March 29, 2017

Gems of Normandy

Have you visited the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy?  If so, you’re not alone.  Normandy is a very popular French destination and a lot of this is due to the events that happened 60+ years ago.  You definitely should visit the D-Day beaches, the WWII museum in Caen and those small unique museums you’ll pass driving from beach to beach.  It is hard to imagine the emotions you’ll feel until you are standing there looking out and visualizing the ships and men climbing up the sand.  Until you are actually there it is hard to grasp the immenseness of this endeavor and to fully appreciate what those brave soldiers did for us all.  Yes, it is my opinion that everyone should visit Normandy for this reason but there is much more to this region that should not be overlooked.

Normandy is an area full of orchards, rolling green hills, wonderful seaside villages, history, architectural gifts, art, wonderful seafood and more!  So let’s spend a little time talking about the other gems of Normandy!

Giverny is about an hour outside Paris and home to one of the world’s most famous artists, Monet.  His home and gardens are impressive but you should take the time to visit even though they can become quite congested during the summer months. 

Monet's Garden Normandy France

Monet's Garden

Apple Farms are abundant in Normandy and the drive along the Cider Route is a great adventure.  This route travels through many small captivating Norman villages and enchanting landscapes.  While enjoying the villages and scenery, make sure to stop along the way to enjoy tastes of the local cider, Calvados (Apple Brandy) and Pommeau (a traditional aperitif).  You won’t be disappointed.  The orchards are in full bloom end of April through end of May and harvest is from September to December. 

The seaside resorts of Normandy are full of alluring qualities that will invite you in to take a closer look.  In fact, you can visit any type of town you like from fishing ports, sandy beaches to chic villages complete with casinos.   A short list of the small cozier villages would include France’s oldest seaside resort of Dieppe, Etretat where you can spend hours wandering and viewing the amazing cliffs and rock formations, Trouville a low key version of Deauville and great place to take in the local culture to Cabourg where you can enjoy beaches, avenues bordered by beautiful trees and relive the Belle Epoque.

Cabourg Normandy Fishing Village France

Cabourg

Normandy is also horse country and the place where future champions are raised.  If you love horses a visit to Haras du Pin will not disappoint!  During your visit you will be able to see the stables, training center, blacksmith’s forge, paddocks and saddler’s room.  If you time it right, you may even witness a stallion parade or a show featuring the horses.  Maybe you will want to attend a horse race in Deauville, Cabourg or Caen?

Normandy is home to many food options.  Besides apples, there are many other fruits but cheese and seafood are in the running for top draw.  If you love cheese, then you will be excited to visit Normandy – – home to Camembert, Pont l’Eveque and Livarot cheeses.  A visit to the President Cheese farm will not disappoint!  Keeping with the subject of food, all seafood lovers will be in heaven during any visit to Normandy!  Specialties include herring, scallops and mussels (moules).  In fact, my husband thought he had died and gone to moules heaven during our visit.  To say he ate moules every day would not be an exaggeration!

Honfleur Harbor Normandy France

Honfleur Harbor

Yes there are many things to do in Normandy.  Tell me about your favorite.

Picture of Monet’s Garden by Selena N. B. H.
Picture of Honfleur Harbor by Allan Lee

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  5. I have written several articles about Normandy, both at A Traveler’s Library.com and as guest posts at other blogs. You did not mention the place I have written about most–Bayeux. Just did a post about the world’s oldest comic strip–the Bayeux Tapestry–for Travel Wonders of the World. I hope you did not miss Bayeux in your wanders through Normandy.

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I agree with you, Vera, that Bayeaux is a great village in Normandy. We were able to spend some time here during our stay. Bayeaux is another example of all there is to do and see in Normandy and why it is great to linger in the area!

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