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Normandy is a town in France that has many green graze lands packed with lots of cows, magnificent views of colorful landscapes, spacious white sandy beaches with limestone cliffs and is likewise the site where one of the world’s most unforgettable marks in history happened which is the Second World War. The creamy dish called Camembert’s place of origin is also here in the beautiful region of Normandy. It’s vacated by very friendly and welcoming locals and is the perfect destination while you’re heading out from Paris by car to visit tourist destinations in Normandy. Travel by road from the famous city of Paris down to the historic and exquisite Normandy by car and discover the many ways to make this trip more fun and enjoyable.
Situated by the English Channel coastline that’s east of Brittany, Normandy is a must visit region after you have had your fill of everything that’s Paris. This trip will lead you to one of France’s most treasured and most beautiful castle, visit the D-Day landing sites at its beaches, dine in at noted restaurants while eating a very appetizing meal, and tour the most amazing cathedral that France has to offer.
First off, you will need to settle and make car reservations before you start with your trip prior to the day when you’d start journeying to Normandy from Paris. (Click here for car rentals in Paris) Before you set off, make sure that you have fueled up enough to get you to Paris or plot the gas stations that you might pass through while traveling to Normandy. Second, make sure to pack snacks and drinks to keep you energetic through the ride, prepare a map, a guide book of roads to Normandy from France so that you won’t get lost (if you’re traveling with a gadget, Google map will do), sufficient euro bank notes and change for gas and other necessities, and of course, your camera! You’d want to take as much pictures while you can because the road to Normandy will take you to absolutely picture-perfect sites. Make sure all your gadgets are fully charged as well.
For this trip, you might have to make arrangements as to where you’ll be staying for an overnight as you journey to Normandy. First, spend at least an overnight stay at Giverny, a night near Rouen, another night near Honfleur and at least two nights at Normandy so that you can fully experience every aspect that’s made this region a tourist attraction.
The route of your trip would start by following Seine, which is north of Paris, on the A13 and exit at the Bonnieres sur Seine. Then, follow on to the N15 north along the Seine to Vernon. As you cross by the Seine, you will get a glimpse of a beautifully preserved twelfth-century bridge and an exquisite timbered dungeon which is also the perfect place to spend a picnic with family, friends or your loved one. A few kilometers north is the village of Givery. This famous town is where the internationally-renowned artist Claude Monet, who created masterpieces lived during the year 1883. There is a shop that became a visitor’s favorite. This is the place where Monet created his paintings. It’s the place in town that sells items catering to the famous artists, from posters to key rings to masterpieces.
Another must visit in Giverny is the gardens which is a multi-colored tapestry of flora that has a water garden whose waters have lili pads floating around them. This site could possibly be linked to the Garden of Eden because of its natural beauty. You can even pass the waters by passing over Japanese bridges that are hung with mauve and white wisteria.
From Giverny, you will need to go back to Vernonette and go on to D313 that’s about twenty-two kilometers to the town of Les Andelys. You will then continue on your journey to Rouen. I recommend going on the route that would lead to Les Andelys. It has magnificent scenery and is located on the banks of the Seine. Here, you can visit the Chateau Gaillard whose location is by the hill giving you another opportunity to take pictures. Continuing on to Rouen, you would need to cross the river to the south of town and follow the D135 to intersect with Autoroute and follow directions.
The town of Rouen is also known as the “Museum City”. Apart from its interesting historical background is a cathedral that has a significance in relation to Joan of Arc, walk the Old Market Square where she was burned at the stake, visit the Tour de la Purcelle where she was kept prisoner, the Tour Jeanne d’Arc, Saint Ouen cemetery that’s located at the back of the town hall, the Aecheveche and Pont Jeanne d’Arc which were all significant places that Joan of Arc spent her moments.
