightseeing you must stop by the La Couronne for the finest in French cuisine. The La Couronne is the oldest inn throughout all of France, dating back to 1345. It is a Norman house that has been taken excellent care of and preserved. What more could one ask for then an excellent meal, surrounding by rich history!
Wine & Dine
Both Normandy and Brittany are excellent places for great cuisine and wonderful wines. Camembert cheese is world renowned and enjoyed by locals along with drinking cider from bowls!
One of the most popular dishes, Galettes, is made from buckwheat and is similar to pancakes. This dish is often served with eggs, cheese and ham and is very good.
If you are on the coast, you will enjoy an assortment of wonderful seafood and many different kinds of mussels and oysters.
Lunch, unlike other meals, is the main meal of the day. You can possibly get a 4-course meal for as little as 12 Euros. Some of the most common meats are chicken, lamb, veal and rabbit along with fish which is on most menus.
If you are looking for breakfast, you will be offered coffee and rolls or bread. In the evenings, this is more of a snack meal consisting of cold meats and different cheeses.
How To Get Around
If you either reside in the United Kingdom or plan on visiting, there are ferries from Portsmouth and Poole, on the south coast, that will bring you to Cherbourg, Caen and Le Havre. Travel time ranges between 4 to 5 hours.
If you prefer to fly, go to Paris and then get on their high-speed trains which will bring you to one of the close-by towns. Renting a car is very reasonable in price and an excellent way to explore everything from the stunning countryside to the beautiful coastal regions.
If you are in the United States; Air France, Delta and United have many flights to get you there.
Places To Go And Things To Do
The cities, towns and villages of Normandy are loaded with great things to do. If you are looking for food, try Pays d ‘Auge. Stop by Honfleur for great Jazz or go to the American Film Festival in Deauville (September). Along with its many attractions, Normandy is gifted with so much rich history and wonderful places of interest. The countryside and seasides are spectacular, their food is fabulous, so make your plans and get on over to Normandy for a vacation or holiday you will never, ever forget!