© N. Le Lecoguiec CRT Normandie © S. Freres CRT Normandie
Useful tips and links for travellers to and within Normandy on our website : Normandy website
8 - 14 August
For the very first time, the port town of Cherbourg will host the final stage of the Rolex Fastnet Race in August 2021. With the town welcoming hundreds of sailors and promising a wealth of entertainment for its visitors, watching the finish of this popular ocean race looks set to be a real visual spectacle.
2021 will mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Gustave Flaubert, one of the major figures of French literature, who was born and spent most of his life in Normandy. Many events will take place across the region throughout the year to celebrate the life and work of the writer.
Normandy is of course the birthplace of Impressionism, and the inspiration for countless numbers of artists. Even if you missed the 2020 Normandy Impressionist Festival, you can still take time to explore all of the sites where the Impressionist painters set up their easels.
The story goes that it was sailors from Granville who began the tradition of having a wild celebration for Mardi Gras to lighten their mood before setting off on long transatlantic fishing voyages to Newfoundland. The locals love celebrating what is the biggest carnival in Normandy. It is renowned for its street parades, fancy costumes, street concerts and confetti fights. In 2016, the event was even added to UNESCO's Cultural Heritage list. From 21 to 25 February 2020, the streets of one of Normandy's most-loved towns will come alive like never before!
© B. Collier - CRT Normandie
Listed as one of the 300 largest outdoor events in the world, Dieppe's famous kite festival takes place every other year. From 12 to 20 September 2020, hundreds of kites big and small will fill the air, making for a magical and unforgettable experience. Held on Europe's largest seafront lawns, this free event brings together over 1000 professionals from 5 continents with half a million visitors.
Cabourg seaside resort is famous for being Marcel Proust's favourite retreat and is the inspiration for Balbec, the seaside resort in Proust's novel In Search of Lost Time. When it opens its doors in the heart of Cabourg in October, this new immersive museum will showcase the spirit of the Belle Époque and explore the history of the Flowered Coast through the eyes of the famous author. It will come complete with a contemporary art room and a re-creation of a 19th-century garden.
© L. Leloup CRT Normandie
Just five minutes’ walk from Deauville beach, this new site will house a museum, an auditorium and a media library. When it opens its doors in June, the museum will display a unique and important collection of works by André Hambourg, who donated over 500 paintings to the town, along with figurative and contemporary pieces. Beautifully restored, the old convent in which the site is located is an attraction in itself.
© Ville de Deauville
The Normandy World Peace Forum is a major international event initiated by the Normandy Region, which will be attended by heads of state, leading academics, political specialists and guest speakers. The third edition will take place from 3 to 5 June 2020 in Caen, just before the anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, and will provide a platform for reflection and exchange on world tensions and peace building.
© S. Freres CRT Normandie
Designed by Liam O’Connor, the award-winning architect behind London’s Bomber Command Memorial, this new site will honour the 22 000 soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who died fighting under British command during D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. It will stand on a commanding site
overlooking Gold Beach, near the town of Ver-sur-Mer. To open in June.
This autumn, why not head to one of the scallop festivals taking place on the coast? Normandy is one of the best regions in France for scallops, and knows how to celebrate them in true style, with food, music and entertainment for all the family.
All along the Alabaster Coast, herrings are the order of the day in the month of November! Visit one of Normandy’s herring festivals this year and you’ll find plenty to make your mouth water, not to mention music and entertainment for all ages.
These popular seaside resorts are renowned for their Belle Epoque villas, long sandy beaches and picturesque ports.
© V. Joannon D. Dumas CRT Normandie
The «Wonder of the Western World» and its bay are both included on the UNESCO list of World Cultural and Natural Heritage sites. In 2015 the Mont-Saint-Michel became an island once more, with a long-awaited new bridge now connecting it to the mainland.
© M. Dietmar
The dramatic white cliffs of Etretat inspired many artists and writers such as Monet and Boudin together with Flaubert and Maupassant. The main town on the Alabaster Coast, Dieppe, was France’s first seaside resort.
© V. Restuel
The GR21 hiking trail (from Le Tréport to Le Havre) was named France’s favourite hiking trail last year!
Recently voted 2nd best market in the whole country! Dieppe's Saturday morning market truly is a must-see! Full of flavours, scents and colours, it is packed with regional produce and stretches over 2km!
© B. Collier CRT Normandie
Normandy’s Channel coast is world famous for the part it played on 6th June 1944. The landings were launched on five beaches of the Calvados and Manche counties codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.
© T. Houyel
Situated North West, discover the charm of Cotentin. Admire the town’s traditional architecture and fishing ports. La Cité de la Mer aquarium in Cherbourg is also on hand, offering the largest submarine open to public in which you can learn all about life at sea. The vast parks provide interesting and beautiful trails while thrill seekers can try their hand at the many water-sports on offer.
© Maison du tourisme de Cherbourg - Cotentin
Did you know?
France's Favourite Village
Each year, viewers of the 'Village Préféré des Français' TV-programme are asked to decide on their favourite French village out of a selection of 14 contenders. This year, Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue was proudly representing Normandy, and won the title!
Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue truly is unique! With its narrow streets, good restaurants and shops (including the famous Maison Gosselin), gorgeous setting, relaxed atmosphere, UNESCO-listed Vauban Towers and its very own Tatihou Island, it's a seaside village unlike any other.
© B. Collier CRT Normandie
This quaint artist’s retreat on the banks of the Seine became home to Monet in 1883. The original Japanese bridge and water lilies can be seen at the Fondation Monet and the Musée des Impressionnismes is well worth a visit as well.
© Fondation Claude Monet, Giverny
Caen is a modern city with historical sites such as the Abbaye aux Hommes and Abbaye aux Dames together with the Caen Memorial, peace museum.
© Calvados Tourisme
Bayeux, medieval modern city, is home to the famous 11th century Unesco listed Bayeux Tapestry that tells the tale of the conquest of England by William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy.
© Ville de Bayeux
Rouen is the historical capital of Normandy, with its paved streets, half-timbered buildings, Gothic churches where you can follow in the footsteps of Joan of Arc and Claude Monet who painted his series of cathedral in the city centre.
© S. Frères CRT Normandie
Alençon honoured by UNESCO, as well as by a museum in town, Alençon is particularly proud of its unique lace-making traditions… as it is of its many extraordinary women. The town has architectural highlights too as one-time capital of a little duchy and as historic capital of the southern Norman département of Orne.
© Stéphane Maurice - CRT Normandie
Built beside a romantic lake, hiding in magnificent forests, Bagnoles-de-l’Orne, this charming thermal spa town nestles in the Normandie-Maine Regional Nature Park. With an elegant casino and racecourse as well as its renovated thermal spa centre, Bagnoles-de-l’Orne makes for a deeply relaxing break.
© Thierry Houyel
Plan your trip in Normandy and refer to this map where you will find the must-see sites.
Brochures, useful addresses, maps… all you need to plan your stay in Normandy!
In Normandy, six villages have been awarded the Plus Beaux Villages de France (meaning “France's most beautiful villages”) label. For perfect-scenery, please Click here
Do you prefer staying by the seaside, in the country or is a city break more your kind of holiday? Hotels, outstanding hotels and restaurants, B&Bs and gîtes, campsites, holiday villages and also atypical accommodation… you’ll be spoilt for choice in Normandy.
© V. Rustel
Enjoy this short video of Normandy’s landscapes and sites at their best!
View all of the videos Normandy on the YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/NormandyTourism/videos