Honfleur © Ian Parkes
Whether by accident or design, the quaint fishing village of Honfleur, just across the estuary from busy, bustling La Havre, has managed to make time stand still and presents its many visitors with scenes and experiences largely unchanged for 100 years or more. Honfleur fortunately escaped serious damage during the World War II Normandy landings, and since then development has been minimal. It still functions as a fishing port and follows traditions dating back to medieval times, although it has unfortunately lost its beach due to the silting up of the river.
The town was once very popular with Impressionist painters like Monet and Boudin because of the changeable light and picturesque coastal scenes; it is still popular with photographers for the same reason. There are a few interesting museums, including those dedicated to composer Eric Satie and Impressionist painter Eugene Boudin, and some lovely gardens. There are also two wonderful churches to visit: the Notre Dame de Grace and Saint Catherine's Church. On Saturdays there is a lively local market selling fresh produce; the local cheese is renowned to be particularly tasty. Honfleur is certainly worth a visit from La Havre and is an attraction in its own right.