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Normandy travel guide

About Normandy

A region known for its produce of rustic cheeses and ciders in its pretty rural areas, Normandy has an important history from William the Conqueror to WW2 with a dramatic coastline that includes the D-Day Landings beaches, stylish beach resorts and the stunning Mont St Michel.

With our ports in Caen, Cherbourg and Le Havre, Normandy couldn't be easier to reach, or more rewarding when you get there. Stylish beach resorts, a wealth of major historical sites, fabulous countryside, and the most delicious seafood imaginable are just a few of the many attractions that will all vie for your attention.

With a long, dramatic stretch of beautiful coastline and superb attractions, from the picturesque harbour of Honfleur to the magnificent Gothic abbey of Mont St Michel this region has long been a favourite with British holidaymakers.

Inland has a landscape patterned with grand châteaux, fine parks and gardens, half-timbered houses and sleepy villages that come to life with colourful fêtes in the summer. For those keen on outdoor pursuits the Suisse Normande area is ideal - its lush countryside, rocky crags and deep river gorges are very scenic and perfect for kayaking, climbing, mountain biking and walking.

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Normandy is steeped in history too; Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword beaches and the war museums at Ste Mère Eglise and Arromanches are all poignant reminders of the famous D-Day landings of World War II. Or visit the bustling city of Caen with William the Conqueror's Abbaye aux Hommes and Bayeux with its tapestry which depicts a very intriguing tale of the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Take a look at our new D-Day guide and infographic to discover more about D-Day and the liberation of Normandy.

Cuisine of Normandy

Local specialities

The famous cheeses of Camembert, Livarot and Pont l'Evêque. Excellent butter and cream. Andouille de Vire, a regional pork sausage. Mouth-watering apples.

What's on the menu?

Dishes 'à la normande', meat or fish cooked in a delicious Normandy cream sauce. Marmite dieppoise, a hearty fish stew served piping hot accompanied by chips or crusty bread. Tarte normande, a tasty apple tart.

What to drink

Calvados, an apple brandy often taken as an apéritif. Pommeau, a potent mix of cider or apple juice and calvados.

Why visit Normandy?

  • Historic Bayeux Tapestry
  • Beautiful abbey of Mont St Michel
  • D-Day landing beaches and museums
  • Cider, cheeses and rich, creamy dishes

Getting to Normandy

Brittany Ferries offers direct sailings into Normandy with our Portsmouth to Caen, Portsmouth to Le Havre, Portsmouth to Cherbourg and Poole to Cherbourg ferry routes.

Download our D-Day Guide App

Download our D-Day Guide App for iPhones or iPads which gives a comprehensive history of events surrounding D-Day with photos, maps and GPS data to find all the sites of interest.

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  • Normandy travel guide 3.5 out of 5 based on512 ratings.
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Cider and calvados guides

Sawday's Special Places to Stay has produced these fantastic visual guides to explain all about Normandy's favourite drinks - cider and calvados.

Pick a guide to your top tipple!

Learn about the different types of cider and what regional dishes they taste best with in the essential cider manual.

And, find out what kind of calvados drinker you are and how to taste this famous brandy by asking what is calvados?

Places in Normandy

  • Bayeux
    8 out of 10, based on 222 ratings

    Bayeux in Normandy is a beautiful medieval city, brimming with…

  • Caen
    7 out of 10, based on 303 ratings

    Caen, in Normandy, is one of the oldest university towns in…

  • Cherbourg
    7 out of 10, based on 265 ratings

    Cherbourg, in Normandy, is a port town with a seafaring history…

  • Mont St Michel
    8 out of 10, based on 121 ratings

    Mont St Michel in Normandy is a granite tidal island just off…

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Attractions in Normandy

  • Claude Monet's Garden
    7 out of 10, based on 52 ratings

    Take a wander through Claude Monet's spectacular gardens where…

  • Tapisserie de Bayeux
    8 out of 10, based on 59 ratings

    The famous Bayeux Tapestry depicts the events of the Norman…

  • Le Mémorial de Caen
    8 out of 10, based on 56 ratings

    From pre-1945 to the post-1945 period, this museum tells the…

  • Batterie d'Azeville
    6 out of 10, based on 9 ratings

    The Azeville battery with its 4 Schneider cannons was at the…

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