If you watched the Tour de France in 2015, you may be familiar with the stunning sights of Normandy and Picardy as the cyclists sped through the regions.
Intrigued to find out more and explore these regions for yourself? Then read on as we discover what makes this region so special.
Normandy and Picardy are both popular holiday destinations – they’re easy to get to and there is plenty to see and do in the surrounding areas. You can explore the miles of coastline, backed by stunning high cliffs and interspersed with quaint fishing ports and stretches of golden sand or venture inland where there are magnificent forests, tranquil streams and cider-producing fruit orchards.
Ever since the armies of William the Conqueror set sail in Normandy in 1066, the region has had a pivotal role in European history, and history has certainly left its mark on the landscape which is dotted with sturdy castles and stunning cathedrals. Although many towns were shattered during the battle of Normandy, the original architecture shines through. Beautiful old ports line the coast and medieval towns such as Honfleur and Barfleur, or modern resorts such as Étretat and Trouville are worth discovering. The region was in the news heavily in 2014 as the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I was marked around the world. Normandy beaches are hugely popular in the summer months, busy with visitors from all over Europe. You’ll find a diverse selection of outdoor activities here, from walking and cycling to horse-riding, canoeing and parachuting. It’s also a popular destination with golfers, who make the most of the stunning views offered by more than 40 courses.
Normandy is ideal for those seeking authentic culinary experiences; most restaurants use locally sourced products. The coastline provides and abundance of fresh seafood from shellfish to lobster, clams, scallops, mussels and oysters. Normandy is also famous for its dairy products like butter, milk, cream and cheese and is renowned for its apples which are used to make a variety of tasty drink, most notably cider. The most famous cheese from Normandy is Camembert which comes from the village of the same name Vimoutiers.
With a beautiful landscape to explore and a wonderful variety of local attractions it’s easy to see why holidays in Normandy and Picardy are so popular. History is all around you from the Normandy landings, to the legacy of William the Conqueror. Enjoy the unique blend of maritime traditions and rural way of life. Marvel at historic towns and monuments, stroll down quiet country lands and enjoy local dishes in picturesque villages. The area is easily accessible from the ports of Cherbourg, Caen, Le Havre and Dieppe.