France

Things to do in Normandy

Known for its stunning coastline, rustic landscapes, and rich culture and heritage, Normandy is the perfect destination if you are looking for a diverse trip and a great self-drive holiday option.

With lots of links to World War II, plenty of well-known towns to explore, and some popular landmarks to discover, there’s a whole range of things to do in Normandy no matter what you enjoy doing during your time away.

You can reach the area that Normandy covers in around two hours from the port in Calais, so when you take your car to France you can start your adventure in no time at all!

 

DVR

Dover Port

CQF

Calais Port

Morning

01:25

04:30

06:15

09:20

Midday

11:05

Afternoon

14:10

15:55

Evening

19:00

20:40

23:45

Honfleur Port in Normandy, France

Things to do in Normandy

Drive Along the Alabaster Coast

One of the top things to do in Normandy is to take a drive along the Alabaster Coast, as this 80 mile long stretch offers the chance to view some stunning scenery, and will take you through great towns and villages too.

Lovely Étretat is famous for its rock formations, including arches and the Needle which have been formed over time by erosion, and views across the English Channel. It was also a popular subject among the Impressionists so has been included in many different works of art over the years.

Add a bit of luxury to your drive with a trip to Deauville, as this fashionable seaside resort is home to amazing architecture, sea bathing facilities, an equestrian centre, a casino, horse racing and polo events, and a number of elegant hotels, boutiques and eateries too.

You could also choose to visit Dieppe where you can see the Château de Dieppe which sits on the cliff overlooking the beach, or simply watch a variety of boats and ships head into the town’s four ports.

Cliffs on the coast in Normandy, France

Notre Dame De Bayeux Cathedral

Visit Bayeux

Head 10km inland from the coast and you will find the fascinating town of Bayeux where you can wander its cobbled streets and discover all of the great things to do there.

Mostly famous for the Bayeux Tapestry, a 70 metre long and 50cm wide wall-hanging showing the events leading up to William the Conqueror seizing England in 1066, Bayeux also has its own Notre-Dame Cathedral which was consecrated in 1077 and was the original home of the tapestry before it was moved.

Once you have taken in some of Bayeux’s history, discover the town from a different perspective with a walk or bike ride along the River Aure. A trip along the trail will give you the opportunity to see old restored mills and wash houses from years gone by.

Normandy’s Wartime History

Many visitors use their holiday in Normandy to learn all about the monumental D-Day landings in tours of Normandy's beaches [link], where the dramatic events of the largest seaborne invasion in history are vividly brought to life by expert guides.

You can discover even more about this era by visiting the Mémorial de Caen, a war museum and memorial covering historical events between the end of World War I to the end of the Cold War, located in the historical city of Caen.
Normandy Landing Navy Memorial

Mont Saint Michel in Normandy

Mont-Saint-Michel

A trip to Normandy is not complete without setting your eyes on Mont-Saint-Michel, an ancient UNESCO World Heritage site set on a granite island. This 8th century monastery is one of France’s most recognisable landmarks and can be spotted from miles around, so you won’t be able to miss it!

Although the mount has been of religious importance since 708, the abbey was not built until the 10th century and has been a place of pilgrimage ever since. To get to the top you will need to walk up the steep, winding street which is now lined with shops, restaurants and museums, but you will be rewarded with amazing views when you reach the end.

With a stunning coastline, picture perfect towns and villages, and plenty of history to uncover, there are so many things to do in Normandy that it must be time for you to take a trip here to see it for yourself. So book your Dover to Calais crossing today and start planning your French adventure.

Explore the fascinating town of Bayeux, where you can wander the cobbled streets and discover its history

Exploring the D-Day Beaches in Normandy Read more

On the morning of 6 June 1944, the once pristine Normandy coastline became the site of the largest ever seaborne invasion in world history.

Similar destinations

food

France

France
Amsterdam canal bridge

Amsterdam

Netherlands
Enjoy a Belgian Beer when you visit Bruges

Bruges

Belgium