Brittany + Normandy

Brittany + Normandy Travel Guide

The island is monopolized by normal, regular French people of average means in the normal, regular business of being on holiday: riding bikes, picnicking, swimming (even though the water never averages more than 64 degrees), buying honey at the market, wearing out the plastic cafe furniture.

The Celtic origins of Breizh are audible in the rollicking Friday-night live music sessions at this pub, which is also serious about local beers.

Pick up provisions from this esteemed shop and picnic on the St.-Malo seawall.

No matter how jaded you are, you just have to cry, seeing those crosses stretch into the horizon.

The local specialty is a layered praline paillardise.

During the festival, the population of Deauville swells from some 4,000 to 40,000—more than a few of them royals and retainers, though now more often from the Middle East than the French nobility

Honfleur’s greatest surviving building, and its separate bell tower date back to the 15th century. The largest, most unusual wooden church in France, it was built by marine carpenters and its vaults resemble the interior of a ship’s hull.

Bayeux’s famous 230-foot-long tapestry—displayed in this well-run little museum—tells the story of the Norman conquest of England.

To the modern visitor, the island offers a small but exquisite menu of simple pleasures: walking, cycling, birding, glancing over garden walls to dote on the hydrangeas, eating.

The shop specializes in butter biscuits.

Eugène Boudin, a landscape painter from the area, met a young artist named Claude Monet and taught him to use oil paints and to work outdoors. It’s best to skip the galleries in town; any hunger for art can be satisfied at the Eugène Boudin Museum, which honors Honfleur’s famous native son.