Known for its rolling landscapes, dramatic ocean-side cliffs, fresh cheese and lush apple orchards, the Northwest region of France is an area of Europe that is one of the must-see places on earth. Here are 13 things to see and do in the North West of France:
1. Play one of the best golf courses in Europe
North Western France is home to some of the best golf courses in Europe including the famous Les Bordes golf course. This following graphic created by ferry to France company Brittany Ferries is a perfect guide for anyone planning a round or two whilst in the area.
Image source: Brittany Ferries presents the best golf courses in Western France.
2. Visit the stunning Mont Saint Michel
Mont Saint-Michel is an island community at the mouth of the Couesnon River in Normandy, France, located approximately 1/2 mile off the northwest coast. The island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times, and is the seat of the monastery for which it is named. One of the most iconic images in all of France, the village and monastery is built on a rocky outcrop of a tidal flat and considered one of the wonders of the western world.
3. Eat moulesmarinière in Trouville
Mussels are a favourite dish of France and Trouville is a charismatic town with a working fishing port to let you enjoy the freshest seafood possible.
4. Visit Monet’s gardens in Giverny
Located only 1 hour from Paris, Monet’s home and gardens in Giverny are well worth the trip. Visitors can walk through the same stunning gardens that were the muse for so many of the world-renowned painter’s works of art.
5. Sample the World famous wines of Bordeaux
Grapes were introduced to the Bordeaux region of France by the Romans in the middle of the 1st century and wine making has been continued in the world famous wine-producing region ever since. Over 700 million bottles of Bordeaux wines are produced annually, from common table wines to some of the most celebrated wines in the world.
6. Gaze in awe at the Bayeux Tapestry
Bayeux gets millions of visitors every year who flock to view the Bayeux Tapestry, an immense 230-foot long embroidered cloth which is one of the most detailed tapestries in the world. The tapestry recounts the story of the events that led up to the Norman conquest of England.
7. Taste Camembert In Normandy
Camembert is a soft and creamy cheese that was first made during the late 18th century in Normandy, France. The cheese became firmly fixed in French culture since it was famously given to French troops during World War I.
8. Visit The Poignant War Cemeteries & Memorials
Pay a visit to the War Cemeteries and Memorials and honourthe many brave soldiers who died in Europe during the World Wars. The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is the one which attracts the most tourists and is located on a cliff in Colleville-sur-Mer overlooking Omaha Beach, which was one of the main landing sites of the Normandy Invasion.
9. Wonder Around Place de la Bourse
The Place de la Bourse faces onto the Garonne River and was designed by King Louis XV’s architect, Gabriel, in the 18th century to act as a dramatic setting for an equestrian statue of the king
10. Visit Grand Site Naturel de Ploumanac’h
Known for the colour of the rocks, Grand Site Naturel de Ploumanac’h on the Pink Granite Coast is one of the most stunning stretches of Brittany’s entire coastline. A leisurely walk from Ploumanac’h to Perros can be taken in just a few hours.
11. Visit Normandy Beach
A visit to the famous Normandy D-Day beaches, where thousands of soldiers lost their lives fighting for world freedom, is definitely worth the trip for anyone, whether a history buff or not.(Image by Jill Colonna)
12. Soak up the art and architecture in Rouen
With its stately spires and beautiful Gothic cathedral, Rouen is full of French art and architecture and a great spot to base all your Norman adventures. Rouen’s magnificently restored Medieval quarter is a true living museum of Normandy architecture and Rouen is also where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for heresy.
13. Sip your way along the Cider Route
Normandy is legendary for its apple orchards. Driving the 40-mile “Route du Cidre” will allow you to sample the regions ciders as you pass by the local cider makers while driving through Normandy’s quaint villages.
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Feature image by Antonio Ponte