places to visit in normandy

by Sharon Santoni

I just finished two wonderful tours in my area of France, Normandy, and in Paris with the loveliest group of ladies.  Merci mesdames!     It’s a privilege for me to share the places and people that I appreciate so much here.

Whenever I’m on tour, I receive a lot of emails and messages asking for recommendations for places to visit, so I thought I’d simply share with you a list of some of my favorite addresses in Normandy. Several are owned by friends, others are beautiful locations I’ve discovered over the years.

Gardens

Shamrock   – a collection of more than 1200 hydrangeas  http://hortensias-hydrangea.com/

Jardin des Agapanthes  – a beautiful garden by landscape architect and designer Alexandre Thomas. Beautiful antiques are also placed around the flower beds. http://www.jardin-agapanthe.fr/

Plume  – the garden is divided into four sections, the orchard, the autumn garden, the summer garden, and the feather garden where the plants seem to float in the breeze. http://lejardinplume.com/

Giverney – the famous gardens of Claude Monet including the iconic lily pads    http://fondation-monet.com/

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Seaside

Normandy is home to several beautiful seaside towns. My recommendations, Deauville and Honfleur.  Walk along the seafront, stop for lunch or coffee.   Take in the old quaint towns and do a little shopping.

History

The landing beaches are so important in world history, and really worth the detour.   Take in the landings museum at Arromanches, then drive along to visit the stunning military cemetery at Omaha Beach.

https://www.musee-arromanches.fr/accueil/index.php?lang=uk

Take the time also to visit the nearby town of Bayeux, miraculously untouched by the war, and truly one of the prettiest towns in Normandy.

 

Antiques

Balines – Large Brocante and Antique center regrouping ten dealers.  Huge choice of antiques and architectural elements
Chez Nous Compagne – a beautiful 18th century farmhouse with an antique shop in one of the renovated barns,   Les Joncherets https://www.chez-nous-campagne.com/

 

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Merivouel Antiques in Mortagne – https://www.proantic.com/galerie/maison-merouvel-antiquite/

Chateaux

Chateau Miromesnil – a beautiful chateau with a potager out back (vegetable garden). http://www.chateaumiromesnil.com/

 

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Bois des Moutiers  – a stunning 19th-century manor home with English inspired gardens   https://www.boisdesmoutiers.com/

 

Restaurants

La Centrale  – the perfect example of a great French bistro.   Seafood, white wine, set beside the fish market and not far from the beach in Trouville .    158 Boulevard Fernand Moureaux, 14360 Trouville-sur-Mer

Maison de la Ferriere – classic, good French food in a bistro setting, 6 Place Modeste Leroy, 27160 Verneuil d’Avre et d’Iton

Café des Amis –   home-cooked, delicious food served with a smile, Boissy Maugis

 

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Stay

A L’Ecole Buissoniere, Honfleur –  The former schoolhouse has been transformed into a charming and very comfortable small hotel in the heart of bustling Honfleur. http://www.a-lecole-buissonniere.com/

La Ferme St Simeon  – perched high above Honfleur, luxury in the countryside.  https://fermesaintsimeon.fr/en/

Domaine des Evis –  a charming B&B in a 17th century fortified farm.   A great base for visiting the Perche   https://www.domainedesevis.com/

 

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I hope you enjoyed this selection of places to visit in Normandy and the map below showing where each is located.  I’ve lived here for decades but still find new things to discover and share.  I’d love to hear about your Normandy favorites in the comments below.  Merci!

19 comments

Dianne a Estes October 8, 2019 - 9:44 pm

I have not received my latest magazine

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bonnie groves poppe October 8, 2019 - 9:46 pm

I thought the Bayeux Tapestry (its actually an embroidery) is one of the most remarkable things I have ever seen, and it came so close to being lost. The purpose built museum housing it in Bayeux is well designed to showcase and interpret this amazing piece of history. One should not visit Normandy without seeing it.
bonnie in provence

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david terry October 8, 2019 - 10:26 pm

Intrigued by your comment, I just looked the history of the tapestry and found this:

“During World War II, the Nazis, like Napoleon, were attracted to the tapestry’s depiction of the successful invasion of England (and to the Norman connection to the Aryan race, Normans being Viking descendants). For safekeeping, the Nazis moved the tapestry to an abbey at Juaye-Mondaye and then to Chateau de Sourches, near Le Mans.

When the Allies landed at Normandy in 1944, an SS guard took the tapestry to the Louvre. Just as Hitler was ordering Paris bombed, SS Chief Heinrich Himmler tried to arrange to move the tapestry to Berlin but the Resistance had already captured the Louvre. The tapestry was exhibited one final time in Paris before it was returned to Bayeux in 1945.”

