The Normandy region, located in northern France, is a wonderful place to visit (and easily accessible, by train, from Paris). The popular tourist attraction Mont-St.-Michel is located in Normandy (a former abbey located off the coast of Normandy). There are also many charming, historic cities and towns to visit. Here are my three favorites:
Honfleur is a lovely commune in France’s Normandy region. A port city, it is known for influencing the paintings of early impressionists, such as Gustave Courbet and Claude Boudin. In fact, there is a lovely museum dedicated to this genre. Another impressive aspect of Honfleur is Sainte-Catherine church, France’s largest church made entirely of wood. The current structure replaced the former church (made of stone) that was destroyed during the 100 Years War in the second half of the 15th century. To finish off your visit to Honfleur, I highly recommend a stroll down by the port.
Located in northwestern France, the seaside city of Deauville is a lovely place to spend the day. Known for its horse racing culture, high-end hotels and casinos, historic villas, and impressive ocean views, Deauville is the playground of France’s (and the international) upper class. What most visitors to Deauville remember is the town’s unique aesthetic— charming half-timbered brown and white buildings, cobblestone streets, and well-manicured green spaces. There are plenty of ways to pass the time in Deauville, including taking in a horse race or visiting the local markets.
The capital of Upper-Normandy, Rouen is located on the Seine River. Some of the city’s main tourist attractions include Notre Dame Cathedral (a stunning example of Gothic architecture), and the Gros Horloge (a large, external clock that dates back to the 15th century), the Tour de Jean d’Arc (where Joan of Arc was brought to be tortured in 1431), the Jardin des Plantes (a botanical garden that dates back to the mid-19th century), and the Joan of Arc Church (which stands on the site where Joan of Arc was burned).
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