A HIDDEN GEM - NORMANDY, FRANCE
Normandy, located in northern France is famous for the D-Day landing of the allied forces in WW II. The region's rich historical offering makes it a marvelous travel destination for history enthusiasts and those who would want to get away for a trip in Europe.
Boasting dramatic landscapes with gorgeous shoreline, rugged cliffs and verdant valleys, Normandy is a perfect destination for those who love stunning natural scenery. Sightseeing is also a delight in the area with its many picturesque towns, vibrant market scene, impressive architecture as well as stunning parks and gardens. And, those who are passionate about art are in for a big treat because some of the best works of world-renowned masters such as Monet, Turner and Sisley were inspired by the area's natural beauty.
Normandy is divided into two regions: Upper Normandy and Lower Normandy both offering a diverse set of breathtaking landscapes and wonderful attractions, which makes choosing between these two destinations a challenging thing to do. Upper Normandy is composed of the departments of Eure and Seine-Maritime covering the towns of Evreux , Giverny, Dieppe, Le Havre and Rouen. The area is known for its breathtaking landscapes that have inspired many famous impressionist painters. The town of Giverny, in particular, is a popular tourist destination for fans of the great Monet. During summer, you will find a long line of eager visitors waiting outside his house to see relics of his genius.
If you want to see splendid gothic cathedral then a visit to Evreux is also a must. However, Rouen - with a hundred church towers dotting its skyline - is still the ultimate destination for Gothic architecture. If you love castle ruins, then do not miss a visit to Les Andelys where you can explore Richard the Lionheart's Chateau Gaillard and bask in the glorious panorama of the Seine at the same time. Of course, the fascinating white cliffs of Etretat are a necessity when in the area. If you are coming from Paris and want a laid back sojourn by the beach in a charming small town, then Dieppe - the Parisians' favorite - makes for a worthwhile visit.
Now as for the Lower Normandy , on the other hand, it is composed of the departments of Orne, Manche and Cavaldos, covering the popular towns of Caen, Honfleur, Bayeux and Mont Saint Michel among others. Cavaldos is home to the historic D-Day Beaches where the allied troops landed for Operation Overlord. Caen is the perfect base to explore these historic beaches. If you are more inclined towards leisure visits rather than historical jaunts, then head to the beautiful seaside towns of Deauville, Trouville and Honfleur - the attractions of the Flowered Coast. Then, there is Manche - famous for the Abbey of Mont Saint Michel, dramatically suspended on a rocky hill and renowned for its unbelievable architecture. Another dont-miss architectural attraction worth your time in the region is the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Coutances.