—–david terry
rougemont, nc

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bonnie groves poppe October 9, 2019 - 11:21 am

I didn’t know that part of the history! What I saw or read somewhere is that it was being used as a tarp to cover a load of trash when someone recognized its importance. Both good stories!
bonnie

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Jane October 9, 2019 - 3:20 pm

We stayed in Bayeux when we visited Normandy and agree the town is lovely and the Tapestry is well worth the trip. It was interesting learning more about its history here, thank you!

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Stephanie October 8, 2019 - 9:52 pm

Sharon,
Merci Beaucoup! What an absolutely wonderful idea! On a beautiful fall day here in the states it was wonderful to grab a cup of coffee and sit on the porch and read about your delightful area. Had a wonderful time in Normandy two years ago! This would have been a VERY helpful guide. Looking forward to the November box. Loving everything you do! ❤️

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Carole J October 8, 2019 - 9:59 pm

Hi Sharon, I do so appreciate the places to see list! Also I throughly enjoyed the, Fall Delights in Burgundy issue!!! The photos are beautiful, and you bet I am baking that apple tart recipe too. Yum. Merci! Merci!

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Melanie Arnst October 8, 2019 - 10:23 pm

Merci beaucoup, so helpful, thanks so much for sharing!! I haven’t found a place in Normandy I haven’t loved yet, well for that matter anywhere in France:) Trying to see as much as possible so we can decide where to move to

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Jo J. October 8, 2019 - 10:59 pm

What a nice mini-tour. All the places were lovely.

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Annette Campbell October 8, 2019 - 11:22 pm

I Love Normandy, some beautiful villages with their markets to explore. I loved Petite Les Andeley and I agree with you Honfleur is a picturesque town, again with a lovely market. But let’s face it …pick a village in France and you wont be disappointed.

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Pamela Dunn October 8, 2019 - 11:25 pm

When should the September/October issue arrive?

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Vicky from Athens October 8, 2019 - 11:28 pm

Sharon, I’ve loved everything about Normandy that I’ve experienced. My husband and I hope to return in a few years and see more. Thanks so much for the suggestions. I’d like to add The Caen Memorial Museum to the list under history. It is truly outstanding!! Built over a huge German bunker…my husband and I spent nearly 6 hours there and still didn’t feel like we saw everything.

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Lenore October 9, 2019 - 3:18 am

I will never forget my visit to Giverney. The day was cloudy and then it started to rain. We got there before the tour buses but then the buses came. Since it was raining the visitors only went to the gift shop and did not venture out into the beautiful garden. We along with just a few others got to enjoy it without the crowds. The flowers were fabulous. The smell in the air was fabulous. I could have stayed there forever. I hope to go back someday soon.

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Missy Klicka October 9, 2019 - 4:31 am

Thank you Sharon for your suggestions!
What a real gift to have someone who knows the area well to share their knowledge! Next year will be our third exploration of Normandy and we wish to enjoy every minute of it as well as drink in the relaxation and beauty for a week or so stay!
The Beaux tapestry is indeed magnificent, having been an embroiderer I admire the beauty of the artist with the needle. The war museum in Caen also is very informative with so much history. The Beaches and bunkers and History of D-Day
And the American Cemetery were also a must see. We also ventured to Mont Saint-Michel, such a magically enchanting place to visit!

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bonnie groves poppe October 9, 2019 - 11:24 am

Yes, Mont St. Michel also, I visited when it was raining and rather chilly, but enjoyed it nevertheless in spite of the hordes of tourists. I especially enjoyed watching groups go out onto the tidal land and fall down in the mud. Shame on me.
bonnie

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Flowers Indiawide October 9, 2019 - 8:09 am

Pleasure to go through such wonderful work!!

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Karen in VA October 9, 2019 - 3:26 pm

Sharon, your photos are always a delight. Normandy is so special and different from any other region in France. With friends for a couple days in Bayeux, we planned to see the beaches and cemeteries. I sat next to a wonderful restaurant critic on the plane over who convinced me to skip the beaches (we had only one day there) and spend time with the Bayeux Tapestry. Tough decision, but I have no regrets. …. p.s. my magazine arrived in 5 days love it.

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Sari Ojala October 10, 2019 - 2:18 pm

Thank you so much, Sharon. I am just coming to Normandy for 1,5 months and I got plenty of new places to explore. The fall is so nice in your neighbourhood.
I’ve been reading your stories from the beginning, you do great work. So inspiring and great photos.

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This & That: October 11, 2019 – The Simply Luxurious Life® October 11, 2019 - 4:13 am

[…] ~Save this list for your next trip to Normandy. Sharon Santoni shares the places to visit. […]

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