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Normandy
Normandy
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Things to see in Normandy
By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Enogastronomy

Normans take their food extremely seriously?and rightly so as they boast some of France's finest cuisine. Their cows' milk produces some of the most famous cheeses in the world such as Camembert and Pont l'Evêque, their waters hold first class sea food, mussels being a staple of their diet, along with oysters, and their orchards grow apples which end up as cider, calvados or the famous tarte normande. Other specialities include the andouillettesausage from the town of Vire ? very much an acquired taste! The most important thing to know is that you definitely won't go hungry!

Monuments

For many, Normandy is famous for two main reasons: as the home to Mont St. Michel, France's second most popular tourist attraction, and for the D-Day landing beaches and military cemeteries. While both of course merit a visit, there are many other worthy monuments in the region such as cathedrals (Rouen), castles (William the Conqueror's in Caen), abbeys (Notre-Dame du Bec) and parks and gardens. There's no way you can visit all the region's wealth of architecture and historical monuments, but make sure you get a taste.

Arts and culture

With the sea, the landing beaches, the Impressionists, Mont Saint-Michel and the Norman countryside, you won't be short of opportunities to discover art and culture in Normandy!
When it comes to the Norman coast, you'll have the choice between learning more about the region's history, with the Mémorial de Caen war memorial museum; the region's coastal activities and inhabitants, with the Cité de la Mer maritime museum in Cherbourg; and the region's architecture, with Mont Saint-Michel and the Maison de la Baie ecomuseum.

Activities and leisure

Normandy is the ideal place for nature lovers to venture out in the wild and protected environment and try some of the possible activities. There are different types of walks you can go on around Mont Saint Michel: on foot, by carriage, with your family in discovery of the fauna and flora, or with your friends to test your courage in the quicksand! If you like fishing, you will be delighted: in Normandy it is possible to fish in the sea as well as the many lakes and rivers. You really must take advantage of the fresh sea air and landscapes in this region: for example, follow the 'Sentiers des Douaniers' ('customs route') along the coastline of the bay of Mont Saint Michel to the Baie des Veys. The Villiers gorges should also not be missed. Next, head to the Zoo of Champrépus, where children and adults can observe the animals, who live as though in their natural habitats here, at their leisure. After having discovered the unspoilt nature of Normandy, you can have fun in the casinos, where you will also find bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

Sports and activties

Thrill-seekers will not be disappointed! Fly over Mont Saint Michel and the D-Day landing beaches in a microlight plane, gather up some courage and go bungee jumping, try a tree-top adventure or go for a ride on a legendary motorbike? Plus, there is also a wide range of possible activities by the sea, like, for example, in Cherbourg you can go land sailing, windsurfing, sea kayaking, water skiing, etc. As for the sports on land: golfing is very popular in Normandy and there are many golf courses along the coast, such as Cherbourg, Coutainville, and Mont Saint Michel.

Night Life

In Normandy, in addition to long walks along the coast, land sailing and visiting the historical sites, you can also take advantage of the many restaurants to try some of the local specialities made with fresh ingredients from the region and then head to the casinos and nightclubs for some entertainment. And there you have it, a small selection of the places we recommend in Normandy!