Sandy beaches, Impressionist landscapes and tempting seafood
It’s easy to see why the French Impressionists flocked to Normandy on their holidays. Its curvaceous beaches, wind-swept cliffs and wide-open pastures are pretty as a picture. Then there’s the region’s storied history. Here you can witness the 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry, the tidal island of Saint Michael’s Mount and the poignant sites of the D-Day landings. More cultural highlights await you in the many exceptional museums and galleries dotted throughout the region.
A visit to Normandy is incomplete without sampling its platter of delicacies. In coastal idylls such as Dieppe, enjoy the freshest scallops and fish du jour money can buy. Further inland, the countryside is bocage to a tee – a patchwork of green pastures bordered by pretty woodland. The abundant cattle provide Normans with all the milk they could wish for, and they in turn transform it into everything from Camembert to crème fraîche. All the cheeses with AOC certification here are named after their village of origin; connoisseurs can visit each village on an indulgent tour along the cheese route. Defying French convention, wine plays third fiddle to brandy and cider in Normandy – so wash down your cheese board with a glass of cidre doux (then perhaps a calvados or pommeau aperitif).
We recommend pairing your trip to Normandy with a visit to neighbouring Brittany, where you will find more coastal charms and historic marvels. Stay in five-star hotels, rustic cottages or pretty gîte holiday homes, as you discover all these regions have to offer with A&K.