Set along the misty English Channel, there's a special allure to Normandy. Quieter than Paris and cloudier than the French Riviera, Normandy stands on its own as a region filled with history, art, and agriculture. The area is perfect for foodies, art lovers, history buffs, and those who want to experience the solitude of the quintessential French countryside and its famed half-timbered villages. Spend your time visiting famous WWII sites, perusing medieval architecture, following in the footsteps of Impressionist artists, and tasting the region's cheeses, ciders, and brandy.
Many travelers visit Normandy for its history. Of course, the D-Day landings are the most famous, but you'll also find other historical sites and beautiful architecture in the region.
Tour the D-Day Localities
Visit some of the most significant war sites in Normandy with a local expert who specializes in the Battle of Normandy. As you listen to stories from this harrowing day, visit the landing sites of Utah, Omaha, Gold, Sword, and Juno. You'll also tour Saint-Mère-Eglise, the Airborne Museum, and the beaches of Utah and Omaha, plus the American Cemetery. Read More
Day Trip to Mont-Saint-Michel
Explore the mesmerizing site of Mont-Saint-Michel, an 8th-century abbey that sits atop an island surrounded by Normandy's surf. The abbey has had many other lives, including that of a prison during the French Revolution. After exploring the main hall and its historic rooms, venture into the town, where you'll find souvenir shops, cafes, and art galleries. Read More
Food, Drinks, & Art
You can't go wrong with a trip focused on cultural goods, and Normandy has a little bit of everything. Try the region's famed cider, nosh on gourmet cheese, and stroll through Monet's beautiful gardens.
Gourmet Cheese & Cider Tasting
Discover Normandy's famed delicacies with a tour of the region's idyllic farms, countryside, and orchards. Start by learning all about cheese production while tasting popular varieties of Norman cheeses, such as Camembert. Then enjoy a lunch spread of local products, including andouille, baguette, teurgoule (a rice pudding specific to Normandy), butter, cheeses, and more. End the day by visiting a few different apple orchards, stopping to taste hard apple cider and calvados brandy. Read More
House & Gardens of Claude Monet
Whether you've seen Monet's paintings of his famous flower and water gardens or not, you can experience them in real life! Visit the home of Monet in Giverny, a quaint town in Normandy. Walk through the flower garden with its nasturtiums, tulips, and roses, then head over to the waterlily-filled pond with its famous irises and weeping willows. Next, explore Monet's pink house and learn more about what daily life was like for the Master of Impressionism. Read More
The Impressionists Sites of Normandy
Follow in the footsteps of France's renowned Impressionist artists, including Monet, Sisley, Boudin, Degas, Renoir, Morisot, and others. These creatives popularized the outdoor painting style of capturing the ever-changing light in Normandy. Visit sites such as the cliffs of Etretat, the beaches of Fécamp, the dunes of Pourville, the coastline of Dieppe, and the cathedral of Rouen. Stand in the exact same spot as the artists and compare their creation to the real deal. Read More
Villages & Countryside
Because it's so close to Paris, Normandy is the perfect countryside getaway from the city. Discover some of France's most idyllic pastures, orchards, and villages.
Walking Tour of Bayeux
Stroll through the quaint city of Bayeux, known for its history of tapestry making and as the first city liberated by the Allies after D-Day. Highlights of the walking tour include the Tapestry Museum, 13th-century Norman-Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame (which houses the famous 11th-century Tapisserie de Bayeux depicting the Norman invasion of England), and the Museum of Art and History Baron Gerard (dedicated to lace and porcelain). You'll also enjoy simply strolling through the streets lined with half-timbered Norman houses. Read More
Honfleur & the Pays d'Auge
The Pays d'Auge area of Normandy is one of the most traditional in France, filled with stone farmhouses, fields of dairy cows, half-timbered villages, and beautiful scenery along the coast. After relishing the coastal views along the Cote Fleurie and Cote de Grace, head to Honfleur, a small city that appears stuck in time. Admire the medieval fortifications and Renaissance-style architecture as you stroll the cobbled streets. End the day with one last stop in the most picturesque of the Pays d'Auge, the town of Beuvron-en-Auge. Read More
How to Craft the Perfect Normandy Itinerary
Since most French vacations start and end in Paris, Normandy makes an excellent side trip or a highlight on an epic road trip through the country. You can easily combine the region's tranquil countryside, picturesque villages, and haunted historical sites with the capital and other nearby areas, such as the Loire Valley or Brittany. Create a cross-country road trip and add Bordeaux and the French Riviera to the mix.
Deciding how many days to spend in France depends on how much you want to see and do. Because Normandy is a large region, give yourself at least 3 or 4 days to explore it. If you'd like to tack on another area, such as Brittany or Paris, plan for at least one week in France. To really dive into the northwestern are of the country, or make your way down to the south, give yourself two weeks or more.
Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following itineraries that include experiences in Normandy: