Information and Tourism
Bordered by Brittany to its left and north-eastern France to its right, Normandy's coastline stretches itself along the English Channel. Long beaches, traditional fishing villages and yachting marinas all vie for the attention of holidaymakers, who come here to soak up the seaside atmosphere.
Inland, rolling countryside takes over the vista, with fields of dairy cows and apple orchards dominating the landscape. Normandy's cheeses are world-renowned, from creamy Camembert to the equally delicious Pont l'Evêque. On the cider route, it is possible to sample the fruits of agricultural labour and visit the farms where the transformation from apple to tipple takes place. Normandy is, incidentally, also claimed to be the birthplace of the popular French sweet bread known as 'brioche'.
In years gone by, Normandy has inspired many an artist and painter, including such old masters as Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Even English artists have crossed the Channel to paint, drawn by the romanticism of the region's coastline and landscape.
Today, tourists come to enjoy its sandy beaches and soak up the region's rich heritage. Grand Norman cathedrals abound, as do ancient abbeys and magnificent castles. Half-timbered period buildings that are typical to the region survive in many towns and villages, along with bourgeois villas from the Belle Epoque period.
Car loads of tourists traditionally make the drive along the causeway to the abbey of Mont St. Michel or head into the town of Bayeux, with its famous embroidered tapestry. Bayeux was the first place in Normandy to be liberated after D-day. North of the town are the beaches that saw action in the Allied invasion of France during World War Two. The events of 1945 touched the lives of those who lived in the region, particularly in the towns of Caen, Cherbourg, Carentan and Falaise.
Pays de la Loire Information and Fast Facts
- Country: France
- Main city or administrative centre (Upper Normandy): Rouen
- Main city or administrative centre (Lower Normandy): Caen
- Population: approximately 3.5 million
- Language: French
- Height of highest point (Signal d'Ecouves): 1,368 feet / 417 metres
Map of France