Many visitors to France use the charming town of Bayeux as a base from which to explore the many WWII sites in Normandy. But the region around Bayeux offers up delightful surprises for the visitors as well, and are not nearly as crowded as, say, Versailles or Fontainebleau, even in the high season. A fine example of this is the Château de Balleroy.
Never heard of the Cotentin Peninsula? It played a major part in the Allies’ D-Day invasion of France, and today is the perfect mix of history and natural beauty that gives a vacation itinerary good geographical focus. And with the convenience of Bayeux as a base, you’re sure to have a relaxing time as well.
“Le Havre” means port or harbor in French, and it’s an apt name for this city on the Normandy coast. Second only to Marseille’s port in size, Le Havre sits on the Seine estuary and has a long and interesting maritime history.
Normandy is justly famous among travelers for its WWII history, and each year almost a million people visit the coast to pay homage to the Greatest Generation’s heroes. Outdoor fanatics enjoy everything from cycling to land sailing. And foodies come for the cheese, the cider, and the Cognac. But what about the art lovers among us? Is there enough art in Normandy to excite the imagination? Why yes, there is!
About halfway through a 10-day vacation to Paris, many people start getting… well, not antsy, but they have the lay of the land and often they get curious about what else this fabulous country has to offer. That’s why adding a day trip to Caen from Paris is a great idea for any itinerary.
Bayeux is not simply a place to lay your head in between touring WWII monuments and memorials. It’s a thriving town in its own right, with a wonderful sense of its own history and traditions, and never shy about making new ones as well. Here are some Bayeux festivals not to miss if you’re in the area during these times.
For those interested in commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings in 2014, there are many museums and monuments throughout Normandy that remember this historic event. They honor different Allied nations and different aspects of the landings as well as the ensuing battles and liberation of France, but they all are worth a visit and offer an experience that simply can’t be had anywhere else on earth. Here is our list of favorites from the region.
My family and I moved to Europe as expats in 2012. When I asked my family when they’d like to come visit, without hesitation my father said “2014. It will be the 70th anniversary of D-Day and touring the beaches of Normandy would really be something for me to see.” After all, his uncle served in World War II so he felt a personal connection. To give him the opportunity to see the beaches and historic landmarks, I had to do it right- and that included taking a professionally guided tour of Normandy. I signed up for an Omaha Beach Half-Day trip and hoped it would give him the experience he was looking for.
With the 70th anniversary of D-Day in 2014, the eyes of the world turn to the coastline of Normandy, France and the events that will commemorate this historic event. But at any time of year, visitors flock to Normandy to visit the WWII museums and monuments of the region; it’s become practically synonymous with D-Day. But what many visitors don’t realize is that an entire vacation could be spent in Normandy with nary a memorial in sight! Here are our top 5 reasons to visit Normandy other than war history.
Bayeux is a popular base for people who want to visit the many WWII monuments and cemeteries in Normandy. But there are many charming villages near Bayeux that, especially if you have a car for your trip, are easily accessible and have you back in town in time for dinner. Let’s take a look at some of the lesser-known gems in the region.