Normandy offers beautiful beaches and mild temperatures, a lovely combination. In spring, especially later in the season, expect beautiful flowers, sunny days, and manageable crowds, making it one of the nicest times to visit. The pleasant summer weather brings big crowds, especially paired with the D-Day commemorations in June, while autumn is rainy and winter is quiet. Read on for advice and information on the best times of the year to visit Normandy.
Best of Normandy
Visit vital historic sights like Rouen Cathedral, its trio of towers respectively representing early Gothic, Flamboyant Gothic and Renaissance, Bayeux, home to the stunning 230-foot (70-meter) 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry and Mont Saint-Michel, a hilly tidal island beautifully crowned by an abbey with its origins in the 8th century. Normandy's beauty became famous enough to attract some of the world's best painters: see the likes of Giverny, the home and major inspiration of Monet, and the Côte Fleurie coast to which many impressionist painters once flocked for the striking light. But the region's history is poignant as well as pretty, as you can discover on a visit to the Normandy Landings beaches where the allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France took place in 1944.
Exploring the bucolic hinterland is also important. Here, discover delightful villages like Beuvron-en-Auge and sample the region's nationally outstanding cheeses (like camembert), cider and other products on one of the excellent local food tours.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
France has always been the center of culinary envy, known worldwide for its signature cuisine consisting of traditional techniques, ancestral secrets, and home-cooked comfort dictated by high-quality standards. From morning pastries to afternoon macrons, farm-fresh cheeses to wine, cider, and olive oil, and fresh food markets offering the freshest produce to unique dishes like snails and frog legs, you can truly enjoy it all in France.
Set in northern France along the coast of the English Channel, Normandy is known for its chalky-white cliffs and beaches, the famous Mont-Saint-Michel island, the WWII D-Day landings, and picturesque half-timbered houses surrounded by dairy farms. History is the region's highlight, but you'll also find treasured towns like Honfleur and the Pays d'Auge, gourmet cheese, cider farms, and many sites of famous Impressionist works of art, plus the home and gardens of Claude Monet.
Visitors to Normandy have many options to choose from when it comes to accommodations. If you're looking for medieval history, stay at an indulgent guesthouse in the medieval center of Bayeux, with its famous tapestry. Travel to the seaside at the harbor of Honfleur or beach at Cabourg for a shoreline stay, or opt for a romantic garden park at one of these hotels.
Because France is a large and diverse country, it's an ideal location for a family trip. From art-centric and foodie cities like Paris to outdoor playgrounds like the French Riviera and the beaches of northern France, there's always something to do with activities appealing to various ages and interests. Along the way, make unique family memories that you can only experience in France, such as riding horses through the surf at Mont-Saint-Michel, learning to bake macrons, or enjoying a treasure hunt at the Louvre.
France is an active traveler's dream, with sandy beaches in the north, the towering Alps in the southeast, several river valleys across its heartland, and a rocky southern coastline dotted with inlets, caves, and coves. You can easily spend your time cycling through vineyards and from one chateau to another, riding horses in the surf, kayaking the famous Calanques, and hiking in the mountains. Or, if you're more of a city person, add a bike tour or vineyard stroll to your exploration of hubs like Paris.
Known for its signature wine, Bordeaux's surrounding vineyards and La Cité du Vin museum might be its biggest draws, but there's plenty to enjoy in the city and beyond. With the Garonne River weaving through Bordeaux's center, you can explore the city by foot and boat. Stop at vibrant markets and wine shops, tasting gourmet goodies like canelé, oysters, cheese, chocolate, and, of course, a glass of red. Then, enjoy discovering the countryside havens of Gironde and Dordogne, full of picturesque hamlets and vineyards.
Many travelers choose France specifically for its unique and diverse culture. Explore Paris for its food, literature, and cabaret, visit Normandy for its art (including Claude Monet's gardens), and escape to the Loire Valley for chateaus, palaces, castles, and more. When ready, head to the south and peruse the unique cuisine and culture of the French Riviera and Provence, plus romantic hilltop villages and medieval riverside hamlets.
