Mont Saint-Michel Normandie ©Pixel & Création – Fotolia.com
Normandy offers a great choice of scenery, culture and gastronomy. Whether it’s strolling along the stunning Alabaster Coast, visiting the historic D-Day beaches, exploring the Impressionist trail, enjoying a seafood platter on the Cotentin Peninsula or some local cider and cheese in the Pays d’Auge, Normandy has something for everyone!
5 ways to #FeelNormandy
This new attraction explores the history of the traditional Norman drink through multi-sensory exhibits, making for a fun and informative visit for young and old alike. Learn all about the production process and how Calvados has changed over the years, and finish your visit with a tasting session (over 18s only).
Behind the scenes at the National Stud
Dubbed the ‘Versailles of Horses’, the Haras du Pin is the oldest, most prestigious national stud in France. In addition to the traditional shows that take place throughout the summer, visitors are now invited to take a new ‘behind the scenes’ tour and discover all the secrets of the stud.
Explore the Parc du Chantore
For almost 250 years, the extensive gardens of the hilltop Château de Chantore have been off-limits. As of 2018, visitors can take a walk around the lake, breathing in the fragrance of assorted flowers and the salt in the air while enjoying stunning views of the nearby Bay of the Mont-Saint-Michel.
74th anniversary of D-Day
Normandy is truly a region touched by history, for it was here that an amazing armada of Allied troops – British, American, Canadian and more – landed on its beaches on 6 June 1944 to liberate Europe. This year’s D‑Day Festival will take place on 26 May‑10 June.
Normandy’s answer to Glastonbury
Set in a stunning château, Beauregard Festival 2018 takes place on 6-9 July. This popular rock, pop and electro music festival began ten years ago, and has since established itself as a serious player on the European festival scene. Headliners include Depeche Mode, MGMT and The Offspring.
NEED TO KNOW
A visit to the market in Normandy is a great way of experiencing the region’s culinary traditions and quality local produce. Markets here close at midday, however, so make sure you visit before then to stock up on your cheese, seafood and other delicious Norman fare!
A LOCAL’S TOP TIP
A trip to the Mont-Saint-Michel is made even more memorable when you avoid the crowds and visit in the evening, plus parking is free after 7pm!
FOR THE DIARY
In March 2018, cycling publisher Sustrans will be bringing out an official guide in English to the Veloscenic cycling route which extends from Paris to the Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, written by author and cyclist Richard Peace – March 2018 veloscenic.com
As of this spring, bicycle specialists Petite Reine will be running two new cycling day trips – Bayeux and the D-Day Landing Beaches and the Mont-Saint-Michel – on standard and electric bicycles, allowing visitors to easily explore Normandy’s historic sites with or without a local guide – Spring 2018 us.petitereinenormandie.fr
Summer 2018 will see a new Irish Ferries luxury vessel, the W.B. Yeats, operate on the Dublin to Cherbourg route, boasting up to four return sailings weekly, 441 cabins, capacity for 1,885 passengers and crew, and space for 1,200 cars – Summer 2018 irishferries.com
On 22 and 23 June, the courtyard of the stunning 17th-century Château du Champ de Bataille will provide a regal backdrop for Opéra en Plein Air’s annual opera production, which this year will be Georges Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ – 22-23 June operaenpleinair.com
On 8-16 September, the biennial Dieppe International Kite Festival on Normandy’s picturesque Alabaster Coast will attract thousands of visitors and boasts an impressive array of kites of all shapes and sizes being flown along the beach in Dieppe- 8-16 September dieppe-cerf-volant.org
Plage d’Arromanches, le 6 juin 2013. © Thierry Houyel