Our excuses for a Normandy road trip

In En-Route, Europe, France, Inspiration, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

France was calling us again

We never really need an excuse to visit France as we love their culture, food and landscape, often we jump in the car and head south through France visiting cities, towns and villages en route. However, this time we fancied exploring the north-western region of France, more precisely Normandy.

An inspiration for artists, Honfleur, Normandy ,France

We had previously spent a couple of nights in beautiful Honfleur back in 2007, where we took a day out to explore part of Normandy’s coastline, learn more about WWII landings & visit Bayeux (home of the famous tapestry). However, that was just the tip of the iceberg in regards to what Normandy has to offer.

Here are just a few of our inspirations that lured us back, so, with our taste buds tempted off we embark again on a French road trip

Our chosen locations for the road trip were;

  • Rouen
  • Caen
  • Alençon
  • Honfleur (I couldn’t resist returning)

The Landscape

Normandy has a wonderful coastline stretching out over the English Channel, it’ll be pleasure driving along the winding roads & discovering, as parts of this shoreline appear to look quite harsh & unforgiving.

The Cliffs at Étretat, Normandy, France

We’re also looking forward to exploring the charming harbour towns that are scattered amongst the bays.

The harbour at Fécamp, Normandy, France

That’s not to say that Normandy is all about its coastline, there appears to be some intriguing rugged landscapes and lush countryside to tour through. Particularly around the Calvados region, where we plan to pick up a 40-mile (65km) route around Suisse Normande.

A view over the route Suisse-Normande, Normandy, France

The History

Normandy is certainly full of history, particularly from the allied invasion in WWII.

Pegasus Bridge in its new home, Normandy, France

We plan to visit some of the poignant places around here including the Military cemeteries & the renowned D-day landing beaches.

The Omaha Beach D-Day Memorial, Normandy, France

Another large part of Normandy history is the impact of William the Conqueror, the King of England & also the Duke of Normandy.

William the Conqueror’s tomb is at the Abbaye-aux-Hommes, one of two abbeys in Caen.

The tomb of William the Conqueror in Caen, Normandy, France

A light display is performed on the façade of Rouen Cathedral each evening during the summer of 2017, to depict his life and influences. This is a must for us, as we had watched one in Reims last year and it was fantastic.

There is certainly no forgetting the huge effect that Joan of Arc had on France, and unfortunately her young death at the age of 19 was at the stake at Rouen.

A statue of Joan of Arc, Normandy, France

Art & Culture

Normandy has a rich history of artists, Eugène Boudin a marine painter was born in Honfleur. However, one of my favourites artists is Claude Monet & I’m looking forward to visiting the house and gardens in Giverny, which are synonymous with his water lily paintings.

The Lily ponds at Giverny, Normandy, France

The Architecture

Another reason why we love to travel is to see the architectural differences & Normandy has some wonderful cathedrals, churches & half-timbered buildings.

Looking up at Rouen Cathedral, Normandy, France

One cathedral that particularly stands out is the Gothic style Rouen Cathedral, which has had its fair share of natural disasters fall upon it. Rouen Cathedral also contains a tomb of Richard the Lionheart

Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France

We will certainly be visiting the island commune of Mont Saint-Michel, located 0.6 mile (1km) off Normandy’s coast, which was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.

The Food

No trip to France would be complete without sampling the local delicacies & Normandy has a few ‘Must tries.’

The galettes are something we will definitely enjoy, but I’m not too sure about the tripe and the andouille, we have fell into that trap before in France. (See Troyes – and their Andouillette de Troyes)

A gallette with Camembert and cream, Normandy, France

Seafood is also very good in this region for obvious reason, however, no trip would be complete for me if cheese wasn’t involved. In Normandy, there are quite a few local varieties a few of the more popular ones are Camembert, Livarot & Pont l’Eveque.

A fine cheese selection, Normandy, France

The Drink

With Normandy’s abundance of orchards, the tipple in this region has to be cider, well ‘When in Rome’ – as they say. I suppose we may have to try Calvados the apple brandy, just for research reasons you understand.

Cidre de Normandy, Normandy, France

We are also planning to pick up the Cider Route, which is a 25-mile (40km) tourist trail through the picturesque area of the Pays d’Auge.

Tool Tip

When planning a trip we use Google MyMaps. We create a layer for the routes we want to take, the accommodation the Points-of-Interest, and then try to see if we join the dots when we're on the trip. Why not try it yourself?

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The Inspiration for Normandy, France

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Toured around the Normandy region of France, as we’d love to hear all about your tales & adventures?

About the Author


Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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