Normandy is a beautiful and fascinating area to visit. The sights
include the wondrous Mont St Michel, the famous tapestry at Bayeux
and the numerous locations linked with the World War II D-Day landings
and the Battle of Normandy.
We have listed below just a few of the places you may like to
visit whilst in Normandy.
Mont St Michel - "Marvel of the Western World"
the Mont Saint Michel Bay and the Mont itself feature on the UNESCO
list of world heritage sites as national and cultural treasures. The
huge bay occupies an area of some 500 sq kms from Cancale to Granville.
It is also the scene of the most spectacular tidal activity with a
range of almost 15 metres between low and high tides.
The highpoint of medieval architecture
from the Middle Ages and constructed on a rock pinnacle, the
Abbey is the most commanding
view point from which to see the bay. The abbey's audacious and
innovative rooms are evocative of one of Christianity's most important
As one of the most visited attractions in France, Mont St Michel
can become very busy. Avoid the obvious busy periods if possible.
An evening visit is worthwhile, especially on a very dark night
when the floodlit Mont appears from a distance to float above the
On the road just south of Mont St Michel
at Beauvoir is the Reptile House which is a very popular attraction.
You can see crocodiles,
lizards, snakes and tortoises all in a lovely setting.
Mont St Michel is about 54 kms from Granville.
Granville - "Monaco of the North"
local town of Granville, often called the "Monaco of the
North" is well worth
a visit. The busy port is the starting point for ferries to Chausey
and Jersey and from the port you can walk to the lighthouse at
Pointe du Roc which marks the northern limit of Mont St Michel
Bay. The walk offers fine views out to sea and along the coast.
Pointe du Roc is also home to the Maritime Museum, the Aquarium
and Butterfly and Insect Garden.
On the northern edge of Granville, near the main beach, is the
former home of Christian Dior. The gardens are open to the public
and the house has now become a museum to the famous couturier.
The D-Day landings and The Battle of Normandy
1944 saw one of the most daring manoeuvres of the Second World
War. The allies attempted a large scale invasion, code named
Operation Overlord, into northern France. The allies avoided the most obvious
route to the Calais area and instead came ashore in the Bay of
the Seine. A longer more difficult crossing but one that meant
they avoided the more heavily fortified coastline and in turn
gained a degree of surprise.
There are many sites around Normandy linked with the landings
and the following Battle of Normandy. The beaches codenamed Utah,
Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword are all between Caen and Ste Mere Eglise.
The Pegasus Bridge near Caen, St Mere Eglise and the Arromanches
Museum and Cinema just north of Bayeux are just a few places not
The Bayeux Tapestry
is a beautiful city but most people visit to see the famous Bayeux
Tapestry. Housed in the Centre Guillaume le Conquerant in an
impressive 18th century building the tapestry presents its unique
record of the events of 1066. The embroidery is in coloured wool
on a piece of linen, 50cm (19 inches) high by 70m (203 feet)
Bayeux is about 110 kms from Granville and you should allow about 1.5 hours for the visit.
Champrepus Zoological Park -
20kms from Granville on the road to Villedieu. http://www.zoo-champrepus.com
Avranches - The Mont St Michel manuscripts are
some of the finest in Europe and are on display in the town hall
Villedieu-Les-Poeles Bell Foundry -
One of the few bell foundries still in existence where you can
see the bell casters making their moulds from clay, horse manure and goat hair! http://www.cornille-havard.com
Also see our things to do page for more active ideas.