Normandy, a choice broad enough to suit all tastes
Normandy, one of the famous heritage sites in France, offers a stunning coastline, picturesque ports, and beaches. Nature lovers can head inland to get away from it all in the idyllic countryside. Edouard Valère, Deputy Marketing Manager at the Normandy Tourist Board, takes us from the Mont-Saint-Michel to the heart of the Northern countryside.
Atout France: Describe your favorite view in Normandy
Edouard Valère: The Mont-Saint-Michel Bay, especially the Pointe du Grouin du Sud, is perhaps one of my favorite places! Located on one side of the bay, it gives you a wonderful view of the Mont-Saint-Michel. Make sure to be there during the super high tides and enjoy an extraordinary natural show. They are the biggest tides in Europe. Between low and high tide, the sea level can rise up to 13 meters (43 feet). As a consequence, the landscape is different every six hours. When the tide rises, the sea fills the bay very quickly. The legend says that sea comes in as fast as a galloping horse. By low tide, you can explore and cross the bay by foot. Accompanied by specialist guides, you can discover the exceptional diversity of the bay’s unique ecosystem. Once on the Mont-Saint-Michel, visitors climb the steep, cobbled lanes by foot to reach the abbey that crowns the Mount’s summit. The west terrace, a square in front of the abbey, offers breathtaking views of the bay so it’s well worth the climb! During super high tide you can see the Mont-Saint-Michel becoming an island once more. Find out more on www.discover-montsaintmichel.com
AF: If you only had 24 hours in Normandy, where would you eat and drink ?
EV: Well, I would go to the Pays d’Auge which is a lovely area. It spreads from the Flower Coast, well-known for its stylish seaside resorts like Deauville, Trouville, Honfleur, Cabourg and Houlgate… to sixty kilometers south (37 miles). It’s a very green area with sweet hills, apple trees everywhere, and many farms and distilleries. An excellent brandy called Calvados (made from apple) and very tasty cheeses are produced in the area. One of the most famous is Camembert. If you don’t have enough time, my tip would be to rent a car and explore the Pays d’Auge, taste cheeses and calvados, and visit charming villages like Beuvron-en-Auge for example. I would have dinner in Honfleur, which is a very pretty harbor. Here, you can enjoy a huge range of cuisine (traditional food, seafood, or modern cuisine) in one of the many restaurants set around the old harbor or along the paved streets. This picturesque village welcomed many impressionist artists like Eugène Boudin or Claude Monet.
AF: What is your favorite season in Normandy?
EV: I love spring because the nature changes very fast! Every day there is something new to look at.
It’s an explosion of light, colors and perfumes. Temperatures are higher, people start to spend more time outside, chilling out on terraces...It’s great!
One of my favorite places to enjoy spring is the Claude Monet house and garden located in Giverny.
Claude Monet, who spent 43 years in Giverny, created a garden as a palette of colors. Influenced by the Japanese culture, he also built a water garden known for its water lilies and Japanese bridge. What a great experience to follow the footsteps of the Impressionist artists during springtime in Normandy! Start with Giverny and then follow the river Seine to Rouen, Honfleur and Le Havre. Don’t forget to follow the Albaster Coast with Etretat, Fecamp or Dieppe which saw the first impressionist painters. Normandy, which is the birthplace of Impressionism, is home to the second biggest collection of Impressionist paintings in France. Save the date! The ‘Festival Normandie Impressionniste’ will return, from April to September 2016, with Impressionist portraits as the central theme. Exhibits and events will take place throughout the region celebrating not only painting, but also other forms of artistic expression influenced by Impressionism: music, dance, theatre, photography and architecture.
For more information, please contact:
Edouard VALERE - Deputy Marketing Manager
Normandy Tourist Board
14 rue Charles Corbeau
27 000 EVREUX
Tél : 0 (33) 2 32 33 07 07 - Fax : 0 (33) 2 32 31 19 04