Sitting in the northwest corner of France, Normandy has provided the stage for several dramatic moments in history: William the Conqueror started his reign here as the Duke of Normandy, and from these shores launched attacks on Britain. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake here, in Rouen. And World War II reached its pivotal moment here, as Allied troops came ashore to take back France on D-Day in 1944. And while this region does not immediately conjure the same kinds of romantic visions as the south of France does, Normandy travel does offer a lot more than just a gripping military history tour: this is the region that also inspired Monet to paint his water lilies, and its best beach towns, Deauville and Trouville, have attracted jetsetters and families alike for decades. Explore this Normandy travel guide to start discovering this unique coastal area, filled with rugged cliffs, castles, abbeys —and some classic French cuisine.
Things Not to Miss in Normandy
• Falaise d’Etretat Cliffs
• Battle Normandy Memorial Museum
• Normandy American Cemetery
• Deauville Beach
• Abbaye aux Hommes
• Omaha Beach
• Hiking and biking
• Enjoy some authentic camembert cheese
When to Go to Normandy
The ideal time to visit Normandy is in the spring or summer, when the flowers and foliage are in full bloom and the temperatures are mild.
If you want to focus your trip on the beaches and visiting the cliffs, summer is the peak time to travel to Normandy.
Winter is not out of the question here—just pack heavier clothing and raingear.