Normandy spreads over the northwestern corner of France, a region blessed with a stunning natural beauty, one that once inspired the impressionists. With its lush green pastures and orchards, Normandy remains a largely untouched paradise. With a wealth of unique attractions, it is a holiday destination that will entice you back time after time. The beauty of Normandy has inspired world famous artists, such as  Pissarro, Boudin, Sisley and Monet, returning from all over the world to the region, that provoked their creative excitement.

 

Normandie

Places to visit

Fighting in WWII destroyed many of the great medieval towns, but a few treasures still remain and make a trip to Normandy worthwhile, including the Abbey of Bec and Chateau d'Etelan.

Mont Saint-Michel Abbey is one of France's best-known attractions, situated on a rocky island just off the coast of Normandy and Brittany. It took nearly 400 years to built the granite marvel, that encompasses a range of architectural styles, from Norman to Gothic. The abbey was a place for pilgrimages for centuries and also served as a monastery, a prison and a fortress against the English.

The region has a proud and independent historical heritage and was one of the driving powers of medieval Europe.  The Vikings conquered Normandy in the 9th century, further on it became a home to William the Conqueror who in 1066 defeated King Harold at the Battle of Hastings and started the great line of Norman aristocrats, still eminent in England.

The province is, however, probably best known for the Normandy campaign of 1944 when the Allies began their liberation of France and Europe from Hitler's Germany. On an early summer morning, 6 June, in 1944 the largest armada ever known left England's south coast and set off to liberate France. The events on that day, stayed in the world history as D day. Today veterans and their families walk along the same beaches codenamed Juno, Gold, Sword, Utah and Omaha. This historic event is commemorated in the region's most popular attraction, the marvelous Bayeux Tapestry.

It was here, too, in Rouen, that audacious Joan of Arc was burned at the stake at Place du Vieux-Marché (the Old Marketplace). The capital of Normandy is a popular holiday destination, and a centre of industry and commerce; it is the fifth largest port in France and the closest one to Paris, split into a right and left bank area by the River Seine.

Normandy is a home to the chic seaside resort of Deauville that Coco Chanel started a fashion renaissance opening her first boutique.

Honfleur is a small, but lively fishing port that escaped serious damage during the World War II Normandy landings. The charming town still functions as a fishing port and follows traditions dating back to medieval times, although it has lost its beach, due to the silting up of the river.

 Cuisine

Today region is overwhelming abundance of local agricultural produce is greatly appreciated even by the fussy French palates. With 360 miles of coastline, Normandy inspires its chefs to be very creative with seafood - shrimp, crayfish, oysters, whelks and many many more, served with lemon, mayonnaise, and vinegar-shallot dipping sauces!

The region is also known, not for its wine, but for its ciders and apple brandy. Normandy is the best place to try Neufchatel, Livarot, Pont l'Evêque, Camembert, Brillat-Savarin, Boursin, Petit-Suisse and dozens more heart-shaped cheeses, from the local  farmers' markets.

Where to stay

Staying in a private chateau, gite or chambre d'hotes is a great chance to experience the charm of the culture and live like a local, even fro a while. Rates can vary in different seasons, but the range is €10 - 15 per person per night. Find your perfect home away in Normandy on SunnyRentals.com

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