Lisieux travel guide

Cities and towns

About Lisieux

Lisieux in Normandy sits at the heart of the beautiful Pays d'Auge countryside and is the second most visited pilgrimage site in France.

Surrounded by splendid green countryside and valleys where Normande cows roam in the fields and tasty cider apples grown in the orchards, Lisieux is a pretty historical city where St Teresa lived in the late 1800s. Raised at Les Buissonnets, which is open to visitors, on the outskirts of the city, St Teresa became a nun at the nearby Carmelite convent in 1889 when we she was 15. During her time there she proceeded a write an autobiography entitled 'The Story of a Soul' which became incredibly popular when it was published after a death from tuberculosis at just 24 years old. After her beatification the Basilica of St Teresa of Lisieux was built and has become the second most visited pilgrimage site in France, after Lourdes. Finished in 1954, the basilica is a beautiful Neo-Byzantine creation that was one of the largest churches built in the 20th century.

Damaged whilst it was still being built, by the Allied bombings of WW2, the basilica has a wonderful crypt of marble and mosiacs and a shrine to St Teresa in the upper basilica. The city was badly bombed during WW2 and a military cemetery containing the graves of 3,725 British and 469 German soldiers lies on the outskirts of the city. St Peter's cathedral is one of the rare monuments to survive the 1944 bombings unscathed. Constructed from soft limestone in the 12th century, it is the first example of flying buttresses in Normandy. The Chapel of the Virgin was built by Bishop Cauchon who acted as supreme judge at the trail of Joan of Arc. Outside the cathedral, the bishop's garden is a beautiful array of plants designed by Le Nôtre, who designed the gardens of Versaille. Lisieux also has an unusual archaeological garden where the ruins of some ancient baths were unearthed and different coloured soils, plants and shrubs have been planted to give an idea of the original shape of the baths - perfect for a quiet, contemplative walk.

The area around Lisieux is covered in glorious countryside peppered with farms and villages and crisscrossed by various footpaths and mountain bike trails. Leaflets and brochures of routes in the Pays d'Auge area can be found at the Lisieux Tourist Office. You can also go fishing and canoeing along the nearby rivers or why not follow part of the Route de Cidre and visit some of the various orchards and distilleries along the 40km route? Several traditional farms can be visited around Lisieux including the Domaine des Saint Hippolyte where you can visit the orchards and trace the production of great Normandy cheeses from milk to the final product, and the famous Normande beef, with exhibitions and videos on the farm. A nearby ostrich farm, Cerza safari park and an animal rescue centre that receives nearly 800 injured wild animals every year, provide may different opportunities for those who have a love of animals. The stunning moated manor of the Château de St Germain de Livet is nearby, known as the jewel of the Pays d'Auge, as well as the 18th century Château de Venduevre and medieval Château de Crevecouer-en-Auge.

Purchase delicious local foods from farm shops and get your meat, cheese, and cider direct from the farmer who grew and produced them. Apples are fermented into cider; Calvados, an apple brandy; and  Pommeau, an apertif made from apple must and Calvados. Cheeses popular in the area include Livarot, a full-bodied soft cheese with an orange rind; Pont de l'Eveque, a  subtle, slightly nut square cheese that is soft and smooth; and classical favourite, Camembert, with its recognisable subtle, smooth taste. A great place to try the traditional tastes of Normandy!

Why visit Lisieux? 

  • Basilica St Teresa
  • Pays d'Auge countryside
  • Farming and local produce
  • WW2 military cemetery

Overview

  • Country: France
  • Region: Normandy
  • Province: Calvados
  • Population: 22,500
  • Coordinates: 49.146289,0.22788

Coordinates shown are based on the WGS84 system, please check driving directions before departing.

Nearby attractions

A definite hit with parents and children, there's no need to go to Africa to go on safari with the Cerza safari park eco-friendly lodges! Set beside a serene lake and the beautiful bird sanctuary, the lodges offer fantastic...

Surrounded by water, this medieval château has been miraculously preserved in its original state. Protected by a group of fortifications, the church and wooden farm buildings are re-grouped in the beautiful courtyard.

Set in an orchard, this group of typical Norman buildings includes a press, distillery, wine store, workshop and 16thC manor where you can taste and buy various types of Calvados, cider and pommeau.

Take the time out to complete this wonderful 40km Cider Route through the Normandy countryside. Winding through country lanes to picturesque villages and their local cider producers, you can sample and buy some of the...

Places to visit nearby

Deauville in Normandy is a glamorous town on the Côte Fleurie ('flowery coast'), famous for horse racing and its international cultural festivals.

Trouville in Normandy is both a charming seaside resort and a picturesque fishing village all in one!

Honfleur is a charming seaside town immediately recognisable by its tall narrow buildings - which look as though they've been squeezed into the streets!

Nearby events

Deauville Youth Golf Grand Prix

On the fairway.Over a hundred golf courses host their Grand Prix events annually in France. Each...

Deauville American Film Festival

A glamourous festival for film fans.Since its beginnings in 1975, some of the world's greatest...

Horse Racing in Cabourg

Photo finish.Whether it's trotting, jumping or flat races, the goal for horse and rider (or driver...