Ideal for history buffs, this Northern France itinerary spans an impressive timeline from the Norman invasion of England in 1066 to the D-Day landings of 1944. With the help of local guides, you'll experience the island monastery of Mont Saint Michel, pay respects at transfixing WWII memorials and museums, and enjoy free time in the evenings to explore the charming city of Bayeux—your home base for the trip.
History buffs will love this Northern France itinerary, which spans an impressive timeline from the Norman invasion of England in 1066 to the D-Day landings of 1944. With the help of local guides, you'll experience the island monastery of Mont Saint Michel, visit transfixing WWII memorials, photograph spectacular cliffs, and enjoy free time in the evenings to dine in a range of charming port cities.
Get away from it all on this luxurious 5-day trip to Normandy and Brittany. Fly in to Paris, then head to Bayeux on the coast. Check out the tapestry, tour Mont-Saint-Michel, and explore World War II history. At night, relax over fresh seafood dinners paired with chilled white wine at your neighborhood brasserie.
Enjoy a quick getaway to Paris and the Normandy coast without sacrificing luxury on this 6-day trip. Start in the City of Lights, where you'll learn about Parisian history in the heart of the city, stroll the gilded halls of Versaille, and take a nighttime cruise on the Seine. Spend your last day on the Normandy coast to see the Bayeux Tapestry and tour Mont-Saint-Michel: the abbey on an island.
This epic trip loops around three beloved regions in France with a nice mix of free time and guided tours. Start in Normandy to visit historical sites—spanning 900 years—between Bayeux and Omaha Beach. Next is Brittany where you'll have free time (and a car) to explore the wild, rugged coastline at your own pace. Then experience UNESCO-listed villages and castles in the Loire Valley before finishing with two days in Paris.
Spend sixteen days exploring everything western France has to offer, from the metropolitan culture of Paris to the peaceful countryside of Bordeaux. See art at the Louvre, take a day trip to the gilded halls of Versailles, and vacation like the French on the Normandy seaside. Visit Mont-Saint-Michel—the abbey on an island—before continuing south to the land of resplendent châteaus and free-flowing wine.
See Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower, explore the fishing villages and beaches of the Atlantic Coast, and more on this luxurious 7-day itinerary to Western France. Learn to bake bread the authentic French way and visit the Opéra Garnier in the City of Lights, then enjoy fresh seafood in a typical brasserie in Saint-Malo and see the Bayeux Tapestry.
From the streetside cafes of Paris to the fresh seafood markets of Normandy, this seventeen-day road trip through western France has it all. Spend a few days in the capital viewing art and eating your weight in pastries, then head west along the coast to vacation like the French on the Normandy seaside. Wrap the trip up in the Loire Valley and Bordeaux, famous for their countryside castles, 18th-century farmer's markets, and the freshest oysters in France.
Road Trip Through Western France: Paris, Normandy, Brittany, Loire Valley, Bordeaux, & More - 18 Days
If spending eighteen days driving from France's capital down the western Atlantic Coast sounds like the perfect getaway, this itinerary is for you. Start in Paris for flaky croissants and strong espresso, then hit the road for the coast. Vacation like the French on the Normandy seaside as you explore medieval and WWII history, then continue to the Loire Valley to see resplendent châteaus. End in Bordeaux, where the wine and oysters are unparalleled.
Pack the family and hit the road for a self-drive trip through western France. Spend eight days seeing art in Paris, learning about history in Normandy, and vacationing on the seaside like the French. See Paris from the eyes of your kids with a treasure hunt at the Louvre, tour D-Day sites, and get an adrenaline rush when you try sand yachting
Eight days is enough time to see the highlights of western France at a leisurely pace—and this road trip does just that. Spend three days in Paris, where you'll explore the city's history and secrets—both at street level and underground. Continue west to the Atlantic Coast for a vacation on Normandy's seaside, then head to Loire Valley, where 300+ castles line the peaceful country roads.
Road Trip Through Western France: Paris, Normandy, Brittany, Loire Valley, Bordeaux, & More - 15 Days
Fifteen days is enough time to get off the beaten path in western France on this road trip from Paris to Bordeaux. Start in the capital city, where you'll visit the Louvre and enjoy afternoon walks along the Seine River. Head west along the Atlantic Coast to explore WWII history and explore small fishing villages and beaches, then continue south for countryside castles, Bordeaux wine, and the famed Arcachon oysters.
