Normandy

Normandy Travel Guide

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.

Articles about Normandy

For history buffs, veterans, and families of World War II heroes, Normandy has become something of a pilgrimage site. Millions of travelers come to the region each year to reverently visit the beaches (where Allied forces invaded on D-Day in 1944)...
The late Victorians, our intellectual parents in so many ways, jettisoned the religious pilgrimage for a different kind of quest—the search for a landscape in key with their own inchoate yearnings. Paris and Rome retained their complicated allure,...
Vera Gordon, a retired educator in Brooklyn, New York, is a garden-variety traveler. Literally. Like more and more botanically minded tourists, she’s traversed the globe to experience its horticultural hot spots—and returned with fresh perspective...
An easy long weekend from Paris, Normandy can be at its best in the fall, when the crowds have gone and the market towns are flush with the harvest. Rent a 1950’s Citroën from Vintage Roads (three-day rentals from $540), which will deliver your ca...
It is often cloudy in Deauville, even in summer. But that doesn’t stop the daily promenade on the famous boardwalk known as Les Planches. For all the many pleasures of this serene resort town, made semi-famous by its music and film festivals and i...
Now you can pedal your way through the European countryside with Ama Waterways (amawaterways.com), which carries 30 bikes on each of its six European vessels (guests can ride the 20-mile Danube route from Melk to Dürnstein, in Austria). Other cru...
Q: My husband and I want to spend a weekend in Manhattan. Where are the best new places to stay and eat? —Alison Carter, San Jose, Calif. A: “I’d base myself at the retro-cool Ace Hotel (doubles from $299) or at the modern Andaz Wall Street (doub...
She gave us the classic Chanel suit and the little black dress, and now Coco Chanel—la femme—has proved her staying power thanks to the recent films Coco Before Chanel and Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky. With the customized Coco Before Chanel Tour ...
Kudos to Sophy Roberts for her superb article on Ladakh. I first came to know the region while reading Ancient Futures by Helena Norberg-Hodge, the Swedish-American linguist who put this nook of a place on the map. She wrote about traditional Lada...
At La Cour Beaudeval, a creeper-clad 17th-century farmhouse in Normandy, just an hour from Paris, you can purchase the perfect pair of vintage mercury-glass candlesticks and rest your head upon a Louis XVI‚style bed piled with toile de Jouy pillow...