What to see in Normandy

Normandy Attractions

Normandy has a lot to offer visitors of all kinds but it is paradise for military history enthusiasts in particular. Many of the things to see and do in Normandy revolve around military monuments and cemeteries and numerous people come primarily to pay their respects to the Allied dead and tour the battlefields of World War II. The city of Bayeaux, an ancient Viking settlement, retains its old-world atmosphere with wooden and stone buildings and cobbled streets, and the surrounding area is strewn with interesting military history sites, including the famous D-Day landing beaches. In Bayeaux visitors will also find the magnificent Tapisserie de Bayeux which tells the story of the famous Battle of Hastings. To chart the history of two iconic military heroes visit the capital of Rouen, where William the Conqueror died and Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. The heart of Richard the Lion-Heart is entombed in the Chapelle de la Vierge as a token of his love for this city.

This is not to say, however, that all the attractions in Normandy are militaristic. The region has its share of peaceful little towns and beautiful scenery. One of the most popular villages is the picturesque old fishing town of Honfleur, which served as inspiration for some of the famous Impressionist painters. One of them was Monet and his house and garden in quaint Giverny can be explored.

Normandy also boasts one of France's most impressive attractions, the Mont Saint-Michel Abbey, which can be found on a small island just off the coast of Normandy and Brittany. This massive fortress has served many functions in its long history but it is primarily a religious monument and pilgrimage site and was first established as a chapel in 708. Today it houses a Benedictine monastery, a tiny medieval village and a few museums.


This ancient Viking settlement is situated a few miles inland, between La Havre and Cherbourg, and was the first French…

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D-Day Beaches

Early on 6 June, 1944, the largest armada ever known left England's south coast and set off to liberate France. Shortly…

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Deauville is the only Norman holiday resort to have any delusions of grandeur. It is at the heart of the Norman Riviera…

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Whether by accident or design, the quaint fishing village of Honfleur, just across the estuary from busy, bustling La…

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Mont Saint-Michel Abbey

One of France's best-known attractions, the Mont Saint-Michel Abbey, is situated on a rocky island just off the coast…

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The capital of Normandy and a popular holiday destination, Rouen is also a centre of industry and commerce; it is the…

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