Stroll the Champs de Mars under the twinkle of the Eiffel Tower and vacation like the French on the Normandy seaside on this luxurious 8-day getaway. Walk through the gilded halls of Versailles and cruise along the Seine at night, then head west along the coast for medieval abbeys, fresh seafood, and World War II sites.
Drive along the Atlantic Coast on this nineteen-day road trip through western France. Start in Paris to see world-famous galleries at the Louvre and walk along the Seine River, then head west to explore the fishing villages and beaches of the Atlantic Coast. Visit Mont-Saint-Michel, the abbey on an island, and enjoy fresh seafood in a typical brasserie. End the trip in Bordeaux to sample the best of France’s wine and cuisine.
Vacation like the French on the Normandy seaside on this 20-day road trip through western France. You'll walk through the gilded halls of Versailles, immerse yourself in history on the D-Day beaches, and sample the best of France’s wine and cuisine in Bordeaux. For a taste of authentic western France life, haggle with vendors for your lunch at an 18th-century market, then head to the beach to enjoy wine and seafood on the water.
See the Eiffel Tower in Paris, explore tidal pools on the beaches of Normandy, and learn about pirates and seafaring history in the walled city on this packed 9-day family road trip. From delicious French pastries in the capital city to fresh-caught seafood in the neighborhood brasserie, there's no shortage of culinary delights. For young travelers, treasure hunts, sand yachting, and more up the adventure.
From the gilded halls of Versailles to the resplendent Châteaus of the Loire Valley, explore Western France in all its luxury on this 9-day getaway. Stroll the Champs de Mars under the twinkle of the Eiffel Tower, explore the fishing villages and beaches of the Atlantic Coast, and visit Mont-Saint-Michel: the abbey on an island. End the trip with a tour of the resplendent Châteaus de Chambord and Chenonceau.
This diverse 9-day itinerary introduces you to four distinct and enchanting regions of France. Begin in iconic Paris to stroll elegant avenues and cruise down the Seine—then catch a train west to Normandy to explore the medieval history and D-Day beaches of Bayeux. Continue to Provence, where you'll discover the ancient port of Marseille and the colorful market town of Aix-en-Provence, then hop over to the sun-soaked Riviera to end your adventure on a gastronomic tour of Nice.
This spectacular road-trip adventure through Western France provides a subtle mix of history, culture, cuisine, wine, and outdoor activity—and plenty of picturesque landscapes between stops. Over the course of two weeks, you'll spend quality time in Paris, Normandy, Bordeaux, and the Dordogne region with a combination of tours led by English-speaking local guides and free time to explore on your own.
You will be delighted by this trip in Paris, Normandy, Bordeaux and the Dordogne region. This is a subtle mix of French history and culture, wine and flavors, and some bucolic landscapes such as the Atlantic coast and Dordogne perched villages. A great road trip adventure for the whole family!
Spend two weeks exploring the highlights of western France, from the City of Lights to the quiet villages of the Loire Valley. Sample pastries in Paris and head underground to see the catacombs, then hit the road for the beaches on the Normandy coast. End the trip in Bordeaux, where you’ll haggle with vendors for fresh seafood at an 18th-century market.
This epic 10-day French adventure kicks off in Paris for three days of culture and cuisine in the 'City of Lights'. Then, drive yourself to the Normandy coast to visit Mont Saint Michel and other historical sites—spanning 900 years—between Bayeux and Omaha Beach. Next is the Loire Valley where you'll explore charming towns and gorgeous castles before returning to Paris (by train) for one more night on the town.
From the big city lights and historical museums of Paris to the quiet beaches of Western France, there's something on this 10-day road trip to delight everyone in the family, regardless of age. Start your trip in the capital city to explore highlights like the Louvre and Versaille, then rent a car and head west. Sample fresh seafood, try sand yachting and learn about D-Day history on the beaches of Normandy.
