One of the most beautiful places in Europe and only a few hours’ drive from Belgium? That is without a doubt Normandy. A nice piece of France with a slightly less rosy past. A historically impressive place but perhaps even more impressive because of its beautiful rugged nature. That’s how we can describe Normandy. Last week we were there for the first time in years and we looked for the most beautiful places for you. And no doubt we found it. You can find our favourite places of Normandy here!
The most beautiful places of Normandy
Our absolute favorite place in Normandy, are the rocks and cliffs of Étretat. Towering chalk cliffs separate the inhabited world with the rough sea. The views here are crazy all year round and you can watch them for hours. We went up one of the cliffs before dawn to patiently wait for the glory moment when the sun would come out. It was icy cold on top of the rock but we forgot that as soon as we saw the view. Definitely one of the most beautiful places in Normandy! It had something magical to be the first and only in this imposing place. Afterwards we walked a lot further and fell from one surprise to another. Behind every bend or climb there was another beautiful view to see. In summer you can have a unique picnic or lie on the beach. In autumn you make beautiful walks there. Definitely worth visiting!
2 World War II – Landing beaches
Of course, Normandy is best known for the Second World War. The territory was important on D-day for the liberation of Western Europe during the German occupation. As a result, you see a lot of references to that period locally as well as there are numerous museums and events that have to do with it. You can’t get around it and it is advisable to delve more into this piece of our history. The invasion beaches particularly affect us because Sigrid’s grandfather experienced the normandy landings. He is 95 years old today and it seems unreal to us that he fought here. You can only respect that and hope that it never has to come to this in the future.
3 Mont Saint-Michel
One of the attractions that was highest on our wish list in Normandy was undoubtedly Mont Saint-Michel. This island with world famous abbey is situated in the midst of an oasis of peace and quiet. It is surrounded by water and connected to the mainland by a bridge. It shows very fairytale and surreal. During low tide you can walk around the island. We tried this too but often slumped in the surrounding mud. Rain boots are recommended! Be prepared for huge gusts of wind, too. While taking our pictures, Sigrid took off her coat and it blew far away in the surrounding mud puddle. Result: Both Sigrid and her coat covered in mud. We laughed a lot about it.
Normandy is also known as a paradise for painters and other artists. Honfleur is one of the cities that served as the inspiration of famous French painters including Monet. It is not surprising that this is an inspiring place for many. The small harbour, surrounded by charming French houses, makes a beautiful image that will make you pause for a moment. Especially when the sun threatens to sink, the landscape here is very artistic. During the day you can eat and walk the streets with shops. A must visit if you are in Normandy.
5 Le Havre
We stayed during our stay in Normandy in the city of Le Havre. This large port city is not the most beautiful place in Normandy, but it is a very important one for the economy and tourism of France. You can also find some top restaurants here. And food is without a doubt one of the activities you can enjoy in Normandy. You can expect a refined cuisine with lots of fish dishes. Le Havre is definitely worth it if you like good food and also like to go shopping. There are shops and restaurants no shortage here! Stay: Hotel Nomad which has ecologically responsible decoration and is self-sufficient with water and electricity. This kind of hotel makes all the difference to a better world.
Most beautiful places Normandy
We have been in Normandy for four days and that was enough to visit these breathtaking places. Of course there are several other beautiful places to be found in Normandy and you will have to take a little more time for that. The whole coastline is impressive and there are so many different charming towns including for example Rouen and Lisieux. Enough to do to have a nice holiday!