Some time ago during a long weekend in May, I had a chance to visit a lovely corner of France – Normandy. In 4 days we visited Deauville, Mont Saint Michel, the D-Day Landing beaches, Caen, and Honfleur, tasted Camembert cheese and pancakes or some typical drinks such as Cider, Calvados. Despite the heavy rain each day (and they say that it rains a LOT in Belgium?!), we had fun and enjoyed the trip and even though it’s been quite some time already, I still think that my itinerary for a weekend trip to Normandy may inspire some of you! It is reachable within 4-5 hours’ drive from Brussels and will definitely pay off if you are looking for a few days’ trip to escape the big cities such as Brussels or Paris.
Day 1 – Deauville
The first day we got in the car in the early morning and drove from Brussels to Deauville. This is a chic town often referred to as the Parisian beach… As the April weather and time did not allow us to hang out more in the town, I can only tell you that the city center is cute and we found a nice bakery, sea fruit and veggie dealers, got the basics for picnic and before the rain came, we enjoyed some nice time on the beach.
Day 2 – Mont Saint Michel
Then we hopped back in the car and drove to Mont Saint Michel where we stayed overnight. I wrote about our visit of Mont Saint Michel in one of my first posts on this blog. This place is amazing and made me speechless, but I need to tell you that this is the second most visited place in France after Paris so… expect crowds and Mère Poulard everywhere.
Day 3 – D-Day Beaches and Caen
Normandy with all the D-Day Landing beaches is a true open-air museum through which the visitors can learn about the 6th June 1944, when the greatest battle of the WWII started. The third day, our plan was to visit the Point du Hoc, some of the D-Day Landing Beaches, and a military cemetery. Unfortunately, we did not find any of the cemeteries open, so we only did point 1 and 2.
Point du Hoc is a 30 m tall cliff overlooking the English Channel and it was here where the Germans were defeated by the American Soldiers on D-Day (6th June 1944). Nowadays, you can see a memorial on the top of the cliff and on the site which is open to the public, you can still see gun pits and bunkers. If you are passionate by history or like this military stuff, you might be truly impressed.
As it was raining more and more, we only had a short walk along the Omaha Beach which is one of the most important beaches where the Rangers landed on the D-Day. There was not much to see and the weather was really awful so we decided to move to Caen for a short walk in the city center and get a shelter in a coffee place or restaurant in case of need.
Day 4 – Honfleur
The last day on our way back to Brussels, we made a half-day stop in Honfleur, a charming Normandy town. After Mont Saint Michel, this was probably the best part of our trip to Normandy, I really loved it here! The center with a small port with all the colorful houses is stunning even in the rain. Beyond, you can get lost in small streets full of shops with local products and gifts.
On our way back, we visited some random producers of cider that we found on our way and brought some bottles home. Another stuff that I love about our trips to France – discovering regional products and buying from locals directly! I have to say that these 4 days allowed us to see some of the main places of interest in Normandy and left me full of envy to come back one day and stay longer.
So this was it for our trip to Normandy. Have you been there? Did you visit these places or any other? Let me know about it in the below comments!
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What a beautiful roadtrip ! I love Normandy and fell in love with Honfleur 2 years ago ! (though it was much less crowded than on a May long week end). Never visited the landing beaches, I do wanna go now that I’ve read your post 🙂