Dive into French culture and settle into a quieter pace of life on this 10-day luxury trip to Western France. Start in Paris, where you'll learn history in the l’Ile de la Cité and take a day trip to the gilded halls of Versailles. Head west to tour D-Day sites in Normandy and explore Mont-Saint-Michel: the abbey on an island. Round out the trip with two days in the Loire Valley, famous for castles and wine alike.
Spend fifteen days exploring Paris and the western regions on this luxurious itinerary. Start in the City of Lights, where you'll stroll the Champs de Mars under the twinkle of the Eiffel Tower and eat your weight in croissants. Head to the coast for apple cider tours, fresh seafood, and the famed Normandy beaches. End the trip in the Loire Valley to go wine tasting and see where Da Vinci spent his last years.
Spend 11 days exploring western France with your family on this packed itinerary. Experience Paris at night, go on a treasure hunt in the Louvre and fill up on French patisseries. Continue west to immerse yourself in the history of D-Day, spend time on the beach, and explore medieval castles.
From the Opéra Garnier in Paris to the quiet countryside of the Loire Valley, this luxurious 11-day itinerary covers the highlights—and much more. Walk through the gilded halls of Versailles, explore the fishing villages and beaches of the Atlantic Coast, and visit Mont-Saint-Michel: the abbey on an island. End the trip with wine tasting in the Loire Valley and see where Da Vinci spent his final years.
From the Paris Opera to the beaches of Brittany, explore Western France in luxury on this 16-day itinerary. Learn to bake bread the French way and stroll through Versaille's resplendent halls, then head to the coast to explore the fishing villages and beaches of the Atlantic Coast. Enjoy fresh seafood in a typical brasserie in Saint-Malo, then end the trip in the Loire valley, where fairytale castles and vineyards abound.
If twelve days in France with the family sounds perfect, keep reading. From art museums and chocolate pastries in Paris to small Bordeaux towns and the Normandy countryside, this trip gives you a taste of it all. As a final hurrah, travel back in time to the age of Cro Magnon as you explore the Cave Paintings of Dordogne.
Twelve days enjoying Parisian architecture, Normandy seafood, and Loire Valley wine—what could be sweeter? See the Eiffel Tower and learn to bake authentic French baguettes in the capital, then head to the coast for medieval ruins, fresh mussels, and World War II history. Wrap the trip up in the Loire Valley, where stately chateaus line the quiet country lanes and vineyards stretch out of sight.
There are countless reasons to head to western France with the family, but this itinerary gives 18 great ones. Spend the trip exploring museums in Paris, enjoying the beaches of southern Brittany, and browsing small farmers' markets along the coast. End your trip in Bordeaux and Basque, where you'll learn to make caneles and eat your weight in fresh fruit and olives.
If you have a week and want to explore western France, this quick road trip is perfect. Begin your journey in Paris, where you'll spend equal amounts of time exploring the city's history and savoring pastries. Continue to Normandy to visit the preserved city of Bayeux and see D-Day sites. End the trip in the Loire Valley to discover its famed castles and châteaus.
Spend nineteen days exploring Paris and western France with the family on this comprehensive itinerary. Start in Paris where a Louvre scavenger hunt will entertain kids of all ages, then head west along the coast. Follow your nose to the paella booths at small-town farmer's markets, visit the 1,000-year-old Mont-Saint-Michel, then end your trip near Bordeaux to see prehistoric caves and medieval villages.
If spending thirteen days driving from Paris through Normandy to Bordeaux sounds like your perfect getaway, this trip is for you. Get to know the sweet side of France on a pastry tour in Paris, breathe in the fresh ocean air in Normandy, and view castles (including da Vinci’s former residence) in the Loire Valley. End in Bordeaux to sample the best of France’s wine and cuisine.
If you've got thirteen days off and a family that wants to head to France, consider yourself lucky. Start in Paris, where art museum scavenger hunts and delicious treats keep youngsters entertained, then head west to the windswept beaches of Normandy to see the D-Day landing site and tour the 1,000-year-old Mont-Saint-Michel, among other ancient castles.
Spend thirteen lucky days luxuriating in some of France's finest regions, from Paris to the Loire Valley. Kick things off in the City of Lights, where you'll explore history and take a day trip to Versailles. From there, head to Normandy on the coast, where small fishing villages and D-Day sites dot the landscape. End in the Loire Valley, where you'll relax in peaceful vineyards and tour elegant chateaus.
