Normandy - a road trip through must see places
« Back to Articles - Date Posted: 22/08/2017 11:52am by Alison Cummings
Choose Normandy if you want to do away with the sand and chlorine and enjoy a more active holiday. A road trip around Normandy is the ultimate getaway. Visit historic towns, coastal villages, sample the delights of local produce and meet the cutest cows. This article takes you on a tour around the best parts of beautiful Normandy so you can hit the road the moment you arrive.
Caen is the capital of the lower Normandy (Basse-Normandie). It is better known for being the home of William the Conqueror and is well worth a visit, not least to feel the terror of not knowing quite how to exit the infamous ‘peripherique’. Aside from the difficulties of getting around by car, Caen has much to offer. There is a wealth of medieval buildings, including a castle (Chateau Ducal) that was started but not finished by William the Conqueror and Abbaye aux Hommes (men’s Abbey). There is also the Normandy Museum and a wide range of war memorials, museums and guided tours on offer.
This quaint sub-prefecture of Calvados is home to the world famous Bayeux tapestry (Tapisserie de Bayeux). This is a must-see if you are holidaying in the Normandy region. Classified by Unesco as a world heritage piece, the 230 ft. tapestry tells the tale of William the Conqueror and the events leading up to the Norman conquest and finishes with the infamous Battle of Hastings. The tapestry is almost 1000 years old yet remains vibrant and fascinating.
Deauville, Trouville and Honfleur
You cannot help but smile to yourself as you drive towards the Normandy coast and begin to see the signs for their most famous little towns. Deauville and Trouville are separated only by a harbour and you can walk between the two with ease. These two picturesque towns are packed with fabulous seafood restaurants, brightly coloured chocolate box and Belle Époque buildings and the kind of glamour only found elsewhere in France in the likes of Paris and St Tropez.
Just half an hour drive away is Honfleur – a town packed with architecturally beautiful churches and the famous Le Pont de Normandie Bridge. At 1.3 miles long, this cable bridge links Honfleur with Le Havre and was the longest cable bridge in the world when it was first built.
You have probably never heard of this tiny town on the Cotentin peninsular, but if you are a fan of high fashion then the Musee Christian Dior Granville should be on your to-do list. Built in the Belle Époque style, this is the only establishment French museum dedicated to one haute couture designer.
The Cider Route
Last but definitely not least is the Normandy Cider Route. You simply cannot visit this region and not partake of the tremendous fun that is the 25-mile long picturesque pub-crawl. The route links three quaint villages just outside of Caen in the Pays d’Auge and passes chateaux, farms, country cottages and breweries, who delight in offering you a small taste of their own cider or Calvados and a tour of the cellars where it is made. It is difficult not to purchase from every stop you make, so take plenty of cash with you to stock up. As for the driving part, well, make sure you buy a few bottles extra to thank the chauffeur!