The eleventh century Rouen Cathedral which is one of the featured showcase of Monet’s paintings as well as the river, the factories-acclaimed paintings that are included in the Musee Marmottan collection in Paris is also one of the city’s attractions. Some other noted artists such as Caravaggio, Velasquez, Fragonard, Sisley and Gericault have also recognized this city through their expression of its beauty through art. These products of art are also displayed at Rouen’s Musee des Beaux-Arts. Other attractions in Rouen include the palace of justice, fifteenth century churches, a big clock and the sixteenth century Bourgtheroulde Mansion.
Next stop is Honfleur. In going to Honfleur from Rouen, stride along the A13. Exit at the autoroute at Beuzeville and continue on north on the D22 and turn west to the D180 to Honfleur. This place has narrow seventeenth century harbor that has tall boats and are packed with tall houses as well. There are tons of cafes and restaurants to choose from here that give customers the choice of dining outside the store to dine while taking in the beauty of the town while eating tasty French food. During Saturdays, markets are held at the Saint Catherine’s Square. Up on the hill side, there lies the Rue de I’Homme de Bois that houses the Eugene Boundin Museum. This museum is also a must-visit facility for art enthusiasts since it caters to the paintings of Boudin, Monet, Bubourg, Dufy, Friesz and Gernez.
While visiting the town of Honfleur, it would be best if you stayed the night so that you could make the most out of its marvelous town without these areas being packed with tourists during the day. Also, you may visit its neighboring towns such as the Trouville and Deauville. These places hold establishments such as casinos, beach cabanas by the resorts at Deauville visited mostly by famous people during the summer, and witness the games in racetracks and polo fields or dine with the glamourous folks at fancy luncheons and black-tie dinners during August.
From Honfleur, travel on down to Pays d’Auge. Much like the previous town, this one also has exquisitely designed houses that are clustered together with views of the green hillsides full of grazing animals and apple orchards. It’s one of the quietest towns you’d come across during this trip. There also lies the Lisieux where, during Saturdays, the farmers here would sell chickens, vegetables, cheese, underwear and shoes so the best thing to enjoy in this town would be to do a little shopping.
From there, exit through Vimoutiers (D579) and take a left turn down a country lane to Saint Germain de Livet after a few kilometers away from Lisieux. This place is packed with cottages, a church, fifteenth century Chateau Saint Germain de Livet, and a very enticing and incomparable view of the valley. The chateau is made with pepper-pot turrets and cute pink and white checkerboard designs that Is adjacent to a very colorful garden behind a huge wall.
Leaving the Chateau, you will then have to search for signposts for Vimoutiers (D268) until you will reach D47 in going to Fervaques. Like the previous town, this one too is composed of little timbered cottages and another sixteenth century chateau. While driving through, you will see signposts that will direct you to Route de Fromage.
Follow these signs until you reach Les Moutiers Hubert, to Bellou, where a huge manor house is located, to Lisores driving past its little church and ivy-covered houses, reach the main road that will lead you to Livarot (D579) and continue on for a few kilometers before you will then be directed right by the Route de Fromage down to the beautiful town of Livarot. While staying here, you should visit the lovely Museum du Fromage that’s located at one of the town’s oldest residences.
As you continue on your way to Caen, there will be a huge port that will be located by the banks of the orne. This is one of Normandy’s largest cities that nearly lost all of the ten thousand buildings it had during the Second World War. The best tourist attraction here is the Caen Memorial where you will get to pay your respects to the fallen heroes of D-Day. There is also the Saint Patrice Square and Cathedral that is packed with market stalls so I would suggest that you do some shopping while you’re at it.
Continue on to the premier destination of Bayeux. Here, you should swing by the Musee de la Tapissierie which caters to the famous tapestry that the Bishop of Bayeux embroidered. They are so skillfully made that you would think they were just made yesterday instead of the pieces being nine-hundred years old. For the best that the town has to offer, you could come visit the abandoned fortifications of the D-Day Landings beaches and feel like you’re experiencing the effects of the war as you come face to face with history’s remains.
For more information on things to do in Normandy, click here.
Now that you have finally arrived at Normandy, isn’t this the best way to travel from Paris or what? Make sure that you have taken every picture of every step of this journey for this road trip is definitely not the type that you’ll ever forget!