Dive into history, culture, and nature on this comprehensive 20-day family itinerary of western France. Start in Paris for city highlights, like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, then head west to see the site of D-Day and tour medieval castles. Round your trip out with canoeing on the Dordogne, traveling back to the time of Cro Magnon in the Lascaux Caves, and sampling seafood on the Brittany coast.
Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to dive deeper into some of France's western regions with the family. Start in Paris to see the highlights like the Eiffel Tower and Louvre, then head off the beaten path in the west. Older kids will enjoy learning about history at the D-Day site and canoeing in Dordogne, before traveling back in time to explore the prehistoric Lascaux cave.
If you dream of spending two luxurious weeks exploring history and cuisine in western France, this itinerary is for you. Visit the Louvre and Versailles and learn to bake bread the authentic French way. Continue to Normandy and Brittany on the coast to explore medieval abbeys and sample fresh-caught seafood. Wrap things up in the Loire Valley, where resplendent Châteaus and endless vineyards await.
From art museums in Paris and WWII history in Normandy to the pirate's haunt of Saint-Malo and the beaches of Southern Brittany, there's plenty for kids and young adults alike to do on this three-week adventure through France. And if your family likes to drink wine together, you'll especially look forward to the days in Bordeaux—one of the world's leading winemaking regions.
Your fifteen-year-olds might smell like Cro Magnon man, but they've never seen anything like the prehistoric Lascaux cave—a perfect recreation of the original. See this and more on this fifteen-day tour, including ascending to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, viewing a D-Day documentary film in Normandy, and learning to make Bordeaux caneles (the sweet cakes) as a family.
With sixteen days in France with the family, the world is your Normandy oyster. Eat the oyster (and other seafood, too!) as you tour the Normandy coast, famous for its fresh seafood. You'll also feast on French pastries in Paris, check out medieval castles, and walk the streets of various small towns as you explore the Bordeaux region.
If you think it's hard to drag your 17-year-old along on family vacations, try deciding between chocolate and plain croissants in Paris. Thankfully, that's the hardest choice you'll make on this 17-day itinerary of Paris and western France, including Normandy, Brittany, and the Bordeaux region. End your trip in Basque Country, where they have entire museums dedicated to cakes.
View art in Paris, enjoy beaches in Normandy, and taste oysters in Bordeaux on this twelve-day road trip through western France. Spend four days in the City of Lights (with a day trip to see Versailles), then head to the Atlantic Coast for seafood and WWII history. End in Bordeaux, where the wine flows freely and the food is world-class.
The newest bikeway in France, la Véloscénie (the Veloscenic) cycle route links Paris and Mont-Saint-Michel via some of the country's most scenic landscapes. Spend a week exploring the secrets of northern France as you cycle along greenways, bike paths, and quiet secondary roads, through the hedgerow fields of the Bocage Normand, forests of oak and pine, and the nature parks of La Perche and Normandie-Maine, sampling Normandy's gastronomic heritage along the way.
Imagine cycling across expanses of farmland as you spot something floating in the distance—a spire reaching toward the sky, extending above tiers of weathered stone resting on a rocky island. The towering island of Mont-Saint-Michel, its ancient abbey, and its serene bay are the major highlight of this six-day cycling tour, but the rest of the region has plenty to recommend it. You'll start and end in the walled port city of Saint-Malo, making your way through the countryside of Brittany and Normandy to destinations including the fishing port of Cancale and the village of Dinan.
Paris · Provence · French Riviera · Nice · Loire Valley · Aix-en-Provence · Rhône Valley · Bordeaux · Lyon · Amboise · French Alps · Bayeux · Avignon · Brittany · Saint-Malo · Marseille · Cannes · Annecy · Tours · Verdon Gorge · Dordogne · Burgundy · Dijon · Sarlat · Champagne · Reims · Alsace · Colmar · Strasbourg · Mont Saint Michel · Saint Rémy de Provence · Mont Blanc Region · Honfleur · Chamonix · Basque Country · Corsica · Saint-Louis