Many visitors to Paris take short trips to Normandy to see the WWII memorials and battlegrounds, but in December there’s even more reason to head to the region—the Christmas markets of Normandy. Let’s take a look at what awaits children of all ages in the Normandy towns of Rouen and Caen. They’re perfect for a holiday-themed day trip as the cities are walkable from the train station, and Christmas markets in Normandy give you a good idea of what Christmas is really like for the French once it is stripped of the glitz and glamor of chic Paris.
When you’re touring WWII sites in Normandy, the sheer human toll of the war takes on a very real quality as you visit each cemetery, battlefield and memorial. But it wasn’t – and still isn’t – just the soldiers whose loves are lost, which is the focus of the Bayeux Reporters Memorial.
The poet Charles Causley was inspired to write “At the British War Cemetery Bayeux” after visiting this moving homage to soldiers – many of them unknown – from the UK and 10 other countries who gave their lives in WWII. It was his first visit to a war cemetery, and it may be yours, too. Here’s what you need to know so you can keep your focus on the experience, and not on logistics.
When people think of the Normandy coast, it’s usually when they’re talking about the WWII battles that raged there. But the Normandy coast was around long before that historic turning point, and today is a popular destination for the French as well as visitors from around the world. Here are some things to see and do on the beautiful Normandy coast.
While foodies flock to Paris to get their delicious fix, no one should be turning their nose up at the food in Normandy. Not familiar with the cuisine of this region? Well, have you heard of camembert, or brioche, or hard cider? All of those yummy products and more come from Normandy. Here is a list of many of the foods in Normandy you can enjoy.
When you visit Paris, you quickly learn to orient yourself by which side of the Seine you’re on. And chances are, you’ve taken a stroll along its banks and taken pictures from its historic bridges. But what you may not know is that where the Seine begins, at an English Channel estuary on the Normandy coast, is just as picturesque – and historic. But once you learn about it, visiting Honfleur quickly rises to the top of your France vacation to-do list.
One thing that gets people positively giddy when they’re planning a trip to London is when they realize that by taking the Eurostar train to France via the Chunnel. Honestly, does anything seem more jet-setting than when you can go to Paris for lunch during your vacation? But what many don’t know is that they can also head to Lille on the Eurostar. It’s a great city that’s off the beaten path enough to feel like you’re truly discovering a place, and yet convenient. And besides the fun to be had in Lille itself, there are all kinds of Normandy day trips from Lille – you know, for when you are just so over Paris and want to really go exploring in France, as you do.
Paris is too crowded, the Riviera is too hot; if you’re thinking of coming to France in the summer, with its mix of history, gastronomy, country living and seaside fun, I think you’ll find Normandy in summer is juuuust right.
I’m here to tell you that yes, it does exist; yes, you can go there while on vacation in France; and NO, it is not a hassle! It just takes a little bit of planning, but once you know how to get to Mont St. Michel, you will never want to leave.
The Bayeux Tapestry is a big tourist draw, and has put Bayeux on the map as a destination for visitors to France. But once you’ve seen it, well, is there anything else to do in that area of Normandy? The answer is a resounding yes. Here are some ideas for the best day trips from Bayeux.